Quick Links: Page
1 | Page
2 | Page 3 | Page 4 | Top
• The Bishop writes ...
• The view from pulpit and pew
• Tag lines
• Deepening your relationship with God
The Bishop writes ...
Going to the Father
My dear People of God,
Greetings in the name of the risen Christ, Alleluia!
The going is not more joyful than the coming is. It depends on how the
going is. There are joyful goings eg to start a new job (with caution),
going on holidays, visiting friends, an invitation to a gala dinner
with the president or queen, etc. Even with these joyous occasions, the
coming home is more jubilant.
When we fought against apartheid the going was far from pleasant. There
was no hope of seeing your loved ones again. I remember travelling in
the trans-Natal train to Johannesburg one time. The train which went
ahead of the one I was to board was full of young white conscripts on
their way to fight on the borders of this land. Strictly speaking they
were fighting their own fellow citizens. As the train hooted to pull
off from the platform, cries of goodbyes were heard, with the
possibilities of never-to-return for some of those young innocent
lives, to die for what belonged to all, the beloved South Africa, our
land. All thanks be given to God for continuing to save our land and
nation. May he grant us good life, peace and prosperity.
For the Lord Jesus, the going was such a joyous one. It brought misery
to the apostles. It was misery because it caused a great sense of
loneliness and hopelessness. They were to be alone in the facing of the
wrath of the Jews seen on that first Good Friday. They did not
understand that resurrection meant continuing glorification of the Lord
Jesus to heavenly places. Sorrow began to fill their hearts like during
Passion Week. Jesus comes to their rescue with a good reminder: "It is
for your good that I am going away". The coming of the Counsellor (Gk
Parakletos = alongside helper) depends on this departure. This
Counsellor will be the ever presence of the Father and the Son wherever
believers gather in God's name. The Counsellor will be working through
the believers to advance the cause of God's kingdom. This will happen
in three ways as conviction of the world:
1 in regard to sin, because not all people believe in Jesus Christ;
2 in regard to righteousness, because Jesus goes to the Father and has accomplished the work of human salvation;
3 in regard to judgement, because the prince of this world is
condemned together with those who do not believe (Jn 3:17-18, 16:8-11).
Without Ascension there is no hope of Pentecost. We celebrate the power
of the Holy Spirit given to us for ministry. We rejoice in doing
something about crime, disease HIV/Aids, TB and Malaria, building
family life and the Millennium Goals to achieve. Our joy is fulfilled
when we engage in mission and ministry by transforming lives for the
love of God. While going to church is a good virtue, it strictly helps
us nothing if God's kingdom is not extended. The presence of a church
building in any community is a symbol of hope for a better life and
Finally, be visible to the communities you serve. Set up prayer groups
in your wards. Pray about these things unceasingly. Strive for unity of
the church at all costs. Remember the Anglican Communion and its
leaders. Minister to the homosexuals and lesbians. Be embracing and
inclusive in your approach. Our gospel is of love and transformation.
It is Christ who gives a new character and forgives the past. People
must hear this in your ministry until the risen/ascended Christ comes.
Then, the God of peace will hear our prayers, increase our resources and give us the Holy Spirit.
Yours sincerely in the service of Christ,
Bishop Bethlehem Nopece
10 March the St Matthias church in Motherwell congregants had a reason
for rejoicing when Mthetheleli Vena was instituted as the
priest-in-charge of the church. Phelelo Nyondo took the photo during
The view from pulpit and pew
Rudi Marais, assistant priest in the Parish of the Good
Shepherd, reached retirement age at the end of April. As the rules
allow, †Bethlehem has appointed him priest-in-charge of the
Parish of St Michael and All Angels in Schauderville. This parish has
been lovingly cared for by retired self-supporting priest from East
London, Peter Evers. Rudi's appointment is from 1 July, and, as a
retired priest, his appointment is renewed on an annual basis. iindaba
wishes him and Dolores happiness in their new parish and home.
At the time iindaba went to print, Peter and Maureen Evers
were in England visiting their son. iindaba trusts they had a fruitful
and happy visit. St Michael and All Angels will be saying farewell to
them at the end of June.
Jack and Claire Hughes have just moved to Maranatha
Village in Pickering Street, Newton Park. Their cottage is number 2, so
they will be neighbours to Lorraine Johnson, mother of Ruthell Johnson,
rector of St Paul's in Parsons Hill. Jack will continue to minister at
St Paul's as long as Claire is able to drive. He also has a wonderful
ministry at Greenacres Hospital which is appreciated by patients and
staff. Telkom has told them their telephone number will not change!
Another resident at Maranatha had quite a trip last month.
She and one of her daughters were flying back to Port Elizabeth from
Cape Town, but their flight was delayed by several hours. When they
heard their names being called over the intercom, they hurried to
boarding station 12 and entered the plane, only to find they were the
only passengers on the plane, as the other passengers had flown on an
earlier plane. Who said only government officials and film stars had
their own private jets? Doreen now has her feet firmly on the ground as
she continues her valued ministry.
The Parish of the Zwartkops River Valley has lost its
treasurer, Roger Gardner, who has moved to Russia to oversee the
building of some Hilton hotels. His first site is in Siberia, and his
initial contract is for two years, with an option of extending it for a
further three years. In the old days of the USSR, few ever returned
from Siberia! Roger, who also served on the Diocesan Finance Board,
will be able to fly home every few months, and his wife Rosemary, who
is remaining behind, will be able to visit him in Russia now and again.
David Grobbelaar, rector of St Barnabas, Sydenham, and St
Philip's, Central, was due for surgery at the end of May. His
right elbow has a spur, damaged ligaments and a tennis elbow, which has
caused him a great deal of pain. iindaba wishes him a speedy recovery.
Bp Bethlehem recently conferred the Order of the Diocese
of Port Elizabeth on Dorothy Holmes from St Hugh's, Newton Park.
Dorothy and her late husband Pat were wonderful witnesses to our Lord
in their loving and encouraging ministry. Amongst those blessed by
their witness are Ralph McGuigan, rector of St Cuthbert's in Westbourne
Road, and Terry Beadon, rector of the Parish of Alexandria. Although
they call each other 'cousin', she and her rector, Christopher Holmes,
are not related!
Many have responded positively to the letter which
†Bethlehem wrote to The Herald on 11 May. Some of those who
commented on it are from other denominations and other faiths. 'It is
so good to see our leadership taking a stand and taking a lead' said a
Methodist farmer. There has also been a letter to The Herald since the
article commending the Bishop's stand.
It is better to be a failure at something you love, than to be a success at something you hate.
Deepening your relationship with Jesus
For four Thursday evenings of
teaching by Barry Sendall, over 100 participants attending the
“Relationship Faith Course” at St John’s were
challenged to look at their relationship with Jesus.
Members from St John’s, St Cuthbert’s, St Mary’s, All
Saints’ and other parishes were among those who ‘sat at the
feet’ of this wonderful teacher for four Thursday evenings during
April and May. They learnt such lessons as relationship faith, the
difference between God’s perfect will and his permissible will,
contemplative and meditative prayer, the need to find the right place
and comfortable chair when praying, and much more. Using material put
into a PowerPoint program, Barry made sure we not only heard what he
was teaching us, but that we saw as well. It is a course well worth
attending. See page 4 for further events being run by the Centre for
some light - Barry Sendall, co-ordinator of the Centre for Christian
Spirituality, discusses a point with Adrian Boshoff of St
Journals and cards with original art works by Deon Lemmer of Christ Church, Alexandria
Funds collected will go to help mission among the poor in Alexandria-KwaNonkqubela.
Journals R20 each and pack of 12 cards R60.
Quick Links: Page
1 | Page
2 | Page 3 | Page 4 | Top