Letter from Revd Andrew to the People of St Pauls 14 August 2020

Dear People of St Paul’s

Greetings in Jesus’ name during Women’s Month!

Sunday 23 August

This Sunday we welcome the contribution from Prof Charlene van der Walt, who is an Associate Professor at UKZN and works in the area of Gender and Religion. We continue our focus on women, including on Gender Based Violence. We thank Sabelo Mthimkhulu for arranging this.

For our prayers

Joan Harris: Joan, a resident of Langeler Towers, has slipped and fallen and injured her leg and is now in Addington Hospital. We pray for her speedy recovery.

Portia Nodangala: From the previous week an update from her support team – “Portia is doing well. Last week they tried to get her to a vertical position to get her on her feet. She did very well. She also baked and painted beautiful Women’s Day cards. We are grateful and thankful to God for all the miracles we are witnessing with her progress. His mercy endures forever. Stay health. God bless.”

Rest in Peace: Revd Malusi Msimango

On Monday we received the following sad message from the Dean/Vicar-General: “Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ Greetings! It is with great sadness that I inform you of the death of the Revd Malusi Msimango the Rector of the Parish of Ntuzuma, St Saviour / Kwa Msindisi. Revd Malusi passed away in hospital this morning.

Funeral details are to follow once they become available. Please pray for his wife Sibonisile and their children Nathi and Thabizolo during this sad, painful and difficult time.”

The funeral service was held yesterday at St Faiths. A recording (though not always clear) of the service is here.

Revd Msimango was a much loved, wise and caring senior priest in our diocese, a former rector of St Faith’s and Archdeacon of Durban Ridge (before the archdeaconries of Durban and Durban Ridge were combined to form the present archdeaconry of Ethekwini Central). He will be sorely missed.

Bible Society 200 years

The Vicar General has asked us to share the following information from the Bible Society: “The Bible Society in South Africa (BSSA) will be celebrating their 200th Birthday over the weekend of 22-23 August 2020. Please find attached a prayer that can be included in the Liturgy this Sunday for the 200th Birthday celebrations.

There are also three events in which everyone can share and/or participate from home (even our family members that are overseas can participate):The virtual Run/Walk for Hope on 22 and 23 August. Click on the following link to find out more and sign up:.

The Thanksgiving Service that will be broadcast live on BSSA’s Facebook and YouTube channels on Sunday 23 August at 9am SAST (7am GMT). The online Songs of Praise that will be broadcast on BSSA’s Facebook and YouTube channels on Sunday 23 August at 3pm SAST (1pm GMT).Our Board Chair, Dr Paul du Plessis will present the broadcast service on RSG on Sunday 23rd at 9am. Our CEO; Rev Dirk Gevers will present the broadcast service on SAFM on Sunday 23rd at 5am.”

 

Diocesan Finances

Below is another very important letter from the Vicar-General giving the latest update on the diocesan finances and the payment of clergy stipends and salaries. We are encouraged to continue to pray for the situation. The Archbishop’s “Commission of Enquiry” to work on resolving this crisis situation met for the first time this morning.

Spiritual Nourishment

We have been putting on St Paul’s Instagram one verse that is contained in the Morning and Evening Prayer lectionary readings for each weekday (see stpaulsdurban).

A reminder that each weekday the Archbishop also offers a daily reflection on the Eucharistic scriptures for the day on the ACSA’s Facebook page and Twitter feed.

Lectionary readings for this week

Morning Prayer (MP) and Evening Prayer (EP), Psalm (Ps):

Sunday 23th MP Ps 84 Job 4: 1-21 Revelation 4:1-11

EP Ps 86, 87 2 Samuel 24:1-2, 10-25 Mark 6:1-6a

Monday 24th MP Ps 50 Job 5:1-27 Acts 9:19b-31

EP Ps 51 1 Kings 1:5-31 John 6: 52-59

Tuesday 25th MP Ps 52, 53, 54 Job 6: 1-21 Acts 9:32-43

EP Ps 55 1 Kings 1: 38 – 2:4 John 6:60-71

Wednesday 26th MP Ps 56, 57, 58 Job 7: 1-21 Acts 10:1-16

EP Ps 59, 60 1 Kings 3: 1-15 John 7: 1-13

Thursday 27th MP Ps 61, 62 Job 8:1-10, 20-22 Acts 10:17-33

EP 63, 64, 65 1 Kings 3:16-28 John 7:14-36

Friday 28st MP Ps 66, 67 Job 9: 1-15, 32-35 Acts 10:34-48

EP Ps 68 1 Kings 5: 1 – 6:1,7 John 7:37-52

Saturday 29nd MP Ps 69 Job 10: 1-22 Acts 11:1-18

EP Ps 70, 71 1 Kings 7:51 – 8: 21 John 8:12-20

Communication: Landlines

At the moment the church office telephone (031 3054666) is staffed by Sithembile Ngubo, our parish secretary, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

The rectory landline had come to an end. The copper cables in the area disappeared and Telkom will not replace them; and there is not sufficient coverage in the area for the installation of a wireless landline. An LTE router has been acquired for internet access. I can be contacted on my cell phone: 083 693 6745.

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. (The St Paul’s banking details are: Account Name: St Paul’s Church; Account Number: 50854628623; Branch Code: 221426; Bank: FNB.)

God bless and protect you and your families especially at this time of the worsening of the coronavirus pandemic. Remember to wear your masks, sanitise, wash your hands, keep social distance and stay at home as much as possible.

“You who live in the shelter of the Most High,
who abide in the shadow of the Almighty,
will say to God, ‘My refuge and my fortress;
my God, in whom I trust.’ ” (Psalm 91:1-2)

Yours in Christ

Revd Dr Andrew Warmback

Rector: St Paul’s, Durban

From the Dean/Vicar-General: 18th August 2020

To: Stipendiary Clergy and Lay-workers

Re: Payment of Stipends and Salaries

The Diocesan Board of Trustees, in their meeting held on 14 August 2020, considered the availability of funds to meet the payment of stipends and salaries for clergy and lay-workers. The essence and intentions of the deliberations were geared towards making a firm commitment from August 2020 to December 2020.

Analysis exposed the uncertainty of a sufficient and steady flow of income to the Central Fund which was duly acknowledged. Assessment income in particular, has proven to be very difficult to forecast. Consequently the Trustees have adopted a prudent approach.

The Diocesan Board of Trustees made a commitment to meet the full payment of stipends and salaries for the ensuing three months, being August to October 2020. Updated reviews and analysis of income and available funds will be conducted prior to making any further commitment for the subsequent months. As at the date of this letter, the Diocese does not and cannot guarantee the full payment or a confirmed percentage of stipends and salaries to be paid as from November 2020 going forward.

The financial performance of the Diocese and its parishes, over the upcoming months will determine the income flows and therefore the funds available to meet the expenditure of the Diocese. Parish Assessment remains the major source of diocesan income, quantified at 71% of total income. The flow of Assessment income is critical as this enables the Diocese to continue meeting its operational costs, especially the largest cost, which is clergy stipends. These are 74% of total expenses. In other words, assessment income is the major contributor to the Diocese’s ability to meet the costs of stipendiary clergy and lay-workers.

As mentioned in my previous letter dated 5 August 2020, the Diocese is facing a financial crisis with an escalated need for remedial action. To this end the Archbishop’s Committee was convened to formulate solutions and a strategy for implementation to place the Diocese on a sustainable and financially secure footing. The execution of the plan will unfold over the upcoming months. In the interim, all members of the diocesan family are urged to remain calm and prayerful.

There will be interaction between the work of the Archbishop’s Committee and that of the Diocesan Board of Trustees. Input and output from both bodies will involve reviewing the viability of parishes which among other things will entail an analysis of the payment of assessments, as a performance indicator.

We express sincere gratitude to the parishes that have been making assessment payments and encourage all parishes to continue doing their best in this critical area. We commend those parishes which have not accumulated any arrears to date, thus displaying an extraordinary level of commitment by paying their assessment in full, notwithstanding the national lockdown.

The Diocese can be assured that the Diocesan Board of Trustees will continue to monitor the finances closely. Decisions taken, particularly those which impact the stipends and salaries, will always be announced without delay. All stipendiary clergy and lay-workers are requested to remain calm, patient and be guided only by official communication that will be released in due course.

Yours sincerely,

The Very Revd Ndabezinhle Sibisi Ms ST Madovi

The Dean/Vicar-General Diocesan Secretary