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Vol 17 No 9


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

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 •  We’re now ACSA - The Bishop writes ...
 •  A prayer of preparation
 •  Keeping them in order

We’re now ACSA - The Bishop writes ...

It’s official, we are now the Anglican Church of Southern Africa (ACSA) and no longer the Church of the Province of Southern Africa
(CPSA) since the special Provincial Synod which sat of Friday night 8 and Saturday morning 9 September.

The Bishop writes ...

My dear people of God,

Greetings in the name of Christ, our Lord and Saviour!

In the Provincial Special Synod it has been finally decided that we are now the Anglican Church of Southern Africa (ACSA). This Motion has reached its third reading as a Measure to amend Article 1 (of the Constitution).

Connected to this is the position of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa within the Anglican Communion. We confirm and affirm that our “Province will and must remain founded as a Province within the Anglican Communion, connected to the Church of England, unless and until Provincial Synod resolves to amend the Constitution at one session, and the amendment is agreed to at the next ensuing Session of Provincial Synod”.

Another piece of legislation is a measure to amend Canon 5 of the Election of the Archbishop of Cape Town. This is to strengthen the participation of the members of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa in the election of the Archbishop of Cape Town as Metropolitan. It reads “two persons from each of the clergy and laity of each diocese” will now participate in process of election, with the Diocese of Cape Town. We shall send these people to Cape Town Elective Assembly when it is so convened.

The Bishop-suffragan of Cape Town, elected to the office of the Bishop of Table Bay, shall have powers, rights and authority in accordance with that normally afforded to a diocesan bishop. S/he shall retain suffragan status in relation to the Archbishop who remains the Diocesan Bishop of Cape Town. There are duties assigned to the Bishop of Table Bay. This is merely a sharing of responsibilities and duties, in order to free the Metropolitan for global ministry as well, which cannot be avoided by this office any longer.

Lastly, it is our wish to urge and call you to fervent prayer at this time of controversy in our Communion. There is absolutely no need to think of schism when we disagree. Disagreements do not make us cease to be members of our families. Unity is a fulfillment of Christ's prayer “that they may be one, as we are one” (Jn 17:22). Our unity is far more important than homosexuality. Our Church’s position remains the same in that we do not ordain practicing homosexuals. We call them to celibacy. Further to this, the traditional view and Scripture is what we uphold, in our diocese in particular.

Our ministry is of building and of bringing to wholeness. No one should be hurt. God has called us to be joyous in Christ. I therefore wish to urge you to continue to pray for our Communion that it is not ripped asunder by schism because of homosexuality. Rather there are many things such as poverty, disease, crime, building of family life, moral values, which should unite us in our ministry to build a common life. The ministry of the word, the Lord’s Table and sacraments etc. all enshrined in the love of Christ, are greater points of unity. Unity is far more important than the disagreements of controversies we can sort out as we have done in years gone by. Stay united and build God’s kingdom.

Yours affectionately in the service of Christ,
Bishop Bethlehem Nopece

Pic: Doing it the Chinese way - Faith Geere, Jenny Cowling and Bishop Bethlehem, at the secretaries lunch.

A prayer of preparation
I come to the Lord’s own service,
Not only to pray for myself and to intercede for others.
These things I shall do.
But that which I come above all to do
Is to take my part in a great action,
This act of worship.
For I come to do, rather than to listen;
To give, rather than to get.
For here all things are done to the glory of God.
Every word spoken,
Every gesture and movement,
Every note of music,
Are not to please man
But are offered to God alone.
Most gracious God, grant that I,
All unworthy though I be,
However dim my understanding,
May offer to you the entire worship of my soul;
That with every word of my lips,
With all the prayers of my heart,
With every thought of my mind,
I may offer to you
A profound adoration of a creature
For the great Creator.

Keeping them in order
Speaking at the 10th gathering of clergy and their secretaries, Bishop Bethlehem said, "All CEOs need a secretary to keep them in order, and clergy are like the CEO of a firm."

Thirteen parishes, the Bishop's office, the diocesan office and iindaba were  represented at the lunch held at  the Kwai Lok Chinese Restaurant on Tuesday 12 September. Once again Faith Geere had excelled herself in organising the do and making beautifully iced fruit cakes for each of the women.

As always, a wonderful time was had by all as they relaxed, away from all the stress of their busy parish offices. Faith hopes that next year all the clergy who have secretaries will honour the work they do by attending the lunch.

Pics: 1) First in line - Dennis Burkinshaw was the first Diocesan Secretary of the diocese. He's with Val Heath, personal assistant to the present Diocesan Secretary;  2) The veterans - Julia Bradder, Faith Geere and Eddie Daniels have attended all 10 yrs ;  3) The newies - Sipambo Ludidi , rector of St Simon of Cyrene and  Zweli Tom, rector of St Peter's, with parish secretaries - Elvorina Uys, Nomava Batyi, Erica Barodien and Elsie Williams;  4) In the front - the first people one meets on entering the diocesan office are Busi Gwentshu and Debbie Vencencie.Bishop Bethlehem spoke of the loving and friendly atmosphere his wife, Mazoe, had remarked on when mentioning a visit to the diocesan office.

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contact the editor at iindaba@anglicandiocesepe.org.za

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