Greetings in Jesus’ name during the last week of Women’s Month!
Sunday 30 August
This Sunday we offer a short service via Zoom, starting at 9.00. You are all welcome to join it. It will consist of some music, reading, a sermon by Revd Sizwe Ngcobo of St Agnes Kloof, and prayer. The link to join is the following: Zoomlink Meeting ID: 346 565 3658 Passcode: P8a
We encourage you to join up before 9.00. If you need some assistance in using Zoom I refer you to some notes on our website we distributed a few months back.
Return to in-person worship.
The Dean/Vicar-General and Chapter have given permission for churches in our diocese to restart services in church from Sunday 13 September (see full letter at the end). We will communicate the way forward for St Pauls when a decision has been made. As the letter indicates the pandemic is far from over and great caution would need to be exercised by people returning to worship in the church.
For our prayers
Joan Harris: Joan, a resident of Langeler Towers and a member of St Paul’s, passed away on Sunday this week in Addington Hospital. We pray for her family and all who mourn her passing. The funeral service was held yesterday at Stellawood Crematorium. For a picture of Joan.
Irene Marchant: You will remember Irene, a long term member of St Pauls, turned 100 recently (I was able to convey to her our best wishes as a parish on her birthday). She has recently spent some time in hospital and has returned to Parkview in an extremely weak condition. Please pray for her.
Portia Nodangala: This week’s message from her ‘support team:’ “We are preparing and planning for Portia’s discharge from hospital, first week of September. As we are still observing COVID-19 protocols, she will not be receiving any visitors despite the country being at level 2. As such, we are planning a drive by visit – date and time to be announced later. There’s a lot we are working through and as soon as she is settled, she will call you. Please be patient and understanding. Keep safe. Stay blessed.”
Revd Howard Phelane: We received the following from the Dean/Vicar-General on Monday: “Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ Greetings in the wonderful name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. I am writing to inform you that the Revd Howard Phelane the Rector of the Parish of Ngcwayi was hijacked last night. He was stabbed several times and then dumped in a sugarcane field in Upper Melville, Port Shepstone. Thankfully he was found and rushed to hospital by ambulance and is currently in a stable condition. The vehicle has been recovered in the Scottburgh area. Our thoughts and prayers are with Fr Howard at this time and we wish him a speedy recovery.”
Update: Revd Phelane, who was stabbed 15 times, is critical in ICU. We continue to pray for him.
Lectionary readings for September
Morning Prayer (MP) and Evening Prayer (EP), Psalm (Ps). These readings may also be accessed from our parish website
Sunday 30th MP Ps 90 Job 11:1-20 Revelation 5:1-14
EP Ps 91, 92 1 Kings 8:22-30 (31-40) Matt 5:1-12
Monday 31st MP Ps 72 Job 12:1-25 Acts 11:19-30
EP Ps 73 2 Chronicles 6:32-7:7 John 8:21-30
Tuesday 1st MP Ps 74 Job 13:1-28 Acts 12:1-17
EP Ps 75,76 1 Kings 8:65-9:9 John 8:31-47
Wednesday 2nd MP Ps 77 Job 14: 1-22 Acts 12:18-25
EP Ps 78:1-38 1 Kings 9:25-10:13 John 8:47-59
Thursday 3rd MP Ps 78:39-70 Job 16:16-17:1,13-16 Acts 13:1-12
EP Ps 79,80 1 Kings 11:1-13 John 9:1-17
Friday 4th MP Ps 81, 82 Job 19:1-27 Acts 13:13-25
EP Ps 83, 84 1 Kings 11:26-43 John 9:18-41
Saturday 5th MP Ps 85, 86 Job 22:(1-4), 21-23:7 Acts 13:26-43
EP Ps 87, 88 1 Kings 12:1-20 John 10:1-18
Sunday 6th MP Ps 96 Job 25:1-6; 27:1-6 Revelation 14:1-13
EP Ps 94 1 Kings 12:21-33 Matt 5:13-20
Monday 7th MP Ps 89:1-38 Job 32: 1-10; 33:1-18 Acts 13:44-52
EP Ps 89:39-53 1 Kings 13:1-10 John 10:19-30
Tuesday 8th MP Ps 90 Job 29:1-20 Acts 14:1-18
EP Ps 91 1 Kings 16: 23-34 John 10:31-42
Wednesday 9th MP Ps 92, 93 Job 30:16-31 Acts 14:19-28
EP Ps 94 1 Kings 17:1-24 John 11:1-16
Thursday 10th MP Ps (95),96,97 Job 31:1-23 Acts 15:1-11
EP Ps 98,99,(100),101 1 Kings 18:1-19 John 11:17-29
Friday 11th MP Ps 102 Job 31:24-40 Acts 15:12-21
EP Ps 103 1 Kings 18:20-40 John 11: 30-44
Saturday 12th MP Ps 104 Job 38:1-17 Acts 15:22-35
EP Ps 105:1-22 1 Kings 18:41-19:8 John 11:45-54
Sunday 13th MP Ps 101 Job 38:18-41 Revelation 18:1-8
EP Ps 102 1 Kings 19:8-21 Matt 5:21-26
Monday 14th MP Ps 105:23-45 Job 40: 1-24 Acts 15:36-16:5
EP Ps 106:1-24 1 Kings 21:1-16 John 11:55-12:8
Tuesday 15th MP Ps 106:25-50 Job 41:1-11 Acts 16:6-15
EP Ps 107:1-22 1 Kings 21:17-29 John 12: 9-19
Wednesday 16th MP Ps 107:23-43 Job 42: 1-17 Acts 16:16-24
EP Ps 108, 109 1 Kings 22:1-28 John 12:20-26
Thursday 17th MP Ps 110,111,112 Job 28:1-28 Acts 16:25-40
EP Ps 113, 114 1 Kings 22:29-45 John 12:27-36a
Friday 18th MP Ps 115 Esther 1:1-4,10-19 or Judith 4:1-15 Acts 17: 1-15
EP Ps 116, 117 2 Kings 1:2-17 John 12: 36b-43
Saturday 19th MP Ps 118 Esther 2:5-8, 15-23 or Judith 5:1-21Acts 17: 16-34
EP Ps 119: 1-24 2 Kings 2:1-18 John 12:44-50
Sunday 20thMP Ps 108 Esther 3:1-4:3 or Judith 5:22-6:4,10-21 James 1:19-27
EP Ps 107:1-32 2 Kings 4:8-37 Matt 6:1-6, 16-18
Monday 21st MP Ps 119:25-48 Esther 4:4-17 or Judith 7:1-7,19-32 Acts 18:1-11
EP Ps 119:49-72 2 Kings 5:1-19a Luke (1:1-4); 3:1-14
Tuesday 22nd MP Ps 119:73-104 Esther 5:1-14 or Judith 8:9-17; 9:1,7-10 Acts 18:12-28
EP Ps 119:105-128 2 Kings 5: 19b-27 Luke 3: 15-22
Wednesday 23rd MP Ps 119:129-152 Esther 6:1-14 or Judith 10:1-23 Acts 19:1-10
EP Ps 119:153-176 2 Kings 6:1-23 Luke 4:1-13
Thursday 24th MP Ps 120,121,122 Esther 7:1-10 or Judith 12:1-20 Acts 19: 11-20
EP Ps 123, 124, 125 2 Kings 9:1-16 Luke 4:14-30
Friday 25th MP Ps 126, 127, 128 Esther 81:1-8,15-17 or Judith 13:1-20 Acts 19: 21-41
EP Ps 129, 130, 131 2 Kings 9:17-37 Luke 4:31-37
Saturday 26th MP Ps 132,133,(134) Hosea 1:1-2:1 Acts 20:1-16
EP Ps 135 2 Kings 11:1-20a Luke 4:38-44
Sunday 27th MP Ps 112 Hosea 2: 2-14 James 3:1-13
EP Ps 116 2 Kings 17:1-18 Matt 13: 44-52
Monday 28th MP Ps 136 Hosea 2:14-23 Acts 20:17-38
EP Ps 137,138 2 Kings 17:24-41 Luke 5:1-11
Tuesday 29th MP Ps 139 Hosea 4:1-10 Acts 21:1-14
EP Ps 140, 141, 142 2 Chronicles 30:1-27 Luke 5:12-26
Wednesday 30th MP Ps 143, 144 Hosea 4:11-19 Acts 21:15-26
EP Ps 145 2 Kings 18:9-25 Luke 5:27-39
Birthdays for September
We have records for the following birthdays this month. Please send corrections/additions to the birthday list, as well as wedding anniversaries for the month to the parish office (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we will acknowledge these next week.
1 Pierette van Graan
2 Una Langeni
4 Linda Dludlu
6 Sindy Udoka, Melvin Royappen
9 Raymond Shamba, Kyle Somasundram, Patrick Reddy, Azokwanda Ssekitoleko, Tina Tiya
10 Siboniso Dlamini, Berny Houston
12 Glynnis Phillip, Nokukhanya Zibani
13 Nombuso Gasa, Luthando Mkhize
15 Claudine Hingston, Linelle Royeppen
19 Wendy Madondo, Alwande Madondo, Lasembo Mkhize
20 Palesa Lebenya
21 Keorapetse Molema, Anna Puding, Thembalethu Basi, Jabulani Mhlongo, Singele
Mkhize, Timothy Nsereko
22 Manogari Raman, Siphokazi Redman
23 Sol Gooriah, Sethembele Mqoqo
25 Egerton Hingston, Jnr
26 Eela Royeppen
29 Raphael Mdepha
30 Edith Geswindt
Men’s GBV Bible Study: The Diocese is offering the following Bible study: Whatsapp Bible Study for men, staring next week. All men are welcome. Here is the link. We will place information about the material on the group link.
World Day of Prayer for Creation: Tuesday 1 September is World Day of Prayer for Creation. We have had a tradition at St Paul’s of participating in this international ecumenical day. It is a wonderful opportunity to pray with others around the world for God’s Creation. We will be following this up with the Season of Creation.
The Anglicans Ablaze 2020 International Mini-Conference: 24 to 26 September: More details to follow.
Missions to Seafearers Durban AGM: Wednesday 16th September 2020 at 5.00. Due to Covid-19 pandemic, the AGM will be held on the Zoom Videoconference platform. If you are able to attend the online AGM, please RSVP to Aurora (email@example.com) by Monday 7th September 2020 and a Zoom link and password will be sent to you together with all the reports and Financial Statements.
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.)
“And now may the God of hope fill us with all joy and peace in believing, that we may abound in hope in the power of the Holy Spirit.” (The Iona Community Worship Book)
Yours in Christ
Revd Dr Andrew Warmback
From the Dean/Vicar-General and Chapter: 28th August 2020
Statement from the Chapter of the Diocese of Natal – August 2020
”We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our bodies”
(2 Corinthians 4:8-10 NRSV)
At the time of our July 2020 statement, South Africa had experienced 452 529 Covid19 infections and it was projected that the country would reach its peak of infections late in August. Infections in KwaZulu-Natal in particular, were increasing rapidly and we braced for the worst of the “surge”.
As Chapter, led by the Vicar General, met on Tuesday 25th August to once again assess the impact of the pandemic on the life of the Diocese of Natal, it was confirmed that the total number of infections now stands at 611 450 , a rise of over 35% in the intervening month. However, we welcome the clear indications that the rate of infection has slowed and that we have indeed moved past the initial peak of the pandemic. We note also that government restrictions have been eased to Level 2.
In response Chapter took the opportunity to reflect on our circumstances:
- Grief acknowledged. We took time to remember those known to us from our Diocesan family whose lives have been cut short by the Covid19 disease. We also acknowledged the many from our wider communities whose health and well-being continues to be impacted through infection, mourning, anxiety or economic hardship.
- Pastoral challenges. This period of lockdown has also placed significant additional stresses on family life, on marriages, on learners, and on those whose work requires them to be in the frontline of the fight against Covid19. Stress has implications for spiritual, physical and mental health and can feed the circumstances that produce conflict and violence. Chapter endorsed the work of the Diocesan Gender Department and the resources they are producing to address some of these issues.
- Parish finances are critical. Chapter thanks sincerely those parishes that have continued to pay their assessments, in some cases with great self-sacrifice, while acknowledging the additional challenges that many parishes have experienced during the suspension of gatherings.
- Grave dangers remain. While the current Covid19 trends are encouraging, international experience has taught that a resurgence of infections has been common in many countries (as is currently being experienced across Europe). Sadly, it is inevitable that many more deaths will be registered in coming months and therefore, a need for the highest vigilance remains.
It is the function of leadership to make difficult decisions and in fulfilment of this mandate, the Vicar General and Chapter, having considered the circumstances of our Diocese in relation to the pandemic and having weighed the options, has resolved unanimously as follows:
Permission is hereby given for the parishes of the Diocese of Natal to resume in-person gatherings in their places of worship, from Sunday 13th September 2020, subject to the following conditions:
- No parish, or place of worship within it, is permitted to resume gatherings without the authorisation of the Archdeacon, confirmed by her/his signature on the Parish Covid19 Checklist (as distributed earlier).
- However: No parish is obliged to resume gatherings where local leadership, in consultation with the Archdeacon, continues to believe this to be inappropriate in their context, at this time.
- All gatherings are to maintain strict compliance at all times with all relevant regulations, policies and protocols, including those that require maximum attendance of 50 at any gathering (including service leaders), social distancing, wearing of masks, and hygiene precautions etc. This applies to worship services as well as all other forms of gathering.
- SACC guidelines continue to advise against the resumption of Ministry to Children and the Archbishop of Cape Town’s directive that Communion should be offered in only one kind, remains in force.
- As the church, we are obliged to take responsibility for all those who enter our premises and therefore must maintain the highest standards in relation to health and safety. This is even more pertinent, given the highly contagious and life-threatening potential of the Covid19 virus. Consequently, any parish, and their clergy, found in breach of the above conditions, will be subject to measures to be determined by the Vicar General.
- The Vicar General reserves the right to reverse or modify this permission at short notice, should infection rates change or other circumstances require it.While this permission is general, parishes are encouraged to err on the side of caution, especially if they are uncertain of their readiness or they have a significant number of parishioners who fall into a vulnerable category. It is better to take the time to prepare thoroughly than resume in haste and take unnecessary risks. Wise words from Dr Joanne Abrams: “A second wave is totally dependent on us and our behaviour. Just because we could, doesn’t always mean we should”.
- Furthermore, Chapter would like to commend those parishes who have developed on-line ministries and encourage them to continue with this innovative way of including within our Anglican family, those who cannot yet gather safely for worship.
- Chapter would again encourage parishes and archdeaconries to work together to ensure that all parishes have access to the expertise, personal protective equipment and safety devices that they may require. Needs should be communicated to the Diocese via an Archdeacon.
Finally, the Vicar General and Chapter are grateful to clergy and parishes who have waited patiently for the right moment for this permission to be given. This disciplined solidarity is a distinguishing feature of our Anglican understanding of the church.
Yours in Christ
The Very Revd Ndabezinhle Sibisi and Members of Chapter
The Diocese of Natal