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Vol 18 No 10


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

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 •  New Seafarers Centre opens
 •  What a day it was
 •  Archdeaconry Healing service

New Seafarers Centre opens
With the ribbon having been cut by the Port Manager, Esther Goosen, the doors to the new interdenominational Seafarers Centre were officially opened by Martin Britz, who will be running the Centre and visiting the ships as they come into port.

As everyone moved into the centre for the speeches, snacks and drinks, the visitors, who included representatives from the various shipping companies, the Port Authority and Yacht Club, were welcomed by Ruthell Johnson,  chairman of the Missions to Seafarers (MTS) and also of the Centre Committee. Michael Coleman and Cardinal Wilfrid Napier of the Roman Catholic Church were also welcomed as they arrived.

Ruthell paid tribute to the Dutch Reformed Churches mission operation, “Biblia”, for making the facilities available to the various Christian faith-based organisations who will be working together out of the Centre in their mission outreach to the seafarers. He also thanked Esther Goosen for her help given on behalf of the landlord, National Ports Authority.

The Centre, within walking distance of the quay, is a place for visiting seafarers to call their own, a place to relax and have access to the internet (three computers), telephones, a games room, a lounge to relax in and read or watch DSTV, and a small canteen. A small chapel is available for church services or just quiet times, and there is a room for one-on-one counselling if needed. The organisations which have spent two years in negotiations to form the new Centre include Biblia - Dutch Reformed Church, Anglican MTS, Methodist International Sailors’ Society (ISS), and the Roman Catholic Apostle-ship of the Sea (AOS).

Representatives from all the organisations made a special effort to be present for the opening with Prof Fanie Snyman, the co-ordinator for Biblia, travelling from Bloemfontein, The Revd Boet van Schalkwyk, the principal chaplain of ISS, Terry Whitfield the National co-ordinator of AOS and Des Vaubell the Chaplain for MTS all coming from Durban and Sid Colam Exec Sec of MTS in SA from George. Among the locals present were Sid Strong of the Knights of da Gama, David Stansbury our MTS chaplain, Brian Roos, Godfrey Monaghan and John Davies, MTS Commit-tee members, who had been very involved in the last Seafarers Centre which closed in 2003.

Members of our parishes are welcome to pop into the Centre in the port, to the right of the Campanile entrance, where Martin Britz, Joy Thompson and Sis van Jaarsveld will make them welcome. Donations of Bibles and magazines will be welcome and for those who can knit there is a pattern for you to knit beanies for the sailors. Ruthell also has prayer leaflets for any intercessors who would like to pray for the work at the Centre and for Missions to Seafarers.

Pic 1:  The doors are open and Martin Britz invites Esther Goosen the Port Manager to be the first to enter the new Seafarers Centre.

Pic 2:  MTS committee members, David Stansbury, chaplain, Brian Roos, Godfrey Monaghan and Ruthell Johnson the chairman.

Pic 3:  Chaplains to Seafarers, David Stansbury and Des Vaubell, testing the snooker table. Cardinal Wilfrid Napier in the background.

What a day it was
When Bishop Bethlehem visited St Stephen’s on 5 August the theme of the day was “Concentrate on heavenly things and allow Jesus to come into your heart.” 

They were the words used by the Bishop when he licensed 29 lay ministers, of which nine were women. He then went on to confirm 27 people. The church was filled to capacity with parishioners and visitors from other parishes.

At the end of the service Bishop Bethlehem could hardly believe his eyes when he was presented with a live sheep donated by members of the parish. He commented, “Ndibethe emloyeni” and he was excited. He commended the effort put in by the parishioners in raising funds for the renovations to the church ‘Which now looks like a cathedral,’ and praised the rector, Mzie Doda, on the good work he has done in the short time he has been there and the good relationship he and his family have with his parishioners. Bishop Bethlehem ended his visit with a delicious lunch.

LL Hopa

Pic: A new dimension for our chief shepherd, with gift of a sheep.

Archdeaconry Healing service
St Francis Xavier church was packed on the afternoon of Sunday 26 August when members of the Parsons Vlei Archdeaconry gathered for a Healing Service. 

The arch-deaconry is made up of St Luke’s, St Mark and St John, All Saints’, St Francis Xavier and Christ the King. Speaking on Matt 8:1-4, the archdeacon, Welile Kani, spoke about the leper who had no doubt that Jesus could do the impossible but asked if Jesus was willing, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” Welile went on to remind his listeners that all too often we put many excuses forward and block our healing.

After a couple of  testimonies almost half the congregation went forward for prayer for healing.

Pic: Archdeacon Welile Kani and parishioners.

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