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Vol 25 No 4


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


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 •  Easter 2014
 •  The Diocese at prayer
 •  Swords into ploughshares
 •  Wedding Bells at St Francis

Easter 2014

When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them. While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven. Then they worshipped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God.

Luke 24:50-53

Ascension Day is Thursday 29 May this year and Christians are encouraged to request the day off work as a ‘Religious holiday’ - as a witness to their faith. 

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The Diocese at prayer

Saturday 22 March was set aside as a day of prayer for our diocese. Each archdeaconry was allocated an hour slot, beginning with The Bay from 09h00 – 10h00.

Many from the parishes within this archdeaconry attended and the prayer time was led by the archdeacon, David Stansbury. Prayer centred around, not only our diocese, but the upcoming elections and our diocesan finances. David spoke of the need for parishes to move from being ‘fund-raisers’ to being ‘giving parishes.’ He also looked at motives that people use for withholding their giving and said it is sad when people withhold their giving because they are angry with ‘the church’ – they must remember, they are not giving to ‘the church’ but to God that which belongs to him.

The prayers offered during the open time were sincere and powerful. These included: a call for the people and clergy of the diocese to humble themselves from the top; for people to allow the Lord Jesus to lead everyone as they vote – that they vote for candidates/ a party who will be just, not corrupt, and who will look after the poor and not enrich themselves; for hearts and lives of our parishioners to change so that those who have become rich will begin to give of their riches instead of continuing to give as they did when they were poor because we need to remember that “All we have Lord belongs to you, and of your own do we give you.”

Kariega – report by the archdeacon, Zweli Tom
The second hour began with a reading from 1Thessalonians 5:12-28 by self-supporting priest Karen Groepe. We had four focus areas led by different clergy: Zola Nanana focused on all diocesan structures; Thokoza Mngomezulu prayed for the Transformation process; the archdeacon, Zweli Tom, commended the parishes of the Archdeaconry and their respective rectors to God; and Michael Julius prayed for the Bishop and the spirit of generosity in the diocese. For each focal area, a space for the participation of the attendees was created.

Tsitsikamma - report by the archdeacon, Dave Grobbelaar
The third hour was spent in intercessions around many issues including: Diocesan leadership; the transformation process; stewardship; forthcoming elections; Government leadership; peace; Africa; gangsterism in PE and Cape flats; world-wide peace; raising and equipping disciples; raising more evangelists; for people to cry out to the Lord; for the many interregnums in the archdeaconry.

The Karoo met in Cradock.

Pic: Members of The Bay Archdeaconry at prayer.

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Swords into ploughshares
[ ENS by Matthew Davies ]

Bishop Dinis Sengulane, the longest-serving bishop in the Anglican Communion, retired on 25 March after leading the Diocese of Lebombo in the Anglican Church of Southern Africa for almost 38 years.

Consecrated as bishop in 1976, Bishop Dinis made his mark as one of Africa’s greatest peacemakers when his efforts to mediate between the Mozambique government and the rebel group Renamo brought an end to 15 years of civil war in 1992.

His much-acclaimed Swords Into Ploughshares initiative exchanged thousands of weapons for tools of construction.

About 1 million weapons have been decommissioned since the end of the war. Many have been converted into art, a project that continues today with works exhibited throughout Mozambique and all over the world.

As he enters retirement, Bishop Dinis reflects on his ministry of peacemaking (see interview video on web), yet he doesn’t see this as his story.

Pic: Bishop Dinis Sengulane, much loved Bishop of Lebombo, and peace-maker extraordinaire.

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Wedding Bells at St Francis

Wedding bells peeled at St Francis United Church at St Francis Bay when Cheryl Bawden married the rector of Good Shepherd Parish, Charles Church on 1 February. Bishop Bethlehem officiated and the wedding was attended by families and friends who travelled up from Cape Town to be with the couple. Members of the various Chapelries of The Good Shepherd Parish also attended the wedding to support Charles and Cheryl. Charles said, “It was such a wonderful time and Cheryl and I felt so blessed and loved. We also thank Bishop Bethlehem for the wonderful way in which he conducted the ceremony. It was very special and loved by all who were there. Archdeacon David Grobbelaar was our disc jockey - one of his many talents.”

Pic: The wedding party - Bishop Bethlehem, Dayna Bawden (Cheryl’s daughter) the bride, Cheryl, and groom, Charles Church (rector of the Good Shepherd parish) and Aidan Fourie his nephew.

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