Letter from Revd Andrew to the People of St Pauls 9 October 2020

Dear People of St Pauls

Greetings in Jesus’ name in this month of stewardship!

Return to Services in Church

We restarted services in church past Sunday. As we indicated before, parishioners are asked to please arrive 30 minutes before the start of each service in order to allow time for the taking and recording of one’s temperature, responding to Covid-19 related questions, giving contact details and sanitising.

The wearing of masks are compulsory.  We all enter the side door of the church opposite Church House.  In ensuring social distancing we have placed the kneelers on the seats on which you may sit.  No books used and there are no pew leaflets.

At the end of this letter is the latest correspondence from the Vicar-General/Dean which instructs us to abide by the regulations, including not being permitted to sing in services.

Stewardship Month October

During the month of October 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 will be made available.

Ordination of Sabelo Mthimkhulu

The Vicar-General/Dean has written to us about the intention to ordain Sabelo Mthimkhulu at the ordination service on Saturday, 28 November 2020 at 11h00am at the Cathedral of the Holy Nativity, Pietermaritzburg.  Under Covid protocol attendance at the service will be limited.  The ordinations will be conducted by Archbishop Thabo Makgoba.

Please pray for Sabelo he prepares for this new phase in his ministry.   Others due to be ordained then are Ms Bronwyn Kirk, Ms Pearl Nzuza, Ms Kayla Urbasch, Mr Ziphozonke Mbambo, (Stipendiary).  Ms Jenipher Lavender, Ms Deborah Moorgas, Ms Sibongile Sosibo (Self-Supporting).

THE DECLARATION KNOWN AS Si QUIS’

These are the words of the declaration that I am required to read out on Sunday at the services in preparation for the ordination.

Notice is hereby given that Sabelo Innocent Mthimkhulu, intends to offer himself as a candidate for the holy office of a Deacon (Stipendiary), at the ensuing ordination by the Archbishop of Cape Town.  And if any person knows of any just cause or impediment for which Sabelo Innocent Mthimkhulu ought not to be admitted into the order of Deacon, he or she is now to declare the same or to signify the same forthwith to the Bishop of Natal.

Rest in Peace

The following members have sadly passed on recently.  We pray for their families in their time of bereavement: Dawn Underhill (23 September), Irene Marchant, Nontobeko Msundwane (both 24 September) and Thelma Francis (2 October).  For pictures of them on our website.

 Church warden, Yolisa Mapasa, has lost her father-in-law.  Please pray for her and Andile and family.

Prayers

Please pray for Joyce Kingham, who suffered a cracked femur and was operated on. Please pray for her recovery.

 Attendance at Funerals

While it is now permissible for up to 100 people to attend funerals it is still necessary for families of the deceased to know who will be attending to ensure that this limit is not exceeded.  If you would like to attend a funeral please contact the family to ensure that you can be accommodated. To enable a wider sharing in these services some people have arranged livestreaming of the service through Zoom, Facebook or YouTube.

Third Quarter AWF Birthday Donation

A R5 000 donation has been made to St Paul’s by the “AWF ladies” who have celebrated birthdays during this third quarter:  Brenda Phakathi, Claudine Hingston,

Doreen Senoge, Judith Serafim, Nokukhanya Zikhali, Oriana Zulu, Sindi Mtshawu

Vuyelwa Ntshongweni, Una Langeni

On behalf of the church we thank you all.

 Nominations for Bishop of Natal

The chairperson of the Elective Assembly Advisory Committee, Prof Bonke Dumisa, has written to the Diocese inviting us to submit nominations of “suitably qualified candidates,” before Wednesday 28 October 2020.  The Elective Assembly will sit on the 5th and 6th of February 2021, either virtually or in person, depending on the prevailing Covid-19 circumstances at the time.

If you wish to nominate someone please check on the process and documentation required with the Parish Office.  Let us all pray for this important process.

Anglican Church of Southern Africa turns 150

Towards the end of September ACSA celebrated 150 years with a service in which the Archbishop of Canterbury preached.  For news of this, which includes a message of congratulations from President Ramaphosa.

10th Desmond Tutu International Peace Lecture

This was held on Wednesday this week, the 89th Birthday of the Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu.  A recording of the lecture may be found here.

Prayer Diary for October

The Prayer Diary for this month may be found on our website.

 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 and our assessment. 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

Rector: St Paul’s, Durban

 

From the Dean/Vicar General:

Dear Diocesan Family                                                           7 October 2020

It is truly wonderful to be able to hold in-person services in our churches once again. It’s been a long time since 22 March 2020! I want to thank, most sincerely, those of you who have shown discipline and restraint in observing the Government’s regulations as well as Diocesan directives in regard to services.

With the move to Level 1 we are now permitted to have 50% capacity at our services up to a maximum of 250 people. However, that 50% is subject to us being able to maintain a distance of 1.5 metres between worshippers. So, in a small church there might only be 20 people who can safely be accommodated.

The safest way to ensure you do not have too many people in one service, is to mark out a seat, then measure out a circle of 1.5metres around the seat. In churches with pews, this usually means blocking off every alternate pew.

Please note that at funerals no more than 100 people are allowed regardless of the size of the church building or whether the funeral is held outdoors. Chapter had some discussion about the pressure some of you are facing when crowds arrive for funerals.

We suggest that you ask the family

  1. To give you a list of those who will be invited to attend the funeral and only those on the list be allowed to attend; and
  2. Ask the family to notify the local police if you anticipate large numbers of people arriving and violating the regulations.

The Archbishop’s Covid Advisory committee has recently clarified that

  1. NO congregational or choir singing is allowed. You may have instruments playing and a soloist.
  2. If baptisms take place, the parents or godparents should hold the child throughout. Water should be poured from a jug over the child into the font. Do not scoop water from the font. The parents must anoint the child/ sign the child with the cross.

Of course, all the same regulations regarding the wearing of masks, sanitising, and not touching remain in place….

Many of our parishioners are unable to attend services physically as the virus is still active and they are at high risk due to their co-morbidities.  We encourage you to continue with offering on-line resources and steaming of services including funeral services.

Relatively speaking our country has done well in containing the Covid 19 virus.  But we must never forget that thousands of lives have been lost and we dare not act in ways that endanger the lives of others. We hold one another’s lives in our hands.

I pray for your safety as you minister to God’s people in our Diocese.