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Vol 20 No 8


The official gazette of the Diocese of Port Elizabeth:
The Anglican Church of Southern Africa


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 •  Peace Prize for Cassidy
 •  Preaching salvation is heresy
 •  Letter to the ed
 •  The Calling
 •  Carehouse opens doors
 •  GAFCON book for FCA launch

Peace Prize for Cassidy
[ From “Out of Africa” newsletter AE Canada. ]

African Enterprise Founder, Michael Cassidy, received the Peacemaker Award from Christians for Peace in Africa (CPA), an organisation dedicated to promoting the biblical values of peace, reconciliation and hope across the continent. Pastor Thomas- René Kitutu, CPA Founder and CEO, presented the award to Michael at the AE Centre in Pietermaritzburg on  26th March, 2009. He said that Michael’s peace-making efforts both here in South Africa and across the wider continent, were very much appreciated and had borne much fruit, particularly in his home country of the DRC. He said that CPA wanted to bestow the award on Michael in recognition and appreciation of his faithful stewardship and commitment to see Africa transformed by the message of the Gospel and the power of the ultimate Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ.

In accepting the award, Michael paid tribute to the African Enterprise team which has worked alongside him to promote peace and bring reconciliation in many countries and conflict situations across Africa.

Pic: Dr Michael Cassidy, founder of African Enterprise.

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Preaching salvation is heresy
[ By George Conger Church of England Newspaper 17 July ]

Salvation is heresy, US Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori told the opening session of the US Episcopal Church’s  General Convention, denouncing as a false teaching the proposition that individual believers can find salvation through Jesus Christ. The grace of God is a gift to the community of believers, not for the individual believer, Bishop Jefferts Schori said on July 7 in Anaheim, California, loosening a broadside against conservative evangelicals.

In a wide-ranging address that touched upon the social and economic ills facing the United States and her hopes for the General Convention, Bishop Jefferts Schori argued the theological roots of the global economic crisis lay in a culture of selfishness. This selfishness of spirit was the cause of a series of “crises” that all had “do with the great Western heresy, that we can be saved as individuals, that any of us alone can be in right relationship with God.”  Full report on:

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Letter to the ed

“ Did you got a Licence?” (that old joke).

It has come to my ears that there is some confusion in the understanding of laity, and clergy alike, about “Licences” issued by any Bishop of a Diocese. I write to help sort out these confusions.

Order under the Holy Spirit

  • It is the scriptural and historic role of a Bishop to preserve two things in the Church : a) Unity and b) Orthodoxy. But they do it in consultation and after much prayer. The Church is not a ‘democracy’ as interpreted in secular politics. It is Apostolic, but the Council of Jerusalem (Acts 15) indicates it is also consultative.
  • One of the methods of preserving unity and orthodoxy was the issuing of ‘Licences’, by which it was proclaimed publicly that the minister (whether lay or ordained) fulfilled all the criteria of faithfulness to scripture, devotion,  self-discipline and mutual love and respect. As the Bible says: “In honour preferring one another”, ie. from the Latin præferro – ‘putting others first’; and not “lording it over” any.
Three kinds
There are three kinds of ‘Licences’, depending on the function of the minister.
a) The Pastoral Licence, by which a bishop appoints clergy (incumbents and assistant curates) to share his pastoral care of the people of God in a certain parish or mission-district; (‘receive the cure of souls, which is mine and thine’);
b) The General Licence, by which a bishop can cash in on the expertise of someone with special skills; and this  licence gives the holder the temporary right to attend Synod (even if ‘retired’) where s/he can be useful to the Church. It is a licence usually given to clergy in a diocese/church with ‘office’ responsibilities; and
c) The Licence called “Permission to Officiate,” is usual in the case of all clergy who have achieved retirement age,
and according to the Canons must no longer hold pastoral office. (Most of us “golden oldies” are in this category). It is a public recognition of the clergyman’s Orders, and his/her good-standing (morally etc) is recognised; and the bishop has no objection to his/her doing priestly-ministerial functions in the diocese, under set conditions eg. length of time etc. (When I did a ‘Locum’ in the Diocese of George for more than three consecutive Sundays, Bishop Donald gave me an additional License to function there.)

Misuse and Abuse
* Like everything, especially in secular politics, the granting of these licences is open to abuse or misuse. Some think that over the years the Canons, Rules and Regulations of Dioceses, and other formularies, have given too much “power” to the Bishops, and lessened the ‘consultative’ procedures formerly used, so that any bishop could become a ‘dictator’.
In some cases where this has been experienced the parishes just refused to pay assessments and the autocratic  bishop had soon to take a few steps backwards.
* In my experience, bishops do care about Christ’s Church and the flock in his diocese and (within their vision and lights) try to do their best. Most will admit that they can and do err, but I also know that the truly holy apostolic incumbents of the Episcopal Office are open to consultation, and have been known to apologise for their mistakes and human-ness.
* And, also, an explanatory PS The title ‘Honorary Canon’ is like ‘The Order of the Diocese’ but only for clergy, whom the Bishop (in consultation) wishes to recognise and honour for special ministry in the diocese. It does not make the recipient a member of any diocesan Chapter (if there is one) nor a Diocesan Advisory Council. It is just a rather nice accolade to rejoice in. It’s a gracious Act by the Bishop!

I hope this helps many to have a broader understanding of the need to have ‘Order’ in God’s Church.
Shalom. Yours sincerely,
Roy Snyman tssf (Hon Canon)

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The Calling

The Story of a Pioneering Woman Priest
by Nancy Charton
Edited by Dr W H Meyer
ISBN: 9781 875053 79 7
Cluster Publications Price: R 99.00

The issue of women’s ordination still occasionally makes the news. The controversy over women Bishops in the 2008 Church of England synod is a case in point. Within the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches the struggle continues despite growing evidence of the full ordination of women to the diaconate during the first four centuries of Christian  history.

Yet it is in personal histories such as this one that the true nature of women’s struggle with the Church to claim their full humanity becomes apparent. This is also a quintessentially South African story of a woman struggling against the multi-layered obstacles put in her way; sexual abuse, class prejudice, cultural chauvinism, patriarchy and apartheid have all played their part in trying to keep Nancy Charton from achieving her destiny, but like a rock, the mbokodo of the slogan, she has been weathered but not broken and emerged fully into her calling as a priest and canon of the Anglican Church in South Africa.

This book charts Nancy’s life from the moment of the calling by God in the garden of a miner’s cottage on the Witwatersrand, through her painful growing years when she lost her faith, to her reemergence into faith with a mission as a community activist, campaigner against forced removals, crusading academic and finally as a pioneering advocate of full ordination for women in the Anglican Church.

Nancy Charton has been a pioneering South African woman in many fields from social activism to academia. She is a priest and canon of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, one of the first women to be ordained as both a deacon and a priest.

Dr Wilhelm Henry (Billy) Meyer (BA [Rhodes] BTh, MTh, PhD [Natal]) is a senior lecturer and teacher of Academic Writing and Biblical Studies at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

PO Box 2400,
Pietermaritzburg 3200
Tel: +27 (33) 345 9897
Fax: +27 (33) 345 9894
E-mail: clustersales@essa.ac.za

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Carehouse opens doors
[ Pam Brown ]

Umzi Woxolo opened the doors of its Carehouse on Monday 29 June in temporary accommodation in Talhaldo Haven while awaiting the completion of a wooden cabin being built in the grounds. This house will shelter children in need in the short term and will be manned by the home carers of SEa VIsta.

Their training has partly been through Eye of the Child (Child Welfare) and partly the Wellness programme of the Anglican Church.

We thank all those who have supported the fundraiser of the Anglican Rosary. We would also like to thank all those who have donated furniture and linen and toys.

Our carers never doubted that their prayers for the Carehouse to open would be answered.

Pic 1: Sr Bertha Strydom and Staff Nurse Caroline Plaagtjies from Sea Vista Clinic visiting the sleeping accommodation at Umzi Woxolo Carehouse.

Beading for Carehouse
The young ladies of Sea Vista requested beading
classes so that they can help fund-raise for the
upkeep costs of the Umzi Woxolo (House of Peace)
Carehouse, and carer Christine Witbooi is seen
helping them with their beading.

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GAFCON book for FCA launch

The GAFCON book “The Way the Truth and the Life” will be available at the FCA launch, or perhaps earlier. Orders can be
placed with Mary MacGregor at 041 581 7788 (same number for fax) or e-mail: dsmacgregor@gmail.com
Price is R45 with a dicount of 10% for 10 copies or more.

Joy magazine on ‘Anglican Crisis’

August edition of “Joy” magazine carrried an article on the ‘Anglican Crisis’ and will carry more reports in the September and October issues.

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