• The Bishop writes ...
• A month of covenant
• Clergy on the move
• The view from pulpit and pew
• Tag lines!
The Bishop writes ...
My dear People of God,
Greetings in the name of Christ, our Lord and Saviour glorified in His Passion and in the powerful Resurrection as at this time! Alleluia!
We have just come back from the Synod of Bishops in Swaziland. Some of you will have seen the statement from the bishops. If you have not seen it, ask my secretary for a copy. Questions have been asked why bishops seem to be worried about ‘growing fundamentalism’ and leave out ‘liberalism’. Fair enough! This has caused me to look closely at the meaning of both words. The Oxford Dictionary does not seem to attach any reason for concern about the meaning of the two words. Fundamentalism is defined as a strict observance of Protestant Christian beliefs as inherited from our forebears and literal interpretation of Scripture.
This observance can go to the extremes in various ways. Some have been led to reject basic health requirements, for example, the immunization of children, just because Christ is the healer. This forgets the fact that medicine is also a gift from God, and that both Jesus Christ and Paul, the Apostle, included Luke the physician in their team to spread the good news of the kingdom of God.
On the other hand liberal theology also can be dangerous in the interpretation of Scripture. It views reason as the only possible, civilised and acceptable way of understanding Scripture, to the extent of saying that the Bible ‘is not the word of God’. Then, immediately, the question would be simply asked: Why do we say ‘hear the word of Lord’ at the end of each reading in our Eucharistic worship?
Extreme liberalism also tends to want to be politically correct. Such theologians gradually destroy the basics of Christian faith to the joy of Islamic scholars who believe strongly that Christianity is a dying faith. These theologians should be watched and resisted at all costs.
What the Bishops are saying is that we should encourage the reading of the Bible in groups in our parishes, approaching the word of God prayerfully with obedience and humbleness of hearts. In many of our cell groups this is happening. Sadly some parishes have not yet moved in this direction. We need Christians who are grounded in the scriptures in our church these days; and who can articulate and defend the faith from the avenger and destroyer.
There are also other matters dealt with in the pastoral letter of the Bishops, ranging from the gross abuse of human rights
especially for women, declining moral life with behaviour which is not exemplary to the young by those in position of governance in our lands, greed and self enrichment at the expense of the poor, with undesirable lifestyles. We need your
prayers as we pose a challenge to our governments to form partnerships with us to fight against these atrocities.
Finally, it is with greatest joy to congratulate Bishop Mazwi Tisani and Mazingi, his wife, on his election as the first Bishop of Ukhahlamba Diocese in Queenstown. He has a connection to our Port Elizabeth Diocese. His enthronement is on 24 April. It is my hope that we shall bus ourselves to this occasion. We uplift them in our prayers and wish them God’s
blessings and a fruitful leadership in the new diocese and responsibility.
We wish you a happy Easter with an enjoyable new beginning.
Yours in the love of the risen Christ,
[ Back to top ]
A month of covenant
[ Siyabulela Tshatshu ]
The youth of St Matthew’s Parish, together with Girls and Boys Friendly Society and James Calata Memorial Church began 2010 with a BANG -rededicating themselves: for youth work; devoting themselves to the work of God; and also surrendering themselves into the capable bands of God.
The three groups had different official Year Opening services – St Matthew’s Youth on the 15th, GBFS on the 22nd and James Calata Memorial Church Youth on 24 January. The services were like a rainbow nation as members from our neighbouring churches such as Dr Simon Gqubule Methodist Church, TBS Jokazi Presbyterian Church, the Ethiopian Episcopal Church, New Methodist Church, Congregational Church, Seventh Day Adventist Church and St Cyprian’s Youth attended. Our self-supporting priests, Nontsikelelo Memese and Sipho Bodlani, together with the MU Christian Family Life leaders were also present.
The main speaker, Pikolomzi Tetani, chairperson of St Matthew’s Youth, spoke on 2Timothy 2:4 saying that a soldier on
active service wants to please his commanding officer and so does not get mixed up in the affairs of civilian life. He
encouraged the youth to always please God as their commanding officer. He also quoted Hebrews 2:1-2 and Galatians 1:10, 5:16-26. And he encouraged us to be brave, stand firm and have faith in God throughout the year.
Zukisa Jeyi, Diocesan Youth and Kariega Archdeaconry Youth Chairperson, elaborated on the theme of James Calata Youth – “Let’s be thankful to God as he made us righteous”. His message was, “This world don’t need good people but it needs Godly people.”
Pic: Successful project - The Good Shepherd Parish sewing project has been most successful and candlewicking has just been started -which the ladies are taking to with gusto.
[ Back to top ]
Clergy on the move
Bishop Bethlehem recently handed over the duties of liaison bishop to the Mothers’ Union to the bishop of Kimberley and Kuruman. He continues in his liaison role with the AWF.
Fumi Kula becomes the chaplain to the self-supporting clergy.
On 24 March Dr George Malek was made an Honorary Canon of the Diocese.
Clergy on Sabbatical - Sharon Nell of Zwartkops River Mouth Parish is almost at the end of her Sabbatical leave. With her husband Piet, and accompanied by her assisant priest Gill Bowman and husband Roy the four flew to Italy in the middle of March. iindaba hopes they have a wonderful, refreshing time.
[ Back to top ]
The view from pulpit and pew
Bishop Bethlehem and Mazoe have taken on two new titles - the father and the mother of the bride - and as a father-in-law and a mother-in-law! Their elder daughter Lwazi was married to Sipho Nghona on Sunday 21st March in St John-the-Baptist, Walmer, by the dean Dudley Greenshields. The happy couple will be living in Johannesburg. iindaba joins the diocesan family in wishing Lwazi and Sipho every blessing in their married lives together.
St Francis Xavier was packed, including its hall and a marquee, for the funeral last month of lay minister Frank Date Chong. Together with his wife Lorraine, Frank ran the popular Three Pagodas Chinese take-away in Cape Road. Frank was always known for his deep and humble faith in Christ, and many who visited him at the Three Pagodas never left without Frank praying for them! iindaba extends condolences to Lorraine and their daughters - Mandy, a doctor in forensics at Tygerberg and Angela a physiotherapist in Lincolnshire, UK.
Last month also marked the death of Beth Trump. Beth was an assistant to Dennis Burkinshaw when the Diocesan Office was in Clevedon Road, Mount Croix. Beth’s funeral took place at All Saints’, Kabega Park, where she has worshipped for many years. iindaba extends condolences to Beth’s son Trevor and daughter Bev and their families as well.
iindaba has also been informed of the death, at the age of 102, of Nena Leavey, the widow of Donald – formerly rector of St Saviour’s in Walmer. Nena, leaves a daughter, Ann Berning from Grahamstown, and a son, Timothy from Cape Town. iindaba extends condolences to her family as well.
Speaking of 102, Flo Beeson from St Hugh’s celebrated her 102nd birthday at the end of March. Although frail with fading hearing and eyesight, Flo’s mind is still sharp, and she continues to have a wonderful sense of humour. Congratulations, Flo – here’s hoping you have the strength to blow our 102 candles!
- Bishop Bethlehem is going on Sabbatical from 1 May to July – both a time of rest and recovery, but also a time of learning and doing things differently. iindaba wishes him and Mazoe a wonderful trip to Australia, and look forward to his return at the end of July. iindaba was wondering if he purposely chose to be on Sabbatical during the World Cup. Laduuuma!
On Sabbatical in Italy is Sharon Nell with her husband Piet ... to bless the Pope?
Mario Hendricks, the rector of St Luke’s, Palmridge, has a new e-mail address. Please take note of this – it is email@example.com
- Benedictine monks, living in the hills outside Grahamstown, are concerned about plans to build a wind farm near their monastery. Brother Timothy Jolley, the Mariya uMama weThemba Monastery prior, yesterday said the Anglican monks feared the noise and visual impact of the 135m high turbines would forever destroy the “contemplative life” they had worked so hard to achieve over the past 12 years. Formerly named Hillandale, the property was run by the Grahamstown-based Community of the Resurrection of our Lord (CR) Sisters, who also built and ran the House of Resurrection Haven in our diocese. Those who have been to the monastery have always been greatly blessed by the tranquillity experienced there, and it would be a great shame if this was disturbed in any way.
[ Back to top ]
Quick Links: Page 1 | Page 2 | Page 3 | Page 4 | Top | Homepage