Letter from Revd Andrew to the People of St Pauls 16 October 2020

Greetings in Jesus’ name in this season of stewardship!

Return to Services in Church

We continue with in-person services at 7.30 and 9.15 on a Sunday. Our Children’s Ministry (Sunday School) remains closed.
We are reminded that the Archbishop’s Covid Advisory committee has stressed that no congregational or choir singing is allowed. While difficult to follow, let us sing in our “souls.”

We continue to send out the sermon (and some related liturgical material each week). For the past two weeks we have sent it out after the Sunday morning services have finished. We will send them out earlier.

Stewardship

During the Season of Stewardship 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 are made available at services and are to be returned as soon as possible. We will continue to make the forms available for most of the year. Copies of the three forms are also available on our website .

As usual we use this occasion as an opportunity to update our Parish Roll.

Rest in Peace

Faith Gushu, a member of MU has lost her sister, Primrose Nxumalo. She will be buried today. Please pray for Faith and the family.
Mrs Jenny Russell, the wife of one of our diocesan clergy, Revd Peter Russell, died on Wednesday this week. We pray for Peter and their family in this sad time.

May their souls rest in peace and rise in glory.

Prayers

Please continue to pray for Joyce Kingham, who is making steady progress.

Exploring Ministries

A few years back there was what was called the Fellowship of Vocation. It was a group (or local groups in different parts of the Diocese) for those exploring ordained ministry. The new system has been the Exploring Ministries groups, not just for those seeking ordination but for all lay people seeking to discern the ministry to which they are being called, particularly at a diocesan level. Forms to join the programme for next year need to be in by the first week in January. Our parish office has copies of the forms.

Provincial Standing Committee (PSC)

PSC is the highest decision making body in our Province (ACSA) that meets between Provincial Synods. PSC was held at the end of September. Various decisions were made. I have included later the Resolutions on Gender Based Violence.

In the Archbishop’s letter at the end you will find a link to a fuller report on this Synod. These are some of the decisions taken:

  • PSC rejected a proposal to explore holding “virtually” the Lambeth Conference, the once-a-decade meeting of bishops and their spouses from around the world. This year’s Lambeth Conference has been postponed until 2022, as a result of which ACSA’s Provincial Synod, originally due to meet in 2022, will be held next year.
  • Calls upon our Governments to implement the Basic Income Grant to reduce abject poverty and malnutrition.
  • PSC expressed its gratitude to the SA Council of Churches for its leadership during the lockdown in South Africa and its initiatives on a basic income grant, corruption and gender-based violence.
  • The Palestinian Study Group set up after last year’s Provincial Synod was asked to prepare a presentation and resources on “the daily reality of the situation” in Palestine for dioceses and parishes.

The Archbishop’s Award for Peace with Justice was conferred upon O R Tambo, posthumously, recently. ‘The citation for Mr Tambo, leader of the ANC in exile, noted that he attended Holy Cross Mission School at Flagstaff, then went on to study at St. Peter’s School, Rosettenville, and to live in Beda Hall, the Anglican hostel at the University of Fort Hare. “The life of Oliver Tambo was rooted in his Christian faith and in the Anglican Church,” the citation added.

Father Trevor Huddleston became his “religious model” and Bishop Ambrose Reeves accepted him for ordination training. But his arrest ahead of the Treason Trial, then being sent into exile, thwarted him. Mr Tambo was also credited with winning over leaders of the World Council of Churches to support the liberation struggle.’ [from ACSA website]

Communication

We have added Twitter to our church’s social media (@StPaulsDbn), and would like to start a regular newsletter, that will be distributed electronically as well as printed out for those who would like/need it in this format.

We appeal for news from groups/guilds and individuals. Please send your news stories to the parish office (paulsdbn@mweb.co.za)
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, 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.
Yours in Christ
Revd Dr Andrew Warmback

RESOLUTION ON THE MOTION ON GENDER BASED VIOLENCE

This PSC hereby resolves:
1. That all dioceses revisit the communication from Synod of Bishops February 2020 that declared a state of emergency on GBV and immediately put in place a programme to deal with the scourge of GBV.
2. That each diocese has a dedicated gender officer or task team that liaises with HOPE Africa as well as all provincial organisations involved in training and programmes on GBV, so that these programmes get to diocesan and parish level.
3. The Provincial Liturgical Committee create a Season that focus on GBV, with Readings, Prayers, Liturgical materials, Sermon outlines and materials for Small Group Bible Studies.
4. That we ensure that all our liturgies are transformed to be gender inclusive and all dioceses request that each Parish uses these gender inclusive liturgies.
5. That we immediately stop referring to male priests as “Father” and begin to use more gender inclusive titles like Reverend, Moruti, etc.
6. That we respectfully request the Metropolitan to request the Anglican Theological Commission to identify doctrines, beliefs and practices that need to be eliminated to ensure that our teachings and practices are life-giving for both women and men. These should include but not be limited to theologies of male headship, female submission, family values, codes of purity, discourses of protection and pity.
7. That we respectfully respect the Archbishop to declare a theme for Lent of 2021 to focus on GBV.
8. To strive to have equal representation of women at all leadership and decision making levels of the church.
9. That the ACSA budget includes an adequate financial allocation to deal with GBV.
10. That all Dioceses adopt and promote the “Thursdays in Black” campaign against GBV.
11. That the liturgical committee write a prayer for women (like the Prayer for Africa) to be prayed at every Eucharistic celebration.
12. That men become more involved in challenging patriarchy and GBV. This should begin with a men’s webinar, where men speak about their experience of male privilege.
ARCHBISHOP THABO MAKGOBA: Saturday, 10 October 2020

Archbishop announces ACSA 150th anniversary appeal – Ad Laos – to the People of God

Dear People of God
The top deliberative body of our church in Southern Africa between our three-yearly Provincial Synods is the Provincial Standing Committee (PSC), which meets annually at the end of September. This year’s meeting was unique for two reasons: firstly as a consequence of the coronavirus we had to hold it virtually, with more than 100 people linked up on video screens from diocesan hubs as far away as Angola and northern Mozambique; and secondly in 2020 we are celebrating the inauguration of the Province in 1870.

Our 150th anniversary is indeed a momentous milestone, and as we look back over the decades we can see that what has been achieved is nothing short of God-inspired. From the five founding dioceses of the Province – those of Cape Town, Grahamstown, Maritzburg (now Natal), Saint Helena and Bloemfontein (now Free State) – we have grown to 29, covering not only South Africa but Angola, eSwatini (Swaziland) Lesotho, Namibia and Mozambique.

We have touched the lives of countless people from all walks of life and played a pivotal role in the shaping of our respective societies through the leadership and sacrifices made by many Anglicans. And in an exciting development which we heard about at PSC, the existing four dioceses in Mozambique and Angola plan to multiply into 12 and, in time, to form their own Province with Portuguese as their lingua franca.

To celebrate both our history and our present reality, I am launching a Sesquicentennial Campaign to raise funds to digitise our church records and archives. Over the past century-and-a-half we have generated immense quantities of written and printed material, from liturgies and records of celebrations to St Helena’s parish baptism registers dating to 1680, to letters from David Livingstone and James Calata, to Charles Johnson’s letterbooks from Zululand, to the angry letters of Desmond Tutu to P W Botha in the 1980s, to documents on the clash that Archbishop Njongo had
with Madiba in the late 1990s.

Wits University, which has kept our archives for more than 80 years, is running out of space; not only that, but numbers of our parishes and dioceses are now keeping only electronic records, necessitating a complete overhaul of our archival systems.

The aim is that this Campaign will become an ever-evolving record of the life of the Anglican Church in Southern Africa, an easily-accessible resource for researchers and Anglican lay people and one which enhances the theological formation of our clergy. Please support this campaign with your prayers and financial contributions.

Diocesan representatives brought a diverse and encouraging range of issues to PSC: poverty and inequality; “Building Back Better” after COVID-19; gender-based violence and the patriarchy that underlies it; the integrity of the environment; the evil of racism which lives on in some of our schools; and domestic matters such as the need to hold “virtual” elective assemblies online to fill episcopal vacancies in the dioceses of Kimberley & Kuruman, Lesotho, Natal and Zululand.

You can read more detail in the news section of the Provincial website but at the heart of all our efforts is the need to move our church from maintenance to mission, for our ecclesiology is sound and relevant only if it is missiological. Mission is about people and where we live and move and have our being. Hence we must care not only for human life but for the whole of God’s creation, not as an optional extra but as a focus essential to the future of human life on our planet. As we end the Season of Creation, have you used the season to give back to future generations?

One way of contributing to the mission of the Church is to invest in the theological formation of all our people, from infants at baptism to the elderly in their last years. Anglicans Ablaze this year played its missional and teaching role online and the College of the Transfiguration (Cott) does it for ordinands. Please remember to give generously on Theological Sunday to the work and ministry of Cott.

Also commit to your own theological nurture, reading and discussing scripture to understand current concerns about the effects of patriarchy in church and society, and doing your part in naming it and rooting it out. Ask your clergy to help you with resources such as contextual Bible studies.

Let us also pay heed to what Pope Francis says in his new encyclical, in which he warns us that the “magic theories” associated with what he calls the “dogma of neoliberal faith” is not resolving the inequality which is threatening the fabric of societies in many parts of the planet. What steps might you and your parish, as individuals and families, take towards transforming elements of our local economies which annihilate instead of nurturing abundant life?

Finally, a very happy birthday to Archbishop Emeritus Desmond, who as I write turns 89, and to Mama Leah, who also has a birthday in a few days. I pray with him regularly, and I know he also prays for you.

God bless ††Thabo Cape Town