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• AWF turns 40
• A retreat with a difference
• We’re not ACSA
AWF turns 40
Anglican Women’s Fellowship turned 40 this year and celebrated
the event at their Provincial Council Meeting in Port Elizabeth during
They had spared no expense for the
celebration, with the hall, tables and chairs all decked out in white
drapes, interspersed with fairy lights. Delegates from 22 dioceses
attended as well as many observers, making a contingent of 87 people.
28 September was set aside for the main celebration with the
Metropolitan of the Anglican Church of Southern African giving the Kay
Barron Memorial Lecture. The delegates looked wonderful wearing the
traditional clothes of the tribal area from which they came (Namibia,
Lesotho and Swaziland included). Enjoying the celebration were past
Provincial President, Pat Gorvalla, with three of our past Diocesan
Presidents, Joan Newsham, Myrtle Koen and Torian Burgins. Former
chaplain Jean Underwood and former Executive member Joan Evans were
present too. There was song and dance and various past members received
icon awards. The Ledonga Awards went to projects in the George, Cape
Town and Grahamstown dioceses.
New Provincial President
the Friday elections were held for the choosing of the new AWF
Executive Committee. Having served her four year term of office as
Provincial President, Lillian Daniels vacated her position, and
Rachel Overmeyer of the Diocese of Cape Town was elected to the
position. The out-going President gave her report as did the treasurer,
and the editor of Contact. Reports from the dioceses were discussed and
good ideas noted for delegates to introduce into their dioceses.
venue was Dower College in West End, and the Executive Committee met
for the first two days, followed by the Provincial Council meeting.
There was much consternation when on the second day water was cut and
not restored for three days.
Patriarchy bad for women
the Kay Barron lecture, Archbishop Ndungane spoke on the bad effects
patriarchy had had on both women and men. “In opposing
patriarchy, we are not opposing men. Patriarchy has been bad for women
- but it has also been bad for men.”
The church must not
lag behind society in recognising, asserting and affirming the dignity
of women and their equal place in society, said Archbishop Njongonkulu.
He admitted that the patriarchy within the church has conspired with
the patriarchy within our societies and culture, with the end result
that women are treated as second class or inferior. Despite the fact
that the Anglican Church has come a long way in promoting the equality
of women, the church needs to look at the way it still organises church
life, said the Archbishop. “Are we guilty of reinforcing
unhelpful stereotypes of what men and women are like? The church should
be a place where every person should feel free to become the individual
God created them to be,” he said, and that boys and young men
need to be taught to grow up respecting girls and young women, and
young women need to be taught that they have the right to be treated
The Archbishop said that material used in Sunday
schools and confirmation classes, and the way it is taught, needs to be
re-examined, and clergy need to be better trained to support both men
“The Church must take a strong stand to support the equal position of women in every area of our nations,” he said.
old and the new - The new AWF Provincial President, Rachel
Overmeyer, (right), is with Sharon Nell the Diocesan Chaplain, Lillian
Daniels the out-going Provincial President and Bishop Bethlehem.
A retreat with a difference
Esterhuysen, from St Mark’s in Humansdorp, reports on a
self-supporting clergy retreat which was “altogether different
and very spiritual.”
The retreat was led by Mike
McCoy, a self-supporting assistant priest at St Hugh’s, and was
held from 11 - 13 August at St Joseph’s Pastoral Centre. Eleven
of us from parishes as far apart as Humansdorp, Cradock and Middelburg
joined with those from Port Elizabeth. It was great to meet up with old
friends and put faces to names of others.
Mike very skilfully
took us on a spiritual journey from “Beginnings” and
“Becomings”, “Belongings” and
“Losings”, to “Celebrations” and
“Goings”, with scriptures from Luke and Isaiah. He
read stories and poetry and the whole weekend was under-girded with
music ranging from Dvorak, Bach and Handel, to Billy Joel, Johnny Clegg
and Ladysmith Black Mambazo ... yes, genuine! For the Eucharist there
were no bells, no smells, but the celebrant accompanied us on his
It was altogether very different and very spiritual.
Mike gave us much upon which to ponder and meditate. We owe him a debt
of gratitude for the tremendous effort he contributed from his side.
Pic: Learning curve - Self-supporting clergy who enjoyed the retreat.
We’re NOT ACSA
has been notified that the acronym ACSA is registered to Airports
Company of South Africa so cannot be used by the Anglican Church of
We also understand that ACoSA belongs
to Associated Clubs of Southern Africa.. So, readers, be ready for the
“Full Monty”, well, not quite ... but, the FULL name will
have to be spelled out every time we refer to the Anglican Church of
newly re-named Anglican Church of Southern Africa (formerly the CPSA)
now has the same initials as the Airports Company of South Africa -
Here is a brief guide for those who may be wondering what
differences there are between the services of the earlier ACSA and our
• we only deal in one-way tickets, with no destination hopping (Luke 16:26).
no forms / interviews / photos / letters / fees are required for visas
and permits ... knowing the right person will get you there (1 Jn
• no staring at departure-boards and waiting ...
waiting ... waiting for take-offs and connections - departures are
imminent and unannounced, be ready! (Mk 13:26-27, 33).
• we don’t lose your luggage - because you can’t bring any! Not even hand-luggage is allowed (Job 1:21).
• no exorbitant rates for first-class or jam-packed economy class (James 2:3-4).
• our pilot doesn’t sit behind a locked door. In fact, he comes knocking on your door (Rev 3:20).
Enjoy your flight (Rev 3:21; Mt 25:21).
... but remember, it is the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, not ACSA, you belong to when filling in census etc forms!.
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