• The Bishop writes ...
• The view from pulpit and pew
• Diocesan family meet Ruth
• Exciting Holy Week for St Margaretís
• Supporting CANSA
• On the move
• Tag Lines
The Bishop writes ...
My dear People of God, Christ our Passover has been sacrificed for us, so let us celebrate the feast, Alleluia!
Time seems to move very fast, now that we are celebrating another Easter. It is a great privilege to keep this great and central feast in our faith and in the church calendar. The Spirit of Easter seeks to portray to us the uniqueness of Christ, the beginning and the end of our faith. It is true, therefore, that it is because of Easter that the joy and presence of the risen Christ become more meaningful and real in our journey through this transitory life.
From the Lenten ashes, through to the experience of the Passion of Christ that strengthens us we are sanctified, saved and refreshed by the soul, body and blood of Christ for a new beginning in the joy of Easter. Faced with the mountain of sin, poverty, disease, crime, racism, sexism and family crisis, we recognize the presence of Christ in us and in everything that surrounds us for strength to conquer.
When we see him in the breaking of bread we take heart and offer ourselves as his instruments of inner joy and allembracing love for the poor and oppressed. We are ambassadors of his compassionate love to a broken and needy world. Unless we capture this vision of Christ in deed and truth, and apply it as such at home and in the market place, this land and people can never be saved. This is the duty of the Church. This is the core message of Easter.
The political arena continues to cause us great concern both in this country and beyond. Are we getting credible leaders in this land? The projection brings a bleak and gloomy picture. Corruption is endorsed, anarchy is encouraged, disrespect, particularly of the elders, is let loose and unquestioned, the rule of law is played down, prisoners are heroworshipped, and intolerance is escalating. The list may go on. What is the matter with South Africa? The risen Christ is enough. His Spirit lives in those who believe, to be his ambassadors to cry justice and equality for all irrespective. Good governance, democratic rights and responsibilities, good education and social welfare with functioning health services are to be the priorities of a government to be voted for, not empty promises of gaining only more votes for comfortable lives in parliament with corrupted Travel-gate scandals. God has given you ability through the ballot box to bring an effective change in this country. Vote and make a difference in the lives of many. Do not be fooled by empty promises which have existed for the last fifteen years. God seeks to save South Africa. Act responsibly.
Many voices from Zimbabwe continue to call for our help. Like those gone before us let us pray fervently to God. He listens to prayer and will bring change in Zimbabwe. Let us take sides and stand for justice and freedom for all in Africa. May God look with favour on our continent. God bless Africa!
Synod May 2009 is fast approaching. We have invited you to assemble at the Cathedral of St Mary the Virgin for the opening Eucharist on Wednesday 27 May at 18h00. The Synod will hopefully conclude with the Dedication and Commitment service on the Day of Pentecost. This will be an Indaba Synod where people will participate and speak, not just a few individuals. The format will be shared with you in due course based on Indaba experiences of the Bishops at Lambeth 2008A.D. The Theme is, ‘Mission to the World’. The training day for Synod takes place on Saturday 9 May. Details are to follow. Continue to pray for Synod 2009 of the Diocese of Port Elizabeth.
In the words of Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali “we see then, that Jesus is central to understanding the wellsprings of the fundamental values that are being universally recognized today as essential for a world order in which there is even a chance of justice, peace and compassion. Those who are called by his name and follow him know also that these values are transcended and transformed in him, enabling his followers to live by them so that they become rooted in their lives and help them to challenge and change the world”. (The Unique and Universal Christ: Paternoster, 2008).
May the Spirit of the risen Christ fill you with his love for all people in his world to begin to transform it and grow the church. Yours in the love of Christ,
Pic: Ralph McGuigan, the rector of St Cuthbert’s was seen chatting to Bishop Bethlehem and Ruth Brandt, the diocesan secretary/treasurer at a reception to introduce her to the rectors and churchwardens.
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The view from pulpit and pew
iindaba is sad to report the death in Cape Town on Ash Wednesday of Ron Taylor, former rector of St John the Baptist in Walmer and former Archdeacon of Port Elizabeth. Ron lived with his wife, Val in Cape Town. Their elder son, Nicholas, came from Oxford in England for the funeral. Nicholas is also a priest.
- It is with sadness that iindaba records the deaths of two bishop’s wives:
Bertha Chana, the wife of Bp Albert of our link Diocese of Northern Zambia;
and Sarah Breytenbach the wife of Bp Martin of the Diocese of St Mark the Evangelist.
Our condolences to both of them.
iindaba is happy to report that Nicolette Leonard is home at last. This does not mean that she has completely recovered, as she must still keep clear of germs and other nasties that float in the air. No doubt she is enjoying sleeping in her own bed, and one can be assured Myron is not waking her up at 05h00 to take her temperature. Welcome back, Nicolette, and be assured of the ongoing prayers of your brothers and sisters in Christ.
The diocesan welcome for the new diocesan secretary/treasurer at St Francis Xavier was a colourful event, not just for the food and the bouquet of flowers Ruth received, but also for the head of David Stansbury. David had attended the Shavathon for the Cancer Association, and as he didn’t have much to shave, his head was spray-painted with many colours. He certainly helped to brighten up the event!
Some time ago, iindaba reported that Katharine Holmes was going to Canada as a Rotary Exchange student in January. At the time of going to print, iindaba reports that she is still at home waiting for her Canadian visa which she applied for early December. Here’s hoping that by the time you read this, she is in a much colder place than Port Elizabeth. Katharine is the daughter of Christopher, rector of St Hugh’s, Newton Park, and Susan, who teaches at Alex.
Last month the funeral took place at St Paul’s of Ethné Arthur, wife of Harold, a long-time server at St Paul’s. Ethné’s family has a long association with St Paul’s going back to the days the church was at the bottom of Albany Road. Her father, Percy Henegan, was churchwarden for many years. Ethné is survived by Harold and two sons, Peter and Michael.
The ‘retired’ Diocesan Secretary/Treasurer, Keith Rae, is on a Sabbatical at present. We are so fortunate to have had a man of such high calibre helping to steer the diocese through many years of fiscal discipline. We are most fortunate in the diocese to have had Dennis Burkinshaw, Norman Heath and Keith, and we welcome Ruth Brandt into the hot seat. Keith and his wife Denise are both deacons with permission to officiate at St Hugh’s, Newton Park.
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Diocesan family meet Ruth
Ruth Brandt, the new diocesan secretary/ treasurer was formally introduced to the churchwardens and rectors of the diocese on Friday evening 9 March.
The reception was held at St Francis Xavier and Bishop Bethlehem introduced Ruth, giving some background from having worked with her in the Diocese of Grahamstown before his election as our Bishop.
Pic: Mark Derry, the BEO, presented Ruth Brandt with a beautiful bouquet at the reception to introduce her to the diocesan family.
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Exciting Holy Week for St Margaretís
iindaba has seen a sneak preview of the exciting programme Leon Foster, the rector of St Margaret’s, has prepared for his parishioners.
He has challenged them to take ‘the less travelled road’ and to do as Jesus did using the words from Isaiah 50:4-9 “The Lord God helps me”. Onwards with ‘caution’ and then to commit to’Phoenix Faith’ and to Jesus’ ‘recipe for the living feast of God’s love’.
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The rector of Holy Trinity, David Stansbury, showed off his shaved and painted head (and green eyebrows) to another shaved head in the diocese, Welile Kani, the rector of Christ the King.
David, whose mother-in-law has just had a mastectomy, was supporting the CANSA ‘Shavathon’ where people were asked to either shave their heads or have their hair spayed a bright colour - David chose both.
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On the move
[ Mark Derry ]
This is a new column all about clergy moves. Information will be supplied by the Bishop’s Executive Officer (BEO), Mark Derry.
- Joshua Koening moved to St Philip/St Barnabas on 15 March
- Lynn De Doncker moves to St Philip/St Barnabas after Easter.
- Garfield Jacobs has been released to the Diocese of Pretoria
A number of ordinands in training who will be moving after Easter:
- Willie Brandt - from St Luke to St Mary;
- Samantha Eagles - from St Luke to St Francis Xavier;
- Abigail Tukulu - from St Peter to St Philip/St Barnabas;
- Ruby Xoliswa Zauka - from St Timothy to Zwartkops River Valley;
- Sandla Koltana - from St Timothy to St Katharine.
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We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.
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