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A free floating commentary on culture, politics, economics, and religion based on a passionate commitment to the truth and a desire graciously to refute that which is contrary to it….
"He must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it."
--Titus 1:9, Revised Standard Version
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Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane joined the Eldorado community in its battle against drugs.
"We will defeat this demon," she told members of the Anglican church in a prayer march in Eldorado Park on Sunday.
Read it all.
The Archbishop of Cape Town, the Most Revd Thabo Makgoba, the chair of the Anglican Communion Environment Network (ACEN), is encouraging the 85 million Anglicans in 38 Provinces to use new ACEN prayers and resources from South Africa and England in church services on or around Environment Sunday (2nd June) and World Environment Day (5th June). They include a children's prayer (written by 10-year-old Jackie from South Africa) and are available here.
This year's World Environment Day theme - Think.Eat.Save - encourages people worldwide to reduce their 'foodprint'. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), every year 1.3 billion tonnes of food is wasted. At the same time, one in every seven people in the world go to bed hungry and more than 20,000 children under the age of five die daily from hunger-related causes.
Read it all.
Desmond Tutu, a clarion voice from the pulpit during South Africans' struggle against racial apartheid, has won the £1.1m Templeton prize for advancing the "spiritual liberation" of people around the world.
The John Templeton Foundation describes the 40-year-old prize as the world's biggest annual monetary award for individuals. Tutu, who adds it to honours including the Nobel peace prize, said he was "totally bowled over".
The former Anglican archbishop of Cape Town helped keep the struggle alive during the dark years when Nelson Mandela and other activists were jailed or exiled. He went on to chair the post-apartheid Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Ever outspoken, he has admitted sometimes feeling angry with God and two years ago wrote a book with the provocative title God is Not a Christian.
Read it all.
"Lent is a time of repentance and fasting, of turning away from all that is counter to God’s will and purposes for his world and all who live in it", he said. "This year, I invite Anglicans to focus their Lenten ‘acts of love and sacrifice’ on our contribution to climate change, and on those most impacted by it."
Archbishop Makgoba chairs the Anglican Communion Environmental Network (ACEN) and is Primate of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa which includes some of the countries most vulnerable to climate change. Two of the Church’s dioceses, Lebombo and Niassa in Mozambique, have recently been hit by devastating floods, leaving more than 150,000 people homeless.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of South Africa * Christian Life / Church Life Church Year / Liturgical Seasons Lent * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * Economics, Politics Energy, Natural Resources * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
The Anglican Church of Southern Africa has ordained the first woman bishop on the African continent, officials said Monday, in a historic move that comes as the Church of England in London prepares to vote on whether to allow female bishops.
The consecration of Ellinah Wamukoya, originally from the diocese of Swaziland, took place in the country's economic capital Manzini on Saturday in front of more than 3,000 worshippers. She had previously served as mayor of the city.
"We were gathered to consecrate and ordain a bishop in the Church of God: not a black woman, not an African, not a Swazi woman, but a priest of the Church," the Anglican church said in a statement.
Read it all.
In one of the strongest stances yet taken against corruption, people of all faiths came together in Khayelitsha on Wednesday to launch an anti-corruption campaign led by the Western Cape Religious Leaders Forum.
The forum is supported by Kairos Southern Africa and the SA Council of Churches.
Religious leaders in the city, headed by Anglican Archbishop Thabo Makgoba, issued a stern warning to political leaders about their reluctance to deal with corruption.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of South Africa * Culture-Watch Law & Legal Issues Police/Fire Religion & Culture Violence * Economics, Politics Economy Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market Politics in General * International News & Commentary Africa South Africa * Religion News & Commentary Inter-Faith Relations Other Churches * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
Like so many South Africans, I have been watching with growing alarm the escalating violence at Lonmin’s Marikana Mine over the last week, and am now stunned and appalled by yesterday’s events which left so many more dead or injured. It is a terrible, heart-breaking, tragedy, for the individuals concerned and for our nation. Our fervent prayers are with all the bereaved, and the hurt and wounded.
Whatever the merits of the various disputes – whether between employees and employers, between unions, between workers and union leaders, between miners and police – whatever the legality of the strikes or the responses to them, this death toll is unacceptable. Even one death is one too many, and there must be an end to this senseless loss of life.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of South Africa * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture Violence * Economics, Politics Economy Corporations/Corporate Life Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market * International News & Commentary Africa South Africa
A Pretoria parish had to obtain an urgent court order to hold its church service yesterday.
The move follows a decision on Thursday by South African Council of Churches chairman Bishop Johannes Seoka to close the St Albans Anglican Cathedral for worship.
Seoka took the drastic decision following the resignation of resident priest Father Rudolph Paulse. The priest resigned last week after he was allegedly threatened with death by parishioners.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of South Africa * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry * Culture-Watch Law & Legal Issues * International News & Commentary Africa South Africa
As you may know, the Church of England has voted not to adopt the Anglican Covenant that has been sent to all the Member Churches of the Communion for consideration. This does not mean that the Covenant lapses. Nor does not mean an end to the fundamental underlying questions which the Covenant is intended to address. We still need to ask ourselves: who do we believe ourselves called to be by God, and what does it mean to speak of an Anglican ‘Communion’ – rather than, say, a ‘Federation’ or other form of association. A ‘Communion’ is so much more – a true family of churches, within the body of Christ, as so many of us have experienced, for example, through exchanges with link Dioceses. We feel a closeness through recognising our ‘family resemblance’, even when we are from very different parts of the world, and the frequently used language of ‘bonds of affection’ resonates clearly.
But how can we order our international institutional life, and the relationships between Provinces, in ways that reflect this experience, and our theological understanding of the unity with diversity that is found in belonging together as members of the body of Christ, as Scripture describes? Provinces have always been legally independent (reflecting their separate Constitutions and Canons); while the ‘Instruments of Communion’ have only been advisory, rightly respecting Provinces’ status under canon law. But such legal independence can allow, and even promote comfortableness with, a separateness that has not always been sufficiently balanced by more organic and spiritual interrelationships. We have wrestled over decades with how to get this balance right, for example, in commitments to ‘Mutual Responsibility and Interdependence in the Body of Christ’ made at the 1963 Toronto Congress. The Communion said then ‘our unity in Christ, expressed in our full communion, is the most profound bond among us, in all our political and racial and cultural diversity’, and therefore ‘our need is … to understand how God has led us, through the sometimes painful history of our time, to see the gifts of freedom and communion in their great terms, and to live up to them.’ The Congress warned ‘if we are not responsible stewards of what Christ has given us, we will lose even what we have.’
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Covenant Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) Church of South Africa * Christian Life / Church Life Church Year / Liturgical Seasons Easter
Does this mean we should not enjoy all the earthly riches and goods? No. Enjoy them. Earn them. It is a misconception that one has to be poor to be spiritual, and that hard work should not be rewarded. What is important is finding the balance between greed and having enough, and defining what a joyful life means to us....
So how are we to correct the negative traits of capitalism? A Robin Hood tax, or Tobin tax, has been suggested. Yet there is a risk that such a tax is more likely to hit investors than banks. And it is not yet clear how it would discourage risky behaviour by banks.
We cannot tax ourselves out of this and hope that this will solve the problem because we are not addressing the root cause of the behaviour. We are in self-denial because we are treating the symptoms, not healing the patient.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of South Africa * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * Economics, Politics Economy Consumer/consumer spending Corporations/Corporate Life Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market Personal Finance Stock Market The Banking System/Sector * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
Archbishop Makgoba, who also chairs the Anglican Communion’s Environmental Network (ACEN), stressed the timely nature of this meeting. “We heard for months about COP 17 before it took place, but we have not heard much since. I know that a previous meeting at UCT was oversubscribed so the interest is definitely there. I’m privileged that we have been able to draw together again such an impressive panel. This is not just a scientific concern - it is a deeply moral issue as well.”
The Revd Canon Dr. Rachel Mash, coordinator of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa’s Environmental Network, agrees. “Once we have heard from this well informed panel, we and other members of civil society can begin to plan our ‘next steps’ leading up to Rio +20 - the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development taking place in Rio in June.”
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of South Africa * Culture-Watch Globalization Religion & Culture * Economics, Politics Energy, Natural Resources * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
We revisited the issue of pastoral standards for civil partnerships, recognizing that we are engaged in a long term process even though many of our people now face immediate pain, isolation, and loneliness. While circumstances vary from diocese to diocese, all of us are openly engaged in a process of listening and discernment. Several bishops presented feedback from their dioceses. Special thanks were afforded to Bishop Bethlehem and the Diocese of Port Elizabeth for their example in readily engaging so deeply and thoroughly with this pastoral reality. We reaffirm that all dioceses continue to observe only the orthodox teaching and pastoral practices long held by the Anglican Church of Southern Africa.
We noted the importance of having a clear and uniform provincial policy on licencing clergy to ministries in our dioceses, and examined a draft policy paper. Bishops were encouraged to enable all clergy to be well informed about this policy. We also received, with thanks, templates, canonical references, and a draft agreement for implementing this policy in our dioceses.
Read it all.
Dear Mr President,
I write to you as one who grew up under a system that oppressed and censored the media – a system that invoked fear in anyone who dared to read, or embrace, different views to those of the government of the day. The passage of the Protection of State Information Bill has stirred up in me vivid memories of my time as a student in the 1980s at Wits, and the traumatising experience of police ransacking our residence as they looked for classified material. The undercurrent of fear running through our lives that this created is so totally in contradiction to the open atmosphere of constructively critical readings of our life and times which we so much need in South Africa today.
Of course, every country has state secrets, and needs to classify them as such and protect them. I fully understand this. That South Africa needs to replace the old law from apartheid times, I also fully agree. Yet I also hear the cry that the current bill passed this week lacks the one necessary thing, an adequate public interest clause that relates to the criminality of those who ‘transgress’ on these grounds.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of South Africa * Culture-Watch Law & Legal Issues Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary Africa South Africa
The Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town, the Most Revd Dr Thabo Makgoba, said today that the dispute within the Anglican Church in Zimbabwe was “a result not of schism but of thuggery.”
In a statement issued after visiting Zimbabwe with Archbishop Rowan Williams of Canterbury at the weekend, Archbishop Makgoba said members of a pro-Mugabe breakaway faction of the church under deposed bishop Nolbert Kunonga were being “helped to steal church property without recourse.”
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of South Africa * Culture-Watch Law & Legal Issues Religion & Culture Violence * Economics, Politics Foreign Relations Politics in General * International News & Commentary Africa South Africa Zimbabwe
Southern Africa’s Bishops have reaffirmed their support for Anglicans in Zimbabwe, as Archbishop Thabo Makgoba prepares to accompany the Archbishop of Canterbury on his pastoral visit there next month.
At their twice-a-year meeting held in Benoni this week, the Synod of Bishops repeated their concerns at the difficult situation faced by Anglicans in Zimbabwe, and voiced their continuing support and prayers. Dr Makgoba will travel at the invitation of Dr Rowan Williams, who will also go to Malawi and Zambia during his visit to the Church of the Province of Central Africa. Dr Makgoba commented ‘I am glad of this opportunity to be able to demonstrate in person our support for and solidarity with Bishop Chad of Harare, and the wider Anglican Church in Zimbabwe. In Southern Africa’s troubled past, our Church was enormously strengthened and encouraged by the continuing expressions of support we received from around the Anglican Communion.’
Read it all.
The Southern African Faith Communities’ Environment Institute (SAFCEI) has called on people of all faiths to fill the Kings Park stadium in Durban on November 27, a day before the UN Conference of the Parties is due to begin, for a concert and prayer meeting
The faith leaders gathered signed petitions yesterday demanding that world leaders commit themselves to the fight against climate change.
“Those collected will be sent to negotiators to show them the role that faith-based organisations play – this fight belongs to us all,” said Bishop Nkosinathi Ndwandwe of the Anglican Diocese of KwaZulu-Natal.
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The arms deal has been described by the Institute for Democracy in South Africa (Idasa) as "the litmus test of South Africa's commitment to democracy and good governance". We rightly take pride in our constitution. There is nothing more destructive of democracy than corruption.
The arms deal represents the betrayal of South Africa's struggle against apartheid, hence my commitment for the past 15 years to expose the corruption which the arms deal unleashed.
Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane assigned me to represent the Anglican Church at the 1996-98 parliamentary defence review. The defence white paper acknowledged that there was no conceivable foreign military threat to our country and that eradication of poverty was the prime priority in the post-apartheid era.
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The arrival of a foreign dignitaries to our shores is usually preceded by a fanfare and in some cases a carefully worded announcement full of diplomatic ‘flourishes’ to allay any misgivings the locals may have about hidden agendas and territorial posturing by the said visitor. It was thus with interest that I read the syrupy bulletin issued to inform us that Katherine Jefferts-Schori, leader of a notorious North American brand of Anglicanism was invited to address the Synod of Bishops of our church later this month. This particular brand is not only increasingly apostate, it is both irrelevant to Africa and impotent in the face of the challenges the African church faces. Eager to cement relationship with the Anglican leadership in Southern Africa, and in the face of very severe objections, these false prophets are taking full advantage of the opportunity to distribute largesse and sow their teachings....
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Another area I want to mention, and for which I ask your prayers, is the development of Pastoral Guidelines in relation to the same-gender civil unions for which South African legislation now provides. Following requests to the Bishops for advice in relation to the pastoral care of people in such unions, and their families, the Synod of Bishops has, over several meetings, produced a document reflecting our common mind on this very sensitive issue. Proposals have now been sent to Dioceses for consultation within archdeaconries and parishes. We are requesting feedback on whether this offers the sort of guidance that those in pastoral ministry seek, in time for our February 2012 Synod of Bishops. PSC will also consider them. Let me underline that this document is not directly about the continuing debate around human sexuality, though it affirms that we uphold the moratoria of the Anglican Communion on the ordination of persons living in a same gender unions to the episcopate; the blessing of same-sex unions; and cross-border incursions by bishops. Rather, this focuses on the human and pastoral realities that we inevitably face in parishes following South Africa’s new legislation.
I am glad that we shall be welcoming two very special guests at Kopanong. The Most Revd Katharine Jefferts Schori, the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, will join part of the Synod of Bishops meeting that precedes PSC; and the Most Revd Ian Ernst, Archbishop of the Indian Ocean, and current Chairman of the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa, will be with us both at SoB and PSC. We hope that through sharing in our meetings, and some other brief visits in Cape Town and Gauteng, they will learn more about ACSA, and we can strengthen our relationships within the Anglican Communion and as brothers and sisters in Christ.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Province of the Indian Ocean Church of South Africa Episcopal Church (TEC) Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion) Same-sex blessings
The Anglican Church of Southern Africa will next week officially join an international campaign to end violence against women and girls known as the White Ribbon Pledge campaign.
At the Women’s Day service at St Georges Cathedral Cape Town on Tuesday (9th August), the bishops of the Dioceses of Cape Town, False Bay and Saldanha Bay will be signing a pledge on behalf of their churches “Not to commit, condone or remain silent about all forms of Gender-based violence.”
The White Ribbon Campaign aims to eradicate gender based violence. A statement from the Office of the Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town announcing this event states that “Violence and particularly gender-based violence in all its forms is an endemic reality of South African society” and calls everyone to action.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of South Africa * Culture-Watch Children Religion & Culture Violence Women * International News & Commentary Africa South Africa
O Almighty God, who by thy holy apostle hast taught us to set our affection on things above: Grant us so to labour in this life as ever to be mindful of our citizenship in those heavenly places whither our Saviour Christ is gone before; to whom with thee, O Father, and thee, O Holy Ghost, be all honour and glory, world without end.
--The South African Prayer Book
The eyes of the world will be on South Africa from Sunday 27 November to Friday 9 December this year. Negotiators and political leaders from around the world will gather in Durban at the 17th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP17). With provincial and diocesan programmes around the Communion, particularly in the southern hemisphere, increasingly having to integrate a response to the impacts of climate change within local mission, it is hoped that governments will make firm and urgent commitments to decrease national carbon emissions.
In the Diocese of Natal, the Revd Dr Andrew Warmback is Rector of the Anglican Church of St John the Baptist, Pinetown, where parishioners have planted an indigenous, waterless garden as a ‘green lung’ for their area, set up recycling facilities and established a vegetable garden in the church grounds to show how a small area can be used to grow food.
Dr Warmback describes how the Anglican Church of Southern Africa is playing a key role in mobilising its own and other faith communities to join together in the work of influencing governments to make these firm commitments in Durban.
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(ACNS) The Archbishop, who is a participant at the World Economic Forum in Africa, has written to his faithful that the issue of climatic change must be regarded as a moral imperative for all and hopes that others at WEF will take heed of his call. His full statement follows:
In one sense, I imagine I might be ‘preaching to the choir’ about climate change, as we sometimes say in the church. But even if we agree on its reality and the dangers which it poses for our planet and our people, we need to make our witness bolder and take more courageous steps to bring others to our state of awareness and to work for real change.
We in the faith communities know that climate change will be hugely damaging to both people and our planet. We know too that it is not only an environmental, economic and social issue but essentially a moral issue. It must therefore be solved through moral principles....
Read it all.
Unless Christians acted now to defend the church and the true Gospel, liberal forces that preached a false Gospel would prevail within 10 years, the Anglican Archbishop of Sydney and General Secretary of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (FCA) said in Port Elizabeth yesterday.
Speaking at a meeting of the FCA in St Saviour’s Anglican Church... [this week], Jensen said that the turmoil in the worldwide Anglican Communion which was triggered by the approval of gay marriages and ordination of gay bishops in North America, highlighted an issue that was much broader than homosexuality: it went to the authority of Scripture and the heart of the Gospel. He said the issue was not just a threat to Anglicans but to the church at large.
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Evangelical leaders in the Anglican Church of Southern Africa have called upon the church’s Synod of Bishops to clarify their ambiguous statements on human sexuality.
On March 17, the Fellowship of Confession Anglicans (FCA) in South Africa published an open letter on the internet, making a “plea for clarity on the position and teaching of our faith” in light of bishops’ February pastoral letter.
At the close of their Feb 7-12 meeting in Natal, the Southern African bishops deferred taking action on adopting guidelines for the blessing of same-sex unions, citing legal difficulties and theological divisions within their ranks.
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"On Tuesday morning, 15 March 2011, five men armed with guns arrived at Bishop Seoka's Pretoria home, declaring their intention to kill the bishop and his wife," the SACC said on Thursday.
"The bishop and his wife were not at home at the time, but the intruders returned later in the day looking for them."
The men "made remarks" that suggested that they were watching the movements of the bishop and his wife, the SACC said.
Read it all.
Archbishop Thabo Makgoba, of Cape Town, said that he was “shocked and deeply saddened” by the natural disaster that struck Japan on Friday, in a letter to his counterpart Archbishop Nathaniel Makoto Uematsu.
“I have been stunned by the pictures which are reaching us with the images of human tragedy, displacement and the physical damage to so many structures in many communities,” Makgoba said.
Read it all.
Meeting from Feb 7-12 at the Mariannhill Conference Centre in the Diocese of Natal, the bishops released a pastoral letter at the close of their meeting confirming they were at an impasse.
They noted that Archbishop Thabo Makgoba had “taken a lead in bringing concerns to us from the dioceses in the Western Cape with regard to the pastoral care of persons who have entered into civil unions or are considering doing so.”
However, they noted this was “not a matter of legitimising same-sex unions but of care for worshippers who are already in them,” the bishops said, adding that “our Church does not consider any relationship to be marriage unless it is the historic relationship of a man and a woman uniting, ideally for life.”
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Prominent Anglican chaplain and powerful South African property development businesswoman Ntombekaya September has been found dead in her multimillion-rand Pretoria home.
The body of September, 45, whose cause of death police said was unknown, was found in her luxury high-security Lawley Street, Waterkloof, home by Pretoria Anglican Bishop Jo Seoka and her domestic worker yesterday.
September, who was the first woman lay chaplain to the bishop of Pretoria and had worked for the City of Johannesburg and the Development Bank of Southern Africa, was found lying face down on her bed fully clothed.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of South Africa * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Death / Burial / Funerals Ministry of the Laity * Culture-Watch Women
The Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town, Thabo Makgoba, has offered to mediate in the Makhaza toilet saga, which has pitted the ANC Youth League against the Democratic Alliance-led provincial government.
“The important issue is the provision of humane living conditions for the people of Makhaza who are directly affected. It should not be a political battle — it’s about the health and safety of our fellow citizens,” he said in a statement on Thursday.
“Anything I can do to resolve this conflict I will do gladly.” He said “attempts to improve consultation” should be made first before a recent court order on the matter be implemented.
Read it all.
Bishops of the Anglican Church in Southern Africa say they are deeply disturbed by news of growing human rights abuses in Swaziland, a kingdom sandwiched between South Africa and Mozambique.
The bishops, meeting in Benoni near Johannesburg from 27 to 29 September for their twice-yearly synod, challenged their church to become more involved in the quest for democracy in Swaziland.
Archbishop Thabo Makgoba of Cape Town, the leader of the church, said on 30 September he could not remain silent on the issue of democracy in Swaziland, "where power and wealth is concentrated in the hands of a few, and political debate is hardly permitted".
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of South Africa * Culture-Watch Law & Legal Issues Religion & Culture * Economics, Politics Politics in General * International News & Commentary Africa South Africa Swaziland
In his Pentecost letter to the Anglican Communion, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, speaks of us as having ‘not fully received the Pentecostal gift of mutual understanding for common mission’.
The differences that focus around questions of human sexuality continue to be very real, very difficult.
ACSA must contribute what we can to the painful debate, not least from our own experiences of dealing with vast diversity.
I am therefore glad that ACSA was effectively represented at the Global South 4th Encounter earlier this year, and that 10 Bishops attended the All African Anglican Bishops Conference in Uganda last month.
For us, what has mattered most is:
· being centred on Christ;
· agreeing on the central matters of who Jesus is and the salvation he brings;
· and therefore recognising one another as being united in him, and, in consequence, with each other.
In consequence, as we have found within the Synod of Bishops, when differences arise, none of us feels called to say to another ‘I no longer consider you a Christian, a brother in Christ, a member of the body of Christ – I am no longer in communion with you.’
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The former Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town, in South Africa, Desmond Tutu arrives in Ghana on Thursday for a three-day visit. He is visiting Ghana at the instance of Anglo-Gold Ashanti. South Africa and Ghana are joint share holders in Anglo-Gold Ashanti.
Nice picture--read it all.
Millions of rands have vanished in a financial scandal that has rocked the Anglican Church in the southern Cape to its foundations.
But instead of laying criminal charges against the culprits identified by a team of forensic auditors, church elders have extended an olive branch, asking them to repay the money.
Parishioners at the George diocese are all a-twitter as details emerge about the extent of financial mismanagement and embezzlement of cash from the church.
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The abrupt resignation of the Bishop of George, Donald Harker of the Anglican Church of South Africa, George Diocese, and the forensic investigation into the R6-million missing church funds have stunned the community.
Chapel Warden of the St Aidan’s Wilderness Congregation, Hugh Pharoah said this week that the problems with the George Diocese’s finances have had a devastating impact on both the communities of George and Wilderness where charitable work is being hampered. He said the first priority is to maintain the cottage (a holiday retreat for priests) and the chapel in its existing form. “We get no financial support at all. Money left over after the charities have been supported will help to alleviate the problems that beset the diocese.”
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Nobel peace laureate Desmond Tutu announced Thursday he is retiring from public life later this year when he turns 79, saying "the time has now come to slow down" and spend more time with his family.
The former Anglican archbishop of Cape Town said after his birthday on Oct. 7 he will limit his time in the office to one day per week until February 2011.
"Instead of growing old gracefully, at home with my family reading and writing and praying and thinking too much of my time has been spent at airports and in hotels," Tutu said in a statement Thursday. "The time has now come to slow down, to sip Rooibos tea with my beloved wife in the afternoons, to watch cricket, to travel to visit my children and grandchildren, rather than to conferences and conventions and university campuses."
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A decision by the Anglican mission society the USPG to end its funding to Latin America and the Caribbean has been criticised by bishops in the region....
When the changes were first mooted in March, the Primate of Brazil, the Most Revd Mauricio Andrade, and ten other Brazilian bishops wrote to the society’s trustees to express “surprise and disappointment”.
They had not been consulted, they said, and it was “unjustifiable” to “completely eliminate an entire continent from your sphere of mission”. This demonstrated a “lack of concern for Latin America and the Caribbean within the Anglican Communion”, and smacked of “colonial favouritism”. The cuts would force them to “abandon” projects. They called for period of transition.
The Bishop of Peru, the Rt Revd Bill Godfrey, described the decision to “cut off this whole part of the world as extraordinary and regrettable”. He said that he had “been on USPG’s books for 25 years”. While he acknowledged that the USPG had to balance its books, he said: “I find it hard to believe the only answer is to withdraw funding. There have always been good times and more difficult times financially, but we pass through them.”
He, too, spoke of a lack of consultation....
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal - Anglican: Latest News Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) Church of South Africa Episcopal Church (TEC) Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori * Christian Life / Church Life Missions * International News & Commentary South America
It is as if the breath of the Spirit has the capacity to translate the gospel of the Word made flesh, not only into the different languages of the first day of Pentecost, and all the languages of our twenty-first century world; the Spirit can also translate into every culture of our world – and between the inculturation of the gospel in different cultures. So, when we cannot understand each other, we must be sure that we have listened carefully to the still small voice of the Spirit. Is the Spirit speaking to each of us? Can we recognise the presence of Christ, which is the touchstone, the standard, of the true Spirit of God?
I am convinced that in our current situation within the Communion neither have we done, nor are we continuing to do, enough of this sort of listening to one another. We do not understand one another and one another’s contexts well enough, and we are not sufficiently sensitive to one another in the way we act. Autonomy has gone too far. I do not mean that we should seek a greater uniformity – I hope it is clear I am saying nothing of the sort. But we risk acting in ways that are so independent of one another that it becomes hard for us, and for outsiders, to recognise either a committed interdependent mutuality or a common Christian, Anglican, DNA running through our appropriately contextualised and differentiated ways of being.
Bishop Katharine, what I am going to say next is painful to me, and I fear it may also be to you – but I would rather say it to your face, than behind your back. And I shall be ready to hear from you also, for I cannot preach listening without doing listening. It sometimes seems to me that, though many have failed to listen adequately to the Spirit at work within The Episcopal Church, at the same time within your Province there has not been enough listening to the rest of the Anglican Communion. I had hoped that those of your Bishops who were at the Lambeth Conference would have grasped how sore and tender our common life is. I had hoped that even those who, after long reflection, are convinced that there is a case for the consecration of individuals in same sex partnerships, might nonetheless have seen how unhelpful it would be to the rest of us, for you to proceed as you have done.
There are times when it seems that your Province, or some within it, despite voicing concern for the rest of us, can nonetheless act in ways that communicate a measure of uncaring at the consequent difficulties for us. And such apparent lack of care for us increases the distress we feel. Much as we understand that you are in all sincerity attempting to discern the best way forward within your own mission context, the plea is: be sensitive to the rest of who are still drinking spiritual milk and are not yet eating solids.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury Anglican Identity Anglican Provinces Church of South Africa Episcopal Church (TEC) Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori Global South Churches & Primates Instruments of Unity Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion) Same-sex blessings Windsor Report / Process
Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town proposes prayer for the 2010 FIFA World Cup
‘Let us all pray that God will bless the World Cup!’ said Archbishop Thabo Makgoba on Monday as he launched a special prayer for the tournament.
‘It is a short and simple prayer which is easy to learn, and I hope many people, of many backgrounds, will join me in praying it daily in the coming weeks’ added the Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town. ‘We are asking for the well-being of everyone who is in any way associated with the FIFA 2010 World Cup: players, spectators, South Africans as host nation, and everyone who travels here. Apart from the Olympics, this is the most widely supported sports event in the world – countless millions, even billions, love “the beautiful game” and we want to share this love with one another, for the good of the world.’
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ANGLICAN Archbishop Thabo Makgoba has joined the fray to retain the seat of the High Court in Grahamstown. Makgoba, who was formerly the Bishop of Grahamstown, this week wrote dozens of letters to powerful religious, political, and business leaders imploring them to assist in preventing the passing of the Superior Courts Bill in its current form.
The letters have been written on behalf of the Grahamstown High Court Action Committee, which consists of dozens of organisations, businesses, schools, Rhodes University, churches, NGOs and foundations.
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[Desmond] Tutu, who helped lead opposition to apartheid in South Africa and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984, delivered a passionate but humorous sermon about the importance of unity.
"We don't choose who is going to be my brother or my sister — though I wish I could," he told the audience. "They are God's gift to me, as I am God's gift to them."
Tutu, who spoke with his eyes closed and arms outstretched, urged the audience to embrace everyone, including tea party activists, Democrats, Republicans, gays and lesbians and George Bush, a name that drew a booming belly laugh.
He spoke directly to Douglas.
"Ian, please tell the children of God each one of them is precious," he said. "Each one of them is held in this cosmic embrace."
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The state will be the shining star of the Anglican Communion today when the Rev. Ian T. Douglas is consecrated the 15th bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut.
Douglas sits on the Anglican Consultative Council, which represents Anglicans worldwide, so he is well known outside the Episcopal Church. He asked a friend, Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, to be the preacher today.
Douglas, formerly professor of world mission at Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Mass., said his connections will benefit the diocese, and vice versa.
“I’m not afraid to call in favors around the world to help us in Connecticut,” he said recently. “I have a pretty good Rolodex that I would hope to utilize.”
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Everywhere the salvation of Jesus Christ brings new life and new beginnings: for humanity, and for all creation. This is the hallmark of the kingdom of God – the kingdom that both is, and is to come. And though we know we shall see such redemption in all its fulness at the end of time, we are also to be part of the coming of the kingdom here and now – partners with Christ in his good news for all creation.
But the stark truth is that creation itself is a battle-ground for God’s kingdom – at the hands of the most destructive elements of selfish, greedy, short-sighted, sinful humanity. Pollution, environmental degradation, global warming, climate change … We are complicit in the varying weather patterns that bring worse floods, harsher droughts. We see this happening within Southern Africa. Even more seriously, across the Indian Ocean – which laps so pleasantly on Durban’s beaches – the entire nation of the Maldives is threatened with being wiped off the map, as the sea rises and covers their islands.
God calls us to be part of the solution, not part of the problem – part of the coming of the kingdom, partners in his working of redemption and salvation.
‘Seek the Lord and live …’ says the prophet Amos, condemning greed and corruption in the exploitation of the earth’s resources and its people. The same choice lies before us. Will we seek the Lord and the ways of life – as individuals, and also as members of the communities, society, nation, and global human family of which we are a part?
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of South Africa * Christian Life / Church Life Church Year / Liturgical Seasons Holy Week Parish Ministry Preaching / Homiletics
In the era of apartheid, Archbishop Desmond Tutu railed against the injustice and inhumanity of South Africa's government, and his passionate advocacy helped make the change that came to that country in the 1990s.
Now 78, in a magenta habit with a crucifix around his neck, he is the picture of a holy man. But looking back on his boyhood in one of South Africa's black townships, Tutu remembers an urchin with a fondness for marbles and comic books. And even in church, "we had fun," the archbishop tells NPR's Renee Montagne.
The memories linger even now. There's joy in Tutu's voice as he recalls a song he sang as a child: "If God be for us, who can be against us?" the verse asked.
"It was a fantastic thing to have much, much later," Tutu says — "to remember, 'Yes, if God be for us in our struggle against injustice and oppression, who can be against us?' "
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As an Anglican archbishop who spent decades working to defeat apartheid and is widely considered the moral conscience of South Africa, what do you make of your country’s current president, Jacob Zuma, who is in the headlines again for fathering a child out of wedlock?
I think we are at a bad place in South Africa, and especially when you contrast it with the Mandela era. Many of the things that we dreamt were possible seem to be getting more and more out of reach. We have the most unequal society in the world. We have far too many of our people living in a poverty that is debilitating, inhumane and unacceptable.
But why is Zuma still president? He sets such a poor example — a polygamist with three wives who just fathered a 20th child with yet another woman. Why is that tolerated?
It’s not. Two of the major churches have spoken out very strongly. The Roman Catholic Church and the Anglican Church have said that he’s undermining his own government’s campaign to deal with the H.I.V. pandemic. That campaign speaks about being loyal to one partner, practicing safe sex and generally using condoms, and he hasn’t done that.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of South Africa * Culture-Watch Children Marriage & Family Religion & Culture * Economics, Politics Politics in General * International News & Commentary Africa South Africa * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
As we sought to hear what the Scriptures are saying to us at this present moment, at the same time we listened to stories both from the Bishops and from civil society about what is happening in the nations within our Province. There are clear signs of spiritual growth and much that is happening for which we give thanks to God.
However, we have also been disturbed by some of the reports we have received, that suggest that there are common threads running through all the countries within our Province, threads that appear to be unravelling in worrying ways.
We believe that those in power are called by God to wise leadership and exemplary lifestyle, exercised on behalf of all God’s people and for their upliftment and betterment – as St Paul wrote in his letter to the Romans. Of particular importance within God’s economy are the poor, and those who live on the margins of society. It is our observation that, though lip-service is widely paid to the notion of social upliftment, the reality is that most of the leaders of our respective nations seem more committed to self enrichment than poverty eradication.
We have listened to accounts of unbridled greed, a greed that is not simply limited to those in political power. Nevertheless, we are especially concerned at the levels of greed of those in power, and at the manner in which political processes are manipulated and co-opted in the pursuit of self enrichment. This has resulted in a serious undermining of democratic values to the point where, in some places, such values are non-existent. We were distressed to hear of people living below the poverty datum line in the oil rich country of Angola, and of the huge number of people struggling to exist on less than $2 a day in Swaziland, where the average per capita income is over $5,000 per annum. In some of the nations within our Province, this quest for self enrichment has given rise to blatant abuses of power to the point where, in Swaziland, for example, political leaders stifle all attempts at dialogue and silence opposition, preferring instead to rule by threats and intimidation.
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Promiscuity, unfaithfulness and unprotected sex are an offence against the sanctity of life, according to the head of the Anglican Church in South Africa.
Archbishop Thabo Makgoba made the remarks in a "moral state of the nation address" delivered at an interfaith function in Johannesburg on Wednesday night, and released on Thursday.
Although he did not mention President Jacob Zuma, his comments come amid controversy over the news that Zuma has fathered his 20th child with a woman who is not one of his wives.
Makgoba said it would be easy just to preach "no sex outside marriage", which was what Christians and others upheld because it made for strong families and healthy societies.
Read the whole thing.
Check it out (77 page pdf). Note especially the essays by Archbishop Rowan Williams, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, and South African Archbishop Thabo Makgoba.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal - Anglican: Commentary Archbishop of Canterbury Anglican Provinces Church of South Africa Episcopal Church (TEC) Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori * Economics, Politics Economy Corporations/Corporate Life Personal Finance Stock Market The Banking System/Sector The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007-- * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
The story of `God with us´ is better understood when we go through the pages of the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation. The story of the Lectio Divina (the Bible) is not just another reading, desensitized to the sacred, but the savouring of the text lingering leisurely in the divine revelation. (Thomas Keating: Intimacy with God). The liberal theology tends to forget this. The Bible is not just a primary source of Christian theology; it is the Word of God - Lectio Divina, as we have said. The remarkable thing, as Keating puts it, reading about Jesus´ story develops into friendship with him. Like the people of God in ages past, we walk with God in a personal relationship as he challenges our moral life and takes it to an upper level of godly character and integrity.
As this literal historical message of Scripture challenges us to a level of good morality, then we are taken to new levels of our faith beyond the moral sense, into the allegorical sense of the Holy Writ. As we grow in the grace of God in our spiritual life, a character of godly life is built in us `to make us a kingdom of priests´ who stand and serve before our God. (APB: canticle 15/ Rev.5). It is at this higher spiritual inter action with God that we begin not only `to hear, read, mark, learn but inwardly digest them´, but to allow ourselves to be wholly immersed in Scripture. They are no longer historical documents anymore, but stories of closer walk with God in obedience and trust in our spiritual journey since the day we first believed and were baptised. Once this takes place, the unitive level of our experience of Scripture takes place. This is called anagogical. The Word wells up from us as a continuing revelation to influence others and our life situation.
This is how we look at Scripture. What ever kind of behaviour or thinking we encounter, we test it against the moral demands of the Holy Writ (Article XX). In our diocese therefore, we align ourselves with all Bible believing Christians in informing our theological thinking. Reason cannot just be for its sake since we are all fallen human beings, and have come short of the glory of God (Rom.3:23). Together with the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) and the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (FOCA) we up hold the authority of Scripture as an integral part of our fellowship with all the children of God. We affirm the reality of Incarnation and the mighty glorious Resurrection of Jesus Christ as true essential occurrences forming integral part of our faith, and never just a "myth". The historical Jesus remains "unique" from the ages past into the unknown future. He is with us `always, even to the end of the age.´
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The audio link is here (about 39 minutes):
The Press conference's subject: Beyond politics and business -Climate change from a religious and ethical perspective. Christian leaders urge world leaders to agree on a fair, effective and binding climate deal that put the needs of the poor first.
- The Rev. Samuel Kobia (moderator)
General secretary, World Council of Churches, Switzerland
- Archbishop (emeritus) Desmond Tutu
Nobel Peace Prize laureate 1984 and anti-apartheid champion
- Bishop Sofie Petersen
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Denmark, Greenland
- The Rev. Tofiga Falani
President, Congregational Christian Church of Tuvalu, Tuvalu
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of South Africa * Culture-Watch Climate Change, Weather Globalization Religion & Culture * Religion News & Commentary Other Churches * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
THE Grahamstown community is reeling in shock at the mystery murder of an Anglican priest who survived a gruesome attack by two men on a countrywide killing spree in 1991.
Clive Newman, 45, a lecturer at the College of the Transfiguration in Grahamstown for the past four years, was found murdered in his room at the college residence yesterday morning.
Newman was attacked in his car in Bluewater Bay 18 years ago. His throat was slit and one of his vocal chords was severed. His testimony helped convict Antonie Wessels, 31, and his 16-year-old homosexual lover, Jean Havenga. Newman was the fourth and final victim of the pair and the only one to survive.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of South Africa * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Death / Burial / Funerals Ministry of the Ordained * Culture-Watch Violence
Cape Town Archbishop Thabo Makgoba inaugurated a new Anglican diocese at a ceremony in Queenstown at the weekend.
The new diocese has been named Ukhahlamba Diocese, and lies north of Grahamstown.
Diocesan spokesperson Maggy Clarke said it was named after the Drakensburg mountain range.
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[Martin Luther] King...had this to say in 1968 about anti-Zionism at Harvard University: "When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews; you are talking anti-Semitism."
Today, Gandhi's influence is still keenly felt globally. Yet it is interesting to note that India today rejects its spiritual founder's worldview. A nuclear power, it has adopted Israel's approach to threats from suicide bombers and other terrorists.
So with all due respect to Tutu, Israel and the Jewish people are clear about the lesson of the Holocaust: that never again will the destiny of our people be placed in the hands of others. For 2,000 years, Jews depended on pity; they had no land and no army, and what they got in return were inquisitions, pogroms and the Nazi genocide. The Holocaust also taught us that freedom and justice come to those who are prepared to fight for them.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of South Africa * Economics, Politics Defense, National Security, Military * International News & Commentary Africa South Africa Asia India Middle East Israel * Religion News & Commentary Other Faiths Hinduism Judaism * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
‘Acceptance’ in modern parlance has been the favourite mushily sentimental and superficial term which has come to replace the deeply theological term ‘justification’ In a recent interview3 Bishop FitzSimmons Allison points out how ‘acceptance’ is used as a watered down secular version of ‘justification’. He notes that we all have a notion of what is just and right built into us. If we reject the standards our transcendent creator God has set for us to live by, and choose rather to trust our instincts and desires in formulating our behaviour, we are in effect suppressing the truth, and choosing to live by our own standards of righteousness. We have rejected the standard of God’s transcendent righteousness revealed to us in scripture, and thus only have ourselves as reference points with a resulting individualism and subjectivity.
Christian philosopher Prof. Jack Budziszewski points to certain realities about the created order, realities which continue to operate despite our rebellion. For example, knowledge of guilt (even if suppressed) produces certain objective needs, needs which have to be satisfied. These include confession, reconciliation, atonement and justification. Out of our need for justification, the need to be ‘right’ before God, we develop mechanisms to ‘be righteous’ – such as thinking well of ourselves, or ‘self esteem’. “God accepts us as we are – so we should accept ourselves and others”. ‘Inclusion’ is the term commonly used for this and we are told that ‘Jesus was inclusive in all his dealings with people –he included the outcasts and the sinners’. So basically what the doctrine of ‘inclusion’ means is that God accepts me as I am. The idea that God accepts us as we are is not a biblical idea. God loves us unconditionally, no matter what state we are in, but that is not the same. God calls us as we are, in the state of rebellion we are in. If we then turn to him in repentance and faith he accepts us in Christ, but if we do not turn to him, we are still lost in sin. Kummel says, “That man must turn around if he wishes to stand before God is one of the basic views of Judaism in Jesus’ time, and thus Jesus also explicitly named conversion as a condition for entrance into, the kingdom of God.”5 So, in Mark 1:15, Jesus’ message of the good news begins with the call to turn around, and from that moment all gospel preaching is based on Jesus’ commission to his disciples to call all men to repentance (Mark 6:12) (Acts 3:19, 8:22)
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The Synod of Bishops of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa (ACSA) met in Midrand, Gauteng, from 7 to 9 September 2009, to share in prayer, fellowship and breaking bread together. We reflected on passages from the Gospel according to St Luke, guided by homilies from His Grace, the Archbishop of Cape Town. Conscious of the call to uphold our faith with justice and mercy, and in dependence upon Christ’s example, his leading, and his sustaining, we discussed a breadth of issues currently before our Church.
The Synod was disturbed by various recent reports in the media to the effect that the world-wide Anglican Communion and the Anglican Church in Southern Africa are on the brink of schism. We want to assure the faithful that these reports are grossly exaggerated and, in some cases, a misrepresentation.
Our worldwide Anglican Communion has for a number of years been struggling with the issue of human sexuality without, as yet, having reached any significant consensus. There are, indeed, broken and damaged relationships within the Communion, but there is still a deep desire among the bishops throughout the world to maintain the bonds of unity in obedience to the High Priestly prayer of our Lord that “they may be one as we are one” (Jn 17:21).
To this end ACSA is committed to the Communion’s exploration of an Anglican Covenant, as a means of providing a basic statement of the common faith and mission that holds the Anglican Churches together in visible community. It is hoped this will make explicit what it means to live in interdependence, and will articulate more clearly the basis of the “bonds of affection” between us that we now enjoy.
We, the Bishops and the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, have, on a number of occasions, spelt out our common mind at this stage of our journey with the world-wide Communion. We believe that we are called to love others with God’s unconditional, sacrificial love and do not believe sexual orientation is a barrier to leadership within the church. However, maintaining as we do, that Christian marriage is a lifelong union between one man and one woman, we hold that clergy unable to commit to another in a Christian marriage partnership are called to a life of celibacy.
We have also received the resolution of the Diocese of Cape Town requesting us to provide guidelines for the pastoral care of those in committed same sex relationships. Despite the misconceptions created by media reports that Cape Town Diocese is intending to proceed with the blessing of same sex unions, we recognise the request to be pastoral in nature (reflecting the new situation created by the South African Government’s legislation allowing for civil unions between same sex couples) and not in any way in conflict with Resolution 1.10 of the Lambeth Conference of 1998. The task of responding to this request has been referred to a task team, which will prepare a preliminary paper building upon the resolutions and statements made thus far by ACSA.
We remain committed to upholding the bonds of unity with one another, as we journey together through the difficult questions that confront the worldwide Anglican Communion. Differences of opinion are inevitable, schism is not.
Alongside our consideration of matters of human sexuality and the life of the Anglican Communion, we were also mindful of the many urgent socio-political and economic needs that face the countries and people of our Province. It is these that are paramount in our hearts and minds, as we strive to fulfil our calling to mission and ministry, as God’s faithful people in this time and place.
Now to him, who by the power at work within us
is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think,
to him be glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus
to all generations, for ever and ever. Amen
Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane, 68, is divorcing his estranged wife of 22 years.
Nomahlubi Vokwana-Ndungane, 69, was served with divorce papers this week.
The summons arrived just days after the Sunday Times revealed that Vokwana-Ndungane had turned to the courts in a bid to force the archbishop — who no longer lives with her — to support her financially.
The archbishop’s lawyer, Kaamilah Paulse, said this week that the couple had been in divorce talks for “over a year and a half”.
“It was quite obvious that neither of them wanted to remain in the marriage, but the terms of the divorce could not be agreed upon,” she said.
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After the 2006 vote, Archbishop Makgoba --- then the Bishop of Grahamstown --- urged all sides to continue talking. “We agree that we have to dialogue, and listen to the experiences of all people around this issue, so that when the conclusion is arrived at, all of us understand and appreciate the challenges that all people feel,” he said.
The then Archbishop of Cape Town Njogonkulu Ndungane welcomed the expansion of civil rights for gay couples, but stated the “Anglican Church’s position is clear. We have repeatedly affirmed that we do not regard partnership between two persons of the same sex as a marriage in the eyes of God.”
However, Dean [Rowan] Smith said after the vote in Parliament that he hoped the new law would prompt the Anglican Church to allow congregations a local option whether or not to bless same-sex couples. The Province presently allows gay clergy to serve in the ministry but requires that they be celibate, and requires all clergy to abstain from sexual relations outside of marriage.
After the vote, Archbishop Makgoba said the resolution was “an important first step to saying: 'Lord, how do we do ministry in this context?'” of changing sexual mores.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of South Africa Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion) Same-sex blessings * Culture-Watch Law & Legal Issues Sexuality --Civil Unions & Partnerships
On Sunday, Archbishop Thabo Makgoba said the synod's resolution might be seen as tame, but he saw it as "an important first step to saying: 'Lord, how do we do ministry in this context?'"
"I'm a developmental person. I don't believe in big bangs. If you throw a little pebble into water, it sends out concentric circles and hopefully that way change comes from that," he said.
He said the issue of same-sex partnerships has led to a schism in the Anglican Church in the United States. He wanted to avoid the issue becoming a source of division in the Anglican Church in southern Africa.
"In South Africa we have laws that approve a civil union in this context, but not in the other countries within our province. In central Africa and north Africa, both the Anglican Church and the state say 'no'.
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In a meeting earlier this year, the Anglican Consultative Council, which represents Anglican churches around the world, reaffirmed a moratorium on what it called “authorization of public rites of blessing for same-sex unions.”
The original text of the synod resolution included language which some members of the Synod said would lead to the blessings of same-sex unions. This, said the Revd Dr James Harris, “will bring us into conflict with the wider Anglican Communion.” The language was later dropped.
The Revd Sarah Rowland Jones successfully proposed an amendment to the resolution which provided that the pastoral guidelines which the Synod requested should take “due regard of the mind of the Anglican Communion.”
Speaking after the Synod ended, the Archbishop of Cape Town, the Most Revd Thabo Makgoba said:
“In Bible studies and discernment sessions during the Synod, I felt the people of the Diocese were committed really to wrestling with the Scriptures and with what they meant in our context.
“I was very encouraged by the way in which the Synod was sensitive both to the pastoral needs of gay and lesbian couples and at the same time affirmed the stance of the wider Anglican Communion, not charging ahead and doing our own thing but rather committing ourselves to a process of listening and dialogue on how to move forward.”
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The Episcopal Church’s protestation that it has not ended the ban on gay bishops or blessings has not found support outside its borders.
After strong international reaction against the decisions of the recent General Convention, US Church leaders moved quickly to claim that the Church had not changed its position.
But critics said that this was the inevitable outcome when the Episcopal Church opened the discernment process for new bishops to gay clergy and permitted dioceses to compile and develop rites for the blessings of same-sex unions None of the American church’s allies among the 38 provinces of the Anglican Communion have publicly spoken up in support of Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori’s claims that nothing has changed, while several sharp statements have been released by overseas provinces and dioceses charging that the Episcopal Church had walked away from the Anglican Communion.
On July 18 Bishop Jefferts Schori stated that “in 2009” there are “more and deeper relationships with parts of the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion than five or 10 years ago.”
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of South Africa The Anglican Church in South East Asia Episcopal Church (TEC) General Convention Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion) Same-sex blessings
The Episcopal Church General Convention adoption of resolutions D025 and C056 is a deliberate defiance of the wider Body of the Anglican Communion. We believe this is the choice they make to be politically correct with circular popular opion which seeks continually to destroy the moral fibre of people in general as we see the decay all around us. The blessings of the same-sex unions and the ordination of practicing gay clergy is inconsistence with the Word of God written; it is theologically uninformed, incoherent with the wider church, endorsing schism in the Anglican Communion and threatens ecumenical fellowship and relations.
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The Anglican archbishop of Cape Town says a decision by prosecutors to drop charges against South African presidential candidate Jacob Zuma will become a "running sore" unless there is an independent inquiry into the arms deal that triggered a legal process that has gripped the country for more than two years.
"How can this country forgive unless we know who we are forgiving and for what?" Archbishop Thabo Makgoba said in a 20 April speech to the Cape Town Press Club, The Cape Times newspaper reported.
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(ACNS) 'Continuing exaggerated weather patterns across Southern Africa are a further illustration of the urgent need to tackle global warming' Archbishop Thabo Makgoba said on Tuesday, calling for swift and decisive global action on climate change.
Speaking in the week before the G20 summit, the Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town said 'We have had enough of talking. The international community cannot continue to prevaricate while countries like ours are increasingly suffering inestimable human cost, in deaths, displacement, and the destruction of livelihoods. Northern Namibia is experiencing the worst flooding in decades, as is Southern Angola. This year has already seen serious storms, flooding and loss of life in Gauteng and Kwa-Zulu Natal in South Africa, as well as in Mozambique, where we are told we should expect further flooding, while other parts of the country suffer extensive drought.'
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(ACNS) The Synod of Bishops of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, meeting at Modderpoort in the Free State from 16 to 20 February 2009, have been shocked at the news that the Provincial Department of Health in the Free State has withdrawn anti-retroviral medication from HIV positive patients because of shortage of funds.
It is well known and often publicised by the National Department of Health, that patients must be counselled and prepared with great care before embarking on anti-retroviral medication. The Department is clear that it is vital for the medication to be taken consistently, with adequate food, and under diligent medical supervision; if this fails, it is said, the consequences in terms of illness and side effects may be severe.
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(ACNS) Archbishop Thabo Makgoba has sent messages of support to areas of KwaZulu Natal and Mozambique where storms and flooding have caused death and destruction. The Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town, whose area of responsibility includes several of South Africa's neighbouring countries, assures the Bishops and people of the Church's prayerful support, while calling for greater political commitment and practical action in overcoming global warming.
Writing to the Bishop of Natal, Rubin Philip, and the Bishop of Lebombo, Dinis Sengulane, Archbishop Makgoba says: 'Our hearts go out to those who have lost loved ones, who have been injured, and who have lost homes and livelihoods through these storms and flooding. We hold them all in our prayers and in our love, and especially remember before God those who have died. May all in need hear the still small voice of God within the anguish and chaos they face, bringing comfort and strength in the days ahead.
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(ACNS) I am deeply pained by the terrible deterioration, disease and despair we are seeing in Zimbabwe.
I welcome signs that the South African government is alive to the implications of the total collapse of governance in Zimbabwe, of which we see new evidence daily.
But the silence of SADC leaders in general is disgraceful. Why throughout this crisis have we seen no evidence of public leadership from King Mswati III, chairperson of SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Co-operation?
He should not only be taking high-profile action on Zimbabwe, but needs to show that peace and democracy are possible in his own country.
Are SADC's leaders not moved by the terrible human suffering in Zimbabwe? Where is their ubuntu? Must people be massacred in Zimbabwe's streets before SADC will take firm, decisive and public action? Will they even then?
No, SADC has failed and is morally bankrupt. President Mugabe has demonstrated again and again that he will not share power. He is no longer fit to rule. I appeal to the chair of the African Union, President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania to step in and declare publicly that Mugabe's rule is now illegitimate and that he must step aside, and for the AU to work speedily with the United Nations to set up a transitional government to take control.
Faith leaders "should shout from the rooftops that AIDS is not a punishment from God but a medical condition which is preventable," Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane, former primate of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, has told the World Aids Campaign.
Ndungane was speaking in an interview for the Amsterdam- and Cape Town-based World Aids Campaign, founded by UNAIDS, ahead of the 20th anniversary of the marking of December 1 as World AIDS Day. The campaign says World AIDS Day is a time of "global solidarity for a pandemic that has led to over 25 million deaths, with an estimated 33 million people currently living with HIV worldwide."
Ndungane, who now heads African Monitor, a continental development agency, said that AIDS was "manageable and treatable although not curable," as well as not being a punishment from God.
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I am rubbing my eyes in disbelief and wonder. It can't be true that Barack Obama, the son of a Kenyan, is the next president of the United States.
But it is true, exhilaratingly true. An unbelievable turnaround. I want to jump and dance and shout, as I did after voting for the first time in my native South Africa on April 27, 1994.
We owe our glorious victory over the awfulness of apartheid in South Africa in large part to the support we received from the international community, including the United States, and we will always be deeply grateful. But for those of us who have looked to America for inspiration as we struggled for democracy and human rights, these past seven years have been lean ones.
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A bio with a picture at the bottom is here.
Division over homosexuality and women bishops does exist "across the spectrum" within the Anglican Church, Archbishop Thabo Makgoba has said - but that is an indication of a church that is facing its challenges.
The archbishop, who returned from the Lambeth Conference in Canterbury, England, this month, said final decisions had not yet been made on contentious issues such as women clergy and the ordination of gay bishops, but they had been thoroughly discussed.
He acknowledged that there were divisions on these matters within all their dioceses across the world. However, it could not be seen as a split between liberals and conservatives as this was an "artificial divide".
"The reality across the spectrum, not just in South Africa, is that some parts of the communion are wrestling with issues such as ordaining women bishops, which we have done for 12 years already.
"I don't see this as a problem, but an indication of a church that is alive, and prepared to face the contextual realities and their challenges," he said.
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There were 1,148 lay and clergy participants - including 291 bishops - from among many faithful Anglican Christians who still look at the Bible as the Word of God, not just a 'primary source', as some are led to believe by liberal revisionist theology. Gafcon believes that Anglicanism has a bright future for as long as we are obedient to the Lord's Great Commission "to go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching and training them to observe what the Lord commands."(Matt 28:16-20; Eph.2:20). Gafcon is a movement in the Spirit and a fellowship of confessing Anglicans. Please read the statement on the Global Anglican Future. There is nothing divisive about it. The Global South and the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa are affiliated to it. Pray that the unity of the church be preserved. "Can the two walk together, unless they are agreed?" (Amos 3:3). Continue to pray for Lambeth so that we may have common mind in obedience to God's written Holy Word in all our deliberations. Lambeth is not only about the issue of homosexuality, it is also about how the poor are held ransom as the rich dictate terms and power, in order to continue to subdue the colonized with shackles of hunger, want and misery. It is my wish to remind you that what the heart loves, the will chooses and the mind justifies. May God's kingdom come, and his will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
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NJONGO NDUNGANE: I think Rowan Williams has done all he can in terms of seeking to keep all the people together. He has bent backwards and forwards to try to accommodate everyone.
RAFAEL EPSTEIN: Archbishop Rowan Williams fills a position that has symbolic influence, but no hard power. It's a difficult balancing act, complicated by his own public statements.
He has in the past broadcast liberal attitudes about homosexuality, but he has also forced a suffragan bishop to resign because he was gay.
But archbishop Ndungane says the coalition of conservative rebel bishops, does not respect the office of the Archbishop of Canterbury.
NJONGO NDUNGANE: They are instruments of unity. Instruments of communion and one such instrument of communion is the Archbishop of Canterbury. Then if you don't respect the office or the integrity of the office, then there are problems in terms of understanding what being an Anglican is.
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In the few years since Mandela has retired from official engagements, the former Archbishop of Cape Town, Nobel Peace Laureate and outspoken flayer of duplicitous politicians, has taken his place as South Africa’s moral conscience. Everyone wants to catch his eye or exchange a few words with him or prompt his famous giggle, and Tutu himself is the first to admit likes the attention.
The waitress takes our order and we both opt for grilled Cape salmon, the great cleric having changed his mind on the oxtail. At first Tutu seems pretty much unchanged since I last interviewed him a decade ago. Then, as head of the commission, he had the emotionally and physically taxing responsibility of wading through, in a series of public hearings between 1996 and 1998, the barbarities of apartheid.
He also had to make hugely sensitive decisions on granting amnesty for crimes, and on assessing the respective weight of human rights violations committed for or against such an inhumane system, a balancing act that infuriated both the African National Congress and white rightwingers. Then, towards the end of the assignment in 1997, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer, and yet the dynamic force of his personality helped to carry the country and himself through those difficult days, just as it had in the worst days of apartheid.
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Last month, the House of Representatives showed leadership in the fight against global poverty by passing the Jubilee Act for Responsible Lending and Expanded Debt Cancellation, which would extend lifesaving debt cancellation to more poor nations around the globe.
Too many of the world's poor children needlessly starve or go without education because too many impoverished nations - even after the laudable debt relief provided to date - are still funneling scarce resources to multilateral banks instead of paying for needs at home.
The world community has found crushing debt to be akin to a modern-day apartheid, and has responded with debt cancellation. Unjust debt leaves developing nations at the behest of the powerful. Shall we let the children of Africa and Asia die of curable disease, prevent them from going to school and limit their opportunities for meaningful work - all to pay off unjust and illegitimate loans made to their forefathers?
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There is growing regional and international pressure for an arms embargo to be placed on Zimbabwe, until a legitimate government is in place. This is mainly because of the Chinese arms ship that was turned away from South Africa last week.
A High Court order sought by pressure groups in Durban barred its transit overland to Zimbabwe, while trade unions in the region urged their members to refuse to unload it. Campaigners are arguing that presidential election results have still not been announced 25 days after the elections and as such any arms shipments are likely to be used for internal repression.
On Wednesday the new Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town, Thabo Makgoba, called on the United Nations Security Council to impose an arms embargo on Zimbabwe.
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There is so much more I could say about the vision I believe God is setting before us. It is a vision we must seek through rootedness in Christ Jesus, and ever-deepening engagement with Scripture and Sacraments; through the discipline of daily prayer and Bible-reading.
It is a vision that will touch every area of our lives. Let me share where it is already touching mine:
It is a vision of the restoration of dignity of each person, created by God and precious in God’s sight.
It is a vision of growing parish youth ministries, strengthened ecumenical ministry in tertiary education and Anglican schools helping address the skills shortages of our communities.
It is flourishing theological education, including through our residential college in Grahamstown and the Anglican House of Studies in Pietermaritzburg.
It is confident, competent, well-remunerated clergy, energising all God’s people in mission.
It is parishes as centres of peace and safety, offering shelter and nurture the vulnerable, especially children and youth: whether parishes in Cape Town, across South Africa, in Angola, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia and Swaziland, or in St Helena and Tristan da Cunha.
It is churches working in partnership with governments and civil society to breathe hope and transformation into every aspect of our communities and common life.
It is an Africa without conflict, and without the unjust structures that fuel injustice....
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Newly elected Archbishop of Cape Town Thabo Makgoba was on Sunday officially installed as the Church's leader at a colourful ceremony attended by hundreds of well-wishers.
Makgoba, 47, is the youngest person to be elected as Archbishop of Cape Town, was greeted with ululation, Kudu horn sounds and endless clappings as he was anointed during a church service held at the ST Georges Cathedral in Cape Town.
Over a thousand people, including President Thabo Mbeki, former Archbishops and leading business attended the service.
Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Science and Technology Minister Mosibudi Mangena and top businessmen Saki Macozoma, were amongst the more than 1000 people who had attended.
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The garden is a place of God's abundant providence and blessing. Everything is gift and cause for wonder and celebration. Everything is permitted and a source of ongoing delight and pleasure. But there are always boundaries, and the garden is bounded by one prohibition. he story does not explain the prohibition for the prohibition in and of itself is unimportant. What is important is the authority of the one who speaks and the expectation of an absolute obedience that is born of trust. This is God's world and we live in it on God's terms.
The conversation that comes later between the woman and the serpent is fascinating. The prohibition is interrogated and challenged, and what is a given is reduced to an option. In the process, what was boundary becomes threat, promise is obscured, and what was trust becomes defiance.In his commentary on Genesis, Walter Brueggemann rather scathingly says, 'Theological-ethical talk here is not to serve God, but to avoid the claims of God. … The serpent is the first in the Bible to seem knowing and critical about God and to practice theology in the place of obedience'.
I wonder how often we 'practice theology in the place of obedience,' how often we use it to avoid the claims of God on our life? In the garden when the prohibition is violated, the promises are perverted and vocation is undermined. The energy once spent in 'tilling and tending' God's creation is now focussed entirely on the self and its new-found freedom that is not freedom but bondage.
Vocation, promise, prohibition are three strands of human life lived in God's world on God's terms, interdependent facets of divine purpose. Prayerfully they must woven into a threefold cord that is not easily broken and that can sustain us in our ministry. All life is vocation.
May the three-fold chord of your life be renewed this Advent and Christmas
Read it all. (Hat tip jdk)
Listen to it all as he gives his perspective on the Communion and some matters with which it is involved.
The apartheid era in South Africa produced Anglican Church leaders who stood out against injustice. Bishop Graham Chadwick, as Bishop of Kimberley and Kuruman, following the example of one of his predecessors, Bishop Crowder, was expelled from the country for his actions. The Welsh-born bishop was finally escorted by the security police to Kimberley airport where 50,000 protesters joined in voicing their contempt at his deportation.
Graham Charles Chadwick was born in 1923 in Mid-Wales. The early death of his father led the family to relocate to Swansea, where Chadwick attended Swansea Grammar School. In 1942 he joined the RNVR. With his great gift for languages, he was selected to learn Japanese, before serving as an intelligence officer on flagships in the Pacific. He lost a close friend when he survived a kamikaze attack on HMS Formidable, and in 1946 he acted as an interrogator of war criminals.
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He also threw down a theological challenge on a doctrine that the worldwide Anglican Communion is threatening to split over.
In his sermon, he poked fun at the belief that only those who accept Jesus as their savior can enter heaven.
"Can you imagine that there are those who think God is a Christian?" he said to laughter from a mostly appreciative audience. "Can you tell us what God was before he was a Christian?"
More than 1,300 people crammed into lofty Calvary Episcopal Church, East Liberty, yesterday for the interfaith prayer service, part of the archbishop's first visit here.
Jared Cohon, president of Carnegie Mellon University, noted the unusual setting for the secular universities to award their degree, but said the archbishop's role in ending brutal segregation and working for reconciliation in South Africa made extraordinary gestures easy. He awarded the degree with Mark Nordenberg, chancellor at Pitt.
They were surrounded by religious leaders, from evangelical Presbyterians to Muslims to rabbis to Catholic Bishop David Zubik of the Diocese of Pittsburgh. Bishop Robert Duncan of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh, a leader among theologically conservative Anglicans, also attended.
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But this does not mean "anything goes." By no means!
We are all permanently under the three-fold testing and purifying scrutiny of the refining fire of God's holiness (Zech 13:9), of the two-edged sword of Scripture (Heb 4:12), of minds transformed by the renewing Spirit (Rom 12:2).
It is on this basis we dare to engage with the complexities of contemporary life around us.
God is God of everything, and we need to have the spiritual maturity, and the depth and breadth of faith, to know how to listen to what he has to say about everything from global security and biotechnology to poverty and development.
We need to be able to engage profoundly, and often critically, with every aspect of human behaviour.
Sometimes we speak of the need to "baptize culture."
This is no cursory wipe with a damp cloth to produce a superficial religious veneer.
Baptism is the radical transformation that comes through burial with Christ and being raised with him to new life. Every culture must die to the priorities, the loyalties, the idols, of this world; and find new, authentic, life-giving, contemporary expression -- transfigured under the Lordship of Jesus, Saviour and Redeemer, who calls us to walk in holiness of life.
This is God's call to all of us, and to every area of our lives – it is not just about sexuality and the morality of our sexual behaviour.
It is the life of obedience and self-discipline, and often costly self-denial, for, as Paul reminds the Corinthian church, even where "all things are lawful," it may well be that "not all things are beneficial" (1 Cor 10:23).
All of us would do well to remember this, as we grapple with our diversity -- believing it to be a gift of God's creative abundance.
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16-October-2007 - Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndunganes' statement on The Episcopal Church - South Africa
‘Now is the time of God’s favour’ writes St Paul, reminding us that in every present moment we must grasp the opportunities offered by God’s reconciling grace (2 Cor 5:16-6:2).
The Episcopal Church has grasped that opportunity, and committed itself to the path of reconciliation. Now the rest of the Anglican Communion must make sure the moment is not lost.
As the careful and comprehensive report of the Joint Standing Committee makes clear, the House of Bishops have now provided the necessary clarifications and assurances on the responses General Convention had given to issues raised in the Windsor Report. We now have a basis for going forward together, working alongside one another to restore the broken relationships both within the Episcopal Church and within the wider Communion.
The Episcopal Church has borne unprecedented scrutiny into its affairs, often with scant regard either for its legitimate internal polity or for the principle, observed since the ancient councils of the Church, of local jurisdiction and non-interference, and in the face of all this has had the courage to take hard decisions. The Presiding Bishop, in particular, is to be commended for her self-denial in the generosity of the provisions proposed for the ministry of Episcopal Visitors. Others should now respond by also abiding by the recommendations of the Windsor Report, as the Joint Standing Committee Report underlines.
This has not been an easy road to travel. Much remains to be done and we must continue to strive earnestly together to find the path ahead. The experiences of my own Province, both through the terrible divisions of the apartheid years, and in the differences of our earliest history (which contributed to the holding of the first Lambeth Conference), have repeatedly demonstrated that holding fast to one another yields lasting fruit, while separation solves very little. Our God is the God of reconciliation, not of division, and we can take courage that he will continue to guide our way forward. I am sure that as we continue to abide in Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord, in whom lies the gift of unity, that we will find ourselves, our churches, our world-wide Communion, refined and strengthened, for the life of worship, witness and service to which we are called.
With the reputation of a quietly spoken priest dedicated to the upliftment of the marginalised, Thabo Makgoba, the newly elected Archbishop of Cape Town and Metropolitan of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, is expected to be as effective, but much less high-profile, than his predecessors.
He will assume the position when Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane retires at the end of this year -- a position previously filled by the likes of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, a Nobel Peace Prize-winner in 1984.
His legacy is set to be no less profound: in meeting the challenges of poverty, HIV/Aids and giving moral leadership within Southern Africa; or in debates in the global Anglican Communion over scripture interpretations relating to human sexuality and over a long-brewing power struggle between its traditional centre in the global North and the South, where the number of believers is much larger.
"He has been a wonderful gift to this diocese. He is a compassionate, thoughtful and very humble man -- in the best sense of the word -- who has always led by example, like encouraging all of us to go for public HIV tests. His mission is not to create a bunch of Christians but to empower people with their rights and responsibilities," says Suzanne Peterson, vicar general of the Grahamstown diocese, which Makgoba will be leaving on January 1 to assume his new position.
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The Rt. Rev. Thabo Cecil Makgoba, Bishop of Grahamstown, was elected Archbishop of Cape Town and Metropolitan and Primate of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa on Sept. 25.
Bishop Makgoba, 47, will succeed the Most Rev. Njongonkulu Ndungane as archbishop, and will assume office on Jan 1. Viewed as a conservative on issues of human sexuality, he is expected to try to move the South African church closer to the other African Anglican provinces. The spiritual reconstruction of the church and of South African society will guide his tenure as archbishop, he told the South African Broadcasting Corporation.
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THE ANGLICAN Church in South Africa will not permit blessings of same-sex unions or gay marriage, the Bishop of Mthatha told his diocesan synod on Aug 25, as it is contrary to Scripture and God’s plan for humanity.
The Rt Rev Sitembele Mzamane told the 48th meeting of the diocesan synod that he forbade clergy in the Diocese of Mthatha (formerly the Diocese of St John the Evangelist) from solemnising gay marriages under South Africa’s new civil marriage code.
“We still embrace the Biblical truth that homosexual behaviour is a sin, not an orientation as others would like us to believe,” he said.
“Same-sex union is something that has been accepted by the government. But that does not mean that everything the government accepts or condones as right, the church will simply say ‘Yes’ and toe the line as well. No, it’s not like that, we base everything on the Bible,” Bishop Mzamane said according to accounts printed in an Eastern Cape newspaper, the Daily Dispatch.
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