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Vol 16 No 10


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

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 •  A prayer against violence
 •  Historic appointment
 •  A very special wedding 
 •  Br Roger remembered 
 •  Mercy ship to be decommissioned

A prayer against violence
Lord Jesus Christ, we thank you
That through your death on the Cross
You disarmed the powers of evil.
Help us, we pray you, to enter
Into your victory
And to take a stand in your authority
Against all evil.
Send forth your light and your truth, O Lord.
Bring to light the deeds of darkness
And let plans of violence
And murder be defeated.
By the power of your Holy Spirit
Win over those who have allowed
Their minds to be dominated by evil.
Lead them,
O Lord, to true repentance
That they may receive your new life
And rejoice in your forgiving love. Amen.
The Revd Cecil Kerr

Historic appointment
Diocesan history is being made with the appointment, from the end of January, 2006, of Sharon Nell as the rector of the Zwartkops River Valley Parish.

Sharon, the assistant curate at St Hugh’s in Newton Park, will be instituted on Sunday 12 February. The service will probably take place at St Nicholas in Redhouse, as that is the larger of the two churches in the parish.

Zwartkops River Valley Parish also made history in this diocese when it became the first formerly 'white’ parish to accept the appointment of a black priest. In April 2000 Bishop Eric Pike offered them Solomon Nkesiga as their rector, and they willingly accepted him. The parish consists of St Agnes in Swartkops and St Nicholas in Redhouse.

Sharon and her husband, Piet, celebrated their silver wedding anniversary last month. This fitted in well with the Golden Jubilee celebrations at St Hugh’s, as a Renewal of Marriage Vows had been held there on the Sunday before their anniversary. Sharon followed her anniversary by celebrating her birthday the next day.Churchwarden Geoff Booth sent out the following news-flash when the appointment was confirmed: “In accordance with an ancient tradition, white smoke is released above the Vatican when a new Pope is elected. We don’t have that technology at our disposal, but a new rector has been elected! Yesterday, Tuesday 4 October, the Parish Council unanimously recommended that Sharon Nell be appointed as rector of ZRV, to take effect when she finishes her annual leave on 23 January 2006. I am sure that all parishioners will join in welcoming Sharon and her husband Piet to the Parish, and will remember them in prayer as they prepare to take on this new ministry.”

Diana leaving
Diana Nkesiga, also a priest, who stayed on in South Africa when Solomon returned to Uganda during July, leaves on 4 December to join him. She had to finish her contract with Hospice, and had been a pillar of strength to the ZRV parish during their interregnum. Iindaba hears that she will be in Cape Town next year as the representative for the Diocese of Uganda at an AIDs conference. This hard-working couple were much loved by all in the ZRV.

Maureen Lamb will be leaving St Saviour's in Walmer to take over the position of counsellor to Hospice when Diana leaves.

Iindaba wishes all three of these wonderful women clergy much joy and many blessings in their new positions.

A very special wedding
The 09h00 service on 18 September at St Saviour’s in Walmer was no ordinary Eucharist, because Fana Steven Robile, a care-worker for Operation Smile, and the church car guard, was married to Zoliswa Mengu.

The church was full for this very special wedding as many of the 07h30 service parishioners were present to wish Steven and Zoliswa well. The rector, Eddie Daniels, took care of the legal part of the ceremony, and Maureen Lamb took over to lead the couple through their vows and exchanging of rings. After the service, a wedding feast was served in the hall where people could congratulate the couple and view some of the presents they had received.

Steven began his association with St Saviour’s in 1997 as a car guard. Over the years, he not only showed his ability to serve, but he also showed initiative and a willingness to learn. In June 2003, Steven began to work as a paid care-worker for Operation Smile, and since that time, through their structures of caring, he has also started a diploma course with the Early Learning Centre.

Steven, worked until recently, at Provincial Hospital, where he served soup and bread to the street people and vagrants from early morning. This helped reduce the numbers by the time the hospital care teams arrived at 09h00. At that point, Steven helped the various out-patient teams complete their duties as hospital care volunteers. They serve soup, bread and coffee to the patients who are waiting to be seen, as well as the second round of vagrants and street people.  Maureen Lamb, who is the deacon at St Saviour's, has mentored Steven, and told Iindaba, "Steven's main respon-sibility has been keeping the tearoom clean, making the soup and coffee, and supporting the many ecumenical teams so that their own ministry of care and encounter is not inhibited by “all things temporal”. After his rest and honeymoon period,  Steven will be in training to become a storeman, whilst Sindiso (another care-worker),  will take over the hospital duties each day. He has through his own quiet diligence and caring, earned the respect and care of many at St Saviour’s."

The very full church and the many beautiful gifts given to the couple by the parishioners was confirmation of this last statement. Iindaba adds their congratulations to the special couple.

Br Roger remembered
Br Roger, the founder of the Taizé community in France, was remembered at a special service at All Saints’ in Kabega Park on Sunday night 1 October.

The evening service at All Saints’ was a traditional Taizé one with quiet contemplative music, prayer and silence, encouraging the congregation to give thanks for the life of Br Roger who founded the Taizé community. The sanctuary was filled with candles and flowers, and after a reading of Br Roger's views on prayer, members of the congregation brought candles to the front to pay homage to his life.

Taizé at St Hugh’s
As part of their celebrations, St Hugh’s hosted the annual diocesan Taizé service on Sunday night 28 August, shortly after Brother Roger's death. Once again Robert Penrith and his team of singers and musicians, including the St Hugh's choir, led a most beautiful and sacred event - reflecting on the graciousness of God, and giving thanks for the life and witness of Br Roger. After the service the congregation went through to the hall where delicious soup and different breads and rolls were served.

As always, it was a blessèd Taizé service.

Mercy ship to be decommissioned
Quentin Foster, aboard the mercy ship MV Anastasis writes, “We received some really sad news last week at the Community meeting, that the ship is to be decommissioned. This will happen after the Liberia Outreach,  when she will be taken out of service due to her age. Please pray that the transition will go smoothly, and pray for the crew who were hard hit by this news, especially families who have been onboard for many years.”

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