Bishopscourt Media

New Bishops Consecrated [PHOTOS]

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Bishops’ Statement on Campus Unrest

Statement of the Synod of Bishops on the situation on South African university campuses

“You are the salt of the earth… You are the light of the world. Let your light so shine before people that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” – Matthew 5: 13-16
The Synod of Bishops of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, assembled in Benoni from February 20 to 24, reflected on the state of education in South Africa with specific regard to the disruptions of the educational process arising from the protests over university fees, curricula and the living conditions, transport problems and safety of students which have formed part of the #FeesMustFall, #Decolonized Education and similar campaigns.
The 2017 academic year
The Synod of Bishops applauds the efforts of students, university management teams and the National Education Crisis Forum to save the academic year at the end of 2016. We pray God’s blessings over the 2017 academic year and beyond.
Civil society involvement
The Synod acknowledges and wishes to encourage the tremendous work of civil society through the South African Council of Churches, the Higher Education Parents Dialogue (HEParD) and the National Education Crisis Forum, and of the business community and political parties in certain areas, in engaging with government, university managements and students in seeking to normalise life on campuses while at the same time addressing the real and urgent problems which #FeesMustFall and #Decolonised education activists have brought to the fore.
The responsibilities of students
We acknowledge the right of students to protest over issues about which they feel strongly. At the same time we plead with them to find and maintain constructive ways of making themselves heard without resorting to violence or destructive action. We urge them to accept the responsibility for facilities on their campuses which  accompanies a sense of being co-owners of their institutions.
The responsibilities of university managements
We plead with university managements to adopt a deep listening posture in response to student unrest, and to work with students to find creative solutions to the pressing issues with which we are confronted. While we are grateful for those campuses which have returned to normality, we are deeply concerned at the presence of police and increased numbers of security personnel on a number of campuses. This militarised presence kills dialogue and serves to deepen polarisation between students and management. In doing so, it induces a false sense of calm on those campuses, which conceals the potential for renewed violent confrontation. We therefore also call on university managements to withdraw the police and to scale back to normal levels the presence of security guards on campuses.
The Government’s responsibility
Whilst we commend efforts by government to address the tertiary education crisis, we feel it is at times overwhelmed by it and we would like to see government, especially the Minister and the Department of Higher Education and Training, play a more pro-active role in addressing it. We strongly urge the government to seek more creative ways of providing more resources for education, and in particular of creating a “free funding model” for tertiary education – including provision for high earners and companies to contribute to the costs of that education – so that students do not have to graduate with crippling levels of debt. We acknowledge the Minister of Finance’s  allocations for tertiary education in his budget and we appeal for further tangible commitments and timelines for increased funding.
Conclusion
We call the church to prayer and action to help all parties involved to develop a new vision for the future of education in our land, a vision which will guide us in finding a long-lasting solution to the challenge of giving all our children, especially those living in material poverty, access to a good education which enables them to realise their God-given potential.
Benoni, February 2017

Kimberley Diocese Speaks Out on Deaths

Statement on the death of 94 Mentally challenged people by the Bishop Of Kimberley at the 52nd Session of the Diocesan Synod

Commentary on the death of 94 Mentally challenged people

The 52nd Session of the Synod of the Anglican Church of the Diocese of Kimberley & Kuruman expressed great sadness at the deaths of 94 mental patients who died because they were disrupted by what appears to be insensitive relocation.

We learnt that despite objections and pleas by their families their comfort thus contributing directly to their tragic deaths.

We further noted the cold and insensitive attitude of the speaker of the National Assembly, the Hon Baleka Mbete, who found it impossible to concede to a request for a moment of silence to acknowledge the tragedy.

We believe that such a gesture would have meant a lot to the grieving families. Unfortunately, this rejection reflected on the entire ruling party since none of them risked the opportunity of making such a conciliatory and sympathetic gesture.

We continue to pray for the families as they struggle to get to grips with the situation. We also pray for those in authority that they may be enabled to make good and right decisions – rather than expedient ones.

May God bless all who can and do make a difference and may we all be convicted to always take the right decisions for the benefit of the vulnerable people in our midst.

The Right Revd Oswald Swartz
on behalf of the Synod of the Diocese of Kimberley & Kuruman

NB: At the time when this statement was being prepared, it was reported in the press that the number of deceased had grown to 100 and probably beyond. We make a serious call for those in authority to address this matter with the urgency it deserves and take bold steps in putting remedial plans into place.

Where is the New Prayer Book?

The ACSA Liturgical Committee has become aware that there is a widespread assumption that a ‘new’ Prayer Book has been produced and it is available now.

Many of those placing orders for Celebrating Sunday, the new experimental supplemental liturgical resource with materials for Advent through Pentecost have done so assuming that it is the New Prayer Book.

The Committee is calling upon everyone involved in liturgy and the leadership of worship, to help correct this misunderstanding.

Expecting a New Prayer Book is an appropriate eagerness that we welcome-  however, such an expectation will only be met after many years of hard work.

The New Prayer Book has been called for by the Synod of Bishops and Provincial Synod – and is a goal which the Liturgical Committee is diligently pursuing.

However revising APB 1989 is a process, one that will require the involvement of the whole Church, much work, and many years. During those years the Liturgical Committee will be producing several supplemental liturgical resources authorised for experimental, trial use. Celebrating Sunday is the first in this series of publications.

These supplemental resources will be the result of a process of wide consultation among the people of ACSA and will reflect the diverse styles of worship common to our Church while maintain the characteristic features of Anglican Worship.

The ACSA Liturgical Committee looks forward to continued communication with everyone involved in the worship we offer and with eagerness anticipates your involvement in this exciting and historic process of Revision and Renewal.

The Prayer Book Revision Sub-Committee
of the ACSA Liturgical Committee
All Saints Day 2016

New Provincial Executive Officer Licensed

Archdeacon Horace Arenz with Archbishop Thabo in the Bishopscourt chapel

Archdeacon Horace Arenz with Archbishop Thabo in the Bishopscourt chapel

Following three years at Bishopscourt, Canon William Mostert has returned to a parish in Edenvale, Highveld Diocese. I am grateful for his ministry at Bishopscourt over these years.

Last week Friday, I licensed the Ven Horace Arenz as the new PEO.  Ven Arenz was the Diocesan Administrator in the Diocese of Cape Town and Archdeacon to the ordinary. He comes with vast administrative experience as well as pastoral knowledg . He will serve the province well.

Yours in the service of Christ

+Thabo

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