Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ
We, the family of Bishopsbourne, are well. Our granddaughter, Sambesiwe Dyantyi is growing well and is now 3 months old. We express our sincere appreciation for your love, your warmth and hospitality as we meet you in the various parishes and for upholding our family in your prayers. Be assured that your prayers do not go unnoticed. Such love reminds us of the words of St Paul: “We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labour prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 1:3).
Further to our notice in the January Ad Clerum, we remind all parishes to submit their annual financial statements to the Diocesan Financial Manager and Archdeacon and forward vestry reports, names of the new churchwardens and their contact details to the Bishop’s office immediately after your vestry. The deadline for the vestry meetings is the 15th of March 2014.
We continue to encourage all parishes that are in arrears with assessment and insurance to settle their debts. Again be reminded that the Diocesan Council has increased all assessments with 7%. Remember to effect the increase on your bank debit orders accordingly. The Diocesan Financial Manager has shared with us that there are delays in clearing the cheques at the bank. It is thus difficult to meet the deadline to do payments. We are pleading therefore with churchwardens and treasurers to use the electronic transfer method which will make things easier. Those parishes that are using debit orders may continue to do so.
We had a very successful Layministers' Conference on Saturday 22nd February 2014. About 70 people attended. The date of the next meeting will be communicated in due course. At this meeting the guidelines will be finalised. Layministers are asked to hand in their submissions to the guidelines to Zukisa Mabuya by the 22nd of March 2014.
Mothers' Union News
Mothers’ Union will be launching their 110th year anniversary with its celebrations on Lady Day which will be held at 09h00 on the 29th of March at the War Memorial Hall in King William’s Town. The main objective of these celebrations is strengthening of family life. All Clergy and their spouses are invited to come and join the Mother’s Union members on their most important day and participate in the service of the commemoration of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Grahamstown Diocesan Development Trust
Be reminded that the Diocesan Development Trust will be launched on the 1st of March 2014 at Greenfields Methodist Church in East London at 16h00. Any form of donation towards the preparation of the launch will be much appreciated prior to the event. Donations may be deposited into the Diocesan Revenue Account with FNB, No. 5232 1144 702, branch code 210717. For any enquiries in this regard please contact Mrs L. Ndema at 071 389 3623 or Archdeacon to the Ordinary BTM Mfenyana at 072 036 3232.
Fellowship of Vocation
We continue to ask your prayers for the Fellowship of Vocation workshops that will he held throughout 2014. God’s children have surrendered their lives and souls to God. In their journey, they seek support of your prayers and are searching for the guidance of God as they seek the will of God and thirst to proclaim the gospel to others. The first workshop was supposed to take place on 28th February/1st March but had to be postponed unfortunately to Friday 21st March 2014 for Deacons starting at 10h00 and for FOV candidates (without the Deacons) on 22nd March 2014 also at 10h00. This will take place at St Saviour’s, East London.
Be reminded that we will be circulating the programme for Lent before the 5th of March 2014. For the Lenten course recommended by ACSA please visit their website at http://www.anglicanchurchsa.org . It is a course written by Prof Gerald West.
2014 - Family life, Education and 160th Anniversary
We join the United Nations in celebrating the 20th anniversary of family life in 2014. The Eastern Cape Government, through Social Development has also prioritized the family in 2014. It is work in progress. We, the diocese of Grahamstown, through the assistance of the Diocesan Synod Resolution Committee and the Cathedral Chapter, have prioritized family life and Education (Theological, Civic Education and other education). On the 20th December 2013 the Grahamstown Diocese has finished 160 years. We say to the diocese and its family “happy anniversary”. We have a series of events that we have set aside to celebrate the 160th anniversary from Ash Wednesday 2014 up to the 30th of September. We will forward to you supplementary liturgies that will focus on the family life, education and the anniversary itself. We need your help as clergy and the family of the diocese to participate prayerfully and enthusiastically on the programmes that will be provided. Please also use your own creativity to expand on what we have provided.
News from Chapter
- The next Chapter meeting will be at St Andrew’s Ginsberg on 6th May 2014. We give thanks for the warm welcome which we received from the Holy Cross parish. We enjoyed their hospitality and generosity in our Chapter of 11 February 2014. We do not underestimate the love, warmth and hospitality we received at St John in East London under the able leadership of Revd Gallant on a two-day Chapter on 12th and 13th November 2013.
- We have asked the Revd Louis Flint to continue his ministry at St Martin-by-the-Sea up to 31st December 2014
- We ask your prayers as the parish of St Michael Nahoon is in the process of appointing a new Rector after the able leadership and outstanding ministry of the late Revd Canon Colin Leslie;
- Archdeacon Mziwoxolo Doda will continue at St John & Chad, Zwelitsha up to the 30th of September 2014. He will also continue as Archdeacon King William’s Town East until the 30th of September 2014. We ask you to pray for him and the parish of St John and St Chad.
- We welcome the Revd Godfrey Walton as he prepares himself to come and work in our Diocese which is also his home. He will be focussing in parish ministry and also in education and training. We pray for him and his wife that they may be blessed with a safe trip to Grahamstown Diocese. We are looking forward to receive him and all what he will contribute to the life of the Diocese.
Synod of Bishops
- This is to inform you that after an outstanding Episcopal ministry Bishop Dinis Sengulane has retired. We pray that he may enjoy his retirement with his family. Let us continue to pray for the Diocese of Mozambique as its people are preparing to elect a new Diocesan Bishop.
- Let us pray for the elective assembly of the Diocese of Niassa as they will be electing their Suffragan Bishop on the 7th of March 2014.
- Let us pray for the Diocese of Mthatha as they pray and prepare for the election of their Suffragan Bishop in the near future.
- Let us pray for the Diocese of the Highveld as Bishop David Bannerman prepares for his retirement
- Future dates of Synod of Bishops 22nd to 24th September 2014 and 2nd to 6th February 2015. PSC will follow on the 24th to the 27th of September 2014.
- You will be informed of consecration dates and other dates as we receive them from the office of the Archbishop.
- Remember that we will be visited by His Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby from 2nd to 5th of July 2014. Archbishop Thabo with his dear wife MamaLungi will share their time with the Bishops and their spouses at the international Anglicans Ablaze Conference which will be held at New Life Centre, Bryanston, Johannesburg. Please pray for the Archbishop of Canterbury’s visit in the province and for the conference.
- It is good news for us and the Province that the College of the Transfiguration has received accreditation with the South African Government for a Diploma in Theology for 2104 and for the BTh degree in 2015. It is also good news that the College of the Transfiguration has received approval to start a School for Ministry for the Anglican Church of Southern Africa. We thank God for all the Dioceses for their generosity towards Theological Sunday. When we met at the Synod of Bishops the collections were +R700 000.00 but we are still waiting for other monies to come in. We pray and hope that these gifts and other gifts will fulfil the Archbishop’s vision and that of the Rector, the Revd Canon Prof Barney and the College Council.
In conclusion, we wish you God’s strength as we minister together in His vineyard. May ‘the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To Him be the power for ever and ever. Amen! (1 Peter 5:10-11).