• Living Christmas everyday!
• The view from pulpit and pew
• Clergy on the move
• Upliftment for choir
Living Christmas everyday!
[ The Bishop writes ... ]
My Dear People of God,
Greetings in the name of Christ, our Lord and Saviour born to us as at this time!
It is time to celebrate specifically the birth of our Lord again. The Church has so ordered that 25 December be set aside for the birthday of the Son of God. While we are not exactly sure of the actual date, it is a fact that he was incarnated in time and history of humankind, intervening to take over their affairs in a situation of hopelessness and despair, of sin and death. As in my experience, there was a time when the calendar was not readily available, thus it becomes very difficult to know precisely the day and month when our forebears were born. Of my own father we only know the year of birth, not the date and month (1898); yet of his baptism we know (8 June 1919). For my mother we know both birthday (6 November 1919) and baptismal date (24 May 1931). So is the case with our Lord.
The story of Christmas is told year by year, yet each time it is repeated it becomes new. It is a story of our salvation from darkness to light, from sin to righteousness as we daily progress in our growth. It is a story of transformation which culminates at Easter where Christ rises from the grave triumphant over the forces of darkness, sin and death, human misery and hopelessness, despair and uncertainty, to bring the believers to fullness of life in new creation and life eternal. He came so that we die no more, but bear his character of ‘love all embracing’ (Jn 3:16 cf Jn 13:34-35), ‘compassionate heart and service’ (Mt 9:36, Mk 8:2), he gave believers a mandate ‘to go and make disciples – baptising, teaching and training them in mentoring and discipling programmes’. This is Christmas at its best. Let us live it daily in our engagements.
When we are obedient to this mandate, our problems become light and less because we know he cares. His care for the world is to be transmitted by us who believe in the following ways:
• We cultivate a relationship with Christ. He becomes our Lord in truth and indeed according to the scriptures (Jn.1:11,12; Rom.10:9-10; 2Cor.5:17ff). These done in prayer, he begins to be our friend and we do not let him down. We take sides with the good (Gk.âgathon) and abhor the bad (Gk.Kakòn) at all costs to the last drop of our blood, if we are serious about God’s kingdom.
• In prayer and supplication and daily feeding on his Word we grow, and obtain inner strength and wisdom in all our engagements, based on his love, all embracing agapē.
• We faithfully and regularly come to the fellowship of the Church at least every Sunday for growth in fellowship with him at the Eucharist, in the breaking of the bread and the blessing of the cup of wine, realising the fact that though we are many we are one for one purpose – mission to the world.
• We surrender our skills, talents and tithes, truthfully for the work of the Church to care not only for our Clergy, Bishop, Diocesan Office and Province, but also for the poor at our doorsteps. Remember we are the Church for those absent from our Sunday regular worship. So give and do so generously. In so doing you will be surprised by what God has given you. After all we give him what is his. All things come from him, and of his own we give him (APB. P.116.48).
5 Finally, there are other Christians around us. They love the Lord like us. We stretch our hand of fellowship to them. Further to this, there are people of other faiths. In love we reach out in dialogue. They are also other sheep that Jesus loves. They are to be ‘one flock with one Shepherd’ (cf Jn 10:16). This is done in love, wisdom and concern.
It is our pleasure to remind you of our teaching Theme for this Calendar Year introduced to you at the Family Service on Advent 1: Discerning the signs of the times – God’s Visitation. (Mt 16:3; Lk 19:44).
We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Bright, Happy and Prosperous New Year as you live Christmas each day!
Yours in the love of Christ,
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The view from pulpit and pew
- iindaba is sad to record the death of Christopher Holmes on 6 October. Christopher retired from St Hugh’s at the end of February and had taken up the position of care-taker priest in the The Great Karoo Parish. He was also the editor of this column with a ‘nose’ for news of the clergy and of lay folk well known within the diocese, which he was able to report on with a touch of humour when called for. Father Christopher Christmas will also be missed by the many of the children of the diocese. Our sympathy to Susan, Katharine, Nicholas and the wider family.
- iindaba was shocked to hear that Mthetheleli Vena, the rector of St Matthias in Motherwell, was followed into church and tied up at the end of November. He was robbed of his car, cell phone and money. iindaba is pleased to report that he is getting over the shock.
- From Adelaide in Australia comes the news that our first Bishop and former Archbishop of Cape Town, Philip Russell who turned 92 in October, is very frail - he still gets around slowly in his walking frame and is able to attend church on Sundays and various functions at his Aged Care Home. Our greetings and love go to this very special man.
- Also from ‘down under’, but this time news from Wellington in New Zealand, where former rector of Holy Trinity in Central, John Hughes with Janet, Kathleen and Andrew, are ministering at Karori Anglican Church: The editor and her husband spent a Sunday with them and can report that they are well, loving New Zealand and have a very active, vibrant congregation. Our congratulations to Kathleen who married Mike on 3 December.
- Our diocesan secretary emeritus, Dennis Burkinshaw, and his wife Ruth have moved to Grahamstown to be closer to the family. We pray they settle in soon to enjoy the rest of their lives in peace and happiness.
- Many of our clergy have been in hospital over the past two months: - Ntsikie Memese the assistant priest at St Matthew’s, KwaMagxaki, had surgery to repair a shoulder rotator cuff muscle following a spontaneous tear on 24 August . Although now in a wheelchair she is still confident about her abilities.
- Gaye Penrith has also had an operation and is recovering well. Her husband, Robert, is the rector of St John the Baptist in Walmer.
- Also recuperating from an operation, this time a knee op, is Joan Bright, wife of Winston who is a self-supporting priest at All Saints’ in Kabega Park.
- Jacob Plaatjies, self-supporting priest, and Luyanda Tuku, retired priest, at St Mary Magdalene in West End,
- and retired priest Johannes Hardnick have both been ill during the past two months.
Iindaba prays the healing hand of our Lord on all these members of the family.
- iindaba reports that Chuma Myoli has been appointed as the new lay canon - Gender Desk portfolio - on the Bishop’s Consultative Council as from 1 December.
- iindaba has been reminded that Brian Shier was a recipient of the Order of the Diocese. We apologise for this omission in our last report.
- iindaba welcomes Bishop Richard Fenwick, former Dean of Monmouth as the 15th bishop of St Helena, our link diocese. iindaba wishes him many years of happiness on this little mid-Atlantic Ocean island.
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Clergy on the move
- Parish moves:- Ernest Cengani, Diocesan Servers’ Guild chaplain, will be studying at CoTT during 2012;Nicolette Leonard took over as administrator of the Haven on 1 October;- Sharon Nell became Provost of the Cathedral and Michael Julius the rector of Zwartkops River Valley Parish from 1 November;- David Grobbelaar became the rector of St Cuthbert’s in Westbourne Road, on 22 November, with Samantha Eagles as assistant priest from 1 December;- David Stansbury was inducted as the Archdeacon of the Bay 1 December;- Dave Doveton takes on the rectorship of St Philip and St Barnabas from 11 December;- Leon Foster retires as rector from St Margaret of Antioch on 31 December
- Bernard Mizeki Guild have elected- Elliot Masoka as Provincial President ,- Ste Rini as Diocesan President and- Mtutuzeli Belu has been appointed their chaplain.
- Resignations have been received from:- Mario Hendricks as Canon: Theological Formation and- Michael Julius as FOV chaplain
- Prayers are asked for the following deacons being ordained to priesthood on 11 December:- Samantha Eagles (St Cuthbert - stipendiary)- Karen Groepe (St Luke)- Ruby Zauka (Cathedral)- Carole Meyer (Cathedral)- Sandla Koltana (St Mark and St John - stipendiary) - Graham Soudien (Christ the King)
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Upliftment for choir
[ Anna Skosana ]
St Matthew’s choir visited the Good Shepherd Parish in Humansdorp in an endeavour to revive their choir. Both choirs spent the Saturday afternoon practising in preparation for the Sunday service.
On Sunday the choirs, servers, MUCFL members and members of Mary Magdalene group joyfully processed from KwaNomzamo locality to St Patrick’s chapelry where the choirs led the worship.
Our spirits were lifted up as we enjoyed the Gospel music.
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The editor thanks all those who have helped to make this newsletter happen during the year:
Bishop Bethlehem for his encouragement;
All the parish reporters and individuals who have sent in reports - without you there would be no news to publish - please keep up your wonderful contributions;
Neville Lobb, Mark Derry and the late Christopher Holmes for their input as members of the Media Committee;
Richard Burbidge for the final proof reading;
Tim Douglas-Jones (now retired from CADAR), Alexia Henderson who has taken over from Tim, Dorian, JP and all at CADAR for their help, encouragement and for going the extra mile when iindaba was running late.
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