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Vol 17 No 11
December
2006

iindabaONLINE

The official gazette of the Diocese of Port Elizabeth:
Anglican Church of Southern Africa

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PAGE 3

 •  The Bishop writes ...
 •  The view from pulpit and pew
 •  Give the gift of life this Christmas
 •  Tag lines
 •  Who's who answered

The Bishop writes ...

A message of goodwill

My Dear People of God,

Greetings in the name of Christ, our Lord and Saviour, born to us at this time!

We started this year with my going on Sabbatical Leave for three months. For the first time in our ministry, we took the leave with great expectation. The bishop of Mthatha kindly afforded us an opportunity of visiting our last parish of St John’s Mthatha. I managed to spend more time under the mountains of Gulandoda, and the peak of Nongqongqwana at Sentubi in the Ngcobo District. I was born here. As I researched on the mission “stories yet untold,” my childhood memories filled my “inward eye” which indeed is “the bliss of solitude”, quite often (Wordsworth : The Daffodils). Mazoe could not be with me for all the time, due to work commitments.

At our home the family unit of eight would grow up to sixteen sometimes, especially towards Christmas. The rooms were rondavels forming an arch, with a four-corner grass thatched room for the priests and other visitors. The first rondavel was for church services. We were an out-station congregation of All Saints' parish, some twenty-six kilometers away from the Mission Station. The priests would come on  horseback or on bicycles to celebrate the Eucharist. In front of the houses was another four-corner house, with a corrugated iron roof. This was the kitchen.

It so happened one Christmas festive season that a visiting young girl was sent to the kitchen one evening. Like all of us she was afraid of the dark. We were all congregated at the parents' house, as was the custom, for meals and prayers together as a family. Though the door was wide open to allow the rest of the light of the paraffin glass lamp to go outside, it was not focusing on the direction of the kitchen. The lantern was out of order. The torch batteries were dead. The only thing which would help was my mother’s voice. As she disappeared into the dark, my mother kept on saying “I see you.. I see you..I see you!!!” On her way back, she called on my mother, and she continued “I see you” until she joyfully emerged from darkness into the door of the main room.

We celebrate the Birth of the Lord after twelve years of our political freedom from the shackles of apartheid. It was joy to await the new dispensation, where everybody became equally true citizens of our beloved country. Messages of goodwill and best wishes streamed from every corner of the world. Lo and behold, things happened, and things are happening. The good is that together as South Africans we equally rejoice to belong to such a beautiful country, a land of many-in-one. Delivery continues steadily but surely, to improve the plight of many to a better and meaningful life. Access roads are constructed. Electricity comes to many more homes. Clean water is available to many communities. Homes are built. Projects to fight poverty and unemployment are steadily realized. Schools are built. Safety and security is being strengthened and put in place. Health services are given the attention they need. The list goes on. Much has been done; more still needs to be done.

The rate evil is growing is very alarming. The news both on television, newspapers and radio is not good news. More atrocities are reported. Some of these are unbearable. Even animals behave much better than humans seem to be doing. Those in positions of leadership, both in state and church, do not show a good example of acceptable moral life. There is no fear of the Lord. There is no wisdom (Ps 111:10). The giants SACLA discerned are enormous. We are daily confronted by acts of moral decline. The Bible is  just another book, no longer the revered Word of God. Christians compromise the saving name of Jesus. However, be that as it may, we worship the great God. If only we, as Christians, were to be faithful in our calling to be true witnesses of Jesus Christ, this Christmas would change a lot of lives in bringing tangible meaning. Our problem - we are Christians for convenience.

God has positioned us deliberately where we are, to influence the status quo. Let us hear his voice when he says, “Go and make disciples.” (Matt 28:19). He charged us to be witnesses for him to the uttermost parts of the earth (Acts 1:8). He promised, “Lo, I am with you, till the end of the world”. He calls to us, “I see you. I see you.!” Amidst so many challenges, we should be bright in our corners for the love of the Master. I strongly believe that our judgment will be doing and saying nothing, when we needed to. Do something, bring joy to a life this Christmas, and cause happiness.

Whatever faces us, may God grant us a united front. Even if schism threatens, we worship Unity. May the Triune God bless us with togetherness, as we sing with the angels:

“Glory to God in the highest,                
And on earth peace to those on whom
His favour rests” (Luke 2:14).

May the peace and goodwill of Christ born to us at this time abide with you this Christmas and all the year through.

Yours in the love of Christ,
Bishop Bethlehem Nopece


The view from pulpit and pew

  • Back from sabbatical leave is Ralph McGuigan and his wife Margaret who returned to their home country, Scotland. Ralph was able to play some golf with his brother, and was also able to be a spectator at a golf tournament - in the very country that created it. Ralph did not only play golf, but focussed on the spiritual, mental and physical growth - of his grandsons! They spent time with their daughter Sharon and her husband, Mark Smith, and their four grandsons. Mark is the son of the late Denison and Jill Smith, and is the Chaplain at a school in the Midlands.
  • Also back from sabbatical are Terry and Jeanne Beadon. Do read about the awsome time they had in Zimbabwe. (See page 4)
  • Congratulations to Mary-Ann Greenshields, elder daughter of Dudley and Carolyn, who has been elected the President of the South African Student Pharmaceutical Association. Mary-Ann is studying at Rhodes in Grahamstown. The Greenshields family escaped injury (except for a bruised back for Carolyn) when their double-cab rolled off one of the treacherous roads in the Somerset East district. Dudley, the rector of All Saints', now feels he’s ‘arrived’, having suffered the fate of many in his parish. Praise God that his hand was protecting them.
  • Jacqui Brill is stepping down as CEO of the New Life Pregnancy and Family Crisis Centre in Uitenhage after nearly ten years in the 'hot seat'. More about this in next iindaba.
  • Travelling at this time is Katharine Holmes, daughter of Christopher and Susan. Katharine has gone to India for a Maths Olympiad, and will spend two weeks there. Included in the trip is a short shopping stop-over at Dubai, and a visit to the famed Taj Mahal!  Christopher is the rector of St Hugh’s in Newton Park.
  • There was much joy, good food and reminiscences in St Saviour’s Hall recently as Dennis and Ruth Burkinshaw celebrated their Diamond Wedding Anniversary. Dennis is our Diocesan Secretary Emeritus, and Ruth, amongst many other Diocesan involvements, was the Diocesan President of Mothers’ Union for many years. The cherry on the top of the celebration was the visit by their younger daughter, Kathy, who came all the way from New Zealand for the special occasion. Unfortunately her husband and the Burkinshaw’s only grandchild, Kathy’s son, were not able to be here. Their elder daughter, Jenny Gon, with her husband Ofer, were also there, as were two friends and a Flower Girl who attended the wedding at Holy Trinity in 1946. The service was conducted by Stanley Troughton, for many years rector of the Parish.
  • Advent is a time of ordinations, and this year, Ordination Sunday is Advent II, 10 December. The ordination will take place at the Cathedral at 11h30. Those being ordained to the diaconate are Gill Bowman from St Hugh’s in Newton Park and Clive Newman from the Cathedral; and to the priesthood Zola Xuba from St John the Baptist in Walmer, Nontsikelelo Memese from St Matthew’s, KwaMagxaki, Mtutuzeli Belu from St Stephen’s, New Brighton and Angela White from St Philip’s in Central. Clive Newman will be seconded to the Diocese of Grahamstown, whilst Gill Bowman will become the University Chaplain, using St Margaret’s, Summerstrand, as her base.
  • Luyanda Tuku, who has been helping at Holy Trinity lately, is now the priest-in-charge of St Cyprian’s, Zwide. We do not have a telephone number for him at this stage, but will include it in the next iindaba.


Give the gift of life this Christmas
Jesus, through his blood, gave us the gift of eternal life, but we, through our blood, are able to give the gift of quality life to many sufferers.

What if a loved one was diagnosed with leukaemia, or needed open heart surgery, or was in a terrible motor accident and needed blood ... whose blood would be available if we, healthy Christians, are not prepared to donate our blood? Would you be happy to stand by and watch your loved one die because, “Oooo, I can’t stand the thought of a needle, so I’ll never donate blood!”? Watch that loved one die because everyone else doesn’t want to donate? Will you blame the doctors for not doing anything ... when they can’t because there just isn’t blood, or platelets available?

This Christmas iindaba is appealing to all readers to give thanks to Jesus for eternal life, to thank God that they are healthy, and to go the South African National Blood Services and donate a unit of whole blood. Remember, the staff are specially trained not to hurt one.

Platelets

Readers who are under 60 and already donate, have you checked if your platelet count is high enough to rather give platelets? There are only about 80 platelet donors in Port Elizabeth at present, which is far below the need. iindaba could only discover five Anglicans among them - Lawrie Wilmot, priest-in-charge of Christ Church in Kamma Park is new on the list, with the others being, William Walton of St John’s, Rob Menzies of St Cuthbert’s, Jenny Gerber of the Cathedral and Frankie Simpson of All Saint’s in Kabega Park. iindaba challenges other parishes to beat these!

Jenny told iindaba, "I do this for love." Frankie has been donating for a long time and is happy to forfeit two hours pay every month to give the gift of quality life to someone in need.If readers would like to know more about donating platelets contact Gerda, Helen or Grace of the Special Services Unit of SANBS on: 041 391 82000

Pic: It didn't hurt - Grace Heunis of the Special Sevices Unit at SANBS inserts the needle into Jenny Gerber's arm as she relaxes in comfort.


Tag lines

Distance between two hearts is not an obstacle; 
rather a great reminder of just how strong true love can be. 



Last month's "Who's who" answered
The pirate is Howard Lancaster.
The archdeacon - the late Erik Welton.

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