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• 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!
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
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.
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
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:
to God in the
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
- 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
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.
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?
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.
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
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.
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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