Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ
Greetings in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
We are writing towards the end of the year of 2013 when we approach the Advent Season. We apologize to write late. This is due to breakdown in our communications. Our Ad Clerum will be long, covering a period of time.
We are always inspired by the prayer of St Paul as he prays to the Ephesians and say “For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you be rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Saints to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that passes knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:14-19)
We are amazed how you are growing in the Lord Jesus Christ in our Diocese. The Diocesan family is growing spiritually as evidenced in the vibrant worship in all the 57 parishes. Our Church Choirs are nourishing and leading us towards adoration to God and it soothes our souls and it enables us through the music and the gospel to receive that eternal joy of salvation and eternal peace. In that way it gives us the ability to allow God to deal with our day to day challenges. We have created nine HR and Financial Management Policies. The Diocese is growing in its financial resources as we observed in our Synod that it has 56% growth. We are grateful of the sincere ministry of our Finance Cynthia De Beer, who continues to remind us of our stewardship and the need to support God’s work. We are pleased that we allow God to grow the permanent diaconate for the social outreach ministry in order that through them Christ in His love can enter the informal settlements and be an inspiration to the voiceless.
In return, they can bring the needs of the community to the Holy Temple for prayers and to be addressed. We know that they are also sacramental if there is a need for that, but mainly the mission of the seventy two.
Through the Permanent Diaconate we are making more hands and feet of Jesus Christ to informal settlements, hospitals, prisons and homes of the lonely, to be alongside of the parishioners and also to assist the child-headed families who are created through the impact of HIV/Aids. We are growing in the transitional diaconate and the priesthood of Jesus Christ, order that we continue to have priests for Word and sacraments, pastors, teachers of the faith and ministers of the gospel.
Kindly observe the 16 Days of Activism and continue to uphold women and children as gifts of God to the world. We ask each Rector or Priest-in-Charge to select scriptures that will be relevant in inspiring all God’s people about the importance of women, children and men, and to promote a zero tolerance to domestic violence and other forms of abuse. Let God’s unconditional love be a point of departure for each and every parishioner irrespective of gender, race, tribe or language.
May God continually bless you abundantly as we are all partners in God’s mission through our prayers, hospitality, generosity and support of God’s work in the Diocese.
Could you kindly read the notices that we have attaching to this letter for your prayers.
We, Noncedo, children and Diocesan staff wish you a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.
Grace and peace
Yours in the Shepherd of Shepherds
Clergy and Ordinands' Christmas holidays
As the Pastor of the Diocese, we think you have observed in our 5 years in the episcopate that we always ask all the parishioners of this diocese to be generous towards their clergy. We humbly urge you to be generous, whether in a form of a 13th cheque or whatever God is putting into your heart to assist God’s servants as holiday needs some more resources to make your family happy.
A reminder of Diocesan needs to Rectors, Priest-in-Charge and Parish Wardens:
We pray that the Lord may give you the necessary grace that we meet these obligations for the continuation of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. We are a church amongst other churches that need to fulfil God’s calling in Christ.
We, as family at Bishopsbourne are well and wishing the Diocese good health. Aphiwe is writing exams at N.M.M.U. He is reading I.T; Zipho is writing exams at Rhodes University. She is doing B.A first year. Esona is doing grade “0” at St Andrews Preparatory together with Buhle who is doing grade “R”. Our daughter, Nokuzola who is married to our Sub-Dean Revd Mzinzisi Dyantyi has given birth to a baby girl at 6 months 2 weeks. We congratulate the Dyantyi family and thank God for our granddaughter Sambesiwe Anovuyo Likuwe Dyantyi. We welcome her into our family. Cwayita is doing grade 8 at DSG and Anda “Danny Boy” is doing grade 9.
We thank Noncedo for supporting us. As the saying goes, “behind every successful man, there is a woman”. Mothers are the greatest gifts in a family. Masandi continues to work for the education Seta and Buntu is working for Alexander Forbes in Port Elizabeth. Thank you for your unceasing prayers for us and for the Province.
We have dedicated three well-built church buildings in the diocese. On 27 July 2013 we dedicated St James, Stutterheim; Bernard Mizeki Scenery Park in East London in August, and the Church of the Resurrection in Fort Beaufort on the 1st of September. The similarities between these three churches were their warm welcome and generosity which they show to God, to us and to each other. The love, the joy, the vibrancy and their fulfilment of achieving something beautiful for God. We pray that God may continue to bless His people and that they may grow daily in doing things that are pleasing to God.
Diocesan family day
We had a successful family weekend at the University of Fort Hare in Alice. Our guest preacher was Bishop Siwa, who is the Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa. There was great fellowship. There were stalls selling different items. The worship was vibrant, spirit filled and showed a wonderful devotion, adoration and praise to God. The income that we received was R296 973.40. It was good for all of us to come and express our unity in diversity by worshiping, playing, praying together and growing together in God’s kingdom. May God bless us as a diocesan family.
St Andrew’s College Chapel Centenary
We celebrated the 100th anniversary of St Andrews Chapel at St Andrew’s College. We are grateful to the headmaster for inviting us. May God continue to bless the headmaster, Mr Paul Edey, the Revd Gary, professional and domestic staff, students and the School Governing Body.
We thank God for giving us a gift of 25 deacons who were ordained in September: 14 permanent deacons and 11 transitional deacons. We pray and hope that the permanent deacons will engage in social outreach programmes and continue to take Christ to communities as a sign of God’s love, and to assist their priests with social analysis and bring the needs of the community to the church. We were graced by our guest preacher Bishop Dino Gabriel of the Diocese of Zululand. We were all inspired by his message. Let us continue to uphold our new clergy and their families in prayer.
We continue to uphold our last Diocesan Synod Resolution to be a prophetic voice against the social ills and injustices in our country, calling upon all nationalities in Southern Africa to stop violence and abuse of women, young, frail and the aged. Women are created in the image of God and they need to be loved, respected and be appreciated as God’s gift to us and to our homes in the world. We find extra- ordinary women and leaders in the Bible that have shaped our faith through their examples. Men are protectors of family including women and children. May God continue to bless all women throughout the world.
Guilds of the Diocese
We thank God for our Guilds. They continue to be an inspiration in the life of the Church including choirs in the various parishes. The Mothers’ Union had a wonderful successful conference held at Rhodes University Grahamstown. We congratulate the president, Mrs Mhlwatika for her success and the leadership and all members of the Mothers’ Union. They fund-raised an amount of R176 000. 00 “Umjikelo”
The A.W.F. celebrated Workers’ Day at the Cathedral. It was successful. They fund-raised R22 151.55 for the Diocesan Ministry Endowment Fund. We thank God for their contribution for the education of the clergy of the Diocese. We congratulate Ms Sikupela who is president and Canon Magxwalisa the Chaplain.
The Diocesan Youth Guild held their conference at Holy Trinity, Dimbaza. We congratulate them for a successful conference. We thank God for protecting our youth especially the executive members who had an accident near Peddie. We met them at the scene and prayed with them. We pray that God may protect and bless them in their efforts as they are precious to God and to us.
We value its work for National Tourism and Diocese of Grahamstown in the building of the tourist centre at St Matthew’s. We are waiting for a handover by National Tourism to the Diocese, which will be communicated in good time, in order that all of us receive this wonderful gift in thanksgiving. We know that this will fulfil and meet the needs of the community and all those who will make applications to use the centre. We are pleased to report that National Tourism was pleased that the centre was completed and the quality of work that has been done in the buildings and renovations. The centre hosts 350 people in conferencing and can accommodate 56 people single sleeping accommodation. Capraway employed 56 people during the time of construction. We hope that the Tourist Centre will bring about employment opportunities for all people.
Church warden’s conference
There is no church without church wardens. We love them. The wardens who participated in this conference continue to thank us for such an informative conference which has equipped them. Let us continue to value and uphold our church wardens in their ministry as officers of the Bishop and the principal representatives of God’s people in the parish.
As a diocese we had a number of bereavements.
• In May, Ms Ncediwe Kanise our Diocesan Ordinand and a faithful member of St Gregory Mdantsane, East London.
• In August, Mr David Sikampula, our brother in law and a father to Mrs Nokuzola Dyantyi our Sub-Dean’s wife, Revd. Mzinzisi Dyantyi.
• In August: Archbishop Emeritus Phillip Russell, the father-in-law to Canon Professor Paul Walters.
• In September, The Revd Walton Mtyobo who was a non-stipendiary priest at St John and St Chad, Zwelitsha.
• In September, Mr Siyabonga Ntlali, the son to our eldest brother in Mtata.
• In October, Dr Cecil Manona, a father-in-law of Archbishop Thabo and father to Mrs Lungi Makgoba.
• In October, Mr Ndyoki, the father of Revd. Siyabonga Ndyoki.
• In November, The Revd Canon Colin Leslie, the Rector of St Michaels and All Angels, Nahoon.
May the Souls of the faithful departed rest in peace and rise in Glory. Kindly uphold all these families in your prayers.
Anglican Church of Southern Africa - News
The Synod of Bishops met in Kopanang, Johannesburg on the 30th September - 1st October 2013.
At the Synod of Bishops, the importance of theological education was emphasized by the Archbishop and all Bishops as a priority in the province. Archbishop Thabo has a passion for theological education and civil education. A formal Board of Education has been set under the able leadership of Bishop Peter Lee our liaison Bishop. We, Bishop in Chapter, have elected the Revd Canon Lulama Ntshingwa to represent us in the Board of Education and report to us. The theme of Archbishop Thabo’s charge to the Provincial Synod was “A vision for education; education for a vision”. In 2012 the Archbishop declared 2013 as “a year of theological education”. We are pleased to inform you that we deposited R 30 000.00 to the Provincial account for theological education in order that the College of Transfiguration may be endowed to grow future leaders of our church. Archbishop Thabo believes that education should be an evangelistic tool to nurture our children, our people, in mind - heart and body. We were also graced at the Provincial Synod by the presence of Professor Mary Metcalfe who spoke to us on education. Our prayers are that our colleges and universities develop fully rounded individuals who are capable to analyse critically and people who will act passionately.
At the Synod of Bishops we have started a process of developing a new prayer book for the Anglican Church of Southern Africa under the leadership of the Revd Canon Bruce Jenneker. We, Bishop in Chapter have appointed Archdeacon Mhlana to be the provincial representative and a director of liturgical development in the Diocese. She is free to create a committee that will work with her.
College of the Transfiguration
We thank God for the Diocesan Family for contributing R30 000.00 towards the Provincial Account to allow God to further theological education for the future spiritual leaders of our church through us and all the Anglicans of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa. We want to encourage those parishes in our Diocese who did not contribute to do so.
We want to congratulate the Archbishop of Cape Town and the Metropolitan of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa; all the Bishops, the Revd Canon Professor Barney Pityana - Rector of the College of the Transfiguration, the Chairperson of Council – Bishop Rubin Philip of Natal, all Council Members, the College Community and the Provincial family for a successful registration of the Bachelor of Theology Degree that will be offered in the near future in our College. May God’s name be praised.
We thank God for the love, commitment and the generosity of our parishes that unceasingly support the continuation of the ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ in the Diocese. We want to encourage even those who pull hard in their hearts to support the work of God in Christ. May God bless you abundantly! Nangamso! We will continue doing this until Jesus returns.
Assessment received January- October
Take courage to pay your arrears and the current before we close our offices on the 20th December 2013.
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