• Christmas 2011
• Making history
• A birthday to remember for Hazel
Emmanuel - “The Word became flesh and lived for a while among us.” John 1:14
The editor, iindaba committee, Bishop Bethlehem and Mazoe, and the diocesan staff wish all our readers a very Blessed Christmas. May you know the Word made flesh within you throughout 2012.
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History was made in our diocese, and in ACSA, on 1 November when Sharon Nell was instituted as Provost and rector of the Cathedral Church of St Mary the Virgin.
In a service filled with much joy expressed in song, Bishop Bethlehem joined the people of the Cathedral in rejoicing as he instituted the new Provost, Sharon Nell.
He addressed her as a pastor who is making history in the parish and in the wider church; who has constantly broken the barriers of the past in the hierarchy of the Church and in leadership.
Sharon is the first woman to become the Provost of a Cathedral in The Anglican Church of Southern Africa. This is the third highest position within a diocese, a calling and challenge she accepts in the power of God.
On her appointment as Provost, Bishop Bethlehem tasked her with the following:
To implement a programme of Church Growth, for both numerical increase of membership and quality of faith;
To broaden the Cathedral’s relationship with the wider church, both in our diocese and abroad;
To bring the ministry of the Bishop to the wider family of the diocese and the South African community at large, which includes local Civic Authorities;
To bring the knowledge of God to all people through the saving power of Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit and equipping in teaching and training the disciples to be a living witness of Jesus Christ, both in Church, at home and in the market place.
Sharon believes that this can only be achieved by close co-operation and alliances between parishes to support mutual ministry objectives.
“The tradition and ethos of the Cathedral, including the music ministry of the choir, must be upheld and broadened as it seeks to become a church where relationships are encouraged and unity, both parochial and diocesan, are established,” she said.
In his sermon at her institution Bishop Bethlehem attested to how he has witnessed Sharon’s growth in maturity and strength in her ministry. He said that God moves with his Spirit and gives gifts, regardless of race or gender.
He thanked the people for their role in the process of bringing Sharon to the Cathedral as Provost. He encouraged the parish to continue to journey together with their new Provost in looking to the life and mission of the Cathedral Church, so as to enhance the growth of the Kingdom of God. He challenged that as Christians, more than being in the church, we must be in Christ, to enable us to walk and minister together. It is in Christ that the Heavenly vision becomes clear so that we can move forward in capturing this vision.
Speaking from Hebrews 11 and 12, Bishop Bethlehem presented a three pronged approach for ministry: God’s love: Bishop Bethlehem spoke of how the love of God experienced through Jesus is the all embracing love of God. This agape love produces peace and stimulates our faith. Unless this love is perceived, we as the Church will struggle in our witness to the world, and the Church will be diminished into nothing, both politically and economically.This love enables us to claim our space and place in the world, so that all can see we are servants of Christ and stewards of the Holy mysteries. This love demands of us that we call others by our love to do the same - to love.
A Pastor’s love for her congregation: Bishop Bethlehem encouraged Sharon to bring her congregation as individuals continually in prayer and love to God, with the heart of a pastor.
The love of the flock (the church) for their pastor: He encouraged the people of the Cathedral to love and appreciate their pastor.
Bishop Bethlehem concluded by saying that our responsibility is to love. It is when in love we lead others to Christ that our joy in this life is fulfilled.
Pics: Top - Bishop Bethlehem prays over Sharon Nell during her institution as Provost of the Cathedral.
Bottom - After her institution as Provost Sharon Nell was joined by her husband Piet and Bishop Bethlehem.
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A birthday to remember for Hazel
[ Tom Horne ]
Holy Trinity in Central was abuzz with excitement on the birthday of Hazel Braun in October, when a secretly arranged service attended by nearly 50 of Hazel’s close friends and church family was held. The occasion was the Investiture of Hazel by Bishop Bethlehem as a Member of the Order of the Diocese of Port Elizabeth “for the enthusiasm and loyalty displayed in her dedicated and sacrificial service to the parish and to this Diocese for many years.”
Hazel joined HTC at the age of five, and after her confirmation became a Sunday School teacher when she was 17, and the following year she joined the choir.
After her marriage to Percy in HTC, she moved to Zimbabwe for six years and on her return re-joined the choir, became a sidesperson, was elected onto parish council and later as a churchwarden. She also became very involved in the parish. However most of our new members will tell you how special they were made to feel by Hazel when they first visited HTC, while past wardens, Ken Berry and Arnold Fouche, have testified to the pleasure of working with Hazel and experiencing her wisdom and love for the Lord and the Church.
Part of her wider involvement included the St Mark’s Mission House for 40 years, Anglican Women’s Fellowship and the Educare Project, Girl’s Friendly Society, St John’s Ambulance, Carehaven, Mothwa Haven and many more.
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