Newsletter of the Diocese of Grahamstown
Christmas 2012. Vol. 35 No 6
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the ordination of the first women priests in the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, Grahamstown Cathedral hosted a special service on Sunday, 7 October, at which the preacher was one of those first women to be ordained, the Reverend Canon Nancy Charton.
The service was led by the Reverend Claire Nye Hunter, with the participation of the Bishop of Grahamstown, Ebenezer Ntlali. The Cathedral congregation was joined by women clergy from around the Diocese of Grahamstown, as well as friends of Nancy Charton from other dioceses and denominations. In her address, Canon Charton outlined the long road she travelled to the fulfilment of her vocation to be a priest, and gave thanks for the many people who had encouraged her. She recalled the historic Provincial Synod held in Swaziland in 1992, presided over by the then Archbishop, Desmond Tutu, at which the proposer of the motion to ordain women priests, Dean Colin Jones of Cape Town, reminded those present that they were there “to seek God’s will”. After the motion had been passed with a 79.2% majority, it was Grahamstown Diocese which was ready first to ordain women, and on 5 September 1992 Nancy Charton was ordained priest by Bishop David Russell, together with Su Groves and the late Bride Dickson.
Drawing on this experience, Canon Charton challenged her hearers “if we are working for the Kingdom we must always be open to new insights”. Although people can quote the Bible to support their point of view, and as she said even the Devil quoted Scripture, “we can quote, and quote, and quote - but we really need to pray, and pray, and pray!” She mentioned new challenges facing the church today: around sexuality and sexual orientation, climate change, and economic justice. She ended with a word of encouragement, reminding the congregation that the battle against apartheid was won not with politics, but with prayer. And according to her definition, praying involves “doing”.
Canon Nancy Charton and Bishop Ebenezer after the service of thanksgiving in the Cathedral.
· Canon Nancy Charton was born in 1920 and lives in Graaff-Reinet, where she is currently in charge of a parish where the newly-appointed priest died suddenly.
· At present out of the 98 priests in the Grahamstown Diocese, 23 are women.
A historic day: Nancy Charton seen outside St Bartholomew’s Grahamstown after the first service at which she celebrated Holy Communion, Sunday 6 September 1992.
When Anglicans ACT, things happen
25 November 2012 was observed throughout the Anglican Church of Southern Africa (ACSA) as a celebration of the Vision and Mission Statement of our Church.
The Anglican community in Southern Africa seeks to be
· Anchored in the love of Christ
· Committed to God’s mission
· Transformed by the Holy Spirit.
Across the diverse countries and cultures of our region, we seek
· To honour God in worship that feeds and empowers us for faithful witness and service
· To embody and proclaim the message of God’s redemptive hope and healing for people and creation
· To grow communities of faith that form, inform, and transform those who follow Christ.
Margaret Vertue (left), a Cape Town priest who trained in Grahamstown at St Paul’s College, has been elected to be the next Bishop of False Bay Diocese, and will be consecrated in the new year. She will join Ellinah Wamukoya (right), Bishop of Swaziland, who was consecrated on 17 November.
In November the General Synod of the Church of England narrowly failed to obtain the necessary two-thirds majority in the House of Laity to give the go-ahead for consecrating women bishops. The motion received a two-thirds majority in the houses of Bishops and Clergy.
Advent, Christmas and Epiphany
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ
As a diocese we are grateful to God for his mercies which keep unfolding even when we are in the midst of pain, bereavement, floods and unemployment- the list is endless.
In the time of pain and loss of direction, the children of Israel were promised a Saviour; “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light...For you have broken the yoke that burdened them...For a child has been born to us, a son is given to us; he will bear the symbol of dominion on his shoulder, and his title will be: Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace....” (Isaiah 9:2-7).
The liturgical season of Advent re-lives the time of waiting for the birth of a Saviour and as we move on the Scriptures become very handy in assisting us on the way. John the Baptist used the time of waiting to advise his listeners to repent because the Kingdom of heaven was close (Matthew 3:1-3).
It is a period of re-examining oneself and putting right what is amiss. As people united with Christ through baptism, we need to individually look into ourselves and utilise this season to deal with our shortcomings which might have created a rift between us and God and one another. John the Baptist’s message must be lived on a daily basis so that at the memorial of Christ’s birth, we readily go to meet and rejoice with Mary, Joseph and the angels.
Advent warms us up to the celebration of Jesus’ birth. Whereas John the Baptist invites us to repent, Jesus ushers us into God’s presence and the forgiveness of sin; “She will bear a son; and you shall give him the name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). This is a time of looking forward to the forgiveness of sins; it is a time of hope for the best because sin stops us from being what God intended us to be.
Christmas is an experience of mankind with God. God comes to be with us (incarnation); “A virgin will conceive and bear a son, and he shall be called Emmanuel, a name which means ‘God is with us’” (Matthew 1:23). Christmas is indeed a day of celebrating God’s company with us. It is a day of the highest humility when a celebrity seeks company with a pauper! What a challenge and a privilege to the baptized! Zacchaeus was overwhelmed at Jesus’ self-invitation to his home (Luke 19:1-10).The Christmas message is about God’s visit to each of us. Zacchaeus cleared his life of all that was unworthy; what about you?
The Christmas season culminates in the celebration of Jesus’ revelation to the world; Epiphany. It is the period during which the world came to learn and appreciate the birth of the King of kings and Lord of lords.
We commend you to the grace of God, especially those who have written exams. The Ntlali family and diocesan staff wish you a joyous Christmas and a happy New Year! Thank you very much for all your support and prayers for 2012.
Grace and Peace
By Queen Laxa
The Permanent Deacons gathered at St John and St Chad’s Church, Zwelitsha, on 24 September to celebrate their second year of ordination, and to give thanks to the Almighty for being with them. The intention to visit King William’s Town was to rotate meetings, sharing thus strengthening fellowship amongst them. Archdeacon Doda gave a warm welcome, starting the day with a Eucharist service. He reminded them that a deacon is always a servant to proclaim the Good News, showing Jesus to people.
The second session after lunch in place of a Bible study were words of encouragement “Sharing the journey together.” In his words Archdeacon said, there are three tools for survival; the soul, mind and body. To nurture the soul start a day with prayer, make time to meditate. The soul is like an engine. It must learn to let go frustration. The soul is the master control of perception. Humanly we must learn to programme our minds and face reality. The body, ensure you meet its needs. As deacons “you are the light: therefore shine!” he said. The Archdeacon also encouraged the Deacons to be like Moses with his rod. When Moses held it up in his arms he won battles. Deacons need to develop a positive mind for a positive attitude. Thanks were expressed to Archdeacon Doda, the churchwardens and the Parish Council for accommodating the meeting.
The passing on of Archdeacon Mzikazi Mfenyana deputy chaplain of the Order of St Stephen, and the Revd T Mzamo chairperson left the Permanent Deacons with gradually healing scars. They will always be remembered for their dedication. Archdeacon Mfenyana (known as “Bhelekazi”) once said “We are a valley of dry bones, because of our foundations. We can be nothing without Christ.”
By Ayanda Mfenyana
On the 21 October 2012, St Katherine Parish hosted a joyous celebration to receive Rev Canon B T M Mfenyana and his family. The day started with a Eucharist. Archdeacon M Doda was the preacher and celebrant. His inspirational message was from Matthew 20:29-34. All Parishes in the Archdeaconry were present and also Parishes from other Archdeaconries. St Philip’s, under Rev C Mduzana, was also amongst Parishes present, where his late sister Archdeacon Mzikazi Mfenyana was Rector. In his reply speech Canon B T M Mfenyana thanked everybody and especially St Katherine’s Parish which had organised this memorable event.
By Sinethemba Gayiza
East London West Archdeaconry Youth Guild inducted 16 new members to the Diocesan Youth Guild, at the Parish of Saint Gregory in Mdantsane, on Sunday the 14th of October 2012.
The event coincided with International Clergy Prayer day, an initiative of the Mothers’ Union to gather and unite prayer for the Clergy and their families. Nomhle Ntshingwa, the wife of Canon Lulama Ntshingwa, spoke at length about the importance of the Clergy’s well-being. She encouraged the youth to steer their ship in the direction that will nurture and equip spirits, mentality, and the evangelist within them. This was said because the future of the Anglican community resides with young members.
Guest preacher and fellow youth member, Andile Mntumni, called upon the youth to examine the reasons that led to them join the Guild. He acknowledged that “some of us are part of this Guild because our friends are, or because we love this navy and white uniform. Well, today I call upon you to bury that soul and be a born-again youth, one that now loves, believes and has faith in Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour.”
The Guild looks forward to its upcoming biannual outing in December. There they aim to revive and rejuvenate their spirits, and to forge a better working and sharing relationship amongst the Archdeaconries.
Praying for and with the Clergy: 16 newly inducted youth members of the East London West Archdeaconry Youth Guild, along with Chairperson Lindela Mthamzeli, surround the Rector of St Gregory’s, Ntshukumo Zantsi, the Revd Mbulelo Ngqoza, and the Revd Frank Mbatha.
In line with one of MU objectives, the MU executive at St Pauls under Mrs Myoli, visited and invited a destitute family to enjoy the church service with them. They presented them with blankets, clothes and food. The family was moved by this gesture.
Inkonzo ngoncediso loomama olwabanogalelo kakhulu ekwambeseni olusapho ngeengubo, iimpahla zokunxiba, ukutya, imifuno kunye neziqhamo.Wabonakala umzalikazi lowo engenakuzinqanda iinyembezi kukubona izipho ezingako.
Anglicans in parishes ACT to show love to their neighbours:
By Kholiwe Mkiva
St Bartholomew’s parish celebrated Christmas for the elderly people on 11 November 2012. The church members appreciated the elderly by presenting them with warm shawls, sweets and handkerchiefs. In the picture we see Ms Mkiva handing over presents to the elderly.
Thanks were expressed to the parish council and the Rector for their leadership.
By Zukisa Mabuya
The Gawuza Family in Enkqonkqweni, Nxarhuni, suffered a great loss when their home burnt down on 3 June 2012, taking the life of their son and his partner. In the fire all the family’s belongings were destroyed and lost. Surviving from the fire is the elderly mother of the deceased, Nowinile Gwavuza, and two of her grandchildren who are staying with her (a teenage girl and a young boy).
The Parish of St Luke, Nxarhuni, with encouragement from the Rector, the Revd Vuyani Edmund Mnqathu, started to mobilise congregants to try and help the Gawuza Family by donating building materials, foodstuffs, groceries, plates, spoons, pots, dinner sets, clothing, financial assistance, furniture, etc. With a positive attitude the parish (including the two outstations, St Paul’s Kwetyana and St Mark’s Mzonkeshe) started collecting these items.
On Sunday, 5 August 2012, the parish visited the home to reassure them about God’s love. The speaker of the day uMama Yoliswa Ntame (MU member) reminded us that Jesus has no legs, arms, ears – but ours. Also reflecting on Luke 10 vs. 33(b), the story of the Good Samaritan.
The family was overcome with joy and excitement when they were presented with the gifts from the “Good Samaritans”. The two grandchildren worship at St Mark’s Mzonkeshe. Ncumisa, the teenage girl, is a member of the St Agnes Guild.
There is still a lot to be done. The family still has to rebuild the family home. Donations for building materials, furniture are still needed.
Plans are underway with the local councillor, Mr Mawethu Marata to try and rebuild the family home.
On behalf of the family, the Revd Ntsikelelo Makhambi thanked everyone who had lent a hand to assist the family. Nangamso!
From the Department of Spirituality:
By Thami Mhlana
Thou awakest us to delight in Thy praises; for Thou madest us for Thyself, and our heart is restless, until it rests in Thee. St Augustine of Hippo.
Is it not wonderful that God is forever breathing His breath into us? Our God is not someone who wound up the clockwork of the universe and then left it all to its own devices, now and again having to intervene to wind it up again when it was run down. No , God created and continues to create, to uphold everything in existence. God, in the second story of creation, made Adam out of dust and animated him by blowing His own breath into his nostrils. God does that from moment to every single moment of our lives. Julian of Norwich saw in a vision all that God created nestling in the palm of God’s hand, and it was the size of a hazelnut and it was maintained in existence by that same love that brought it into being. That is how intimate our relationship with God is, whether we acknowledge it or not.
We are always in the presence of God. Prayer acknowledges this, and so we place ourselves in that presence every morning, committing all we are and all we shall do that day into God’s hands and in utter reliance on Him, praying for safety and security and a blessing on what we shall undertake, seeking to discover God’s will for us and the grace to perform it. We thank God for the night’s rest and for protection in the dark hours when evil is about, and when night falls we thank God for all that has been and commend ourselves into His safekeeping. Is it not wonderful how God loves us, asking nothing in return except the gift of loving hearts?
All that He is and all that He has, He gives;
All that we are, and all that we have, He asks!
By Gwen Mvula
St Augustine’s Grahamstown celebrated its Patronal on Sunday 14 October in a different, educational and informative way.
During the preceding week from Monday the congregants listened to lectures on their patron saint, Augustine of Hippo, prepared by people from different organisations in the church, e.g MU, Bernard Mizeki Guild, AWF, Youth etc. On the Saturday the parish enjoyed a Family Day, sharing the talents from the youngest to the priests of the parish.
St Augustine’s Day started with a procession (see above) led by drum majorettes and the different Church guilds with their banners. The Churchwardens led praise and worship around the community, inviting people to join in.
By Ntshukumo Zantsi
A colourful event took place on 21 October 2012, when St Gregory’s Anglican Church, Mdantsane gathered to pray for the Grade 12’s around the area. The occasion was graced by the Parish’s Graduates, M Makuphula, Deputy MEC for Education, the Guest Speaker, Mrs N Nontshokweni and the Parishioners.
Cllr N Mgezi was supposed to represent the Executive Mayor, Z Ncitha, but could unfortunately not come. Mrs Mpondo from Vulamazibuko Senior Secondary School gave a warm and moving message of support on behalf of the Educators, while the Hon MEC Makuphula represented the Department of Education. MEC Makuphula encouraged the learners to utilize the time they have effectively, in reading their books, so that their future could be bright.
The Guest Speaker, Mrs Nombeko Nontshokweni, emphasized that, “Learners should be determined and be thirsty for Education regardless of their background.” She made an example of herself, a young woman from Willowvale who would travel 4 km to school and 4 km back, and she is today busy with her PhD.
Permanent Deacon Frank Mbatha offered prayers for the Grade 12 learners, the Department of Education and the Province. The Revd M Ngqoza lit a candle, as a sign that Education is the key to a bright future, and the service was closed by the Rector of the Parish, the Revd Ntshukumo Zantsi, with the Blessing.
From the Department of Education, Training and Ministerial Formation
By Abiaaza Kibirige
Whereas baptism unites the believers to Christ (“...we are united with Christ in his death; ...granted the forgiveness of sins;... made members of his Body and raised with him to new life in the Spirit”), Eucharist “strengthens our union with Christ and one another” (APB pg 380 #38; pg 440 #118). Our relationship with Christ, which begins at baptism, is sustained by the Eucharist.
The word Eucharist comes from Greek by way of Latin and means “thanksgiving”. The Holy Eucharist, also known as the Lord’s Supper and Holy Communion was instituted by Jesus Christ and each celebration is a fulfilment of our Lord’s command; “do this in memory of me” (1 Corinthians 11:23-25; TEV). It demonstrates Christ’s presence among us, (APB pg 101). We encounter him at the altar when he “takes us and blesses us; he breaks us in renewed surrender and gives us as food for others” (APB pg 101). Please, read Ezekiel Chapter 34 and put yourself in the position of the shepherd; are you food for others and if not, what are you planning to do about it before the next Eucharist?
The Eucharist transforms our impoverished nature into the richness of Christ’s life who said; “unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood you can have no life in you” (John 6:53, REB). Jesus’ incorporation into the believer by his body and blood through faith gives purpose to one’s life. The communicant appreciates a life of sacrifice without which we would be engulfed in the poverty of greed and selfishness. St Paul’s experience; “I have been put to death with Christ: it is no longer I who lives, but it is Christ who lives in me” (Galatians 2:19-20; TEV), depicts a life that had ceased to be, but only Christ. Paul challenges and invites us to become Christ-like.
Becoming Christ-like needs renewal of oneself which Daniel Goleman would attribute to a stable life. In his book “Emotional Intelligence” states that such a character “can be achieved by having the ability of being able to motivate oneself, persist in the face of frustrations, control impulse and delay gratification, regulate one’s moods and keep distress from swamping the ability to think, to empathise and to hope”. Self-examination and repentance therefore, are essential before one welcomes Christ within oneself. Eucharist is thus a sacrament that calls us back to a time before our fall and encourages us to continue in the presence of God.
Jesus Christ gave himself to the disciples in the form of bread and wine; body and blood. Bread and wine are wonderful teaching aids in that wheat flour is extracted from crushed wheat seeds, and wine is made by crushing the grapes. This implies that without having our egos, self-styled importance, ethnicity and nepotism; the list is endless; we cannot be true representatives of Christ whom we confess as Lord. Our unity with Christ and one another, which is sustained by the Eucharist, demands a total change of attitude towards life in its totality.
By Ayanda Mfenyana
Every year the Mothers’ Union (MU) organises a special day where Priests and their families are the honoured guests. The main purpose is to acknowledge all the good work that they are doing for their congregants. St John and St Chad’s as the seat of King William’s Town East Archdeaconry hosted this occasion.
The MU Archdeaconry executive invited Bishop Ebenezer Ntlali (who was also conducting a Confirmation on that occasion) to be the guest speaker.
He touched on the following:
Priests should let Jesus guide their ministry.
Start each day with a prayer so that a priest’s work is informed by prayer.
The importance of having a healthy relationship with congregants in order for God's work to continue.
Good relationships with church leaders and shared leadership are important.
Equip your team to adopt Jesus' mind.
Priests should always please God, then family.
Respect is not forced but earned.
The Bishop mentioned the important work done by spouses: that of prayer, support and love to their partners. He urged partners to understand and support the work done by their partners and not to compete with their work.
In his closing remarks, the Bishop thanked all the Priests for work well done, and urged them to give glory to Jesus at all times and never to claim as your own what Jesus does through you. He left the Archdeaconry with these profound questions: “What is your story about Jesus? What is God doing through you?”
This Archdeaconry is blessed to have the MU president, Mrs N Mhlwatika, as one of the congregants. She thanked the Bishop for the wonderful message. She quoted a passage from a book by John Maxwell, “Be happy when God answers your prayer but be more thankful when he uses you as an answer to somebody else's prayer”.
Tokens of appreciation: The presiding member, Mrs Anna Mangaliso, together with her executive, gave gifts to all priests and their families.
By Bill Gould
This remarkable book, albeit thinly disguised as an interaction with South Africa’s younger generation, is a seminal work in the awakening of the general population to those enormous challenges that remain in transitioning this country from its previous dispensation to one in which all its citizens have and can share equal opportunity in an open society.
It is as significant today in awakening our senses to a proper way forward - the awakening of ‘Citizen Consciousness’ - as the call to ‘Black Consciousness’ was in the 1970s; and it comes from the same intellectually giant stable.
Ramphele is impressive in both the depth of her understanding of the intricacies and nuances of the South African body politic and the breadth of her global perspective as she unpacks her case with instances and insights from a wealth and myriad of examples.
From p. 1, with its premise “Mabu a u tswitswe!’ (the soil has been stolen), Ramphele stresses that things are not right in this country. Throughout, her in-depth analysis of the incompetence and corruption that ails many portfolios, especially health and education, makes it very clear that ‘the question that demands an answer is why the electorate continues to tolerate this level of impunity by the ruling party’ (p 128).
Ramphele clearly identifies as a proper way forward the responsibility of citizens to hold their public representatives accountable for their performance by their assuming their role as citizens rather than as subjects. The challenge is thus for civil society to function fully as the custodians and guardians of the very freedoms for which so many fought for so long.
Her solution, of people walking together rather than, as has been happening, walking behind or apart, requires a transformation of mindset similar to that promoted in Black Consciousness; of taking ownership of, and responsibility for, the way in which we perceive ourselves and live our lives. Thus, individuals become self-actualised and the social and economic fabric of the country restored to health.
Ramphele’s style is economical yet powerful. While not light reading, her book abundantly repays the concentration needed to extract the rich thoughts conveyed on every pag
A provocative writer, Ramphele is hardly one to ‘have a deep sense of fear of the repercussions of open engagement with the critical issues that are impacting on the quality of our democracy’ (p 17). So, while she quotes such visionary leaders as Nelson Mandela and Aung San Suu Kyi, it is entirely possible to see future generations quoting Ramphele in the same breath – simply because she shows that courage and vision of selfless leadership needed for the betterment and improvement of the socio-economic and political life of her fellow citizens and her country.
Umbuliso greets those to be ordained Priest in the Cathedral on Saturday 15 December: Wezo Bloko of St Augustine Grahamstown, who has been appointed the Bishop’s driver; Reggie Makandula and Dumile Monakali of St Clement Grahamstown; Nkwenkhwezi Mboniswa of St Saviour East London; Tsepo Moletsane and David Ngqame of Holy Cross Mdantsane; and Siyabonga Ndyoki of St James Peddie. The eighth ordinand, Temba Skweyiya of Holy Cross Mdantsane, is to be licensed as Priest-in-Charge of Zozo and Gwaba. Please pray for them as they enter this new phase in their ministry.
Canon Simphiwe Magxwalisa is moving in January from Holy Trinity Dimbaza to be Rector of St Andrew Mdantsane. Retired priest Philip Dixie has moved from Grahamstown to Port Alfred.
Welcome back to former clergy of the Diocese, now retired: Gordon Johnson has settled in Gonubie after retiring from Barkly East in the Diocese of Khahlamba. He is an Honorary Canon of St Michael’s Cathedral Queenstown. Honorary Canon of this Diocese, Christopher Cook, is back in Cintsa, after spending some time in the Diocese of Natal.
Farewells: Abiaaza Kibirige, the Canon Theologian, is moving to the Diocese of Zululand in the New Year. Canon George van der Merwe, Rector of St Clement’s Grahamstown, is retiring to Johannesburg. Andy Kruger, who was assisting at the Cathedral while furthering his studies, has returned to his home diocese of Natal.
Please pray for these priests and their families.
Death of Honorary Canon
Johannes Hardnick, an Honorary Canon of Grahamstown Cathedral, died in Port Elizabeth on 12 October.
Johannes Hardnick was Rector of St David’s Queenstown and St Cuthbert’s Molteno from 2001-9, while Queenstown was still part of the Diocese of Grahamstown, and served on Chapter as a Canon from 2005. He took early retirement on health grounds some months before the inauguration of the Diocese of Ukhahlamba, and was made an Honorary Canon of Grahamstown on his retirement to Port Elizabeth.
Our prayers are asked for his wife Kathy and the family.
Please pray for the following clergy who have recently been bereaved: Bishop Ebenezer Ntlali on the death of his brother Michael; DSG Chaplain Linda Schwartz, whose mother has died; retired priest Chris Dano on the death of his nephew Sizwesimi Mfama, and Fanele Simanga on the death of his son Mawonga. Leon Foster, uncle of Noelene Arends, Rector of All Saints East London, also died recently. He was formerly Dean of Port Elizabeth.
Next Archbishop of Canterbury named
The Right Revd Justin Welby, 56-year-old Bishop of Durham in the UK, is to be the next Archbishop of Canterbury. This means he will be “first among equals” among the Primates (Archbishops) of the Anglican Communion.
Service focussed on AIDS and child abuse
By Kholiwe Mkiva
On 11 November 2012 the Mothers Union of St Bartholomew’s parish in Alice held a service with a combined focus on HIV/AIDS, and child abuse. This was led by the rector of the parish. Several speakers were invited to share their experiences, among them Pastor Kwezi Sondiyazi and his wife.
For the Bishop's engagements, see the 2013 Year Planner.
Umbuliso is published by the Diocese of Grahamstown, and edited by Maggy Clarke.Dead-line for next issue: 20 January 2013
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