• The Bishop writes ... God Speaks!
• The view from pulpit and pew
• Anglican Rosary available
• On the move
• Tag Lines
• All Saints, Kabega Park fête
The Bishop writes ... God Speaks!
My dear friends in Christ,
Greetings in the name of Christ our Lord present among us in his Holy Spirit! In the political arena people of South Africa have spoken through the ballot box. Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma is now our president. The news has been accepted with applause by some, while others do so with caution, and for still others, it does not matter which way it goes so long as they can get on with their lives peacefully. All sorts of reactions, you name them! Both those who applaud or those who are cautious need to undertake to support the administration with positive and constructive criticism. The bloated cabinet, which will cost the tax payer more than a billion rand for the top structure does not give any bright hope, since delivery is to happen at grass roots level where more people would be needed. The people of South Africa have to watch and pray, engaging themselves wherever the call to duty sounds. If it was a sympathy vote it is not giving any optimistic good returns. Time will tell. Let us remain positive positioning ourselves on the side of the good wherever we are.
For believers God speaks. He spoke in the olden days in different ways, in various times and situations through the prophets and signs. He has spoken “in these last days to us by His Son” (Heb.1:1- 2). When the Lord speaks he seems not to be interested in the majority. He reveals himself to individuals, and fulfills purposes in many ways. The Spirit of the
Father lives in us, and it is his Spirit who speaks through us as we pray (Prayer C. APB. P.113). God chose to speak through his people in Israel, both the “gangs of prophets” and individual prophets (1 Sam 10:5-7). The test of whether the Lord has actually spoken was that the word would come true (Deut. 18: 15-22). The individual prophets like Isaiah et al, would speak “Thus says the Sovereign Lord…” out of confidence and an encounter with him to transmit the message to the people of Israel.
Our God has spoken through Jesus Christ. He is the Word of God with God in the beginning “…coming into the world” (Jn
1: 9). In him the ‘above’ meets with the ‘below’ and God speaks as he calls whoever believes in him to ‘new birth’. Thus the new thing from God begins in the life of those who believe (cf Is.43:19). Once a new creation begins, a new relationship with God emerges. All of us are challenged to ‘be born again’ for a new beginning and fellowship divine (Jn. 3:3, 7). Once this takes place in us, the Spirit opens us to new ventures and challenges.
First, we do not rest content for hearing the word of God only once a week, on a Sunday morning. We long for the ‘pure
milk of the word so that we may grow thereby’ (I Peter 2:2). The written word becomes part of our daily lives as we listen to God as he speaks to us, both in the Morning and Evening Prayer as set out in the Anglican Prayer Book. Read the
word and listen to God as he speaks to you daily. Be reminded to pray: ‘Give us today our daily bread’ and God will reveal himself to you more and more in your conscience, prompting you in ‘a still small voice’ to good works. Also think: the family that prays together stays together. Be the cause of togetherness of families. This is God’s intention through you to
transform family life!
Secondly, God meets and speaks to us when we are quiet. As I share in the privilege of visiting Christian churches both in the diocese and ecumenical, believers are too noisy when they come to worship. Their convocation is no different from a political Imbizo. Going to a worship service is an appointment to meet with the unseen God in the Body and Blood of Christ. The unseen or the spiritual is often encountered in quietness and trust (confidence) as we discern the mystery of his presence (Is.30:15; 1 Kings 19:11-13). If it is hard for us to hear one another when it is noisy, how much more are we missing hearing God speaking to us when we are noisy?
Thirdly, when God speaks a commission follows for the listener to engage and complete a task (Is.6). We have a task,
God’s Mission into the world. At Synod God spoke to us in Indaba Groups. We need to discern our part in Mission now. Each and every one has a gift to exercise and a part to play. The poor have been the concern of the Church for ages, long before the Millennium Goals ever thought to emerge. We move out of the love of him who died our death, even Christ our Lord whose ‘Spirit speaks through us as we pray’ (Gal.2:20). The first engagement is ‘to make disciples’. Further to this South Africa presents challenges of good governance, rule of law, disease HIV/ Aids, Crime, delivery, gender issues,
family crisis, racism ... the list goes on. Let us stand up and heed the Synod call of Christ ‘to go and make disciples of all nations …’ with prayer and hard work for church growth and ministry.
May God grant us strength to fulfill and accomplish our duties.
Yours in the love of Christ
Pic: Blessed by Bishop Bethlehem at the induction service - Annie, the oldest member of the AWF, seen with their chaplain, Sharon Nell.
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The view from pulpit and pew
Who says miracles don’t happen today? In 2005, Jacques Nell, younger son of Piet and Sharon, was declared brain dead. In April, he graduated from the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University!
- Congratulations to Diocesan Trustee, Charles Qoto, on the crowning of his beautiful daughter Zukiswa Miss Port Elizabeth. Not only is Zukiswa (also known as Di-Anne) a pretty face, but a bright one – she is a candidate attorney. Charles told iindaba that Zukiswa’s passionate about environmental issues, and would like to be an environmental lawyer.
Christopher Holmes, rector of St Hugh’s, Newton Park, told iindaba that he recently looked at a payslip from December 1984. His gross stipend was R440, and after tax, medical aid and pension deductions, his gross amount was R390.90c. His cheque was signed with the well-known signature of the diocesan secretary/ treasurer, Dennis Burkinshaw.
Is there a doctor in the house? Yes, but he won’t be able to diagnose your ailments. Congratulations to Lester Cowley, lay minister at the cathedral for many years, who has just been awarded his doctorate in computers at the NMMU.
Our thoughts go out to Debbie Vencencie and her young son Chad on the finding by the courts of a guilty verdict on the men who so cold-bloodedly killed her policemen husband,Winston, a few years ago. The verdict has brought relief to the family, as they now await sentencing which will take place in August. This will finally bring closure for Debbie and the family. God be with you.
If you think your clergy have gone barmy when they process into church ahead of the lay ministers, don’t be concerned. †Bethlehem was moved by the example of the Archbishop of Canterbury, who led from the front in procession, not bringing up the rear as has been the tradition. The priest who presides at the Eucharist is now to follow the acolytes (servers carrying candles) and crucifer (the server carrying the cross), and is followed by the other clergy then the lay ministers. ‡Rowan Cantaur (the title used by the Archbishop of Canterbury) showed the significance of the bishop leading mission into the world, and those who preside at the Eucharist representing the bishop/archbishop.
The historic Main Library, which is the custodian of much of Port Elizabeth’s history, has graciously donated to the Cathedral on permanent loan the music of the organist and choir-master of the Collegiate Church (as it was then), Roger Ascham, who died in 1934. Along with the music comes a beautiful bookcase. Included is also some of the music of the late Robert Selley, whose widow, Peggy, lives with her daughter and son-in-law, Christine and Anthony Oshry.
Katharine Holmes, daughter of Christopher and Susan of St Hugh’s, Newton Park, eventually left for Canada after waiting nearly five months for her visa. She is hosted by the Chatham Rotary Club in Ontario – close to the USA border. Detroit is only 70km from where she is staying.
It seems the editor of iindaba, Frankie Simpson, has heart troubles - of the physical sort. She will be going into hospital for a triple by-pass operation on 10 June. Everyone is now convinced she is mad because she chose to postpone admittance until after synod!
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Anglican Rosary available
The Umzi Woxolo Homecarers at Sea Vista are making Anglican Rosaries as a fundraiser to help equip their carehouse - on which building has begun. The Lord has answered our many prayers for such a building which is being paid for by an overseas sponsor.
The beaded rosary is available in different colours (buyer’s choice) and comes with three different prayer cards in a presentation satin bag at R50 a set including postage and packaging.
For enquiries or orders contact Pam on 042 294 0055 or 076 194 2291 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are equipping a nursery, a training/counselling room and a carer’s bedroom. We also have a wish list available if anyone can help us further.
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On the move
Clergy moves for this month:
- Craig Dunsmuir to TEE College Johannesburg;
- Mario Hendricks to St Luke, Palmridge from late May.
Ordination to the Permanent Diaconate
- Wellington Biyana, of St Stephen joins a list of candidates (see last issue) for the Trinity Ordinations at St Mary’s Cathedral on Sunday, 7 June at 14h00)
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The best thing about the future
is that it only comes
one day at a time.
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All Saints, Kabega Park fête
6 June at 10h00
Lots to do, lots to eat,
lots to buy and lots of fun!
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