Letter from Revd Andrew to the People of St Pauls 16 January 2021

Greetings in Jesus’ name!

Encouragement to Keep Safe

The most important message we can communicate at the moment is to observe the Covid health protocols strictly, including mask wearing, keeping social distance and sanitising regularly.  I have noticed that for some people the keeping of social distance is the most difficult – it requires a constant conscious effort when in the presence of other people.  Let’s be disciplined at protecting others and ourselves. It’s our God given responsibility.

Please also do not be judgemental of those who get infected by Covid – it is the irresponsibly behaviour of others, such as in not wearing masks that leads to the virus being passed on.

 Continuing to pray

In offering a tribute to the late Dolly Mokgatle , the Archbishop offers the following prayers “for the many clergy and lay people, known and unknown to us, who have died in our country and Church Province”:

Heal us, O God, of all our afflictions, fears, anxiety and perplexity,
Keep us rooted in your love, faith and hope,
Cover our sobbing hearts and souls with your healing balm
That we may remain as yours forever,
For your name’s sake. Amen

Sovereign God,
the defence of those who trust in you
and the strength of those who suffer:
look with mercy on our affliction
and deliver us through our mighty Savior Jesus Christ.
– Common Worship, CofE

Truly the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him,
on those who hope in his steadfast love,
to deliver their soul from death,
and to keep them alive in famine.
Our soul waits for the Lord;
he is our help and shield.
Our heart is glad in him,
because we trust in his holy name.
Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us,
even as we hope in you. – Ps 33:18-22

 Parish – Rest in Peace

Last week we reported that Thoko Elizabeth Gumede had passed on. On Wednesday this week, her husband, Dan, sadly passed on too.  The service for both Gumedes will take place at St Pauls tomorrow at 9.00 (livestreamed on Thoko Gumede’s Facebook page – you will need to ‘befriend’ her first to gain access to the live service).

On Monday this week, Mothers’ Union member and a member of the fete team, Ntombi Bhengu sadly passed on.  Her funeral will take place at St Pauls this Sunday morning at 9.00 followed by the burial at Stellawood.  For pictures of those who have passed on see In Memorium.

 Praying with KZN Churches

Co-ordinated by the KwaZulu-Natal Christian Council and the KZN Covid-19 Churches Respond, an opportunity for united prayer is offered every Thursday FROM 9.00-9.30 am on Zoom.  To participate use the Meeting ID 821 5001 7610 and Passcode PRAYER.  This will take place in January and February.

Counselling

With the stress people are feeling from the high levels of illness and death it is helpful to be able to talk to someone.  The parish clergy are available for this (even if telephonically/ teleconferencing-wise).

I mention two other options of dedicated counselling services:

“LET US HELP”

Need someone to listen?  Free online counselling service. Professional councillors from the Berea, Sydenham and Sparks churches are offering free online counselling during this time of Covid-19.

For Whom?

For anybody and people of all faiths in need to emotional, spiritual and psychological support, eg; general anxiety and depression, loss and grief.

Making contact

You can Whatsapp or email the following people to book an appointment with a counsellor.  We would prefer a Whatsapp message or email but if you need to phone do so. You can contact us during office hours from 8.00 – 17.00.

David 083 731 7432 barbour@absamail.co.za

Lauren 073 702 0292 lauren.c.ganasen@gmail.com

Convened by KZNCC”

The Gift of the Givers has established a counselling service – “Covid-19 Counselling”  Experiencing stress, depression or anxiety?” Their toll-free Careline is 0800 786 786 and operates from Monday – Friday, 9am – 4pm.

Diocese Rest in Peace

This week the Dean/Vicar General wrote about the following bereavements:

“It is with great sadness that I inform you of the deaths of the following people:

  • Mrs Greta Khanyile, the wife of our retired Self-Supporting Priest the Revd Africa Khanyile of the Parish of Woodlands, Montclair and Yellowwood Park, who died on Friday 8th January 2021 at her residence in Umbilo.
  • Mrs Jane Naidoo the wife of our retired Priest the Revd Henry Naidoo, who also died on Friday 8th February 2021.
  • Mama Khanyisile Zwane dear mum of Mrs Thoko Sibisi, my mother-in-law who passed away in Vryheid Hospital on, Saturday 9th January 2021.
  • Mr Vincent Moleleki Mohoto, the father of the Revd Ntebo Mohoto the Chaplain of St Agnes Guild.

As the Diocesan family we express our condolences to them and request your prayers for the Khanyile, Naidoo, Sibisi, Zwane and Mohoto families during this sad, painful and very difficult time as they mourn the deaths of their loved ones.”

The Dean sent a further note this morning to say “Mrs Stholozile Eugenia Bhengu (former Diocesan worker) died on 12 January. Her funeral will be at her home in KwaMakhutha, House No. 3208 @12pm on 17 January.”

Patronal Festival of St Pauls – Sunday 24 January

For this we will join with other St Paul’s Churches to produce a composite (on-line) service, including with participation from Revd Sabelo and myself.

Vestry Sunday 14 March

A reminder of reports from all guilds/groups and ministries to be sent to the parish office by the end of January (paulsdbn@mweb.co.za).  Parish Council will be looking into ways in which we can best proceed with the nominations process for office bearers and the Vestry meeting, itself in the prevailing circumstances.

Election of Bishop Postponed

Last week I explained the process of the election of bishops and the names of the candidates.  This week the Archbishop wrote that “In the light of religious gatherings still not permitted whether indoors or outdoors, and borders closed, the in person Elective Assemblies are postponed indefinitely for the time being.”  Please continue to pray for this process and Dean Ndabezinhle Sibisi, our Vicar-General.

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 your families in the New Year.

Yours in Christ

Revd Dr Andrew Warmback

Rector: St Paul’s, Durban