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Celebrating being women
The women filled the cathedral to capacity with the MUCFL and AWF banner bearers and those participating in the service filling the choir stalls. With much singing and through drama and readings they celebrated their womanhood.
The guest speaker, Mazoe Nopece, spoke on the theme for the day which was, Building relationships. She said that relationships need to be built to be made stronger and some of the things needed to make this happen are love, support, friendship and caring. She said that Jesus speaks of one-anotherness - Love one another, bear one anothers burdens, etc. Saying that we were socialised into diversity she continued, We need to break down racial, denominational and other barriers as our strengths, when combined, make us stronger. When we stand together we strengthen our ability to make changes. She went on to ask, What are we, as women, doing to bring change to South Africa? Our problem is that we await someone else to do something about it instead of getting involved ourselves. In South Africa we are paying the price of saying in the past that the problem does not affect me. However, the problems in that corner will spill over and affect me. She encouraged the women to become involved in the struggle against substance abuse, HIV/AIDS, the use of guns, violence etc and closed by saying, Evil is stronger than righteousness when the righteous do nothing about evil.
The lay ministers' chaplain, Shane Fraser, led the day and said he was not going to do very much talking as he wanted everyone to have lots of time to meditate. He suggested scripture readings that would help one meditate on My relationship with God, and asked the lay ministers to ask themselves, Am I really a Christian, or do I call myself one because I was born into/ grew up in a Christian family? Using the psalms, he gave a short address before each of the three times of quiet, setting the scene for deep soul searching.
Comments at the end of the day included, I was renewed by the Holy Spirit; It helped us look at Gods purpose for us, instead of our purpose; I felt tremendous encouragement and love from God in my helplessness, and realised the grace of God is sufficient as He gives power through our weakness.
With a lot of encouragement and support from their rector, Luyanda Tuku, members of MU Christian Family Life and Anglican Womens Fellowship were trained by Master Trainer, Linda Ncaca, who was assisted by Fatima Anthony and Nomazotsho Zagana who have been trained as trainers for the project. The members are looking forward to making a difference in the community.
For more details on Wellness Management Training phone Linda on 083 523 9284.
It will be produced quarterly and sells at R10 a copy. Parishioners can make commission by selling copies - just ask your rector for details. Freelance writers are encouraged to contact the editor, Miles Giljam, with ideas or feature articles.
The CPSA Media Committee are hoping that this publication will be the showpiece for the Province and that dioceses and individual Anglicans will send in their news and views.
Desmond Tutu - the first African in cyberspace?
A message for those who dont associate the church with the cutting-edge of technology: catch up. New evidence says that Christians were the first to boldly go where no African had gone before cyberspace.
South Africa in the late 1980s; business as usual. The anti-apartheid movement was planning a march, and President P W Botha therefore sent his goons to throw the leaders in jail. But this time, it all went pear-shaped.
Even before Botha had received official confirmation of the arrests, faxes from across the world flooded into his offices calling for the detainees to be released. How? Because of a newfangled technology called e-mail. A man called Stewart Ting Chong had e-mailed news of the arrests to New York, and from there, the news had travelled round the world through cyberspace to trigger the protests.
Botha had just become Africas first victim of a cyber-campaign - and one launched by the church.
Chong ran a network called CPSANet. CPSA is the Church of the Province of Southern Africa. Its archbishop was Desmond Tutu, one of the regimes most vocal and articulate critics and, according to a recently-published study, he may well have been the first African in cyberspace aided by King William III of England.
In the beginning was the net&ldots;
Until recently, the beginnings of the internet in South Africa had been dated to late in 1988, when an e-mail message was sent from Rhodes University in Grahamstown, South Africa, to a private home in Portland, Oregon, US.
The conventional view of e-beginnings in South Africa came from a web site chronicling these events at Rhodes University, authored by one of the persons intimately involved with that project.
However, the December 2003 edition of the South African church history journal, Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae, opens new per-spectives on the early days of the internet in Africa.
During the 1980s in South Africa, Archbishop Desmond Tutus Church of the Province of Southern Africa had a problem. CPSA bishops across the subcontinent were finding that they would frequently be confronted by people on recent pronouncements by Archbishop Tutu, as reported in the news media. However, these news reports were often inaccurate, not least because, by law, only what the government information services conveyed on figures such as Tutu, could be repeated in media articles.
Enter King William
Because censorship creates distortion, the CPSA leadership needed to have firsthand access to Tutus statements. A clandestine, reliable and speedy network through which to circulate Tutus speeches had become necessary. It is at this point that King William III of England enters the picture.
In 1696, William III granted land for the establishment of the Parish of Trinity Church in New York City. The grant included a large section of land around the designated church stand. Never sold, this land was rented to developers. In time, influential companies settled there bringing in substantial rental income.
These funds were used by parish representatives to fund worthy projects across the globe - a mission not unfitting of a parish which has as its address, and owns, Wall Street&ldots;
The CPSA turned to this New York parish when it was looking to fund a computerised communication network for its bishops. By the middle of 1987, the funds had been allocated, and Stewart Ting Chong was appointed to Tutus staff as administrator of CPSANet.
Though the precise date of the first messages is not clear, church documents show that this had happened during the last quarter of 1987 or first part of 1988, predating the accepted birthday of the internet in South Africa by some months.
The initial underground nature of this anti-apartheid tool has meant that until now, nobody had considered that it was indeed the church that brought internet activity to African shores. P W Botha was to find this out to his intense discomfort.
Permission to print article granted by Beccy Beard, Writer/Sub-editor, Communication Unit, Council for World Mission
27 July 2004
Im grateful to have received a copy of Fr Louie Banks executive summary of the replies received by your office, to the homosexual discussion document of January 2003.
Fr Banks concluding remarks, in which he says the rather predictable and uninformed responses from the majority of the parishes, indicate that the discussion document did not in fact achieve, what it seemed to set out to do, seems to confirm what most of us suspected; that the ongoing discussion on homosexuality, is not designed to discover what the Holy Spirit is saying through His church, but rather to persuade the orthodox believers that their point of view is outdated and that they need to change their position to a more modern, more liberal point of view.
I fear, that those of us, who are against the blessing and acceptance of homosexual practice in the church, because we genuinely believe it to be unbiblical, unnatural and emotionally unhealthy, will always be viewed as Fr Banks puts it, as predictable, uninformed, threatened and with closed minds.
No matter how many times we vote no in synods, conferences and meetings, another discussion document will be produced, until what they set out to do is achieved and regardless of what the Bible or The Holy Spirit says, the Church of the Province will bless homosexual relationships as equal to heterosexual marriage and all that goes with that. Then what will the next liberal cause be?
Iindaba prints only part of this report. The full report is available from Iindaba.
External rebukes, internal stresses and contradictory testimony marked the second plenary session of the Lambeth Commission on Communion (LCC).
Gathered at the Kanuga Conference Centre in Western North Carolina from 13-18 June, the LCC received widely differing verbal reports and written submissions on the ecclesiological issues facing the Anglican Communion.
Bishop Tom Wright of Durham noted the session had been very frank, very friendly, very cordial and hardworking.
The plenary opened in an atmosphere of conviviality but opposing opinions and underlying tensions quickly tested the bonds of pan-Anglican bonhomie.
Commissioner, Archbishop Drexel Gomez of the West Indies, read a paper questioning the validity of Bishop Robinsons orders, arguing that a defect of intention made his consecration invalid. The delegates reviewed several dozen other submissions including a counter statement by Archbishop Njonkonkulu Ndungane of Southern Africa urging respect for Provincial autonomy.
Reports from the meeting indicate that several non-western members were perturbed that the steering committee had privileged a European world view that elevated canon law above doctrine. Disagreements also arose over semantics, with some Commissioners believing discipline to be too harsh a word to use to describe potential recommendations for dealing with the American Episcopal Church.
Canon Camerons 29 May address to the Canadian General Synod surprised the LCC. He had offered a stark choice to Synod: If you say no to the motions before you, [authorising same-sex blessings] then you will be in danger of letting down the thousands of gay people in your midst, who are part of your Canadian family. But if you say yes, the work of the Lambeth Commission becomes horribly complicated, because we will be told that the Anglican Church of Canada refuses to hear the voice, or to heed the concerns of your fellow Anglicans in the growing Provinces of the Global South, who are your international family.
Some were disconcerted by the curt tone of the speech while others were annoyed for not having been informed ahead of time that Canon Cameron would speak on their behalf.
Archbishop Eames press officer, the Revd Brian Parker, said reports of tensions between the staff and members were overstated. Canon Cameron was authorised to speak to the Canadian General Synod by the chair and steering committee, Mr Parker said. The words were his own but the broad outline was discussed at the steering committee.
A public expression of discord surfaced on 7 May when Commission member, Archbishop Drexel Gomez of the West Indies, chided Archbishop Eames. There is no small feeling amongst conservative members of the Communion that they are being asked to show restraint whilst the liberal agenda moves ahead he wrote. Favouritism would create a situation Archbishop Gomez wrote, where the playing field is perceived as skewed. Bishop Gene Robinson of New Hampshire agreed that the playing field was skewed; but skewed in favour of traditionalists. The Commission has claimed to be talking to anyone who wants to talk, but our attempts to get a hearing before that Commission have been rebuffed he stated, accusing the LCC of talking about, but not with, gay and lesbian Anglicans. If the Commissions work is not about me, the diocese or homosexuality, Bishop Robinson asked, why was Archbishop Gomez allowed to give 6-8 pages of testimony focused almost solely on those realities and how ECUSA ought to be punished for it?
Visiting clergy thanked
Many of our parishioners suddenly found themselves filling unexpected gaps. God is always faithful and those individuals involved in the various ministries found this to be an exciting time of growth.
Craig is now back home and Evelyn is back on her feet. We pray God will continue to mould us as the body of Christ, in our life together and in our witness to the people of Uitenhage.
The Bishop writes ...
My Dear People of God,
Women in our society
Greetings in the name of Christ!
We have celebrated Womens Day with a mixture of occurrences taking place. While women were mostly jubilant, especially on television, very few men ever attended the ceremonies. In Bisho, all male MECs did not show their faces. The second page of the Herald (9 August) featured an article in which seven rape incidents were reported. Many other articles containing scenes and acts of crime were also reported.
It is sad to note that men are not all that eager to support the cause of women. The traditional view that the womans place is in the kitchen is long past. Yet, in an African settin women still had a major role to play. While men would go hunting and, during the turbulent times, be at war, women would literally run the daily affairs of the homestead. Food had to be cooked, children fed, animals gathered into kraals, fields ploughed during planting seasons, firewood gathered, cows milked and so on. No-one had a right to ill-treat children, women and the elderly. They were protected from those men who seemed to be bullies and who tested their strength on the weaker ones of the community. In urban areas the situation is no different, women wake up very early to give the family breakfast, send children to school and catch taxis or buses to their places of work. They fill the role of wife and mother and also work to help supplement the family income.
Economic pressures have so transformed our society that we now have career women. I cannot imagine how I myself could have survived without the kind of input Mazoe is giving physically, mentally and economically. Such people, as our women, deserve far greater support than what men are giving at the moment. It is not a womens thing to seek more liberation and rights to play significant roles in the country of their birth. Women have the right to be loved, protected and be supported. At the cathedral service for women on Sunday, 8 August, there were virtually no men visible except for myself, the Chaplain, the Dean and the Provost, plus three others who included Fr Famanekile Kula. The sermon which Mazoe preached needed to be heard by many a man with ears to hear and a compassionate heart to see the plight of many women in our country.
It is amazing to note that for a fair majority of women, Womens Day brings not much meaning in terms of celebrations. When I gave my mother and mother-in-law calls of congratulations and assurances of our prayers and support they rejoiced only because we did so. There was no special significance for the day since they were at home on a day like others. For some hawkers I saw on television it was another day to work for bread to feed their children. If they did not go to their stands and sell fruit, children would sleep hungry. Other women have been abused on the day in various ways by men who care less for themselves and other people. It is a great pity.
If we set aside a day such as the Women's Day to celebrate womanhood, men must pledge themselves to be more visible in defending the cause of women. I wish to encourage those men, who have the guts, to stand up against women abuse of all sorts, rape, discrimination, child labour, the elderly, etc. A lot has been done to affirm women in positions of work and leadership. More is still to be done to meet up with the population proportion. Women still continue to suffer, and in many instances are running families single-handedly.
In creation, when God made a woman for the man, the intention was for her to be a helpmate, not a slave; to be his queen not a doormat (Gen 1:27). Unless this ideal of Gods intention is captured, we cannot dream of good life in our families. Jesus upholds this traditional view (Mtt 19 :1-12). St Paul brings in the analogy of the church as the bride of Christ. Love becomes a notion around which such marital relationships (and other relationships) hinge (Eph 5 : 21ff end). The old golden rule, respect earns respect still holds to those men who are prepared to change. The metropolitan and many others have been on the march, telling the South African men that real men do not abuse women. Here is a challenge for men of South Africa to make South African women, ladies in the true sense.
Yours in the love of Christ,
Bishop Bethlehem will be conducting the centenary Eucharist on Sunday 3 October at 09h30 and members are hoping that many former members and friends will be present. There is speculation as to whether the Bishop will arrive on horseback in the style of the early clergy who served this little chapelry.
The Draaifontein area has been home to a considerable farming community from the early days of Port Elizabeth and services were held in homes from 15 July 1888. Two morgen of ground on the farm Draaifontein was given to the diocese by JJ Beckley, and the original wood and iron church was imported from England and erected on it in 1904. Bishop CE Cornish dedicated the building on 12 December of that year. The congregation was under the care of the Collegiate Church of St Mary the Virgin, now our cathedral, and clergy used to make the long journey from town for a monthly service. Very often they travelled out the day before. Over the past 50 years oversight of the chapelry has fallen to St Hughs, St Simon of Cyrene and at present All Saints in Kabega Park.
Calendars are available from the Diocesan Office and cost R20 each.
The adage, 'Better late than never', sums up the feelings of Nosicelo and Sicelo Kamba who were involved in an accident last year a few days before they were due to be confirmed, reports Yvonne Saunders.
The twins were upset that they had missed being confirmed last year but, happily, were able to join the group who were confirmed by Bishop Bethlehem on 13 June during St Barnabas Church centenary celebrations. Their mother, Boniswa, who is the MUCFL Worker in the diocese, was present at the service.
Joyful day of giving
What a day of joy, dancing, singing, giving, learning, eating, sharing and love. Women from many of the AWF branches in and around Port Elizabeth joined together at the Eucharist in the morning. During the service they handed in their Thanksgiving offerings of food and money, which will be distributed to the needy. Later in the service a Life-membership certificate was handed to Phyllis Chetty (88). Joan Newsham was also awarded a certificate but was unable to be present, so hers will be handed to her by Myrtle Koen, the Diocesan President.
Any parishes wishing to invite the group to put the play on at their church may do so by contacting:Dorothy Adams on 083 451 5991.
St Peters reopens branch
During a joyful four hour service each of the new members was given her white and purple jacket and scarf, the uniform of the St Peters branch, and her badge by the AWF Provincial President, Lillian Daniels. The AWF chaplain, Jean Underwood, was present as were the Diocesan President, Myrtle Koen, and many members from other branches.
Writing in the River Roundabout, the news magazine of the Zwartkops River Valley Parish, the treasurer, Roger Gardner, notes that people pay their income taxes religiously and to the letter of the law, to avoid heavy penalties and possibly even imprisonment. People moan at the time, but they pay.
Roger then gets straight to the point that people owe their faith the same diligence and care. He says, How much greater the possible prosecution for not rendering unto God that which He prescribes? Unlike Governments who require ever increasing portions of our produce, Gods share has never been re-budgeted. He has only ever asked for 10%.
There are an average of 340 854 Anglicans receiving communion every week in this diocese. God could do so much with the money they would bring in ... if only all of them tithed, as God has decreed. Jesus spoke a lot about money and giving and, as He is a Jew and He spoke mainly to Jews, he did not have to emphasise the minimum God expected from a person - one tenth of everything. All Jews know this and that giving only starts with that which is given above the tithe.
Second class priests
A self-supporting priest has to undergo the same training as stipendiary priests do, so is no less a priest. The only difference is that they have either chosen to stay in their secular job or, as is the case in many instances, the diocese or parish they serve in is unable to afford to pay them a stipend and provide a house etc for them, so they have to continue in secular work during the day and play their part in the parish during their time off. Others, such as Jean Underwood, are missionary priests. Jean does not have a secular job, nor does she receive money from the parish, so she has to fund-raise to continue the outreach she is doing to people living with HIV/AIDS in the Somerset East area.
Many of the self-supporting clergy are used by other parishes when their priest is ill or on leave, or by their own parish to minister at out of town chapelries. Sadly, parishes often forget that the high cost of petrol means these priests are out of pocket, and although the Acts of the Diocese does not say they should receive travelling allowances, it would be good to give them something. This applies to retired clergy too.
We are reminded in Scripture NOT to muzzle the threshing ox, and that the labourer is indeed worthy of his hire. Surely therefore AT VERY LEAST, people and parishes being blessed by the ministries of our self-supporting clergy, should ensure that these labourers in the Lords vineyard, are not suffering financial embarrassment, as they go about Gods business!
The new diocese of Mpumalanga was launched on Trinity Sunday. It has been formed by the multiplication of the Diocese of Pretoria. Also in the pipeline is the first phase of the multiplication of the Diocese of Cape Town - the False Bay Region is to become a separate diocese soon.
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