• NMBCCC launched
• World Health Day outreach a success
• Help needed
• Unity prayer
After much consultation, the Nelson Mandela Bay Consultation of Christian Churches was launched on Sunday afternoon 15 May at St Stephen’s in New Brighton.
Present were Bishop Bethlehem, Bishop Lunga ka Siboto, presiding bishop of the Ethiopian Episcopal Church and Archbishop Dr Zandisile Magxwalisa of the Jerusalem Church in SA. Bishop Michael Coleman of the Roman Catholic diocese sent apologies. Also present were clergy and lay leaders from a cross-section of the churches in the Metropole.
Giving a synopsis of the process that had brought about the launch of the NMBCCC Gill Bowman, rector of St Mark and St John said, “I do believe that the forming of this consultation has been a work of the Holy Spirit, as we have been prompted and guided all through the process up to now. The first prompting began when Archdeacon Zwelidumile Tom attended a consultation in Grahamstown in early 2010. As he listened to bishops from Kenya and Zimbabwe share their plight, he realised that we needed to do something before it was too late for us. After consulting with various Christian leaders in looking for a way forward, Zweli then called together a symposium, with the humble invitation to Christian leaders of churches and organisations in the Metro to critically look at the state of the Church in the Metro, with the view to listening to God afresh.”
She went on to say that from small group discussions at that first gathering, the unanimous conclusion was that the Church had lost its voice in our country after the victory of democracy in 1994, and that the church’s witness had become ineffective since then. It was also concluded that many in our communities, the poor especially, are suffering. Out of
these discussions, the symposium felt that a Christian Leader’s forum and assembly needed to be established, and that this symposium should meet again to look at some of the issues raised.
She continued, “Looking to the future, we still have an initial mandate to fulfil. We still need to consciously create a space for the marginalised and poor to debate and talk about their situations and for the Church to humbly offer its assistance. The focus groups in the areas of Government, Economics, Science, Church, Family, Education, Communication, Arts and Entertainment, and Business still need to be established with the ‘gate-keepers’ who can inform the Media group of the issues that need to be addressed in our Metro.
The desire for a large conference addressing some of the issues has been put forward. And there are still unresolved issues affecting the lives of those in our communities, like the ongoing issues in education, health services and transport. As we have read in the passage from Jeremiah (29:1-14), we need to seek peace and prosperity in the city. With all this in mind, we have set a further date for a meeting of the NMBCCC for 25 July 2011.”
Registration forms are available from Zweli Tom: 041 454 0345
Pic: At the launch were clergy and lay leaders from a cross-section of the churches in NMBM. The three bishops in the centre are: Bishop Lunga ka Siboto, Presiding Bishop of the Ethiopian Episcopal Church, Bishop Bethlehem and Abp Dr Zandisile Magxwalisa, Jerusalem Church in SA.
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World Health Day outreach a success
[ Linda Ncaca ]
World Health Day was on the 7 April 2011 but most parishes who wished to honour it could not do so because of Lent. St Matthew’s in KwaMagxaki organized the event for the 30 April and a full clinic ran for the day.
It was a wonderful success and everyone from babies to senior citizens were cared for. There was counselling, testing for HIV, blood sugar, blood pressure and eyes, with immunizations and pap smears as well. This was part of the District Health Outreach, therefore the event was supported by the Department of Health.
The St Matthew’s team, led by Tobeka Madlingozi, reported that the event was organized with the support of the rector, Zandisile Nongauza, the parish council and all the members of the parish.
Pic: Some of those who took part in the very successful World Health Day clinic at St Matthew’s.
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Miriam Ntombana of All Saints’ in Kabega Park has been chosen by the Healthcare Christian Fellowship as their student delegate to attend the world international conference in Manila, Philippines, from 3-12 September. Unfortunately, they are unable to cover the full R14 000 she needs for her air ticket, registration and accommodation. Anyone who would like to help her to be able to go to the conference can send donations c/o All Saints’ (041 360 1267 for banking details) marked for Miriam.
At present Miriam, who is a widow, is in her final year of studying for a diploma in Nursing Science, Psychiatry, Community work and Midwifery.
Miriam has a beautiful voice and is a member of the All Saints’ choir. She sang solo for the AIDs play the MUCFL put on for the parish - see page 2.
Miriam’s cell: 072 348 7295.
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Almighty and merciful God, with great power you gathered the first Christians in Jerusalem, defying the earthly power of Rome. Bring us together like the first church, to be bold in preaching and living the good news of reconciliation and peace, especially where there is inequality and injustice. We pray in the name of Jesus Christ, who liberates us from the bondage of sin and death.
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