Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ
Greetings to you all in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ
We are all well at Bishopsbourne. We thank God for the Diocesan Family, for its prayers and various kinds of support which keeps us going. Let us continue to love one another, pray for each other and carry one another’s burdens in order to fulfil the law of Christ.
We trust by now you have all received the notice regarding the Family Weekend. The Family Weekend is one event that seeks to promote unity among our peoples. The church is expected to lead by example, if we are to be able to tell the world to be united.
As the Bishop of Grahamstown we invite you and your congregation to join us in celebrating the 160th anniversary of our Diocese. This will be done through a Family Weekend event to be held on the 22-24 August 2014 in King William’s Town. As is customary on those days we expect that all parishes will come together in worship, thanksgiving and celebration. We would like to encourage all parishioners to attend. We are requesting ‘love gifts’ from parishes in the form of cash. The targets that were sent to you are guidelines that can be exceeded. We implore you to be particularly generous this year as that would enable the Diocese to carry out her mission.
Below is an outline of activities covering the three days:
22 August GALA DINNER
This will be held at the Steve Biko Centre starting at 18h30. Tickets will be sold at R150 per person. This is meant to cover the cost of the meal, décor, lease of venue and sound system and other costs. This is an opportunity to network with other parishioners, Christians, business people and government representatives.
We shall start this day with a thanksgiving morning service. After the service people are invited to a fun-filled time where people of this Diocese will display their talents through activities like, Music, Poetry, Games and other surprise activities. We are hoping to have a Commemorative Relay Race that will cover 160 km to celebrate the 160 years of our Diocese. Those keen to participate should please contact the Stewardship and Giving Committee (the Revd Wezo Bloko at 072 560 1994 or 043 722 3842).
The day’s events will culminate in a Music Festival. Church Choirs andinstrumental groups will be performing. A well-known Gospel musician will be the headline act that day. You are invited to come and join us. Parishes that have choirs and would like them to participate are requested to contact the Director of Stewardship and Giving, the Revd Wezo Bloko at 072 560 1994 or 043 722 3842.
This will be the highlight of the Family Weekend. The Diocesan Bishop will be the Preacher and Celebrant. A number of dignitaries will be in attendance. We shall also have an opportunity for Archdeaconries to hand over their ‘love gifts’. The service will be at the Botanical Gardens in King William’s Town.
Targets for Family Weekend
These have been emailed or faxed to you on the 30th June 2014. Kindly contact the Diocesan Administrator, Ms Zoleka Maqwili, should you not have received this, or the Revd Wezo Bloko Director of Stewardship and Giving.
At a meeting of the College Council held on 30 June, the Revd Dr Vicentia Kgabe was appointed as the next Rector of the College the Transfiguration with effect from 1 January 2015. Dr Vicentia Refiloe Kgabe is Rector of the Parish of Weltevreden St Michael and All Angels, a position she has held since 2013. She has served in parishes around the Diocese of Johannesburg since she was ordained in 2002. She has also had diocesan responsibility for the promotion and discernment of vocations to the ordained ministry of the church, and served in the Bishop’s Executive for four years as Archdeacon.
Mr Tonderai Hilton Musarurwa was appointed Registrar of the College of the Transfiguration on 10 June 2014. He will be starting at the College in September 2014, after all his work permits have been completed. Mr Tonderai Musaruwa was a good candidate, due to be a certified CA, having written his Board Examinations in November last year. He is currently working as a senior auditor for a firm of auditors in Harare. It is confidently expected that he would serve the College for a lengthy period. He has been highly recommended by his Bishop and Parish priest in Harare.
Diocesan Finance Manager
Ms Cynthia de Beer, our Finance Manager, is sadly leaving us at the end of August 2014. We are therefore seeking to employ a mobile Diocesan Financial Manager who will visit all the parishes of the Diocese from time to time. The person we are looking for should have an accounting degree or National Diploma in Financial Management; minimum of 3 to 6 years in the finance management environment; two years in aFinance Manager’s position and superior Excel, Pastel Accounting and financial modelling skills. They must also be someone who can write and present financial reports to Diocesan Boards. Please refer to the Diocesan website for more details. Please pray that we find the right person for this position.
This is to remind you about the decision of our Diocesan Council to increase the stipends of the Clergy and staff with 7%. As a result, the assessments, pensions and other financial operations of the Diocese have increased with 7%. We have observed that some of the parishes have done so. Some parish councils have taken a decision that this be effected but did not change their debit order at the bank. This has resulted in a cash-flow problem in the diocese and it has become difficult for us to meet some of the overhead expenses. We call upon all Rectors, priests-in-charge, churchwardens and parish treasurers to implement this 7% and monitor it for the smooth running of the parish and the Diocese. We are aware of the economic challenges that are impacting on us as people and families in South Africa. We however urge you and remind you that it is a great joy to partner with God, and see to it that the continuation of the mission of God in Christ is done during your lifetime. We thank you for all the efforts that you put in and we trust that you put these things right.
We give thanks to God for the ministry of Archbishop Thabo, mamaLungi, Paballo and Nyakallo. Archbishop Thabo is God’s gift to the province and to the Diocese of Cape Town. His prophetic leadership and passion for education and good morality is outstanding. He is someone who is devoted to God, reflected in his humility. He is also a visionary leader. Let us continue to uphold him in our prayers in order that God can continue to bless him as he leads the ACSA with all the Bishops.
We attended the Anglicans Ablaze conference and we thank God for all who attended in our Diocese. Those who were not able to attend, we know that you were praying for us. The conference went well. Its highlights were outstanding talks, graced by the presence of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justine Welby, his wife and his entourage. He gave us a wonderful message. Our own Archbishop Thabo hosted the Archbishop of Canterbury and his team. We were privileged to have a procession of Archbishop Thabo, theArchbishop of Canterbury and the majority of Bishops from various Dioceses to Alexandra Township. We met people and worshipped. After that we were led to a flat in which the late former President of South Africa, Dr Nelson Mandela was staying when he was doing his Articles after he finished his degree to qualify as an attorney. We were touched when the honourable former President Kgalema Motlanthe gave a moving address about the late Dr Mandela and Dr Xuma. Archbishop Justin Welby responded that his prayer is that all the people of the world may have the heart and eyes of Jesus in order to transform their own environment. He thanked God for the life of the late Drs Mandela and Xuma.
Lastly, Archbishop Thabo and mamaLungi hosted us to a wonderful dinner. We enjoyed interacting with one another and the speeches that were delivered. In a nutshell, the Anglicans Ablaze Movement is growing from strength to strength and it has shown the ability of pulling together various traditions of our faith in order that we can learn from one another. In the worships and talks that were held, one could feel the presence of God in Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit which makes us grow in our spiritual journey. Let us continue to pray for the leadershipof Growing the Church. Please contact the Revd Trevor Pearce at Growing the Church on 021 763 1315 or email trevor@growingthechurch,org.za to order materials such as talks, books, lectures etc.
The Clergy School had to be postponed a couple of times unfortunately. It will now take place at St John, East London on Tuesday, 15th July. Starting time 10h00. This will be conducted by the Bishop and others. The programme has been emailed and faxed. (All Deacons and Priests must attend).
A Clergy Retreat will take place at Mariya uMama weThemba Monastery from 15h00, Tuesday 22nd July to 10h00, Friday 25th July. Retreat cost is R1,140.00 per person. The retreat will be conducted by Bishop Bethlehem Nopece from Port Elizabeth Diocese. Kindly make a booking with Beverley at our office.
We are planning a Deacons’ ordination on the 20th of September 2014. We will communicate more about this in the near future.
We give thanks to God for your contributions on Theological Sunday last year. An amount of R30 000.00 was raised, which we have given as a love gift and support to the College of Transfiguration via the Provincial Office of ACSA. Be informed that our R30 000.00 with other contributions from other Dioceses made a total of R904 036.18. It never stops. We are called by the Synod of Bishops to do this prayerfully on a yearly basis until the College of Transfiguration is fully endowed and the estimate of +R100 million. Be assured that these small drops will be multiplied by God into an ocean. We call upon all the parishes to observe Theological Sunday on the 17th of August 2014. Could you kindly deposit all your offerings into the Diocesan Account with FNB: 5232 1144 702; Branch Code 210717. Ref: Name of Parish/Theological Sunday. Our closing date will be the 24th of September 2014.
The Elective Assembly held in the Diocese of Mthatha on 20 May 2014 to elect a Suffragan bishop failed to achieve a two thirds majority vote and has been referred to the Synod of Bishops.
The Revd Nomakorinte Biko’s husband, Sipo, sadly passed away in the early hours of the 24th of June 2014 and was buried on Friday, 4th of July 2014. Please uphold the family in prayer.
We give thanks to God for the recovery of the Revd Pumza Tiso who is back at work since the 25th of May. We ask for your continued prayers for her.
We love you all irrespective of the financial challenges that are facing us. What is before us now is to raise funds for the running capital of our Diocese, which is approximately R6 million, in order that we can meet the demands of our low-income months, and through it we may be able to meet our overheads. This will enable us to move away from the practice of budgeting what we do not have in our hands and wait upon parishes to generously give at their own pace. We are excited to see how you are growing in the Lord. Your smiles, love, generosity, hospitality and meeting Diocesan and parish commitments are not forgotten in our minds.
May God bless you richly and give you good health.