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Vol 19 No 10


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

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 •  GtC launched in diocese
 •  Family violence - help!
 •  Isivivane – a source of strength
 •  A massive shaking

GtC launched in diocese

The provincial initiative ‘Growing the Church’ was launched in our diocese with presentations to the clergy on Thursday 25th and lay leaders on Saturday 27 September. The presentations were done by members of Sharing of Ministries Abroad (SOMA) team - The Revd Paul Hensley from California, USA, with The Revd Ivan Weiss, Jacques Jefthas and Marlene Cozett, all from Cape Town.

Ivan, former chaplain to Abp Bill Burnett and known to many in our diocese, used 1John 4:1-17 and Romans 5:5 to teach on ‘How God helps you to Grow Christians.’ He began by saying, “Without God-love in us we cannot minister or counsel others as we’ll come in our own strength.” He expanded this as he spoke of the energy of God’s love which gives us his wisdom, his confidence - making us stronger, wiser and less proud. He emphasised the need to practice ‘being aware of God in us’ to enable him to change things in us and he will be able to change the church by working through us.

Jacques spoke on the need for leaders to know God’s Word saying, “A leader cannot lead if he doesn’t know where he’s going … he has to be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” He spoke of being under the authority of God and of being needs-based using prayer, sharing the Good News and caring for the hungry, those in need, in pain and hurt.

After lunch the lay leaders watched a DVD, “Dead Leader Running”, all about burn-out if leaders do not share the load. Paul, who described himself as a charismatic, evangelical with a catholic heart, filled the final slot of the day and spoke on ‘Empowering the Leadership’. He spoke on all leaders in the Body of Christ being gifted (1 Peter 2:5), not all being the same but all having a function. He said there needs to be ‘shapers’ – encouragers – who help you shape your life and use your gifts, and ‘shakers’ who help push people to not sit on the sidelines. He highlighted and expanded on seven mistakes leaders make, ending by saying, “We as the Body of Christ have the privilege to care, nurture and equip others.” 

Pic: The SOMA team who made the GtC presentations were: (from left) Jacques Jefthas and Marlene Cozett from Cape Town The Revd Paul Hensley from California, USA, with The Revd Ivan Weiss from Cape Town.

Family violence - help!

Those who attended the workshop at Holy Trinity on health and gender-based violence on Saturday 20 September looked at how to equip the church for ministry to the abuser and the abused person.

Dr Robin Smith helped those attending to look at the characteristics of the abuser and the results of the violence on, and the reactions of, the person being abused - such as why the person stays in a violent situation rather than leaving. The participants then looked at how to break the silence; how to support the people in the situation; and the resources into which they can be linked. Robin said we are called to be like Christ (Luke 4:18&19) saying, “God taught us to love and there is no love in abuse. Both the abused and the abuser need our help.” She said the church needs to let people know they can get help and the church needs to be there for them.

Sadly, very few parishes were represented at the workshop. The Gender Desk is hoping that all the rectors will encourage their congregations to turn out in force for the ‘March against Abuse’ to be held on 29 November. (see page 2)

Pic: (Behind) Sipho Bodlani, a deacon at St Matthews, KwaMagxaki, joined Nombulelo Kopele (HTC), Dr Robin Smith and Loyce Aisu (HTC).

Isivivane – a source of strength

Speaking at the dedication of the extension to St Agnes in Swartkops Bishop Bethlehem likened the church to the Zulu isivivane – a place which is a source of strength. He said that before roads and sign posts the Zulu traveller would come to a pile of smallish stones, often indicating a place to turn, and they would pause there to gain strength before adding another stone to the pile, then carrying on with their journey. He said Christ is the isivivane – the source of strength, the pile of stones on which his church is built, with the altar being a place of receiving strength. When we have received the sacraments we are strengthened to go out with the Spirit of wisdom, of strength and knowledge, in love to articulate God’s love to the ‘illiterate’ – those who do not know him. Bishop Bethlehem also likened the shrines in Europe and the UK as isivivane, places where pilgrims stop to pray and renew their strength before continuing on their journey.

Nancy Goddard gave a short overview of the parish which was followed by the sermon and the blessing of the extensions by Bishop Bethlehem who then blessed two magnificent banners made by Bev Shepherd, Lyn Bosch, Rose Spierpoint and June Rennick. After the service everyone went through to the hall for a delicious ‘feast’.

Pic: Bishop Bethlehem unveils the commemoration plaque at the dedication of the St Agnes church extensions. The rector, Sharon Nell assists with churchwarden Desrč Foaden behind them.

A massive shaking

“I saw that God was bringing a great shaking upon the world. I saw many wealthy people in the western world fleeing, having lost everything. They will seek help from people in poor nations. Especially developing countries like Mauritius and Madagascar will have opportunities for witness and outreach. This shaking will affect every country in the world – no-one will escape. I saw terrible things, there will be many people committing suicide, there will be turmoil and anguish. There will be at the same time a spiritual shaking especially in churches that are world- wide communions. The Anglican Communion will continue to be shaken. It will reach to Canterbury. The Lord also showed me that a melt down would begin in 'the land of ice and snow'.”

- Canon Dave Doveton, Diocese of Mauritius October, 2008.

The revelation was received in early May ... see full story: Contact Online Weblog: http://contact-online.blogspot.com/

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