Diocese of Grahamstown

Umbuliso/ The Greeting

Newsletter of the Diocese of Grahamstown

Lent 2013. Vol. 36 No 31

Lent Appeal 2013 for Training for Ministries:

"Good Priests are like jewels"

By Bill Domeris, Training for Ministries

I wonder if you ever reflect on the great privilege we have of enjoying well-trained priests and deacons. Good priests are like jewels – they should be treasured, but like jewels, they do not come cheaply. Each year the Diocese spends hundreds of thousands of Rands making sure that you and I are well-cared for spiritually and sacramentally, now and in the future.

In 2013, we are looking at three areas (priorities), which we believe will make a difference in the Diocese.

· The development of a written course for the Fellowship of Vocation. For many years, potential priests and deacons have attended a group called the Fellowship of Vocation, to enable them to test their calling (vocation) and to prepare to study for ordination. We need a written programme (workbook) which will assist and challenge these folk in their search for God’s will for their lives.

· The development of a proper two-year course for the Permanent Diaconate. At the present time, the teaching has been informal and largely unstructured. This will greatly increase our ability to train these valuable ordinands who offer their lives to God’s service.

· Assisting in the funding of full-time and part-time ordinands training at the College of the Transfiguration (COTT) and through Theological Education by Extension (TEEC). While I was the Rector of COTT, I was often touched to see rural people giving so sacrificially for the training of priests and deacons. Some who read this letter might know first-hand the challenges of such poverty, but others can afford to give generously to this need. How about creating a bursary fund in your Parish? The cost of one student is about R45,000 per annum, just for fees and accommodation at COTT. For TEEC (a correspondence course), the cost is about R10,000 per annum.

I believe God is waiting to work mightily in our Diocese, but He is looking for people who take discipleship seriously and who are prepared to give sacrificially.

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East London South Archdeacon,

Sub-Dean installed


Archdeacons in the family: Lorraine Rusch at her installation as Archdeacon of East London South.

In what might be a first for the ACSA, the Diocese of Grahamstown now has two Archdeacons who are married to each other. Lorraine Rusch, the Rector of St Peter West Bank, was licensed and installed as Archdeacon of East London South during the Ordination service on 15 December 2012. Lorraine’s husband James, Rector of St Mary and St Andrew Kidd’s Beach, is also Archdeacon of Kidd’s Beach.

Mzinzisi Dyantyi Cathedral Sub-Dean

At the same service Mzinzisi Dyantyi (seen right with Dean Andrew Hunter), was installed as Sub-Dean of the Cathedral. He has been serving as Assistant Priest at the Cathedral for the past two years.

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December Ordination

On 15 December 2012, Ebenezer Ntlali, Bishop of Grahamstown, ordained eight Priests in the Cathedral. He is seen here with them (left to right): Dumile Monakali (St Clement Grahamstown), Siyabonga Ndyoki (St James Peddie), David Ngqame (Holy Cross Mdantsane),  Temba Skweyiya (Holy Cross Mdantsane licensed as Priest-in-Charge of Zozo and Gwaba),  Tsepo Moletsane (Holy Cross Mdantsane), Nkwenkhwezi Mboniswa (St Saviour East London), Reggie Makandula (St Clement Grahamstown), and Wezo Bloko (St Augustine Grahamstown). For more pictures, click here.

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Employment opportunity offered:

Finance Officer

Diocese of Grahamstown (Anglican Church of Southern Africa)

The Diocese seeks to appoint a Finance Officer who will serve as an assistant to the Financial Manager. In that capacity s/he will be responsible for payment of accounts, collecting information regarding all monies received by the Diocese, processing payments and receipts to the General Ledger, doing bank reconciliations for all accounts  and assisting the Financial Manager in preparing Financial reports for Diocesan Boards. For details click here.

The closing date for applications is 14 February 2013 at 12h00. 

No late applications will be considered.

Bishop Ebenezer writes...

Lent: a time to follow Jesus

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ

Lent is a time when all of us follow Jesus of Nazareth as our role model, who during his earthly ministry fasted for 40 days. As God’s people in the Diocese of Grahamstown, let us use this sacred space as a time of spiritual discipline.

You will remember that I visited all the archdeaconries and parishes of the Diocese in 2012 with a single message – “What does it mean to be a Christian Disciple?” What resonates with me with this question is that it reminds us of our relationship with God, which we received through our faith in Jesus at our baptism, and which is continued in Confirmation. It reminds us that our relationship with God needs to be deeper, and characterized by repentance, renunciation and total surrender to Christ. Through our faith in the Lord we experience the status of being sons and daughters of God. We then begin a life of daily prayer, reading of Scripture which informs our daily work. As we reflect on this we start to realise the love of God, eternal peace and eternal joy! These will transform us to be happy and content Christians in our daily lives.

St Paul in Colossians 2: 6-7, encourages us when he says, “As you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness”. In Colossians 3:1-4 he says, “Since then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your hearts on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is in your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory”. When Peter confessed who Christ is, Jesus said to him: “These things are not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven” (Matt 16:13-19). This shows that we need to grow spiritually in order to receive spiritual eyes, and the understanding of God’s things. Lent is one of the opportune times to grow in the Spirit.

Let us also bring our Church before God in prayer, give thanks to God for our strengths, and pray that He deals with our weaknesses. We thank God for the improvement in the Diocese and continue to pray for His grace for continued improvement. Let us also bring our country before God, especially the wide scale of social depravities that plague it, from rape to the illegal poaching of wildlife. On the other hand, let us not forget that this is our beautiful country, and we thank God for all the good initiatives taken to help all.

In our daily lives we have to grapple with how we can live as the children of God in this materialistic world. We pray that our fast in this Lent may assist all of us to see the face of God and have a joyous Easter.

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World AIDS Day in the Parishes


World AIDS Day was observed at St Andrew’s Mdantsane with a Candle-light Vigil. Each year at this time the AWF invites Siyayinqoba (“Beat it”) to help create awareness on HIV/Aids related issues.


At St Augustine’s Grahamstown World AIDS Day, 1 December, was celebrated with a Junior Church Day. They shared jokes, play, a treasure hunt, stories and a jumping castle. Each child received lunch and a party pack. The orphans and vulnerable children under the care of the parish HIV/ AIDS project, Sinikithemba, were each given a Christmas present of a food parcel by the Junior Church. Special thanks are due to Ackermans and the staff of the local branch of Foschini for their kind donations.

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Anglicans Ablaze Renewal Conference:

“A Generation Rising Up”

By Mark Spyker: Diocesan Co-ordinator, Growing the Church

Several people from our Diocese attended the Anglicans Ablaze Renewal Conference in Johannesburg from 3-6 October 2012, including the Bishop, the Dean, several Archdeacons and Clergy, and many parishioners from different parishes. The Conference proved to be a great success and has been billed as the best attended gathering of Anglicans in the history of the Anglican Church in South Africa (there were up to 1500 people attending some of the plenary sessions)! Bishop Martin Breytenbach, the ACSA liaison Bishop for Growing the Church, described the “Anglicans Ablaze” Conference as “extraordinary for a number of reasons”.

There was a wonderful mix of cultures, male and female, languages, ages (36% under 35), churchmanship, from at least 19 countries. What a joy to see the diversity of our Church in full display, and yet bound together harmoniously in one Body.

The worship was awesome, leading people into the holy and healing presence of God. Nearly 1000 people indicated that they had experienced healing from God. The diversity mentioned above was again evident, with the Christchurch Kenilworth worship group leading us on the one hand with guitars, keyboards, drums, and cellos, while on the other hand Iviyo, the Zululand Diocese, and the combined ACSA youth choir led us with their powerful voices and rhythm.

The speakers were exceptional. Michael Harvey was very funny as he talked to us about the simplest method of evangelism, each member inviting at least one other person to church, in “Back to Church Sunday”; Alison Morgan, the author of the Rooted in Jesus Course, spoke about the importance of discipling people into faith; “Fresh Expressions” and “Soul Survivor” chairman, Bishop Graham Cray, spoke passionately about using creative new forms of evangelism to reach out to those who would normally never attend a church service. Mrs Grace Samson-Song from Nigeria, on the Regional Leadership Team of YWAM Southern Africa, and Africa Coordinator for Call2all, spoke about “A Generation Rising Up”; and there were many more who inspired and challenged us.

Archbishop Thabo was there with another 12 of our ACSA Bishops, sending a message that "It is OK for Anglicans to love and worship God like this" - with joy and passion - without throwing away our wonderful heritage.

It was the largest, most diverse group of Anglicans in living memory to meet in conference like this in Southern Africa.

It has redefined what life, mission and ministry in the Holy Spirit is all about - combining Holy Spirit power with God's love and justice.

Bishop Ebenezer has asked those who attended the conference to meet early this year, to seek ways to implement many of the challenges posed by the Conference, and bring new life and growth to our Diocese.

Ablaze! Some of the crowd of up to 1500 Anglicans who gathered in Johannesburg for the Conference.

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St Luke’s Nxarhuni hosts glitzy Gala Dinner

By Bulelwa Jela

On a somewhat wet and cold evening in October, guests converged on Braelyn Hall to raise funds for the “not so new” St Luke’s Parish, which is situated in Newlands, about five km from Mdantsane. The event was aimed at getting more people contributing towards the re-building/ re-establishment of the old Mission, by expanding “Friends of St Luke’s” which was established in the missionary era, in an attempt to making it live again.

Welcoming the guests, in his address the Parish Rector, Vuyani Mnqathu, explained how the church could be made vibrant again and requested communities and other parishioners to contribute, as the parish needs a big injection of funds and donations. In order to breathe more life into the mother church, he invited other church members to  send their contributions as a follow-up on the donations requested, even after the event.

The Mayor of the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality was represented by Councillor Nomikiza Mgezi, who welcomed everyone to the city. She mentioned contributions to be made by the City towards the revival of St Luke’s:

These were to be laid out on the St Luke’s Parish grounds. In order to curb unemployment in the area, between the years 2011-2016 the Integrated Development programme would be extended, so that more families benefit from the employment opportunities that will be available.

In introducing the guest speaker, Canon Professor Barney Nyameko Pityana, who is not a new-comer to the St Luke’s grounds, Dr Marina Nolwandle Xaba-Mokoena sang praises to the Rector of Grahamstown College of the Transfiguration and former Vice-Chancellor of UNISA, for having contributed in many spheres of higher education. She mentioned Professor Pityana’s achievements in the fields of Human Rights, Theology and Law. Having been an activist alongside the late Steve Biko in earlier years, he was awarded an Order of the Baobab GCOB in 2006.

In his address, Prof Pityana gave a brief history of missionaries, mentioning Professor Jabavu as having been always invited to most events. He stressed the importance of education, and that the youth should get educated as a priority above everything else.

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St Luke’s generosity to fire victims continues

In the previous issue of Umbuliso Zukisa Mabuya reported that the congregations of St Luke’s Nxarhuni and outstations rallied round to support the Gawuza family, whose home and possessions were destroyed in a tragic fire last year.

MU members visited in August with gifts of food, crockery etc to put in the structure erected by the Buffalo City Municipality.

Yolisa Ntame speaking at the hand-over of gifts from the parishioners to the Gawuza family.

The congregation is still hoping to help rebuild the original family home. All those able to assist the family with building materials, can contact Mr Dumani Mboni at 072 214 5899, or noelm@buffalocity.gov.za.

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Academic inspiration

At a special service at St Philip’s Grahamstown in October, graduates of all ages came to join the congregation in praying for those about to write Matric.

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In the Lord's service 

Young servers from St Philip’s Grahamstown (above) and (below) from St Augustine’s Grahamstown, the parish Servers’ Guild Executive.


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From the Department of Spirituality

Check up on yourself in Lent

By  Margaret Fourie

The Scots poet Robbie Burns once wrote (I’ll translate it out of Scots into normal English!)

“I wish some spirit would give us the gift
to see ourselves as others see us”

I know, and you know, that God has “fearfully and wonderfully” made us – that we are infinitely precious and valuable.  In our rebirth in Christ, we have put on the holiness of Jesus like a garment.  We are, according to St Paul, transformed, made a new person.  The old habits of sinfulness have gone, and in their place is the light and love of the indwelling Spirit.

We know all that.

Tell me, then, why it is that in any one of our congregations we meet the inner core of the parish and may find nastiness, judgmentalism, ambition, selfishness, dishonesty, drunkenness, immorality and all the rest there?

I remember at a previous parish, some years ago, how after the service, if one went into the kitchen, the ladies preparing tea were often screeching the most foul language at each other.  I wonder if they were aware of what they looked like and sounded like from the outside.  We are often so sure that we are in the right that we are completely unaware of how much of our sin is showing to those round us.  Many of us think we have secret sins, but you know, very few sins are secret.

Lent is the time when we allow God to alert us to the ways in which we have taken the beautiful and precious person he made and called, and stained ourselves with all kinds of compromise and filth.

Use this Lent to check up on yourself.  Spend some time with Ephesians 4:17-32, and Galatians 5:16-25.  Take it one bit at a time.  You know your own self.

Then make an appointment for Confession, whoever you are, and receive the cleansing and healing our Lord so longs to give us.

Easter will then be for you personally a true resurrection experience!

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Charles Lagan retires memorably

by Bill Gould

“Get lost”, enjoined the Revd Charles Lagan to his congregation as he preached on the occasion of the last time on which he celebrated Holy Eucharist as Rector of Holy Trinity, King William’s Town on Sunday, 30 December 2012.

“If you want to be found, get lost”, he continued in explanation. He was unpacking the Gospel in Luke 2 when Jesus, as a boy of twelve, was found in the temple, having found His purpose and going about His Father’s business. “We too can all find ourselves in the Lord if only we would surrender to our true purpose and then pursue its fulfilment”, he concluded.

Charles now enters retirement, continuing to live in King William’s Town. A devout Christian man, his contribution over many years will continue to be remembered as he blessed Holy Trinity with those considerable gifts he faithfully shared during his tenure. We wish Charles, together with his wife Sheila, all of the best in a long, happy and healthy retirement.


Farewell: Canon Pat Ncaca (left) with Charles Lagan after his final service at Holy Trinity, King William’s Town.

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Nokulunga Smaile

Nokulunga Smaile, one of the youngest priests of the Diocese, sadly died of cancer on 27 December 2012. Ordained priest in 2010, she served at St John and St Chad Zwelitsha until the time of her death. A highlight of her short ministry was a visit to the UK last year, when she had the opportunity to meet the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams.

UNokulunga Queenerine Smaile uzalwe ngomhla 07 April 1975, ezalelwa apha eRhini. Uzalwa nguMongezi Daniel Smaile uMsukwini ongasekhoyo noLandelwa Nophumzile Smaile intombi yaseMagqwashini ungumntwana wokuqala kubantwana abane.

Amabanga aphantsi uwenzele eVellem nase Archie Mbolekwa waza aphezulu wawenza eNombulelo High School. Waza wagqibezela ibanga leshumi eNzululwazi High. Uqhubele phambili wokwenza izifundo zobutitshala eVista University eBhayi. Emva kwethumba wokufundela ubufundisi eCollege of the Transfiguration, apho waphumelela iDiploma in Theology. Ekuphumeleleni kwakhe uyewabekwa eSt John & St Chad, eZwelitsha eQonce. Ubengomnye wabefundisi kuleDayosisi yaseRhini ofumene inyhweba yokuthunyelwa komkhulu, eCanterbury ngo2012. 

Lenzwakazi ibenesiphiwo sokuthanda i-Prison Ministry. Lonto ibonakalisa ebengumntu othanda abantu abaphantsi kwaye emabathanda abantu abatsha (Youth Ministry).

uMthanjiswa lokaThixo (Ngokomnombo ka-Milkitsedike) ugule ixesha elifutshane. Usutywe kukufa ngomhla we 27 December 2012.

Ushiya ngasemva uMama wakhe, ooMakazi bakhe, abantakwabo ababini uLoyiso noPhathuxolo, noMolokazana uLindelani kunye nabatshana abahlanu.

Lala ngoxolo maMsukwini Dibashe, Lawu-Lentaba, Lubisi, Sandlalangca!

Sohlala sikukhumbula ngelozwi lakho lothando, noloncumo lwakho.

Obituary from the Programme for her Funeral, which took place in the Cathedral.

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Book Review

From Robben Island to Bishopscourt:

The Biography of Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane by Sindiwe Magona

By Bill Gould

Reading this book is analogous to viewing an impressionist portrait. One knows from a photographic image what the subject looks like and wonders how much congruence there is between that and the artist’s perception captured on the canvas.  Is it a good likeness? Is there too much artistic licence in the portrait? Does it truly reflect the subject or more of the artist? These are questions which spring to mind as one reads this biography.

Magona is clearly an author of strong views and with an astute insight into the human condition. This results in this book almost reading as two parallel volumes – the Archbishop’s story and the author’s views. It is certainly not a ghosted autobiography dressed up as a biography. The writing stylistic differences between the subject and author are very apparent from Magona’s majority text and the Archbishop’s concluding Charge. The fortunate blessing is the harmony between the two.

Magona describes and reflects on a person who emerges as quite outstanding, given the rather modest and self-effacing impression which remains when acquainted with the Archbishop. Throughout she reveals and amplifies the signature approach that has marked the Archbishop’s success in whatever new challenge has come his way – that of meticulous planning, consultation and taking proper advice. What is remarkable is the serial formation for his subsequent life stages that each of these experiences has provided, each building on that which has gone before.

As a result, very little reflection is needed to appreciate that here is a remarkable person to have such a story to tell. So many of the seemingly passing episodes in his life would be major or pivotal events in the lives of lesser men. Many could dine out simply on the fact of being on Robben Island, or of having studied overseas, or of heading a theological college, or of being a provincial liaison officer or executive officer, or of being a bishop and archbishop, or of being entrusted to restore historic schools. With these and more in one CV we know that this is someone with a significant story.

Magona writes in a fluid style with that ability to have the reader always want to read just that little bit more before breaking for dinner or sleep. The anecdotal episodes are related in a simple direct style while the reflections on these and their implications reveal an intense admiration and sympathy for her subject.

After reading the book, one certainly feels as though one has an eventful insight into the life and times of the Archbishop, one about which any subject should be able to sleep comfortably. One wonders if the Archbishop agrees. I suspect that he does.

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Anglican Women’s Fellowship: Highlights of 2012

By Kokela Siqendu

AWF supports Training for Ministry funding

AWF continues to support Diocesan efforts to generate funds for its training and education ministry. This year the AWF contributed R27,000 towards family activities in August 2012. In May 2012, during celebrations of St Joseph’s day, AWF contributed R21,000 towards the same fund.

Prison ministry

The diocesan Family Day was held on the Fort Glamorgan Prison playing field in the West Bank area. To mark this day, AWF initiated a collection of toiletry items for female prisoners and their children. The project was well supported by the Mothers’ Union of the Diocese. The AWF is excited to work together in such a manner, and prays that this relationship will be sustained for the benefit of the community. This was very successful because of the energetic Canon, Simphiwe Magxalisa, who is the Director of Stewardship and Giving.

Saying thank-you: Canon Magxwalisa (2nd right) and Mr Matross (left) visited Fort Glamorgan Prison in October to deliver a word of gratitude to Prison authorities for allowing Anglicans to hold their August Family Day activities at Fort Glamorgan. They read a letter from the Diocese and presented Family Day marketing material (a blanket, a t-shirt and a cap). The Commissioner appreciated the their efforts and mentioned that in terms of Chapter 9 of the White paper, communities should work with Department of Correctional Services. The work done by AWF in the Prison was shared and was appreciated by authorities, who requested that AWF should continue to partner with them. 

Caring for needy schools

On 16 October 2012, Simphiwe Magxwalisa (AWF Chaplain) and Mr Matross of St John and St Chad Zwelitsha visited Sinomonde Primary School in Orange Grove informal settlement area on a rainy day, together with AWF President Kokela Siqendu. The school is situated in a destitute area. Canon Magxwalisa came with the message that God cares for all his children. He motivated them and said that they must avoid going wrong, and must follow God’s leading. He further motivated them to read their books and abstain from sexual activities, and not to associate themselves with ungodly activities. They must not take drugs including alcohol. Mr Matross closed with a prayer and reminded learners and educators that they are loved by God, and must continue to love one another. AWF again showed their generosity by giving scholars toiletry items.

 God bless our exams! On 16 October 2012 Noelene Arends, Rector of All Saints’ East London, went at the request of the Diocesan AWF to visit Umtiza Senior Secondary School at Santa and to pray for Grade 12 learners as they were preparing for their final examinations.

School adopted

AWF members, at their last Council Meeting on 16 November 2012, passed a resolution to adopt Sinomonde Primary School, and to journey with educators and learners.


The executive of AWF appreciates the generosity that is always showed by AWF members, not forgetting special projects, like purchasing of a Cope for their chaplain and initiating a baby shower for Nzuki (the chaplain’s wife). The visit to the house of Bishop Ntlali with Canon Magxwalisa and donation of gifts to the family also deserves a mention.

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Umbuliso uyakubulisa ...

Clergy move

Umbuliso greets Zamuxolo Kilana, with congratulations on being appointed Priest in Charge of St Mary’s Pumlani, and prayers for his ministry there.



Prayers are asked for the families of the following who have died recently:

Give thanks for their lives. May they rest in peace, and rise in glory.

A Carbon Fast for Lent?

Canon Rachel Mash of Cape Town has suggested a novel way of observing Lent to the benefit of all the Earth. For details of this exciting initiative, click here:

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For the Bishop's engagements, see the 2013 Year Planner.

Umbuliso is your diocesan newspaper!

Contributions welcome

Please send news to:
P O Box 181, Grahamstown 61400
Tel: 046 622 7803;  Fax 086 685 3968
E-mail: umbuliso@diocesegrahamstown.co.za

Umbuliso is published by the Diocese of Grahamstown, edited by Maggy Clarke, and printed by Dupli-Print, Grahamstown.

Dead-line for next issue: 20 March 2013

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