• The Bishop writes ... The heart of a believer
• The view from pulpit and pew
• Chilling at the rugby
• Stove for Soup Kitchen
• Tag Lines
• On the move
The Bishop writes ... The heart of a believer
My dear People of God,
Greetings in the name of Christ, our Lord and Saviour!
The things we think, however much they can be, may sometimes not wisely be said or done (TL Peacock: The Priest and the mulberry tree). In essence they reflect what is going on in our innermost being. Since we are created in God’s image (imago Dei) his indwelling Spirit is manifested in our intentions translated to the acts of love. This is what the heart of those who believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour should resemble; unless we are in Church and not in Christ (1 Cor 2:16).
The biblical understanding of both the heart and mind seems to overlap in meaning. The heart is not just the hollow organ of the body responsible for the circulation of blood, the understanding goes further. The heart is the breast, mind and soul. For the Greeks the heart (kardia) and the mind (nous) bear similarities of meaning. The heart is on the one hand conceived to be the inner self where faith dwells as in “…believe in your heart…you will be saved.”(Rom 10:9-10). The mind on the other hand refers to reason, attitude, purpose or intention. The Spirit of discernment that we pray for at confirmation is also conceived to form an integral part of a renewed mind (Rom 12: 1-3 & 1 Cor 2:16). This means therefore that the heart of a believer bears character, and the character is that of Christ.
Christ’s character is of a sacrificial love based on humbleness and obedience to the will of God even to the point of death
on a cross (Jn 3:16 cf Phil 2:5ff). In addition to this, he prayed during his passion in particular, before and on the cross. Significant is his priestly prayer in John 17. He bore a compassionate heart which went out to the people (Mk 6:34). We engage ourselves in accordance to this character in fellowship, teaching and in an attitude of prayer ‘The Anglican Way’ (Roy Snyman tssf). That is why at synod we provided a commission group of Indaba on Anglican Identity.
Apart from the expectation of the Anglican Prayer Book that we pray, or cause people to pray in the morning and evening, we also pray the prayer of Great Thanksgiving in a Divine Service of worship especially on Sundays. The Eucharist therefore is the centre of our lives as believers in worship. This is the reason why on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday we give thanks to God once a year for the table of fellowship he has given us following the great gospel events of Passiontide, Easter, Ascension and Pentecost. This is referred to as Corpus Christi meaning the Body of Christ.
We need to pause and think of the titles Christians have given to this act of worship instituted by their Lord on Maundy Thursday. First, the word Eucharist comes from a Greek word meaning thankful or grateful. We thank God for salvation brought to fruition for us by Jesus Christ, unmeritorious though we are. It is the Lord’s Supper instituted on the eve of his passion as a commemoration of him when we gather together, ‘whether in the simplicity of a house Communion or in the grandeur’ of the great occasion of the bishop’s consecration or ordination of priests and deacons in a cathedral. It is Holy Communion for knitting the believers together in the fellowship of saints. This is a Sacrament of his Body and Blood which opens up eyes to his presence among and within us in the breaking of bread (Lk 24:31f). Sometimes we refer to it as Mass in identification of ourselves with his sacrificial act of love and obedience as he continues to intercede for us at the right hand of the Father in heaven. There is movement at the Eucharist of both to and fro. We are invited to ‘draw near and receive’ strength from the fellowship of the Lord to go out in peace into the needy world awaiting the good news of
salvation as we ‘love and serve the Lord’.
We appeal to you therefore, do not slide into routine when you come to worship God in this manner. This is a service which needs to be approached with a sense of joy, wonder and awe for wisdom, discernment, inner strength and the fear of the Lord. Lay ministers need to come with the priest in a service of preparation for this great privilege God has given us
in Christ (APB Preface to the Eucharist).
Our believers are too noisy before the Eucharist in some of our churches. This upsets me greatly. Beware and be not guilty of sinning against the Body and Blood of the Lord by showing no respect of these holy mysteries (1 Cor 11:27ff). Let us live up to our calling as dear children of God to transform lives and situations and bear the heart of a believer which is the heart of Christ.
Yours in the love of Christ,
Pic: The clergy at St Peter’s centenary service were Gary Griffith-Smith, Bp Bethlehem, Christopher Holmes, Dr Brian Jennings of the Methodist church, Bp Eric Pike and kneeling is Terry Beadon.
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The view from pulpit and pew
iindaba is sad to record the death of Louise Hoyle, wife of James, retired priest and diocesan secretary from our mother’ diocese of Grahamstown. Louise taught at Kingswood College, and was greatly loved by her pupils and fellow members of staff. Howard Lancaster and Christopher Holmes, who were at St Paul’s College with James, attended the funeral at Christ Church in Grahamstown. James and Louise’s son, Clifton, flew out from the UK shortly before Louise died. iindaba extends condolences to them and all their family.
- Some of the ‘more senior’ members of St John-the-Baptist in Walmer may remember when a somewhat younger James and Christopher spent one of their college vacations at St John’s when Ron Taylor was the rector. James has been appointed chaplain of the Sisters of the Community of our Lord in Grahamstown, taking over from Roy Snyman tssf who retired from that post recently.
Speaking of St John-the-Baptist, two of its members and one from St Hugh’s were recently recognised as Paul Harris Fellows - a recognition which was made by the Rotary Club of Algoa Bay. They are Gianna (rhymes with manna) Doubell and Michéle Lehy from St John’s, and Bob Wynne from St Hugh’s. Congratulations as they are recognised for exceptional service to the community.
The clergy and their spouses enjoyed a wonderful evening last month as guests of †Bethlehem and Mazoe at St Saviour’s. This was the annual dinner hosted by the episcopal couple, and is a wonderful occasion where the only agenda is food and fellowship. The team from St Saviour’s – both in the bar and in the kitchen – kept all well fed and watered. The waitresses and waiters were charming – a good evening was had by all. The only sad thing was that some of the clergy were not able to be there!
News from Australia is that Abp Philip Russell, 1st Bishop of Port Elizabeth and afterwards Archbishop of Cape Town, will be celebrating his 90th birthday with his family in Adelaide in October. Abp Philip suffered a stroke shortly before a planned trip to South Africa a few years ago.
Joan Evans, widow of Bp Bruce, our 2nd bishop, broke an ankle in three places. iindaba wishes her a speedy recovery.
Retired priest George Bode has moved to Munro Kirk Frail Home, where he is able to have all his meals supplied, and has the security of being cared for at all times. Formerly he lived at Laubscher Park in Walmer. His cell-phone number remains the same.
iindaba is relieved for the sake of Debbie Vencencie that the men who murdered her policeman husband Winston – whilst performing his duty – were found guilty, and have been sentenced to life imprisonment. This helps to bring closure for Debbie, her young son Chad, and Winston’s family, after two years of tension. iindaba joins the family in saying ‘thank you’ to our Lord that they can finally lay Winston to rest in their hearts.
Good news of Nicolette Leonard – her blood count improves each time she has tests done. She is back at work, although she finds a full day too tiring at this stage. iindaba assures her and Myron of ongoing prayers.
- As we do for the iindaba editor, Frankie Simpson, also back at work at the market research company on a part-time basis after her triple by-pass surgery.
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Chilling at the rugby
[ Melissa Awu ]
On Youth Day, 16 June, Bishop Bethlehem was ‘chilling’ (it was a cold day) with Bishop Siboto, the Presiding Bishop of the Ethiopian Episcopal Church and the Diocesan Bishop of ENQWEBA, at the rugby day held at the new stadium.
The bishops were hosted in the VIP Suite by Mveleli Ncula, brother of Nkonzo Ncula, assistant priest at St Peter’s in Zwide. Mr Ncula is a lay minister in the Ethiopian Episcopal church, and also an Executive at SA Rugby. People were so pleased to see the two bishops at the rugby who were heard cheering for the Southern Kings! The bishops seemed to be having a great time and phenomenal, exciting and great, were a few of the words they used to describe their day.
Melissa Awu proved not only to be a server at the altar at St Stephen’s, but was also serving the bishops with refreshments at the After-Match Function that was organised by the Mayor. Melissa was in charge of the Wives Suite (wives of the players) – but could not resist popping in to the VIP Suite to check if the bishops were being well taken care of.
Youth Day commemorates the lives of the youths who died when security police opened fire on school children who were
protesting in 1976.
Pic: Bishop Bethlehem with Melissa Awu and Bishop Siboto, the Presiding Bishop of the Ethiopian Episcopal Church.
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Stove for Soup Kitchen
Delivery of a new gas stove to Selamma Oersen who runs the Soup Kitchen in Sevende Laan, Arcadia. She is a member of St Boniface Church which is part of the parish of the Good Shepherd which assists with monthly donations of soup powder and soya mince. Selamma now owns her own stove thanks to donations - both overseas and local. She has waited so patiently and it was wonderful to see her joy when the stove finally arrived.
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The best thing about the future is that it only comes one day at a time.
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On the move
Clergy who are on the move on 1 September:
- Jogra Gallant to St Katharine’s in Uitenhage;
- Angela Hambury to St Simon of Cyrene.
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