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“Anglicans Vaccinate” – A major new Provincial initiative

The ACSA Covid Advisory Team appointed by Archbishop Thabo Makgoba has launched a major new initiative to get Anglicans vaccinated against the coronavirus.

Key elements of the initiative:

• An appeal to Bishops across the Province to declare a “Covid Vaccination Week”, beginning at services on Sunday September 5;

• A 12-minute video to be played at services, and available on YouTube. (Scroll down to view - new version with better soundtrack published on Sept 15) It is currently available in English but other languages are planned; 

• Important new updated, detailed guidelines, “Call for Vaccination Information Sunday and then a vaccine 'support service'” (Scroll down to view and download; and

• The appointment of Diocesan Vaccine Co-ordinators, as well as Archdeaconry champions and Parish co-ordinators. 

“We are urging the Province to be proactive in terms of getting our people vaccinated both as an act of faith and love,” Canon Rosalie Manning, the chairperson of the Provincial Covid Advisory Team Committee, has told bishops.

“Vaccination remains our best defence against the virus and we still need to be vigilant to protect our loved ones and ourselves.”

She added: “We are well aware that this request to have a Vaccination Information Sunday will impact the liturgy set for this season but saving lives also a necessary element of celebrating creation.”

Scroll down below the video to read and download:

  • The updated guidelines, and
  • A Question & Answer pamphlet published by the National Vaccine Monitoring Group
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Statement on student deaths at Fort Hare University

We, the Bishop in Chapter of the Diocese of Grahamstown met and issued the following statement:

The whole family of the people of God under our charge in this Diocese have received with greatest consternation and shock the unbelievable and sad news of the gruesome killing of a Female Final Year Law Student allegedly by her live-in partner at the University of Fort Hare, as it came to the fore on Friday last week in East London.

The world -wide Anglican Church Communion community of which the Anglican Church in Southern Africa [ACSA] – and consequently our diocese is an integral part – has long taken a stand and made our position public through serial resolutions culminating in the establishment of the Safe and Inclusive Church Commission as regards its abhorrence of the scourge of Gender Based Violence and Femicide [GBVF].

We therefore condemn in the strongest possible terms all acts of violence and including the taking of human life; particularly cowardly acts perpetrated against women. Such conduct flies in the face even of our cultural norms which dictate that men be protectors of women and girl children.

This incident was closely followed on its heels by yet another of also a Final Year Law Male Student this time – who is reported to have mysteriously plunged to his death from a fall from the 12th floor of a student residence building in the CBD, on Saturday afternoon – again in East London.

Each one of these incidents is a case of a loss of life one too many. Just as the entire community of Buffalo City Metro and the rest of the Province of the Eastern Cape is reeling under the numbing shock of such a callous and inhuman act, we are left speechless at the unprecedented senselessness and insensitivity of this murderous act. The extent of emotional harm and hurt occasioned the family of this young woman whose life has been snuffed out at its prime is just beyond imagination.

Our most profound condolences to the family of Nosicelo Mtebeni, who we learn hailed from Matatiele in the Alfred Nzo District. The manner of her death can never be deserving of any child of God. We commiserate with her family in their bereavement and frustration at this trying time. And we commend the soul of the faithful departed to the mercy of God to be granted eternal peaceful rest, with light perpetual shining upon her; and may she rise in glory. We pray also for comfort and strength for her family and circle of friends in their distraught.

This whole thing is a double tragedy and a twist of the worst irony. We say so, because this horrendously tragic occurrence happens during the month of August – a month during which in our country we celebrate God’s creation and gift to humankind – our women and girl children, with an emphasis being on restoring their intrinsic value and innate dignity of which they have been stripped off by a demonic force that has attained to pandemic proportions in our land; namely, GBVF – against which we also fervently pray for its total eradication from the midst of our society!

Yet, year after year it is during the same month that not only do acts of GBVF escalate; but also, simultaneously, the most drastic and horrendous incidents of this demonic manifestation seem to surface.

Also, during the same month, we the community of believers dedicate as a Month of Compassion – with compassion understood ‘as being close to the one who suffers’, preferring to say; “you are my sister, I will not leave you alone and I will hold on to you for as long and as well as I can. In spite of there being so much grief in our lives, but what a blessing it is when we do not have to live our grief and pain alone. That is the gift of compassion! ” – rather reciprocating the favour of that gift we received from God with the gift of compassion. Where then is compassion when we kill our loved ones?

We join all sane, sober – minded and people of compassion in condemning, roundly and squarely such dastardly acts of cowardice; as well as also real men in saying; “No to GBVF, Not no in our Name!” We uphold God’s Law as to the sanctity of life, and the Commandment; ‘Thou shall not kill!’; as well as the Constitutional imperative of the Right To Life For All – with women being no exception!

We therefore join the clamour of voices that say; “No to Violence, Abuse and Killing of women!.” We abhor such acts and decry same with disdain.

For these and many other reasons, as the people of God in the Diocese of Grahamstown we fully support and in solidarity with the aggrieved enjoin our priests, members of guilds and all worshippers to come out and join the prayer meeting and march in protest against this unheard-of calamity; that adds to the stain blighting our democracy.We uphold to the grace of God the families connected to the perpetrators; regard being had of the sense of shame such acts bring upon them. As well as that, may the transforming power of the Holy Spirit impact perpetrators and including all those with a predisposition to committing such transgressions; for them to desist therefrom!

In the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, who heals all diseases and has power and authority over demons and forces of darkness; we command such influences out from the midst of God’s people! We commend to the Almighty all who at this time are in mourning, that they may be comforted.Our trust is in the Lord , and we have a confident hope that by the power of our God of Infinite Goodness, Him that raised the Lord Jesus from the dead, even this shall pass.! To God then be the Glory, the Power, the Splendour and Majesty forever and ever!

AMEN! Grace and Peace

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Communion approves new IAMA Province

The Anglican Communion has formally approved the formation of a new Province of the Communion, to be entitled Igreja Anglicana de Mocambique e Angola (IAMA, or the Anglican Church of Mozambique and Angola). The new Province will be inaugurated in September.

This news has been given to Archbishop Thabo Makgoba in a letter from Archbishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon, the Secretary General of the Communion.

The formation of a new Province requires the votes of two-thirds of the primates of the Provinces of the Communion. Archbishop Idowu-Fearon said 29 member churches had consented to the development. One Province had abstained and no objections had been received.

IAMA will hold its inaugural Provincial Synod in September, and hold an inauguration service on September 24, the last day of ACSA’s 2021 Provincial Synod. The service is planned for 15:30 and a link is planned so anyone can join the service online.

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Another new Diocese for Angola

Anglicans in Angola have inaugurated yet another new missionary Diocese – the third in recent weeks.

Bishop Andre Soares of Angola presided over the formation of the Diocese Anglicana do Centro e Sul de Angola (The Anglican Diocese of Central and Southern Angola) in Lubango last Sunday.

The new dioceses, added to dioceses in Mozambique, will become part of a new Province the the Anglican Communion, Igreja Anglicana de Moçambique e Angola (Iama).

Photos from the occasion:

Previous reports:

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In Memory of Bishop Ellinah Wamukoya

While visiting Mbabane to preside over the Elective Assembly to choose the successor to Bishop Ellinah Wamukoya as Bishop of Swaziland, Archbishop Thabo Makgoba visited All Saints Cathedral, where he planted shrubs in memory of Bishop Ellinah, and for peace with justice in eSwatini.

The Provincial Executive Officer, the Revd Dr Makhosi Nzimande, who was also in eSwatini for the Elective Assembly, was at the Cathedral to record the event.

More about Bishop Ellinah:

https://archbishop.anglicanchurchsa.org/2021/01/homily-for-funeral-of-bishop-ellinah.html

https://archbishop.anglicanchurchsa.org/2021/01/rip-right-revd-ellinah-wamukoya.html

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Join the Anglicans Ablaze Global Conference

Click on the link below for full details:

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Bishop Rubin Phillip works for peace

Bishop Rubin Phillip, the retired Bishop of Natal, has been leading initiatives aimed at promoting peace and unity in the wake of recent violence in the province.

As well as representing Archbishop Thabo Makgoba during a church leaders’ visit to the family of former president Jacob Zuma in Nkandla, Bishop Rubin has been working for peace in his capacity as a leader of KwaZulu-Natal’s Social Cohesion and Moral Regeneration Council.

“The country needs leaders who are committed to matters of justice and peace and the citizens of the province,” he was quoted by the press as telling the council. He expressed concern about high unemployment among young people and said the issue of ward councillors taking sides based on race needed to be looked into.

“We can point to many instances when we were in a deep hole,” he added. “We faced major problems. We tend to gloss over it and not deal with some of the root causes.”

The following photos are from a sports day in Phoenix held to promote unity between communities of different races.

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“Divine Hope” in a growing Angola

These photos were taken at the inauguration of Angola’s new Diocese Divina Esperança (DDE) by Bishop Andre Soares in Luanda on July 25. The “Diocese of Divine Hope” is to become part of the new Anglican Province, the Igreja Anglicana de Moçambique e Angola (IAMA).

Earlier coverage:

https://anglicanchurchsa.org/two-new-dioceses-launched-for-iama/

https://anglicanchurchsa.org/mozambique-angola-plan-new-province/

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Two new Dioceses launched for IAMA

Two new missionary Dioceses have been inaugurated in July so far as Anglicans in Angola and Mozambique plan their new Province, to be entitled Igreja Anglicana de Moçambique e Angola (IAMA).

In the coastal city of Beira on July 11, Bishop Carlos Matsinhe of Lebombo inaugurated the new Diocese of Pungue River (Diocese Anglicana do Rio Pungue).

On July 18 Bishop Andre Soares of Angola launched the Diocese of Christ the King (Diocese Anglicane de Christo Rei) in Uige in the north-west of that country.

More new dioceses are set to be established Angola in the coming weeks and months.

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SA local elections under Covid-19

Archbishop Thabo Makgoba of Cape Town has made a submission to an inquiry on holding free and fair Local Government Elections in South Africa under coronavirus conditions. The inquiry is being led by Justice Dikgang Moseneke. The submission can be downloaded below.

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RIP Bishop Eric Pike

The Right Revd Eric Pike, former Bishop of Port Elizabeth, has died at the age of 84 after a lifelong ministry in the Eastern Cape.

After growing up on a Church of Scotland mission station, where he learned to speak isiXhosa as well as English, he first trained as an educator. He taught at Queen’s College, Komani, but changed course as he entered his 30s. He trained for the ministry at the old St Paul’s College and was ordained in 1968.

He served in Komga and East London, latterly as Archdeacon of East London, before his election and consecration as Suffragan Bishop of Grahamstown in 1989. In 1993, he was elected the third Bishop of Port Elizabeth, succeeding Bishop Bruce Evans and Bishop Philip Russell before him. He retired in 2001, to be succeeded in turn by Bishop Bethlehem Nopece.

Introducing Bishop Pike’s book, “Who do you say I am?” at a function in Port Elizabeth in 2011, the Revd Robert Penrith said when he first met “this amazing evangelist Eric” at St Andrew’s Church, Mdantsane, he “expected a rather loud and in-your-face evangelist, but instead was greeted with the deepest warmth by this humble man.”

In acknowledgement of the fluency of Bishop Eric’s isiXhosa, Archbishop Desmond Tutu used to jokingly pronounce “Pike” as if it was African, putting the stress on the “e”.

Bishop Pike was known as a walker, from sharing a daily early-morning walk with Bishop Duncan Buchanan of Johannesburg at bishops’ meetings, to undertaking “the Camino” pilgrimage in France and Spain twice.

In his early 80s, he and his wife, Joyce, hit the headlines when they embarked on the “Nehemiah Prayer Walk”, a 200 km journey through all 60 wards and 126 informal settlements in Nelson Mandela Bay.

He recorded his journey in “Walking the Walk”, a book described as being “right up to date, with the final chapter giving insight as to how the walk has brought churches in Nelson Mandela Bay together in the fight against hunger in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.”

See Bishop Pike in a news report by the SABC in 2019:

With acknowledgements to the Living Church, Gateway News and the Transformation Christian Network

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Justice for the Palestinian people – five studies

After the 2019 Provincial Synod adopted a resolution expressing support for justice for the Palestinian people, Archbishop Thabo Makgoba commissioned a series of studies for use in parishes around the Province.

The studies, and a letter from the Archbishop commending them, are available below. There are five studies, but they can be worked through over seven sessions.

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50 years of black liberation theolgy – lecture series

Beginning on June 26, St George’s Cathedral, Cape Town, and the Academy for Theological and Historical Research, an organisation working in the Black Dutch Reformed tradition, is presenting a series of lectures under the title “The Fire, The River, and The Scorched Earth Between: 50 Years of Black Liberation Theology through the lens of Allan Boesak.”

Find out more from the project’s flyer:

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June 16 plea by the Bishop of George

On South Africa’s Youth Day,. the Right Revd Brian Marajh, Bishop of George, urges parents in his Diocese to create opportunities and platforms for young people to explore, examine and comment on issues of the day in order to help them find their voices.

“Let us speak a language of possibility, of inclusion, of empowerment, of inspiration, enabling language, uplifting language, a language of faith, hope and belief in them and their ability to bring about change,” he writes.

READ the full text of his letter:

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ABESA calls for vaccine priority for educators

Anglican Board of Education for Southern Africa – Statement

The Anglican Board of Education for Southern Africa supports this week’s call from the unions in the education sector upon the Minister of Health, for educators to be preferred in the queue for COVID-19 vaccinations, as frontline workers in the nation.

It is critical for South Africa’s future that registered learners are in school as much and as early as possible; that school feeding schemes operate; and that the adult care given by educators in class and in the community is afforded as fully as possible.