Search Results for: diary

Letter from Revd Andrew to the People of St Pauls 28 November 2020

Dear People of St Pauls 

Greetings in Jesus’ name!

Advent Sunday

This Sunday is Advent Sunday, the start of new liturgical year.  Certainly an opportunity for a new start.  We also keep it as our Harvest Festival/Thanksgiving Sunday.  We are also in the midst of the 16 Days Campaign against Gender Based Violence (GBV), mindful of the State President’s call for five days of mourning (25 to 29 November) for those who have died from Covid-19 and victims of GBV.

The Archbishop has asked that all parishes focus on the scourge of GBV for Lent next year.  If you would like to be part of a team to work on this and to enable us to have a more sustained response as a parish please contact me.

News from the parish

On Monday this week one of our members, Dumisa Mdhladhla, passed on. He is the son of a former rector of St Faith’s in Durban. His funeral service was held today at St Paul’s.  Please pray for his family, including his son, Zoh, one of our lay ministers.  For a picture of Baba “Du” see on our website.

As attendance at the Ordination of Sabelo Mthimkhulu this Saturday is severely restricted, it will be livestreamed here on Facebook Live. Please pray for Sabelo and the others to be ordained too.

The Mothers’ Union AGM was held this past Sunday.  We congratulate the elected leader, Jabu Soni, and the other new Exco members: Deputy Leader: Lindiwe Ngwenya, Secretary: Thembi Ngcobo, Deputy Secretary: Adelaide Zwane and Treasurer: Clara Mbatha.  We thank Mrs Busi Mohlaka for her leadership of the MU over the past three years.

 Br Barry has moved out from the church property and remains a member of St Pauls. We thank him for his various contributions to St Pauls, including the liturgical vestments he made for us.

News from the Diocese and Province

One of our clergy, Revd Dr Makhosi Nzimande, has been appointed the Provincial Executive Officer (PEO) by Archbishop Thabo Makgoba and will move to Cape Town from 1 March 2021. Her moving will be a loss to our Diocese.  Revd Nzimande is currently Rector of All Saints, Ladysmith, and Archdeacon of Uthukela in the Diocese of Natal. She holds a number of leadership positions internationally and locally, among them Vice-Moderator of the World Council of Churches Faith and Order Commission, a member of the Church’s Provincial Liturgical Committee and the Advisory Board for Theological Education, and, in the Diocese of Natal, as an Archdeacon and a member of the Diocesan Chapter and Board of Trustees.

She has previously served as Lecturer and Head of Department of the University of Zululand’s Department of Theology and Studies, as director of the Diocese of Natal’s Institute for Leadership Development and as a field organiser for the Diakonia Council of Churches. Her PhD in Biblical Interpretation (Old and New Testaments) was earned at Brite Divinity School, Texas Christian University in the United States. She has Bachelor’s and Honours degrees from the University of Natal (formerly Durban-Westville) and undertook Anglican studies at Westcott House, Cambridge in the United Kingdom.

Archbishop Thabo Press Statement on 22November 2020: Brackenfell school conflict is a “wake-up” call

The fear and tension to which children at a Brackenfell school are unfairly being subjected are a wake-up call to every parent and governing body in South Africa.

The conflict at the school reflects the failure of society, and particularly of parents and teachers, to root out racism among our children. If parents and teachers fail to heed the warning which Brackenfell sends, their children are in danger of being exposed to similar confrontations in future.

A quarter of a century after our political liberation, it is unacceptable that children still openly make judgements about other children based on their race, let alone use crude and hurtful racial epithets. It is even more unacceptable that the parents of such children bring them up to think there is nothing wrong with racial stereotyping. And it is unacceptable that parents organise “private” parties to which admission in a community such as Brackenfell is restricted by affordability.

Nearly 30 years after the structures of the National Peace Accord negotiated a framework for the holding of protests, it is also unacceptable that leaders of political organisations and government agencies do not appear able to agree on conditions which allow for peaceful, controlled protest which respects the rights of others and the well-being of children.

Dialogue is not an optional extra in South Africa, but an urgent imperative if we are to move into a non-racial future.

 KwaZulu Natal Christian Council (KZNCC) response to Covid-19

We give further news from the KZNCC: “In today’s email we turn our focus to some of the local expressions of the KZN Covid-19 Churches Respond project that have emerged over the last 7+ months. One of the real game changes in our response over this time as been the many, many churches that have started working together at a local level. These have formed themselves into LEANs – local ecumenical action networks which have worked tirelessly to serve their communities at this time.

This work was supported and mobilized by an incredible group of volunteer clergy and lay-people who gave endless hours to phone and zoom calls to share this vision and spread the news of these LEANs in action.

The work of LEANs in KZN has been rich and wide and deep… and incredibly beautiful. Here we try and capture just a few of the examples…

  • Hospitals: the health-care sector was hard-hit these last 7 or 8 months. At a local level we saw LEANs partnering with their local hospitals to go and pray and to offer pastoral care to stretched medical practitioners.
  • Offering psycho-social care: a number of LEANs started offering free counselling and stress-management services to their communities. Others started a 24 hour prayer line for anyone who needed to talk to someone and pray during locldown. Knowing the huge knock to mental health that Covid-19 has dealt, this work has been invaluable. Here is one LEAN’s story.
  • Homelessness: as lockdown started, men, women and children who were sleeping rough on the streets were forced into an impossibly tricky situation. Churches around the province (and country!) stepped in to help, setting up micro-sites, temporary shelters, food operations, counselling support and so on. You can read about the work of the Richard’s Bay LEAN here.
  • Partnering with the Foreign and Afro-national community: Many foreign and afro-nationals relying on work in the informal economy were a particularly vulnerable group during lockdown; unable to work and unable to access government assistance this group was plunged into a crisis situation. Around the province, churches were able to prioritse this group in their relief work. The work of Zoe Life has been particularly relevant in this time and some important relationships with Afro-National community and church leaders have been developed. This is vital for future peace-building and social cohesion work. In our LEANs we’ve now been able to include many Afro-National church leaders who were previously not linked to South African fraternals or networks. This is a positive step moving forward and one we all need to prioritise as we see xenophobic action starting to take place again in our communities
  • Food Security: during the lockdown, food relief played an important part in our initial response (over R12.4 million in relief moved through this project with millions more going through local churches to the most vulnerable in our communities – read more here). A number of LEANs have now started thinking about longer-term food security… sustainable agriculture, food for livelihoods and community food gardens have all come into this discussion.
  • Sexual and Domestic Violence: very early on in our response a group of practitioners came together to think through how the church could respond to the rising GBV levels under lockdown. Some important lobbying took place as well as work done to further resource church leaders (see here for the recordings and here for some notes and resources). This work is also proceeding in a powerful way and we are currently in the process of offering training to key GBV resource people in every LEAN. This project, led by WWSOSA (We Will Speak Out South Africa) and the Evangelical Lutheran Church’s Development Service, includes training on trauma accompaniment for gender-based violence survivors. The first training was at the end of October and participants were equipped to work as GBV Resource persons in their LEANs and /or wider church fellowship, and will form a KZN-wide peer support team that will continue to learn and support each other and be able to respond to requests for any trauma support from any churches in the province (contact coordinator@wwsosa.org.za for more info).
  • Working with Taxi Associations: a number of LEANs identified the need for partnerships with local taxi associations and taxi ranks. Church leaders were able to work with taxi leaders to share important Covid-19 information, masks and offer prayers to commuters and drivers. You can read one LEAN’s experience here.

In case you missed them, have a read of our first, second or third email in this email series looking back on our work as KZN Covid-19: Churches Respond Project. In the next emails we will start looking forward… where to from here?”

Preparing for December

The Diocesan Prayer Diary may be found on here our website .

Birthdays for December (Please point out to the office any corrections or omissions)

2 Zanoxolo Sontsele

3 Sanelisile Dotshe

5 Ndabenhle Mhlongo, Ken Tafa

6 William Ojur

8 Dintle Heart Moshesh

10 Songe Ndzimande

12 Jimmy Ssemafumu

13 Zinhle Bhengu

14 Lwandle Mqoqi, Tiyana Phillips

15 Nomini Kymalo, Molly Mpila

17 Doreen Wonduogel

18 Snaluthando Zondo

19 Boubou Kalala, Laura Katuu

21 Lina Suliar/Mpontshane

24 Thobeka Dodo, Mbali Gumede

26 Perrine Kumar

28 Boimanelo Puding

29 Aluvuyo Mahlati

30 Sipho Mtoboyi, Tembi Shabangu

31 Lihle Ndaba

Wedding Anniversaries

10 Basil & Ethne Ogle

20 Mr and Mrs Ruth Etyang-Ojur

23 Judo & Nompilo Saane

24 Mr Duncan & Mrs  Mchakama

29 Clara & Bhekizenzo Mbatha

 LECTIONARY READINGS December 2020

Tuesday 1st   MP Ps 7, 8   Isaiah 1: 21-31   1 Thessalonians 2: 1-12

EP Ps 9   Amos 3:1-11   Luke 20:9-18

Wednesday 2nd MP Ps 10, 11   Isaiah 2: 1-11   1 Thessalonians 2: 13-20

EP Ps 12, 13, 14    Amos 3:12- 4:5    Luke 20: 19-26

Thursday 3rd   MP Ps 15, 16    Isaiah 2:12-22   1 Thessalonians 3: 1- 13

EP   Ps 17   Amos 4: 6-13     Luke 20: 27-40

Friday 4th   MP Ps 18: 1-31   Isaiah 3: 1-15   1 Thessalonians 4: 1-12

EP Ps 18: 32-52   Amos 5: 1-17   Luke 20: 41 – 21:4

Saturday 5th   MP Ps 19, 20, 21   Isaiah 4: 2-6   1 Thessalonians 4: 13-18

EP Ps 22    Amos 5: 18-27   Luke 21: 5- 19

Sunday 6th   MP Ps 80    Isaiah 5: 1-7     2 Peter 3: 11-18

EP Ps 85    Ezekiel 36: 24-28     Mark 11: 27-33

Monday 7th MP Ps 23, 24 Isaiah 5:8-12, 18-23 1Thessalonians 5:1-11

EP Ps 25     Amos 7:1-9    Luke 21: 20-28

Tuesday 8th MP   Ps 26, 27   Isaiah 5:13-17, 24-25 1Thessalonians 5:12-28

EP Ps 28, 29, 30   Amos 7:10-17   Luke 21: 29-38

Wednesday 9th MP Ps 31   Isaiah 6:1-13   2 Thessalonians 1:1-12

EP Ps 32, 33   Amos 8: 1-14   John 7: 53 – 8:11

Thursday 10th MP   Ps 34    Isaiah 7:1-9   2 Thessalonians 2:1-12

EP Ps 35   Amos 9: 1-15     Luke 22: 1-13

Friday 11th    MP Ps 36      Isaiah 7: 10-25   2 Thessalonians 2:13-3:5

EP Ps 37: 1-20   Haggai 1: 1-15   Luke 22: 14-30

Saturday 12th   MP Ps 37: 21-41    Isaiah 8: 1-15    2 Thessalonians 3: 6-18

EP Ps 38   Haggai 2: 1-9    Luke 22: 31-38

Sunday 13th MP Ps 19    Isaiah 13: 6-13   Hebrew 12: 18-29

EP Ps 125   Malachi 3: 16 -4:4    Mark 9:9-13

Monday 14th MP Ps 39     Isaiah 8:16-9:1    2 Peters 1:1-11

EP Ps  40, 41   Zechariah 1: 7-17    Luke 22: 39-53

Tuesday 15th MP Ps 42, 43   Isaiah 9: 1-7   2 Peters 1: 12-21

EP Ps 44   Zechariah 2: 1-13   Luke 22: 54-69

Wednesday 16th MP Ps 45, 46   Isaiah 9: 8-17   2 Peter 2: 1-10a

EP Ps 47, 48   Zechariah 3: 1-10   Mark 1:1-18

Thursday 17th   MP   Ps 49   Isaiah 9: 18 -10:4   2 Peters 2: 10b-15

EP   Ps 50   Zachariah 4: 1-14   Matthew 3: 1-12

Friday 18th    MP Ps 59, 60     Isaiah 42: 1-12    Ephesians 6:10-20

EP Ps 61, 62     Genesis 3:8-15   John 3: 16-21

Saturday 19th MP Ps 63, 64, 65   Isaiah 11: 1-9   Revelation 20: 1-10

EP Ps 66, 67   Zephaniah 3:14-20   John 5: 30-47

Sunday 20th    MP Ps 68   Isaiah 11: 10-16   Revelation 20: 11 – 21:8

EP Ps 113    Genesis 17: 15-22   Luke 1: 46-55

Monday 21st   MP Ps 70, 71    Isaiah 28: 9-22   Revelation 21:9-21

EP Ps 72    2 Samuel 7: 1-17    Luke 1:26-38

Tuesday 22nd MP Ps 73   Isaiah 29: 13-24   Revelation 21:22 – 22:5

EP Ps 74     2 Samuels 7:18-29   Luke 1: 39-48a (48b-56)

Wednesday 23rd MP Ps 75, 76 Isaiah 33: 17-22  Revelation 22:6-11, 18-20

EP Ps 77    Baruch 4: 21-29   Luke 1: 57-66

Thursday 24th MP Ps 45, 46    Isaiah 35: 1-10   Revelation 22: 12-17, 21

EP Ps 19      Isaiah 59: 15b-21     Philippians 2: 5-11

Friday 25th   MP Ps 85   Zechariah 2: 10-13   1 John 4: 7-16

EP Ps 8, 100   Micah 4: 1-5, 5: 2-4   John 3: 31-36

Saturday 26th   MP Ps 78: 1-38   Isaiah 12: 1-6   Hebrew 1: 1-12

EP Ps 78: 39-70    Isaiah 41: 8-10   Luke 2: 22-40

Sunday 27th   MP Ps 132    Isaiah 62: 6-7, 10-12   Hebrews 2: 10-18

EP Ps 145: 1-13   Ecclesiastes 3: 1-15   Matthew 12: 46-50

Monday 28th   MP Ps 83, 84   Isaiah 26: 1-9   Colossians 1: 20-29

EP Ps 85, 86    Jeremiah 31: 10-17      John 1: 1-18

Tuesday 29th MP Ps 87, 88   Isaiah 12:1-6 or 60:1-5   Revelation 1:1-8

EP Ps 89: 1-38   2 Samuel 23: 13-17b   John 7: 37-52

Wednesday 30th MP Ps 89: 39-53   Isiah 25:1-9 or Isaiah 60: 19-22   Rev 1:9-20

EP Ps 91   1 Kings 17: 17-24   John 7: 53- 8:11

Thursday 31st MP Ps 92, 93   Isaiah 26:1-9 or 62: 10-12  2 Corinthians 5:16- 6:2

EP Ps 90   Isaiah 65: 17-25   Revelation 21: 1-6

Giving

We give thanks to those who have returned their giving envelopes for the past few months. Thanks too to those who are giving into the loose plate collection when they attend services. We are grateful to those who have continued to give their Planned Giving directly into the church bank account and to those who have also given loose plate collections and donations in this way.

This enables us to continue to pay staff salaries, our assessment and most of our accounts. Please continue to give. (The St Paul’s banking details are: Account Name: St Paul’s Church; Account Number: 50854628623; Branch Code: 221426; Bank: FNB.)

God bless you and keep you.

Yours in Christ

Revd Dr Andrew Warmback

Rector: St Paul’s, Durban

Letter from Revd Andrew to the People of St Pauls 6 November 2020

Greetings in Jesus’ name!

Faithful Departed

In keeping with the tradition of previous years we record the names and contributions of those who remember loved ones.  We thank the following we have received so far:

Julia Mcunu R110- in memory of Revd & Mrs Saul Mcunu, Charles & Sophia Sigabi, Christopher & Phakade Mcunu.

Valencia (R20) in memory of Gushu Family.

Thoko Sbu Gumede- Gumede Family.

Mpama Family (R20) Thabo Mpama

Divine Ohanusi (R20) Leonard & Roseline Ohanusi.

Buthelezi Family (R10) George, Thozama & Zizipho Buthelezi.

Carole Spies (R100) Allan Spies & Brinton Spies.

In memory of Revd Saul Mkulou (R100).

S.N Zibani (R200) Mdlalose & Zibani Family.

  1. Cafun (R100) Cafun & Forbays Families.

Gelinda Lebrasse (R100) Mr N Lebrasse, parents and 3 brothers.

Nwame Onyeka (R100) Igbonezu

 Remembrance Sunday, those who died in war

This is commemorated this Sunday.  The following prayer may be used from our lectionary.

We remember before God all who have died in war.

We pray for all who suffer as a result of war

          for the injured and disabled and the mentally distressed,

          for the homeless and the refugees and those who have lost their livelihood

          for those who mourn, and especially those who have no hope.

Almighty and eternal God,

          from whose love in Christ we cannot be parted by life or death

hear our prayers for all whom we remember this day:

Give grace to the living; to the departed, rest

And to the people of every nation grant peace and concord.

Retreat

I will be on retreat for most of next week. (There will be no “People of St Paul’s” letter  next week)

Sabelo will be on retreat during the week preceding his ordination on 28 November.  Please pray for his on-going preparations.

Examinations

Matric pupils have started final examinations.  Let us pray for them and all others preparing for and writing exams.

Thanksgiving

Our annual Thanksgiving Day will be on Sunday 29 November, an opportunity to express our thanks to God for blessings we have received this year and to make a donation to the church.

Xenophobic attacks

We strongly condemn the recent attacks on foreign owned shops in the CBD earlier this week.  We do not discriminate against people on the basis of their country of origin.  Everyone deserves to be treated with respect and no one deserves to experience violence or threats of violence perpetuated against them and their property.

Prayers for clergy in hospital

The following request is from the Vicar-General/Dean:

I was informed … that the Revds Sizwe and Seipati Ngcobo were involved in a motor car accident on Saturday evening and are both in hospital. Revd Sizwe is conscious and in ICU having surgery today [Monday]. Revd Seipati is under observation and stable. I ask for your prayers for the both of them during this difficult time.

You will remember these clergy who both were invited as preachers for us this year.

Diocesan Clergy Reduction and Diocesan Expenses

As reported earlier, the Ways and Means Committee, established by the Archbishop, is working at reducing the number of stipendiary clergy in the Diocese by 38.  As of last month the following progress was reported:

  • 5 clergy have agreed to move into early retirement; there are on-going discussions with a further 6 clergy about early retirement
  • 1 cleric had applied for ill-health retirement
  • 3 clerics have sadly passed on this year
  • 7 clergy have left or will be leaving the Diocese to take up positions elsewhere
  • There are discussions with other Dioceses for the placement of 8 clergy in other Dioceses.

2 Diocesan staff have been retrenched and the Finance Manager, who retired recently, has not been replaced.

Please continue to pray for our Diocese.

St Andrew’s Day Appeal

Please see the letter at the end sent to us by the Vicar-General/Dean.

Giving

We thank those who have returned their Planned Giving envelopes and for those who give into the loose plate collection. We are also grateful to those who have continued to give their Planned Giving directly into the church bank account and to those who have also given loose plate collections and donations in this way. Please continue to give. (The St Paul’s banking details are: Account Name: St Paul’s Church; Account Number: 50854628623; Branch Code: 221426; Bank: FNB.)

“God bless you and keep you”.

Yours in Christ

Revd Dr Andrew Warmback

Rector: St Paul’s, Durban

The Vicar General has asked that we receive the following letter:

People of God,

Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ who calls us to follow him, even in these times of extraordinary uncertainty and change. Below you will find the link to the Archbishop’s signed letter and poster to hang up in your churches.

St Andrew’s Day Appeal

Thank you to all who gave generously to the St Andrew’s Day Appeal last year. Your gifts were used to help us to enable over 8,000 people, young and old, to participate in Anglicans Ablaze 2020 via Zoom and Facebook. The following online ministries have also been launched…

  1. Mission & Evangelism >A Southern Africa Alpha Conference in partnership with Alpha SA. A whopping 3202 participants showed up! New Alphas are already being run as a result.
  2. Leadership Development (Online Ministry for Bishops, Clergy & Lay Leaders) > “How to use Online Platforms” e.g. Zoom, Skype, FB, YouTube etc effectively in ministry, was gratefully received by 576 attendeesstruggling to make the change, especially bishops and clergy
  3. Youth Ministry: YO! (Youth Online): > We stand amazed at how YO! has taken off – a staggering 15,128 people attended the launchby Archbishop Thabo. This is a weekly “magazine” type format with an invited guest each week.
  4. Children’s Ministry: > Archbishop Thabo launched this future monthly ministry as well, with 7,549 children, parents, Sunday School teachers and clergy attending.
  5. Discipleship Ministry (All ages): > Requests for training and materials are coming in, with “Rooted in Jesus” being the most popular course.
  6. Clergy Care: Church Growth & Gender-based Violence: > Revd Bob Sihubwa from Zambia spoke on church growth and was extremely good. His church has grown from about 200 people to 1500 over the last 5 years.

The GBV event was also hugely appreciated. Acting Judge, Revd Thato Tsautse and others made insightful contributions. The over 8,000 attendees were asked to distribute the free, 70-page GBV teaching and training manual widely.

YOUR gifts given last year helped to make all this possible. THANK YOU!!! So, will you please assist us again?

Archbishop Thabo writes, “I am therefore asking you to please take a special collection in church on Sunday 29th November (St Andrew’s Day is 30th November) and to send it to: GtC Teaching and Training, Standard Bank, Constantia, Account Number 243 374 151, Branch Code 051001. Ref: Your Name or Parish. You are also welcome to encourage your people to give directly via EFT by giving them the banking details please”.

Link to original signed letter for circulation – click here: 
Link to Poster – for circulation – click here:  

Many thanks again,

Bishop Tsietsi Seleoane
Liaison Bishop, GtC & AA

 

 

Letter from Revd Andrew to the People of St Pauls 30 October 2020

Dear People of St Pauls

Greetings in Jesus’ name!

Services at Church

For those who attend our Sunday 7.30 and 9.15 services the following are some of the guidelines we follow:

  • The congregants enter the church by the side door opposite Church House.  Before entering one’s temperature is taken, contact details recorded, a few Covid related questions asked and one sanitises one’s hands.
  • Masks must be worn throughout the service.
  • During the service all doors are opened to allow maximum ventilation.
  • As no processions are permitted through the congregation the altar party enters and leaves the church from the side by the pulpit.
  • No Prayer or Hymn Books are put out, nor are their pew leaflets – the words of the service are projected onto the screen.
  • No singing is permitted – “we sing in our souls.”
  • Prayer for Birthdays, Anniversaries, Healing, congregants do not come to the front but are asked to stand where they are in the pews for these prayers.
  • The Peace is passed by offering a gesture of peace to one another from wherever one stands in one’s pew.
  • The collection is put in the boxes near the front of the church.
  • For communion congregants go up to the altar rail, observing the spacing markers on the ground. Standing one receives the wafer, moves to the side, remove one’s mask, consumes the wafer and then return to one’s place.
  • The congregants leave the church though the same entrance they entered.
  • If any congregants become ill during the service they are to be taken to the Board Room, where they will wait until they are able to go home/be fetched.

All Saints and Commemoration of the Faithful departed: 1 November

On Sunday we observe All Saints/All Souls Day.  It provides an opportunity to remember our loved ones who have died. As indicated last week you may make a donation towards votive candles in memory of a loved one, through envelopes at the services or directly into the bank with names passed on to the parish office.

We remember our St Paul’s members who have died since our last All Saints/All Souls service, including the following:

Granville Dickson (21 November)

Albert Geswindt (21 February)

Millicent Ntombifuthi Nzuza (17 March)

Daphne Huet (18 May)

Shaun Nodongala-Mncwabe (23 May)

Sheila Moorgas (20 June)

Basil Ebrahim (16 July)

Thandazile Sithole (17 July)

Sbu Mbatha (2 August)

Joan Harris (23 August)

Dawn Underhill (23 September)

Nontobeko Msundwane (24 September)

Irene Marchant (24 September)

Thelma Francis (2 October)

 Mothers’ Union Pray for Clergy

We thank our Mothers’ Union for the prayer offered for the clergy of this parish:

Loving God, we thank you for the gift of our priests.  Through them we experience your presence in the sacraments.

Help our priests to be strong in their vocation. Grant them the wisdom, understanding and strength they need to follow in the footsteps of Jesus.

Give them the words to spread the gospel.

Allow them to experience joy in their ministry.

We ask this through Jesus Christ who lives and reigns as our eternal priest.

Amen.

 In Hospital

Please continue to pray for Noni Charles who returned home from hospital this week. 

For our Prayers

The Dean/Vicar-General has asked us to please keep Sister Nqobile of the Community of Jesus Compassion, and the Cathedral Parish & family in your prayers.  Sr Ngobile’s sister, Celiwe, formerly of CJC and Cathedral, was killed in a construction this week.

Diocesan Prayer Diary for November

Please find a copy of the Diocesan Prayer Diary for your use on our website.

 Giving

We thank those who have returned their Planned Giving envelopes and for those who give into the loose plate collection. We are also grateful to those who have continued to give their Planned Giving directly into the church bank account and to those who have also given loose plate collections and donations in this way. Please continue to give. (The St Paul’s banking details are: Account Name: St Paul’s Church; Account Number: 50854628623; Branch Code: 221426; Bank: FNB.)

May the blessings of God be upon you.

Yours in Christ

 

Revd Dr Andrew Warmback

Rector: St Paul’s, Durban

Letter from Revd Andrew to the People of St Pauls 9 October 2020

Dear People of St Pauls

Greetings in Jesus’ name in this month of stewardship!

Return to Services in Church

We restarted services in church past Sunday. As we indicated before, parishioners are asked to please arrive 30 minutes before the start of each service in order to allow time for the taking and recording of one’s temperature, responding to Covid-19 related questions, giving contact details and sanitising.

The wearing of masks are compulsory.  We all enter the side door of the church opposite Church House.  In ensuring social distancing we have placed the kneelers on the seats on which you may sit.  No books used and there are no pew leaflets.

At the end of this letter is the latest correspondence from the Vicar-General/Dean which instructs us to abide by the regulations, including not being permitted to sing in services.

Stewardship Month October

During the month of October we offer an opportunity for us to recommit ourselves to God and to the ministry of St Pauls.  Forms to express our financial giving, and the use of our time and talents will be made available.

Ordination of Sabelo Mthimkhulu

The Vicar-General/Dean has written to us about the intention to ordain Sabelo Mthimkhulu at the ordination service on Saturday, 28 November 2020 at 11h00am at the Cathedral of the Holy Nativity, Pietermaritzburg.  Under Covid protocol attendance at the service will be limited.  The ordinations will be conducted by Archbishop Thabo Makgoba.

Please pray for Sabelo he prepares for this new phase in his ministry.   Others due to be ordained then are Ms Bronwyn Kirk, Ms Pearl Nzuza, Ms Kayla Urbasch, Mr Ziphozonke Mbambo, (Stipendiary).  Ms Jenipher Lavender, Ms Deborah Moorgas, Ms Sibongile Sosibo (Self-Supporting).

THE DECLARATION KNOWN AS Si QUIS’

These are the words of the declaration that I am required to read out on Sunday at the services in preparation for the ordination.

Notice is hereby given that Sabelo Innocent Mthimkhulu, intends to offer himself as a candidate for the holy office of a Deacon (Stipendiary), at the ensuing ordination by the Archbishop of Cape Town.  And if any person knows of any just cause or impediment for which Sabelo Innocent Mthimkhulu ought not to be admitted into the order of Deacon, he or she is now to declare the same or to signify the same forthwith to the Bishop of Natal.

Rest in Peace

The following members have sadly passed on recently.  We pray for their families in their time of bereavement: Dawn Underhill (23 September), Irene Marchant, Nontobeko Msundwane (both 24 September) and Thelma Francis (2 October).  For pictures of them on our website.

 Church warden, Yolisa Mapasa, has lost her father-in-law.  Please pray for her and Andile and family.

Prayers

Please pray for Joyce Kingham, who suffered a cracked femur and was operated on. Please pray for her recovery.

 Attendance at Funerals

While it is now permissible for up to 100 people to attend funerals it is still necessary for families of the deceased to know who will be attending to ensure that this limit is not exceeded.  If you would like to attend a funeral please contact the family to ensure that you can be accommodated. To enable a wider sharing in these services some people have arranged livestreaming of the service through Zoom, Facebook or YouTube.

Third Quarter AWF Birthday Donation

A R5 000 donation has been made to St Paul’s by the “AWF ladies” who have celebrated birthdays during this third quarter:  Brenda Phakathi, Claudine Hingston,

Doreen Senoge, Judith Serafim, Nokukhanya Zikhali, Oriana Zulu, Sindi Mtshawu

Vuyelwa Ntshongweni, Una Langeni

On behalf of the church we thank you all.

 Nominations for Bishop of Natal

The chairperson of the Elective Assembly Advisory Committee, Prof Bonke Dumisa, has written to the Diocese inviting us to submit nominations of “suitably qualified candidates,” before Wednesday 28 October 2020.  The Elective Assembly will sit on the 5th and 6th of February 2021, either virtually or in person, depending on the prevailing Covid-19 circumstances at the time.

If you wish to nominate someone please check on the process and documentation required with the Parish Office.  Let us all pray for this important process.

Anglican Church of Southern Africa turns 150

Towards the end of September ACSA celebrated 150 years with a service in which the Archbishop of Canterbury preached.  For news of this, which includes a message of congratulations from President Ramaphosa.

10th Desmond Tutu International Peace Lecture

This was held on Wednesday this week, the 89th Birthday of the Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu.  A recording of the lecture may be found here.

Prayer Diary for October

The Prayer Diary for this month may be found on our website.

 Giving

We are grateful to those who have continued to give their Planned Giving directly into the church bank account and to those who have also given loose plate collections and donations in this way.   This has enabled us to continue to pay staff salaries and our assessment. Please continue to give. (The St Paul’s banking details are: Account Name: St Paul’s Church; Account Number: 50854628623; Branch Code: 221426; Bank: FNB.)

God bless.

Yours in Christ

Revd Dr Andrew Warmback

Rector: St Paul’s, Durban

 

From the Dean/Vicar General:

Dear Diocesan Family                                                           7 October 2020

It is truly wonderful to be able to hold in-person services in our churches once again. It’s been a long time since 22 March 2020! I want to thank, most sincerely, those of you who have shown discipline and restraint in observing the Government’s regulations as well as Diocesan directives in regard to services.

With the move to Level 1 we are now permitted to have 50% capacity at our services up to a maximum of 250 people. However, that 50% is subject to us being able to maintain a distance of 1.5 metres between worshippers. So, in a small church there might only be 20 people who can safely be accommodated.

The safest way to ensure you do not have too many people in one service, is to mark out a seat, then measure out a circle of 1.5metres around the seat. In churches with pews, this usually means blocking off every alternate pew.

Please note that at funerals no more than 100 people are allowed regardless of the size of the church building or whether the funeral is held outdoors. Chapter had some discussion about the pressure some of you are facing when crowds arrive for funerals.

We suggest that you ask the family

  1. To give you a list of those who will be invited to attend the funeral and only those on the list be allowed to attend; and
  2. Ask the family to notify the local police if you anticipate large numbers of people arriving and violating the regulations.

The Archbishop’s Covid Advisory committee has recently clarified that

  1. NO congregational or choir singing is allowed. You may have instruments playing and a soloist.
  2. If baptisms take place, the parents or godparents should hold the child throughout. Water should be poured from a jug over the child into the font. Do not scoop water from the font. The parents must anoint the child/ sign the child with the cross.

Of course, all the same regulations regarding the wearing of masks, sanitising, and not touching remain in place….

Many of our parishioners are unable to attend services physically as the virus is still active and they are at high risk due to their co-morbidities.  We encourage you to continue with offering on-line resources and steaming of services including funeral services.

Relatively speaking our country has done well in containing the Covid 19 virus.  But we must never forget that thousands of lives have been lost and we dare not act in ways that endanger the lives of others. We hold one another’s lives in our hands.

I pray for your safety as you minister to God’s people in our Diocese.

Letter from Revd Andrew to the People of St Pauls 11 September 2020

Greetings in Jesus’ name during this Season of Creation, Youth Month (in the Province of Southern Africa) and Heritage Month!

Sunday 13 September

Our preacher this Sunday is Revd Shaun Cozett.  Initially trained and worked as an environmentalist at UCT, he is based at St George’s Cathedral (Cape Town).

(There will be no Zoom service)

Season of Creation

The theme for this year’s Season of Creation is “Jubilee for the Earth: New Rhythms, New Hope.”  On 1 September Pope Francis issued a message on this theme, part of which is below.  See full message here.

“In some ways, the current pandemic has led us to rediscover simpler and sustainable lifestyles. The crisis, in a sense, has given us a chance to develop new ways of living. Already we can see how the earth can recover if we allow it to rest: the air becomes cleaner, the waters clearer, and animals have returned to many places from where they had previously disappeared. The pandemic has brought us to a crossroads. We must use this decisive moment to end our superfluous and destructive goals and activities, and to cultivate values, connections and activities that are life-giving. We must examine our habits of energy usage, consumption, transportation, and diet. We must eliminate the superfluous and destructive aspects of our economies, and nurture life-giving ways to trade, produce, and transport goods.”

Throughout the Season of Creation Green Anglicans (the environment section of our Anglican Church in Southern Africa) offer services on their YouTube channel (“Green Anglicans”)

Services going forward

While infection rates appear to be falling we continue to urge everyone to be cautious and not to “let our guard down” so as to prevent “a second wave” of infections.

In their meeting on Tuesday next week the Parish Council will discuss the reopening of services in church at St Paul’s.  In the meantime we ask you to fill out this  “Google Form” so that we can get an indication of parishioners’ readiness to return to services. Please complete the form by Tuesday morning.

We all need to take note of the norms and standards that have been issued for all religious gatherings that we need to strictly follow.  In addition to the various health and safety precautions that we as a church need to undertake in arranging services the following precautions apply to those who will attend any service:

  • there must be a maximum of 50 persons at a time; personal contact between persons is strictly prohibited
  • there should be at least 1.5 meters social distancing
  • singing of hymns must be limited to soloist or pre-recorded performances
  • the name and contact details (address and telephone number) of persons attending worship  must be obtained, and kept in a register for at least 6 months
  • all attendees to use sanitizers upon entry and exit; no sharing of equipment, objects or books; social activities before, during and after religious services are strictly prohibited
  • all people must wear a face mask covering the nose and mouth
  • every person must be screened for symptoms associated with COVID-19 i.e. fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • all persons must be required to report if they suffer the following prior or while at the place of worship: body aches, loss of smell or taste, vomiting, diarrhoea, fatigue, weakness or tiredness
  • all people with prior symptoms noted above should not be permitted to enter a place of worship
  • all people who experience symptoms during worship should immediately be isolated and safely referred for medical examination and testing.

Martyr for Hope:  Bantu Stephen Biko

12 September, marks the anniversary of the death of Steve Biko. For the first time this year his commemoration is included in our lectionary.  At a time when racism continues to plague our society, it is helpful to remember Biko’s legacy. The following is part of the description given in the lectionary for him:

“Bantu Stephen Biko was a South African anti-apartheid activist, intellectual, father of the Black Consciousness Movement (BCM), and martyr.  Being human and humane was a foundational ethic for Steve Biko.  At a time when South Africa was led by a white government, which marginalised people of other races, Biko worked to instil a sense of pride and identity in fellow Blacks.  He challenged the institutional church to be an instrument of human dignity and freedom.   He worked towards fulfilling a vision of a transformed South Africa and world….A lifelong Anglican, Biko had an ecumenical outlook and practiced explorative religious consciousness, especially with ideas from African culture and religion, and the politics of religions.  However, he engaged passionately in African liberation theology, in Christ-like justice and righteousness, and had a clear vision of a redemptive, compassionate God.  Biko clearly had as his inspiration the mystic-activism of the Christian faith seeking to embody a radical Christ-Presence in the works for the lives of all.”

Shaun Thabo Nodangala-Mncwabe

Yesterday the funeral for Shaun, who died in a car accident on 23 May, was held at St Pauls. For a picture of Shaun see our memoria page , where a virtual eternal flame burns.  Let us continue to pray for his mother, Portia, as she both recovers from the trauma of his death and her own injuries sustained in the car accident.

In Hospital

Please pray for Dawn Underhill and Irene Marchant who have returned to hospital.

Diocesan Finances 

In the in the interests of transparency and openness we have been keeping you informed of the ongoing developments in the Diocese.  The most recent letter is appended below.  You will see that the intention is to reduce the clergy numbers in the Diocese by about 38.  Concern is also expressed around the Mothers’ Union Conference facility.  We need to be aware that the Diocesan financial situation can impact negatively on local parishes.

 Giving

We are grateful to those who have continued to give their Planned Giving directly into the church bank account and to those who have also given loose plate collections and donations in this way.   This has enabled us to continue to pay staff salaries and our assessment. Please continue to give. (The St Paul’s banking details are: Account Name: St Paul’s Church; Account Number: 50854628623; Branch Code: 221426;  Bank: FNB.)

Words of Jesus

Come to me… and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28)

I will be with you always. (Matthew 28:20)

Follow me. (Mark 2:14)

Peace be with you. (Luke 24:36)

Yours in Christ

Revd Dr Andrew Warmback

Rector: St Paul’s, Durban

To: The Clergy of the Diocese of Natal

From: The Diocese of Natal Ways and Means Committee

Date: 28 August 2020

Re: Update following first meeting of the Committee

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

The Diocese of Natal Ways and Means Committee held its first virtual meeting on 21 August 2020. As mentioned in the Archbishop’s letter to the clergy of the Diocese of Natal, the Ways and Means Committee (Committee) is the body that has been put into place to look specifically at the number of clergy in the Diocese following the engagement of 40 additional clergy during the period 2016 and 2019. The engagement of these additional clergy has put significant strain on the diocese to the extent that there is unsupported payroll cost at a level of R10.8m per annum. Of these 40 additional clergy approximately 22 are clergy ordained following their return from College. It was considered by the committee as vital that there be good clear communication with all diocesan bodies and the clergy as to the work undertaken by the committee. It was hoped that regular communication would assist in dealing with some of the anxiety that had been the outcome of the Archbishop’s letter to clergy, and help, to some extent, with the fragmenting of the unity of the diocese as a whole.

The Committee, as its first order of business, discussed the terms of reference that had been drawn up for the committee. Following discussion it was agreed that the committee was specifically charged with looking at a process of reducing the clergy number in the diocese by approximately 38 to ease the pressure on the finances of the diocese. The issue of the restructuring of the diocese was part of the discussion. The restructuring would take the form of looking critically at the parishes making up the Diocese of Natal and beginning a process of twinning parishes, converting some parishes to chapelries, team ministry and in need, the closure of parishes that are no longer serving a meaningful purpose. It became apparent that parish boundaries also needed to be looked at urgently as this was often giving rise to ministry tensions. Overall this process was seen as a short to medium term process and would need to be handled internally by the Diocese of Natal and as such would not form part of the mandate of the Committee.

The Diocesan Secretary gave a detailed overview of the finances of the diocese looking at historical data and giving projections forward. It became clear that for many years the Diocesan Trusts’ Board had been subsidising the Central Fund and that in the last four years this support had escalated. If left unresolved the Diocese of Natal would run out of capital by 2025 and hence the reason to look at reducing the expenses of the diocese. In this regard the overall expenses of the diocese had been looked at in detail and some actions taken. These included a moratorium on the training of ordinands at the College of the Transfiguration for the next couple of years, and a hard look at the administration costs of the diocese, particularly in light of the two suffragan bishop vacancies. As a result of this process two lay staff members, who had provided support to one of the suffragan bishops, had been retrenched in 2020. The administration of the diocese is however lean and there is not a great deal of scope for reducing staff further without compromising the effectiveness of the administration.

It was felt that the situation facing the diocese needed to be disseminated broadly and to this end the financial data presented to the committee, and spoken to by the Diocesan Secretary, is attached to this memorandum for information purposes.

Other areas of expense that were looked at are as follows:

  • The number of Archdeacons. The cost of archdeacons is a factor in the overall cost of diocesan administration and some thought was needed to look at the model and whether the diocese would be better served in having executive archdeacons who could be more focused on their role without parish commitments;
  • The number of paid Lay Evangelists needed to be looked at critically as the role that was played by them was akin to an unpaid lay minister and there was no over-sight on their activities;
  • The possible closure and sale of the Greyville property was an avenue that the diocese needed to work on urgently. It may be possible to relocate the administration performed on this property to another suitable site in the Durban area;
  • The income derived from rental property also needed to be reviewed. It was noted that the rental income derived was reported as part of the annual financial statements but in the light of the crisis facing the diocese, identification of property that may be suitable for generating income needed to be a priority. To this end property terriers needed to be brought up to date with clear details on which properties were generating income and which additional properties could be looked at development/rental;

It was acknowledged that the expanded payroll cost was not the only issue facing the finances of the diocese. On the income side there are also challenges. Despite a reduction in the 2020 budget parish assessments, the income from the parishes had been below budget from the beginning of the year and since April 2020 COVID-19 had only worsened the income streams. In looking at the poor income flows a number of areas of concern were highlighted and are as follows:

  • The growing number of parishes that had, or were looking to acquire PBO status. This had the effect of diverting parish income into PBO activities and, depending on the registration, would allow s18A certificates to be issued thereby allowing for tax allowable deductions;
  • The approval of the Mother’s Union conference facility was also drawing funds from parishes to the extent of R1000 per month contribution by members towards the cost of the facility;
  • It was acknowledged that there were underlying reasons for poor parish income. Not all placements made were ideal and that the process of placements needed to be more deliberate, with a view to matching the placement with parish so that there was synergy rather than, as often happened, conflict, which compromised income. During the course of this process it was requested of Chapter that placements be put on hold until the end of December.
  • The handling of the crisis in the diocese had been poor to the extent that it had simply not dealt with the issue decisively. Broadly, Anglicans tended to ‘vote with their pockets’ when there is unhappiness in the diocese/parish and this aspect could be part of the reason for the reduction in giving.

Whilst there are many ancillary issues affecting both income and expenses these were the key outcomes of the discussions held.

Turning to the reduction of clergy in the diocese, this was broken up into two distinct discussion areas. Clergy older than 60 years of age who could be approached to consider early retirement and the identification of clergy who could be offered for placement in other dioceses and, if unplaced, considered for retrenchment.

In terms of the clergy older than 60 years of age who could be approached for early retirement, work had been done on this by the Committee Chair in his capacity as Principal Officer of the two pension funds. The extent of this was looking at the cost of removing the early retirement penalties, a cost that would be borne by the diocese.

The clergy falling into the 60+ category comprised 22 stipendiary clergy of the Diocese. Considerations in this grouping was the amount of notice required to be given, the issue of retirement housing and the mechanism for dealing with leave due, both annual and accumulated. The Diocesan Registrar gave input and confirmed that in terms of leave the Acts of the Diocese were clear, leave could not be paid out and would need to be taken. The notice period required was confirmed at 3 months’ notice. The issue of retirement housing was also discussed and the Diocesan Secretary provided details of accommodation available in the diocese.

Following lengthy discussion it was agreed that the Chair be authorsied to approach the 60+ clergy to open discussions around early retirement. This needed to be handled quickly and to this end the Chair would contact the affected clergy and arrange one on one meetings in Natal in the next two weeks.

The identification of the clergy to be considered for placement in other dioceses was debated at length. The Registrar gave input in terms of the Canons of the Church but also spoke to the Labour Relations Act (LRA). It was acknowledged that the LRA was a good, fair piece of legislation and that any consideration in terms of a retrenchment process needed to follow the LRA guidelines as closely as possible, whilst not losing sight of the Canons, to ensure that there was fairness to both parties. The agreed initial identification of clergy falling into this category was to be based on the ‘last in, first out’ principle and to this end the Diocesan Administrator was asked to draw up a list of clergy falling into this category for the period 2016 to 2019 excluding clergy returning from the College of Transfiguration and ordained during these years. A small group of the Committee would look at the names, once provided, and recommended a short list to the next sitting of the Committee for consideration. It should be noted that the ‘last in, first out’ principle is only a first step in identifying clergy who may be considered for placement elsewhere but that this process could be overlaid with operational considerations.

There were a number of take outs of this meeting and it was important that these were not lost and that these be dealt with by different diocesan bodies as part of the overall response to the crisis facing the diocese. These are as follows:

  • The issue of the Lay Evangelists needed to be dealt with. It was not clear who had oversight of this body of personnel but in the end this was referred to Diocesan Chapter for engagement;
  • The reported growth in PBO’s and NPO’s in the diocese was referred to the Diocesan Trusts’ Board. The DTB would compile a list and interrogate the rationale for the creation of these entities and the effect on parish income. The DTB would also look to amending legislation to require DTB approval before a parish began this process;
  • The suggestion that Executive Archdeacons be considered was referred to DTB with view that this be considered as a management change for the future and perhaps form part of the Diocesan profile in the lead up to the election of a Diocesan Bishop. This would also need to be approved at Synod;
  • The issue of diocesan property and the optimal use thereof and together with the terrier of property and rental properties was referred to DTB for further action;
  • Diocesan Trusts’ Board were tasked with reviewing the decision around the Mother’s Union conference facility and the impact that the funding of this was having on the Diocese as a whole;
  • An investigation into the failure of parishes to pay assessments in full was referred to DTB to initiate.

The next meeting of the committee would be around mid-September to allow time for the various initiatives to be dealt with.

The Chair was tasked with engaging with the Archbishop regarding the possibility of a Zoom/Teams meeting either with Chapter or the clergy of the Diocese.

The Committee were of a mind that communication throughout this process was vital and as a body committed themselves to frank and open communication with the clergy of the Diocese of Natal, Diocesan Trusts’ Board and Chapter. There would perhaps be a need for an ad clerum to the wider diocese but this would be discussed at the next meeting.

Signed for and on behalf of the Ways and Means Committee,

The Very Revd Ndabezinhle Sibisi

The Dean/Vicar-General

The Diocese of Natal