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