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Communiqué from the Synod of Bishops

Issued after their meeting from February 23 to 26, 2021.

Dear People of God,

Grace and Peace be with you!

The Synod of Bishops of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa met, prayed, discussed, and shared together under the leadership of Archbishop Thabo, Archbishop of Cape Town, and Metropolitan of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa.

Due to the restrictions imposed on our various nations due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, Synod of Bishops was held virtually. Notwithstanding the vagaries of technology and participants being occasionally disconnected, Synod was a success and the normal sense of collegiality enjoyed in our meetings was again evident.

The busy schedule centred around the daily offices and input from Mr Douglas Board, speaking from London, and Dr Annemarie Paulin-Campbell of the Jesuit Institute from Johannesburg. Their inputs on our Encounter with God, and our Spiritual Journey were deeply challenging and moving. Synod was inspired and empowered by their input, and deeply appreciative of the hard work put into their presentations.

Synod observed a moment of silence and offered prayers in memory of Bishop Ellinah Wamukoya who died recently from COVID-19 complications. She was a valued member of the Bench and will be greatly missed. May her soul rest in peace and rise in glory. Synod noted that the Archbishop of Canterbury has conferred, posthumously, the Langton Award for Community Service on Bishop Ellinah. The award, named after Stephen Langton (Archbishop of Canterbury in the 13th century), is made “for outstanding contributions to the community in accordance with the Church’s teaching”.

Synod of Bishops approved and gave authority under Article ii to dealing with Canon 4, Of the Election of Bishops, in the light of the lockdown restrictions imposed across all the countries of ACSA. This special resolution will permit the Archbishop to promulgate and hold Elective Assemblies, under special provisions, in those Dioceses currently without Episcopal leadership. The Elective Assemblies have twice been postponed due to lockdown restrictions, and it is imperative that we elect and consecrate episcopal leadership in these Dioceses. Synod expressed deep appreciation for the work of the Vicars-General who have served the Church so selflessly during this time of interregnum. Their ministry has gone above and beyond the call of duty.

Synod of Bishops gave further authority under Article ii on the holding of Vestries, Canon 27, that these may continue under the conditions approved by this Synod.

The motion approved at the last Provincial Standing Committee on Gender-Based Violence, and the need to increase the representation of women in positions of leadership in the local Church and the Province was endorsed. This important work was discussed in light of the serious threat posed by patriarchal dominance which seeks to destroy, often violently, the God-given ability of women and their call to leadership in the Church.

Synod of Bishops reflected on the challenges presented by the COVID-19 Pandemic. These included the economic and health issues before us. Time was spent exploring how we believe God is calling the church to minister and grow under these ‘new-normal’ circumstances.

Synod of Bishops noted the Provincial Synod to be held in September of this year, and the new date for the Lambeth Conference in 2022.

Synod was presented with the exciting and important developments within the Portuguese-speaking Dioceses of ACSA, which are to become a new Province in the Anglican Communion, named Igreja Anglicana de Moçambique e Angola (IAMA) (the Anglican Church of Mozambique and Angola). This development is indicative of the growth within ACSA for which we give God the glory. During Synod news from the Anglican Communion Office was received that approval has been granted for this project to continue in its exploration and preparation. Final approval for the creation of this new Province is still to be granted, but an important first step has been successfully completed.

Professor Mary Metcalfe, speaking on behalf of a highly qualified team, presented a progress report on their investigation into racism in Anglican Schools. This is an ongoing investigation. The work completed thus far has set a precedent for a way of listening and beginning the work of addressing the removal of the pain and disabling effect of racism, which for so many has been a lifetime of experience. It is clear this is a process and cannot be quickly addressed.

Lay Canon Rosalie Manning addressed Synod on both the Safe and Inclusive Church and Human Sexuality Commissions. The importance of this work cannot be over-estimated, and after discussion with the Bishops there was unanimous agreement that further work and training is required.

Synod noted the following with deep concern:

  • The impact of the insurgency in Cabo Delgado within the Diocese of Nampula in the north-eastern part of Mozambique, leading to loss of life and trauma for those living under this threat; and
  • The deteriorating situation in the Tigray Province of Ethiopia.

Synod expressed a unanimous desire that both these intolerable situations be addressed and resolved. Bishop Manuel Ernesto of Nampula was assured of our prayers at this time. The statement on Tigray published in the name of Archbishop Thabo was duly adopted. Synod also noted the damage inflicted on Mozambique by recent cyclones and assured the people of Mozambique of our prayers and support.

Synod was also told that the mortal remains which were exhumed during the building of the airport in St Helena are yet to be re-interred. Synod was requested to pray and bring moral pressure to bear for the remains to be accorded the dignity of reburial as a matter of urgency.

Several Bishops have been asked to stand in positions of leadership in both public and community life. Bishop Carlos of Lebombo chairs Mozambique’s National Elections Commission; Bishop Charles of the Highveld is the chair of the Church Unity Commission. It was also reported that the Revd Dr Vicentia Kgabe, Principal of the College of the Transfiguration, was invited to join the Board of the Theological Education by Extension College (TEEC). Synod also congratulated Bishop William, Christ the King and Bishop Vicente, Niassa, as well as Bishop Moses Madywabe and Bishop Eddie Daniels, on the anniversaries of their Consecrations. The news that the Revd Thandeka Vikilahle has been appointed as the first woman Dean of Mthatha was received with great joy.

A commitment was made to rediscover the important role the South African Anglican Theological Commission (SAATC) plays in our prophetic leadership and witness to the world. Bishop Raphael of Saldanha Bay chairs this Commission. There is a need to source additional and younger members of the Commission, and for discussion to filter deeper into the ACSA.

Time was spent exploring the role and future development of education in our Church. This included discussion on the important role of the College of the Transfiguration (CoTT), noting that the changing dynamics caused by the Pandemic and lockdown will necessitate a prayerful and bold process of envisioning. A strong plea was made that we support CoTT and not lose this heritage of which we can be justifiably proud. Synod approved the creation of a committee to explore further the developments already under way concerning CoTT.

Discussion also ensued on the role our Anglican Schools play in the life of the Diocese, the Church and Southern Africa. These schools play an important part in the life of the church and require our full support. Synod noted that the position of Executive Director of the Anglican Board of Education (ABE) is being advertised due to the contract with the Revd Roger Cameron having concluded. Synod expressed grateful appreciation for the sterling work and ministry of the Revd Roger Cameron. Synod agreed he would be made an Honorary Canon of the Province.

Synod of Bishops received a report from Bishop Dintoe, Free State, on our young people. Great appreciation was expressed for their leadership and life within the church and assured them of the support of the Bench of Bishops, and of our desire to see them assume their rightful place in the life of the church as an investment for our future and as an asset at this time.

Synod of Bishops discussed the issues around the motion from Provincial Synod giving the ACSA’s support for Palestine. A group appointed by the Archbishop has endeavoured to listen to both sides of the debate and has agreed to continue offering support to the people of Palestine in the light of the oppression and restrictions imposed upon them. The similarities with Apartheid cannot be ignored. Neither can we ignore that Scripture is used to condone this oppression. The use of Scripture challenges both the gospel and the church to address this issue in the light of Christ. In this we note the motion did not support the use of violence on either side of this conflict. Synod takes this matter seriously and has asked the Archbishop to bring it before Lambeth 2022.

Synod of Bishops gave their approval of a petition questioning the granting of permission for fracking in the Kavango Region of Namibia. The probability of environmental degradation occurring due to fracking is too great to ignore and must be carefully investigated before permission is granted. Synod was unanimous that drilling must be halted with immediate effect.

Bishop Charles, the Synod’s Liaison Bishop for the SACC, tabled an SACC Statement on the danger of South Africa being destabilised by the refusal of witnesses to appear before the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture. Synod shared the SACC’s concern that disrespect for the law can destabilise South Africa. Given the country’s immediate past, South Africa cannot afford such a threat. Synod of Bishops supports the SACC’s call and asks parishioners to be vigilant in ensuring equality before the law for all. We call on all to respect and work to uphold the law. No one is or should be above the law.

In these uncertain times, the words of the First Letter of Peter on hope ring true: “Cast all your anxiety on Jesus because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7) May it be so for each of you. Amen

[The Communique has been updated since first published to add the concern over St Helena, to correct the name of the new Province, and to make two other small corrections.]

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New SA Covid guidelines – ACSA – Feb 4

Please download the PDF file below
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Provincial Notices

Theme for Provincial Synod – 21-24 Sept 2021

ACSA has brought forward its next meeting of Provincial Synod to September this year. The Provincial Synod Advisory Committee has held its first meeting, and invites you to help finalise the proposed theme.

The Committee has provisionally proposed the following:

Discipleship through Faith, Hope and Love: ACSA acting for a transformed world

Outlining the rationale for the theme, Archbishop Thabo Makgoba points to faith, hope and love as key tools drawn from the Pauline corpus upon which to build our discipling, locating our action within ACSA with the goal of transforming the world.

Readers are invited to comment or make suggestions for amendments or alternatives by Friday February 19.

The Archbishop also asks you, over and above legislative matters, what you think Synod should be discussing, whether arising from your suggestions on the theme or concerning other issues.

Please use the Comments field below to take part in the debate. Note that comments are moderated, so your contribution might take a day or two to appear.

Provincial Executive Officer

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Provincial Notices

A Lent Course for 2021 – ACSA

A commendation by Archbishop Thabo Makgoba

Dear People of God

We enter Lent this year at a time of unprecedented  suffering as a consequence of Covid-19. But while, thanks to medical science and collective action, we can be confident that this pandemic too shall pass, the “hidden pandemic” of our times – gender-based violence – remains deeply rooted in our society.

It is with that in mind that Provincial Standing Committee commissioned “Living Holy and Healthy Relationships” as the Lent Course for 2021.  As the introduction says, “Given that GBV brings such deep devastation to individuals, families and communities, we are often overwhelmed by the disastrous effects of this violence.” But just as we can overcome Covid-19, so too can we overcome GBV if we dedicate as many resources, both spiritually and through collective action, to uprooting this evil.

I commend warmly “Living Holy and Healthy Relationships” and appeal to you to engage earnestly with it, mustering all the energy you can to working among those in your patch of God’s Kingdom to bring about the changes in outlook and behaviour needed to end permanently this scourge.

To the Provincial Liturgical Committee and the Parish of St Francis of Assisi Parish, Parkview, we extend our thanks for the fine work they have done.

God bless.

†† Thabo Cape Town

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Provincial Notices

Elective Assemblies Postponed

Update: January 13, 2021: The four Elective Assemblies have been postponed as a consequence of the second wave of the coronavirus, and new South African government regulations preventing them from being held in person. The Archbishop is consulting with the church’s lawyers, the Synod of Bishops and the Dioceses on the way ahead.

The following have been nominated as candidates for Elective Assemblies to be held in the Dioceses of Natal, Kimberley & Kuruman, Lesotho and Zululand during February.

The Ven Horace Arenz, Provincial Executive Officer

ELECTIVE ASSEMBLY OF NATAL TO BE HELD 5-6 FEBRUARY 2021

Candidates
The Very Reverend Xolani Dlwati
The Revd Mlungisi Hadebe 
The Revd Barnabas S Nqindi
The Revd Sithembiso Ntshangase


ELECTIVE ASSEMBLY OF KIMBERLEY & KURUMAN TO BE HELD 9-10 FEBRUARY 2021

Candidates
The Revd Canon Jerome Francis
The Very Revd Reginald Leeuw
The Ven Dr Lepai Meschack Trevor Mariri
The Ven Mosimanegape Aaron Morake
The Revd Gift Van Staden
 

ELECTIVE ASSEMBLY OF LESOTHO TO BE HELD 16-17 FEBRUARY 2021

Candidates
The Revd Edwin Molemo Baatjies
The Revd Matsitso Josephine Duma
The Revd Canon Benjamin Nkopa Mafereka
The Revd Dr Isaiah Makhetha
The Very Revd Tanki Job Mofana
The Very Revd Mosokotso Lazarus Mohapi
The Revd Kenny Ntoane
The Revd Abiel Lethale Pheko


ELECTIVE ASSEMBLY OF ZULULAND TO BE HELD 19-20 FEBRUARY 2021

Candidates
The Revd Lewis Eisenhower Stevenson Gumede
The Revd Vikinduku Victor Mnculwane
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New Covid-19 guidelines for SA churches

The Provincial COVID Advisory Team has drawn up, and Archbishop Thabo Makgoba has endorsed, new guidelines for congregations as a consequence of the stricter Level 3 lockdown announced by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on December 28, 2020. The guidelines follow:

  1. The President of the Republic of South Africa announced that with effect from midnight on the 28th of December 2020, SA would revert to Level 3 restrictions.
  2. In addition, the President also announced further hotspot areas affecting Western Cape, the Garden Route, KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.
  3. With immediate effect all social gatherings, including faith-based gatherings, are prohibited until the 15th of January 2021. The situation will be reviewed then.
  4. A new curfew from 21:00 until 06:00 was imposed.
  5. The wearing of face masks is compulsory. Failure to do so constitutes an offence punishable by law.
  1. Implications for church and worship:
  1. ALL places of worship are closed with immediate effect.
  2. Places of worship may only be opened for purpose of conducting a funeral.
  3. The prohibition on gatherings, both social and faith-based, means we are not able to worship, conduct weddings, baptisms, confirmations or ordinations until further notice but at least for the next two weeks. The Advisory Team is working on other implications for ministry and will update these.
  4. Funerals must be held in full compliance of all health protocols.
  5. A designated compliance officer must be appointed in writing.
  6. Attendance at funerals is restricted to 50 if the venue can accommodate 50, while maintaining a social distance of 1.5 m between all attendees.
  7. Smaller venues are restricted to 50% of capacity of the venue.
  8. These numbers to include ministers and altar parties.
  9. Masks must be worn at all times.
  10. No singing is permitted, although a soloist may perform, observing social distance and health protocols.
  11. Recorded music may be played.
  12. Funerals to be completed within two hours – one hour for the actual service and the next hour for the committal or cremation service.
  13. No night vigils or prayer meetings are allowed.
  14. When going to sympathize with or express condolences to the family, please keep visits short, observe social distance, sanitize and wear a mask. These are hard asks of us all, but are needed to save lives.
  15. No social gatherings to be held in our homes too.
  16. No after-tears gatherings, including lunch or tea etc.
  17. In order to reduce pressure on mortuaries, every effort to be made to conduct funerals within five days.
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Important Guidelines – Coronavirus ‘Second Wave’

A letter from Archbishop Thabo Makgoba:

Dear People of God 

Please find for careful study and implementation an important report and recommendations from the Provincial COVID Advisory Team on the second wave of the coronavirus now being experienced in many parts of our Province. 

Key implications of the report: 

    • Most urgent, in South Africa, all faith-based institutions have to be closed by 9pm in the evenings, whether events are held indoors or outdoors. This means ensuring all Christmas Eve services are finished by 9pm on Thursday. 

    • The Advisory Team recommends that services be restricted to 80 worshippers, where that number can be accommodated while observing social distancing of 1,5 metres. Where capacity is smaller, places of worship should not be more than 50% full. 

    • In South Africa, the latest regulations in any event limit attendance of a funeral to 100, observing 1,5m social distancing, or 50% of capacity where 100 cannot be accommodated. Night vigils and after-funeral gatherings, such as “after-tears” events, are prohibited. 

    •  In some churches, mask-wearing, proper sanitising and the prohibition on handshakes and singing without masks is not being observed.  

    • Where possible, we should return to on-line services and Diocesan bishops should seriously consider requests from parishes who wish to close for Christmas due to local conditions where such requests are properly motivated.  

    • Older people are often those who are most lonely in lockdown, but those over 60 and have co-morbidities are still the most vulnerable and ought to avoid returning to services. 

    • A vaccine is our best and only defence against the virus. We need to participate in advocacy efforts to see that access to the vaccine happens on a just and equitable basis. We need to support education initiatives around the vaccine and call for vaccination as  a common good. 

    • We need to focus anew on addressing food insecurity and other social needs and also strengthen our response to this is a more intentional way. As a mark of solidarity and hospitality to honour the birth of the Christ child in a manger, we should consider donating food, school shoes or a stationery pack instead of buying presents.

    • Since the Advisory Team met, it has become evident that new infections are highest in the 15-19 age group, so where possible the number of servers should also be reduced for the time being. 

Please read the accompanying report carefully. I am sure you will all join me in thanking the Advisory Team for their extensive and detailed work.  

 God bless you. 

†† Thabo Cape Town

You can download the report here >>

Note: The report has been amended and replaced since first published to make point 4(c) on page 7 clearer.

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Provincial Notices

Loraine Tulleken, RIP

News that the Revd Loraine Tulleken died earlier today of a suspected heart attack at her home in Kommetjie in the Western Cape is numbing.

One of the great communicators of our church, Loraine edited Southern Anglican for many years and has since been producing by e-mail the Anglicans in Africa News Bulletin.

Her blunt wisdom was on display just five days before her death when she wrote on her Facebook page: “Anyone else irritated by the term ‘passed on’? To die is part of our spiritual journey.”

In Johannesburg, she was known as a dedicated priest, where I was her archdeacon when she served in Sophiatown, and testimony to how she was loved in Cape Town was provided today by the Rector of St Clare’s, Ocean View:

Reverend Lorraine.

Thank you for always welcoming our young ones to celebrate mass with you. Thank you for making them a part of your ministry. Our parish was blessed to be enriched with your knowledge.

You shared your love, friendship and stories with us and we are privileged to have shared your life journey with you.

Rest in peace Reverend Lorraine.

Dance with the angels.😇

Father Ulric and the Parish Family

Our deepest condolences go to her family. – Archbishop Thabo Makgoba

The Revd Loraine Tulleken celebrating with young people (St Clare’s, Ocean View).
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Bishop of George makes Covid-19 plea

It is with grave concern that we learn about the surge of Coronavirus cases in the Garden Route and elsewhere in our Province. It is of more serious concern that no precautionary measures are in place to help curb the surge.

Recently, on 11 November, we had by-elections in George and Knysna, and now they are under way in Oudtshoorn (9 December 2020). We are at the start of the holiday season, our airports are getting busier, and the movement of people towards the Garden Route is increasing significantly.

Understandably, citizens are fatigued by measures and protocols. The economy is suffering, people are losing jobs and everyone is longing for a reprieve. But it is no use for the authorities to advise us constantly of the dangers of the virus and that our health system is under serious pressure, and then only to advise us to be careful.

A hard lockdown will cause further suffering but other steps short of that could help. Yet nothing has been done about curbing the movement of people through an extended curfew. Nothing has been done to manage the sale of alcohol, and nothing to limit the number of people at mass gatherings, including religious gatherings etc.

We are now left to manage ourselves without a concerted indication that government (provincial and national) is prepared to guide the conduct and behaviour of our citizens.

Citizens must please behave responsibly. We call on you and commit ourselves to manage our traveling carefully. If we don’t have to travel, let us stay at home. If we have to cancel holiday arrangements, it will be worth it to protect our loved ones, our fellow citizens and ourselves.

Please be safe, this pandemic too will come to an end. We continue to pray for those who are afflicted by this virus. We share our deepest sympathy with those who have buried their loved ones. God will take care of us, God is a caring, loving, healing God. God will meet us in our places of sanctity and in our homes. We will not cease our prayers for the healing of our nation and the world.

The Right Revd Brian Marajh, Bishop of George

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Fr. Michael Lapsley’s Award

Father Michael Lapsley SSM was honoured with the Archbishop’s Peace with Justice Award at the December ordinations at St George’s Cathedral, Cape Town.

Born in New Zealand, he was ordained to the priesthood in Australia, where he joined the Society of the Sacred Mission (SSM). Arriving in Durban in 1973 as an undergraduate student, he soon became involved in the struggle against apartheid, working as national chaplain to Anglican students.

Speaking out vocally following the Soweto Uprising, he was expelled from South Africa in 1976. He moved to Lesotho, where he continued his studies and became a member of the African National Congress and a chaplain to the organisation in exile.

After a police raid in Maseru in 1982 in which 42 people were killed, he moved to Zimbabwe. It was here in 1990, three months after Nelson Mandela’s release, that he was sent a letter bomb hidden inside two religious magazines. He lost both hands and sight in one eye. This sinister attack transformed his life as he became a living witness of healing and reconciliation.

This work led to the establishment, in 1998, of the Institute for Healing of Memories. Through the institute, Father Michael exercises a worldwide ministry dedicated to justice and healing.

Photographer: James Mark Jacobs

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Provincial Notices

New Lectionary now for sale – e-book & softcover

English and isiXhosa editions of the lectionary for the Church year beginning with Advent are now available from the Publishing Committee.

The English edition is also available as an e-book, to read in downloaded software. Click here >>

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Provincial Notices

Dr Makhosi Nzimande to be new PEO

Dr. Makhosazana Nzimande

Archbishop Thabo Makgoba of Cape Town announced today that the Ven. Canon Dr. Makhosazana Nzimande will become the Church’s next Provincial Executive Officer with effect from March 1, 2021.

Dr. Nzimande will replace the Ven. Horace Arenz, who is retiring. She is currently Rector of All Saints, Ladysmith, and Archdeacon of Uthukela in the Diocese of Natal.

She holds a number of leadership positions internationally and locally, among them Vice-Moderator of the World Council of Churches Faith and Order Commission, a member of the Church’s Provincial Liturgical Committee and the Advisory Board for Theological Education, and, in the Diocese of Natal, as an Archdeacon and a member of the Diocesan Chapter and Board of Trustees.

She has previously served as Lecturer and Head of Department of the University of Zululand’s Department of Theology and Studies, as director of the Diocese of Natal’s Institute for Leadership Development and as a field organiser for the Diakonia Council of Churches.

Her PhD in Biblical Interpretation (Old and New Testaments) was earned at Brite Divinity School, Texas Christian University in the United States. She has Bachelor’s and Honours degrees from the University of Natal (formerly Durban-Westville) and undertook Anglican studies at Westcott House, Cambridge in the United Kingdom.

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Provincial Notices

16 Days of Activism – Resources

Updated November 25

Pause-Pray-Pledge – A Daily Programme for the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women & Girls Miranda Pillay [PDF] >>

International Anglican Women’s Network (IAWN) – 16 Days of Activism >>

IAWN hopes that these links, resources and examples will inspire and help Anglicans around the Communion to participate in this year’s international 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence which run from 25 November (the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women) to 10 December (Human Rights Day). (Join webinars on different issues from Wednesday Nov 25 to Thursday Dec 10.)

We are facing four Pandemics, and one is “Gender-based Sexual Violence” – Growing the Church [PDF] >>

We are facing four Pandemics, and one is “Gender-based Sexual Violence”. Covid-19, Poverty/Greed, and Environmental Degradation are the other three, and we are addressing these in other forums. Let’s focus on GBV.

Hand in Hand: Bible studies to transform our response to Gender-based Sexual Violence – Tearfund [PDF] >>

This book explores passages from the Bible to help us gain some insight into the impact of sexual violence on our communities and churches, and to suggest ways we can respond. These Bible studies are designed to be used in small groups, such as Bible study groups, Mothers’ Union meetings, youth groups or other church groups.Church Resource Manual on Sexual Gender Based Violence – We Will Speak Out South Africa Coalition

TRANSFORMING MASCULINITIES: A training manual for Gender Champions – Tearfund [PDF] >>

Church Resource Manual on Sexual Gender Based Violence – We Will Speak Out South Africa Coalition:

88-page PDF >>

38-page PDF >>

The Shadow Pandemic: Violence Against Women and Girls and COVID-19 – UN Women >>


Resolution of 2020 Provincial Standing Committee:

Resolution on Gender-based Violence

Noting with urgency that women are being murdered daily and that Gender-based violence is increasing in society at alarming levels. GBV is a cause of consequence of gender inequality and injustice.

Noting that Gender Based Violence is primarily violence perpetrated by men on women. These men are quite often a loved one, trusted leader or close relative.

Noting that in the context of this global pandemic, occurrences of GBV have increased making GBV a shadow pandemic.

Noting the presence of a Gender programme in ACSA with a comprehensive strategy, however without substantial resources to ensure effective implementation of the programme, which includes dealing with the scourge of GBV, Gender sensitisation and addressing the issues of masculinity.

Acknowledging the role of the church in being complicit in allowing GBV to go unchallenged and that GBV flourishes in an environment of silence, shame and stigma, of unbelief and avoiding so called difficult conversations and justice.

Acknowledging that patriarchy is evil, a sin and a heresy, especially when interpreting scriptures to reinforce concepts of male dominance and headship. It is evidenced in our teachings on the sanctity of marriage, family values and the subservience of women. It is also evidenced in our liturgy and language that excludes women.Acknowledging that as a province we have passed many resolutions on GBV, inclusive language, diversity and representation. It is time now to act.

Acknowledging the presence and work of the Safe Church Commission

This PSC hereby resolves:

1. That all dioceses revisit the communication from Synod of Bishops February 2020 that declared a state of emergency on GBV and immediately put in place a programme to deal with the scourge of GBV.

2. That each diocese has a dedicated gender officer or task team that liaises with HOPE Africa as well as all provincial organisations involved in training and programmes on GBV, so that these programmes get to diocesan and parish level.

3. The Provincial Liturgical Committee create a Season that focus on GBV, with Readings, Prayers, Liturgical materials, Sermon outlines and materials for Small Group Bible Studies.

4. That we ensure that all our liturgies are transformed to be gender inclusive and all dioceses request that each Parish uses these gender inclusive liturgies.

5. That we immediately stop referring to male priests as “Father” and begin to use more gender inclusive titles like Reverend, Moruti, etc.

6. That we respectfully request the Metropolitan to request the Anglican Theological Commission to identify doctrines, beliefs and practices that need to be eliminated to ensure that our teachings and practices are life-giving for both women and men. These should include but not be limited to theologies of male headship, female submission, family values, codes of purity, discourses of protection and pity.

7. That we respectfully respect the Archbishop to declare a theme for Lent of 2021 to focus on GBV.

8. To strive to have equal representation of women at all leadership and decision making levels of the church.

9. That the ACSA budget includes an adequate financial allocation to deal with GBV.

10. That all Dioceses adopt and promote the “Thursdays in Black” campaign against GBV.

11. That the liturgical committee write a prayer for women (like the Prayer for Africa) to be prayed at every Eucharistic celebration.

12. That men become more involved in challenging patriarchy and GBV. This should begin with a men’s webinar, where men speak about their experience of male privilege.

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Mozambique, Angola plan new Province

The proposed expansion of three dioceses to eight in Mozambique.

Exciting plans to triple the number of dioceses in Mozambique and Angola and inaugurate a new, Portuguese-speaking Province of the Anglican Communion were outlined at this year’s meeting of ACSA’s Provincial Standing Committee.

Bishop Carlos Matsinhe of Lebombo reported to PSC that the legislative bodies of the four existing dioceses – those of Lebombo, Niassa and Nampula in Mozambique, and the Diocese of Angola – supported the proposal for a new Province, made by Archbishop Thabo Makgoba at Provincial Synod last year.

“… [A]s bishops, we have spoken with the laity and clergy of our dioceses and we are keeping the discussion on this matter high in our parishes and congregations,” Bishop Carlos said in his presentation.

“…[I]n each area to become a new diocese we have put in place Task Force Committees to work out the details as required by the Provincial guidelines.

“All four bishops and their dioceses feel very much encouraged by the last Synod of Bishops that affirmed and endorsed the process. This encouragement carries a deep spiritual and missiological intent.”

Bishop Carlos added that the church in the two nations needed to disciple more Anglicans.

“Our Anglican Church is already recognized by our civil society and authorities as a serious partner in the areas of peace building, public health and poverty eradication…

“This recognition poses a challenge of growth, effective presence and relevant witness which we cannot do well from a distance. We need more bishops to bring down their episcopal ministry to where many congregations are.”

The new church would be called Igreja Anglicana de Moçambique e Angola (Iama), Bishop Carlos said.

He noted that the existing four dioceses in Mozambique and Angola covered huge distances, making travel time-consuming for their bishops. Citing an example of the difficulties, he said traversing the Diocese of Niassa from east to west involved travelling through Malawi.

He said that five new dioceses in Mozambique and three in Angola are proposed. “The province will start with 12 bishops… Of course this is going to be a long journey, which we are asking you to let us start, and pray for us.”

In a resolution proposed by Bishop Carlos and seconded by Bishop Andre Soares of Angola, PSC supported and endorsed the vision. An application for a new Province has to be approved by the wider Anglican Communion.

Four dioceses are planned for Angola.
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PSC calls for action against GBV

Vigorous efforts were made at the 2020 session of ACSA’s Provincial Standing Committee to improve the representation of women in church leadership structures, in part as a way of addressing more urgently issues affecting women in the church such as patriarchy and gender-based violence.

In one motion, it was suggested that male-only delegations to PSC and synods be disqualified from attending. In another, a three-year moratorium on the election of men as bishops was proposed. However, the Provincial Chancellor, Adv Ian Farlam SC, said these moves would contravene the Canons, and PSC instead adopted language strongly urging better representation of women.

A motion on gender-based violence (GBV), proposed by Bishop Margaret Vertue of False Bay and seconded by Bishop Nkosinathi Ndwandwe of Mthatha, said inter alia that “All male delegations to synods and PSC should be disqualified until they [the delegations] meet the required level of representation.” But the sentence was withdrawn after Adv Farlam’s intervention.

The final resolution adopted called for the elimination of GBV to be adopted as a Lenten theme in 2021, that all dioceses develop programmes for combating the scourge, that relevant liturgies be adopted and that the Province’s Theological Commission identify doctrines, beliefs and practices – such as theologies of male headship, female submission and codes of purity – “that need to be eliminated to ensure that our teachings and practices are life-giving for both women and men.”

An amendment, proposed by Archbishop Thabo Makgoba and seconded by Bishop Ebenezer Ntali of Grahamstown, resulted in the final resolution on women in the episcopate encouraging Elective Assembly committees to “prayerfully and intentionally search the length and breadth of the Province to seek out to be nominated women clergy who fit the profile for consideration for the bishopric.”

In a third resolution, PSC acknowledged the leadership of Archbishop Thabo Makgoba “in strengthening the efficacy of Church procedures to ensure that all forms of abuse in our churches, and schools and institutions are addressed and eradicated.” It expressed gratitude to him and his family “for absorbing the public criticism levelled against the… Church with gentleness and grace, and his pastoral heart in seeking justice, healing and restoration for all.”

The full text of the three resolutions follows:

MOTION ON GENDER BASED VIOLENCE

Noting with urgency that women are being murdered daily and that Gender-based violence is increasing in society at alarming levels. GBV is a cause of consequence of gender inequality and injustice.

Noting that Gender Based Violence is primarily violence perpetrated by men on women. These men are quite often a loved one, trusted leader or close relative.

Noting that in the context of this global pandemic, occurrences of GBV have increased making GBV a shadow pandemic.

Noting the presence of a Gender programme in ACSA with a comprehensive strategy, however without substantial resources to ensure effective implementation of the programme, which includes dealing with the scourge of GBV, Gender sensitisation and addressing the issues of masculinity.

Acknowledging the role of the church in being complicit in allowing GBV to go unchallenged and that GBV flourishes in an environment of silence, shame and stigma, of unbelief and avoiding so called difficult conversations and justice.

Acknowledging that patriarchy is evil, a sin and a heresy, especially when interpreting scriptures to reinforce concepts of male dominance and headship. It is evidenced in our teachings on the sanctity of marriage, family values and the subservience of women. It is also evidenced in our liturgy and language that excludes women.Acknowledging that as a province we have passed many resolutions on GBV, inclusive language, diversity and representation. It is time now to act.

Acknowledging the presence and work of the Safe Church Commission

This PSC hereby resolves:

1. That all dioceses revisit the communication from Synod of Bishops February 2020 that declared a state of emergency on GBV and immediately put in place a programme to deal with the scourge of GBV.

2. That each diocese has a dedicated gender officer or task team that liaises with HOPE Africa as well as all provincial organisations involved in training and programmes on GBV, so that these programmes get to diocesan and parish level.

3. The Provincial Liturgical Committee create a Season that focus on GBV, with Readings, Prayers, Liturgical materials, Sermon outlines and materials for Small Group Bible Studies.

4. That we ensure that all our liturgies are transformed to be gender inclusive and all dioceses request that each Parish uses these gender inclusive liturgies.

5. That we immediately stop referring to male priests as “Father” and begin to use more gender inclusive titles like Reverend, Moruti, etc.

6. That we respectfully request the Metropolitan to request the Anglican Theological Commission to identify doctrines, beliefs and practices that need to be eliminated to ensure that our teachings and practices are life-giving for both women and men. These should include but not be limited to theologies of male headship, female submission, family values, codes of purity, discourses of protection and pity.

7. That we respectfully respect the Archbishop to declare a theme for Lent of 2021 to focus on GBV.

8. To strive to have equal representation of women at all leadership and decision making levels of the church.

9. That the ACSA budget includes an adequate financial allocation to deal with GBV.

10. That all Dioceses adopt and promote the “Thursdays in Black” campaign against GBV.

11. That the liturgical committee write a prayer for women (like the Prayer for Africa) to be prayed at every Eucharistic celebration.

12. That men become more involved in challenging patriarchy and GBV. This should begin with a men’s webinar, where men speak about their experience of male privilege.

WOMEN IN THE EPISCOPATE

The Anglican Church of Southern Africa profoundly recognises the right of all Baptised Anglicans in our Province, irrespective of race, culture, language, gender or sexuality to be full Members of ACSA with all its rights and privileges. This baptismal/sacramental experience allows women the opportunity for serious and prayerful consideration for both the priesthood and the episcopate; and the Bishop of Grahamstown, at this Session of PSC, reminded the Committee that, notwithstanding the slow progress of ACSA in respect of women to the episcopate, that there is definitively “light at the end of the tunnel.”

This PSC calls on:

The Synod of Bishops and Dioceses to encourage that where there are vacancies of bishoprics, that the Elective Assembly committees prayerfully and intentionally search the length and breadth of the Province to seek out to be nominated women clergy who fit the profile for consideration for the bishopric.

LEADERSHIP OF ARCHBISHOP THABO MAKGOBA

That this PSC:

● Acknowledges the leadership given by Archbishop Thabo in strengthening the efficacy of Church procedures to ensure that all forms of abuse in our churches, and schools and institutions are addressed and eradicated;

● Wishes to appreciate his humility in seeking advice and for his gentleness in dealing with our human failures and frailty as well as his own;

● Expresses its unequivocal support for the Archbishop in the exercise of his leadership role in Church and Society;

● Assures the Archbishop and his family of our love, prayers and gratitude for absorbing the public criticism levelled against the Anglican Church with gentleness and grace, and his pastoral heart in seeking justice, healing and restoration for all.