• Gafcon reflections
• Music, music, music!
• Gathered to worship as a family
• Progress Report on Talks with Local Government
• Thank you!
[ The Revd Dave Doveton ]
It was a wonderful experience to be amongst 1352 orthodox bible-believing Anglicans from 27 Provinces - 331 Bishops, among whom 30 were Archbishops. The whole spectrum was present – Evangelical, High Church and Charismatic – and all these traditions were represented in the styles of worship as we gathered every morning.
Each morning there was a bible study on Ephesians. Two in particular stood out: Mike Ovey who gave a theological description of the difference between the true gospel and the false gospel now being preached in many places. The true gospel is a gospel of grace. The false gospel is graceless – it preaches forgiveness without repentance and common life without discipline. The true gospel joins forgiveness of sins with repentance. Without repentance there is no forgiveness of sin. Then Revd William Taylor gave a powerful exposition of Ephesians 5: walking in the light. What it means in practice in the local church is that Jesus’ victory must be displayed in their lives so that the power of his victory is displayed in the culture.
Later we went to mini conferences under particular themes – eg theological education, Islam, Women’s issues, Family etc. To begin with we had a report on the impact of the East African revival of the 1930’s. This was accompanied by people (usually bishops) giving accounts and testimonies of how the revival impacted their own lives, the church and the community. Themes were – repentance, brokenness, and restitution.
The Diocese of Port Elizabeth had a stand at the exhibition centre – we were represented together with FCA Southern Africa, the Southern Mission Society and Stellenbosch Theological Institute.
Pic: The ACSA clergy contingent to Gafcon: back - Phumla Mtila, (PE), Lukas Katenda (Namibia), Gavin Mitchell (FCA) Centre - Nigel Juckes (Natal), Dave Doveton (PE), Cierigh Samaai (Natal), Mark Derry (PE) Front - Bishops Bethlehem Nopece and Nathaniel Nakwatumbah (Namibia) . The only woman, and lay person, Mazoe Nopece, was not present for the photo.
[ Back to top ]
Music, music, music!
An enthusiastic crowd of about 250 participants and supporters filled the Hall at St Stephen’s in New Brighton on Saturday 2 November for the annual Diocesan Choir Festival. Two choirs had travelled from afar - St Boniface from Middelburg and Church of the Ascension from Cradock.
The range of music from the eight choirs and two worship groups was wide and of a high standard. Maestro Charles Jantjies had a difficult time choosing the winners. However, at the end of the evening the St Boniface choir from Middelburg walked off with first prize. Second in line was St Stephen’s and third were All Saints’ Worship Group from Kabega Park who were a truly ‘rainbow nation’ ensemble.
New this year was a floating trophy presented by Bishop Bethlehem at his discretion and this was awarded to the choir of St Stephen’s Servers.
Top - Bishop Bethlehem congratulates the assistant priest, Lungile Ngcola of St Boniface, on the choir coming first.
Bottom - Proudly showing their trophy from the Bishop are Lerato Tarrence, Mrs Mabonolo Tarrence (Leader of the Servers), Melissa Awu and Bonolo Tarrence who are members of the St Stephen’s Servers Choir.
[ Back to top ]
Gathered to worship as a family
A good cross-section of the diocesan family gathered at the Cathedral Church of St Mary the Virgin on Sunday 3 November to worship the Lord as one. Bishop Bethlehem spoke of the Anglican family, not only as our diocesan one but encompassing ACSA, and the world-wide Anglican Communion. He emphasised the need for Jesus transforming people’s lives as the Muslim threat moves down Africa and through the Middle East - church buildings in Syria are being burnt, but the members are still reaching out in love to help those around them who have lost everything as the war rages on. He also spoke of the Church in Nigeria where, despite persecution by Muslims, it is the fastest growing church in the world and he went on to say that to date 22 churches in Egypt have been burnt. Bishop Bethlehem closed by exhorting everyone, “Let us tighten up our lives with regard to praying and spending time with God,” saying that people need to tithe their time by giving at least two hours and forty minutes a day to the Lord.
The Cathedral was not full for this important diocesan service and Bishop Bethlehem thanked the clergy and people who had made the effort to be there.
Pic: The diocesan family gathered in the Cathedral to praise the Lord.
[ Back to top ]
Progress Report on Talks with Local Government
[ Full report available from the Revd Zweli Tom ]
The Church Leadership Group have for a number of years expressed their concerns and communicated with all levels of government, from the President to our Executive Mayor, about their total dissatisfaction with political infighting and the effect it is having on the lives of the citizens of the Nelson Mandela Bay. Special reference has consistently been made to the effect on the less privileged citizens.
After numerous attempts to engage with the Executive Mayor, we finally met with him, his Deputy and their strategic advisors on Friday 19 July. The Church Leadership expressed its concern about the situation around the previous City Manager, reports on the perceived lack of integrity, levels of corruption and the Kabuso and Pikoli reports.
On the occasion of the launch of the Church’s Nehemiah Movement at Victory Ministries on Thursday 8 August, the Executive Mayor and the Mayoral Committee requested permission to address the workshop. The Deputy Mayor, on behalf of the Mayoral Committee, expressed a desire for the churches and the local government to work together to rebuild the walls of the city. The Church Leadership Group were then invited to join the NM Bay Civil Society Coalition. The Church Leadership Group have now been represented on a regular basis. Among the issues discussed with the Executive Mayor, the Mayoral Executive and all the permanent and acting Executive Heads of the different Municipal Departments were two key concerns - the question of employment, deployment and human resource management, and the ongoing lack of punitive action being taken in the areas of suspected fraud and corruption with specific reference to the Kabuso and Pikoli reports and supply chain management.
A decision was made to appoint a joint task team to meet on a regular basis to unpack and devise a plan of action to deal with these core challenges facing the city.
[ Back to top ]
The editor thanks all who have contributed reports and photos; Bernie, JP et al CADAR; the proof readers; the diocesan staff and and archivists. Without all of you iindaba wouldn’t happen.
Be blessed this Christmas and throughout the coming year.
[ Back to top ]
Quick Links: Page 1 | Page 2 | Page 3 | Page 4 | Page 5 | Page 6 | Page 7 | Page 8 | Top | Homepage