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Vol 17 No 11


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

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 •  St Luke's on the go
 •  Once again with love
 •  Step in faith brings mighty blessings
 •  Abp confirms retirement date

St Luke's on the go
Going up, up, up
Building on the new Young People’s Community Project building in the St Luke’s grounds is under way.

The building is a combined project between St Luke’s and the community and will be used for church and community functions, an AIDS/TB clinic and some of the rooms will be used for counselling and other ministry. The rector of St Luke’s, Michael Julius, said, “The project has begun with much excitement and we thank the business fraternal for their constant support and encouragement. The parish leadership is hoping the shell of the educational/administrative block will be complete by December.”

Pic: Community outreach - The walls are going up for the Young People’s Community Project building at St Luke the Evangelist.

Jewish women support
A visit by two women from the Israeli Embassy in Johannesburg has helped to boost St Luke’s, Palmridge, outreach to Dr AW Habelgaarn School in the parish area.

Michael Julius, the rector, said, “We were honoured with a visit from Eunice Abrahams and Bernadette McQuire of the Union of Jewish Women. They pledged their support in helping to revive the spirit of the teachers and learners who are trying to function under very trying conditions. Because of vandalism, the Dept of Education was thinking of closing the school and relocating the teachers and learners.” Michael is on the support committee for the school.

Pic: Showing support - Eunice Abrahams and Bernadette McQuire of the Union of Jewish Women together with some of the Teachers from AW Habelgaam School.

Flood victims
Michael asked iindaba to thank the people of All Saints’ in Kabega Park, and St Margaret’s in Summerstrand for their support of the flood victims in the Northern Areas. Soup kitchens are still operating to feed the poor.

Once again with love
Richard and Gay Pumphrey from the UK are visiting the House of Resurrection Haven once again to lend a hand wherever they’re needed.

This is their fourth visit to the Haven, their last being during 2001. They are always welcomed with open arms as they are so willing to work hard doing jobs such as painting windows and garden posts, putting name tags onto clothes, peeling carrots by the score etc., and of course, spending time with the children.

The couple first visited the Haven when the Mercy Ship MV Anastasis was in port. They were part of a group of volunteers from aboard who spent almost a month with the children at the Haven. They loved the place and have returned whenever they could to volunteer their time and lots of their love to everyone at the Haven.

Pic: Home from school - One of the enjoyable duties Richard and Gay Pumphry had was taking to, and collecting, three of the Haven children from school.

Step in faith brings mighty blessings
Back in the Parish of Alexandria after their three-month sabbatical from 1 July - 30 September are Terry and Jeanne Beadon who share with iindaba readers the exciting ministry they were called into doing in Zimbabwe.

Clergy in our diocese are encouraged to take a three-month sabbatical break, outside of normal leave,  after every five years of service, for purposes of refreshment and growth in specific areas of spirituality and gifts, and doing something quite different to one’s normal ministry. Jen and I had originally intended to visit Lee Abbey in Devon, UK, a noted healing and renewal centre. But we clearly sensed the Lord pointing us in another direction, beginning in April 2005 when our Zimbabwe friends Bob and Jen Swift visited us, and we heard firsthand how Christians struggle in that nation. The Church is divided, pastors thin on the ground, and believers discouraged - not to mention the dire material needs of the vast majority of Zimbabweans. Having spent the first ten years of our married life in Kwe Kwe, we were profoundly touched by what we heard. From then on our daily readings, ‘coincidental’ people and events, and prayer insights all confirmed the strong conviction that Zimbabwe was where God wanted us to go. We remembered what happened to Jonah when he was disinclined to follow God’s clear call !

Originally we planned to take a missionary team, but gradually discerned that we were to go alone with an open agenda, prepared for whatever came our way. We would go wherever needed, wanted, or called, primarily to be encouragers and to exercise the ministry of Christ’s presence, but also ready to plant seeds of unity, preach and minister the Gospel, and be on-the-spot intercessors at this critical ‘meltdown’ stage in Zimbabwe. We also took gifts of cash and relief supplies (as much as we could load in our stripped-down Venture, such as e-pap, food staples, and clinic basics) to help needy locals.

Into hostile territory
We went with some trepidation into hostile territory as very amateur missionaries, to do what we had never done before. The unexpected ease of our border crossing set the tone for the entire three months ahead: wherever we went we found exceptional favour, were welcomed by spiritually starving folk as the Lord’s emissaries, and experienced the deep-water life and power of his kingdom in a way we don’t usually in our home environment (see Ezek 47). From our comfortable base on the Swift’s farm east of Kwe Kwe, we spent our days and nights in the surrounding resettlement areas (where desperate bulldozed townsfolk come to scratch out a living on arid plots, in communities abandoned by government, transport companies and pastors alike). Never were we without Spirit-filled Shona pastors to accompany us, translate for us, and minister with us, whether it was Jen’s ministry to children or mine to adults. So often we discovered that the script had already been written for us in advance: in one extremely remote spot (it took us 4 hours to travel 30 kms) we attended a rally to learn that three years earlier a local evangelist had prophesied that a white South African would one day preach there! That night round the fire not one single person of the 120 present failed to came forward for healing, deliverance, or commitment to the Lord ... and they all came back the next day so the pastors could see them in daylight!

Despite our inexperience and inadequacies, we soon discovered that when we did our little part in faith, the Lord always did his part. So often the results were beyond our wildest expectations, from the flaring to life of new neighbour-hood faith communities, to terminal AIDS cases going into remission, to unexpected conversions, to an entire district deciding to unite for a four-day evangelistic outreach. Even as we left, the Lord provided pastors and a mountain bike to minister to the faith communities of children and adults we left behind (please remember Shepherd Moyo, Melody Chirenje and their mentors Bob and Jen Swift in your prayers). Jen and I come home filled with awe for the way our God has allowed us to experience his grace and be so enriched, but also very conscious that yesterday is behind us, and each new day is one of fresh opportunities right where we are.

Abp confirms retirement date
The Metropolitan, Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane, has confirmed that he will step down on 31 January 2008.

He said in a press release, “I have determined an Elective Assembly to choose my successor will take place in September 2007. I will preside over the Synod of Bishops and the Provincial Standing Committee meetings, which precede the Elective Assembly, and thereafter go on sabbatical until the official date of my retirement."

He says, "I have consulted with the Bishops of the Anglican Church in Southern Africa and with the senior clergy of the Diocese of Cape Town. Today I will be sending letters to the Diocese as a whole. It has been a great privilege and distinctive joy to head this great church,” says Archbishop Ndungane.

After his retirement the Archbishop still intends being engaged in the development agenda in Africa through the organization African Monitor which he launched earlier this year.

He has also been invited to champion the initiative to restore historic church schools. These schools were originally incubators of the African intelligentsia in South Africa, but were closed down during the apartheid regime. At present they are in a state of disrepair but the intention is to restore them as centres of cultural and educational excellence.

News of a possible successor will only come to light when the mandate for an Elective Assembly has been issued by the Dean of the Province, Bishop David Beetge, towards the end of May 2007. 

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Editor: Frankie Simpson
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