Categories
News

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.
Categories
News

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.

Categories
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).
Categories
News

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

Categories
News

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

Categories
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 >>

Categories
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.

Categories
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.

Categories
News

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.
Categories
News

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.

Categories
News

Snippets from PSC

Among decisions taken by the Provincial Standing Committee at its annual meeting in the last week of September:

  • Elective assemblies to fill episcopal vacancies in four dioceses – Kimberley & Kuruman, Lesotho, Natal and Zululand – are to be held “virtually”. The assemblies have been delayed by coronavirus lockdowns. PSC resolved that Archbishop Thabo Makgoba will issue mandates to Vicars-General in each Diocese “to summon the Elective Assembly to meet in a Virtual Gathering, by Video Conferencing, if necessary.”
  • In view of restrictions on funerals and travel during the coronavirus, clergy are reminded of “the importance of the service of ‘Commemoration of the Faithful Departed’ as a pastoral opportunity to provide comfort and support to those who mourn.”
  • PSC rejected a proposal to explore holding “virtually” the Lambeth Conference, the once-a-decade meeting of bishops and their spouses from around the world. This year’s Lambeth Conference has been postponed until 2022, as a result of which ACSA’s Provincial Synod, originally due to meet in 2022, will be held next year.
  • PSC expressed its gratitude to the SA Council of Churches for its leadership during the lockdown in South Africa and its initiatives on a basic income grant, corruption and gender-based violence.
  • The Palestinian Study Group set up after last year’s Provincial Synod was asked to prepare a presentation and resources on “the daily reality of the situation” in Palestine for dioceses and parishes.

Categories
News

Environment – When #Blacklives Don’t Matter

The following resolution was adopted by Provincial Standing Committee 2020, proposed and seconded respectively by Ms Basetsana Makena and Mr Bino Makhalanyane, youth representatives to PSC:

This PSC Noting that:

The world responded with urgency and speed to the challenge of COVID-19, which affected all countries.

The world has been slow to respond to climate change, clinging to an increasingly precarious and unjust economic system. It is predominantly Black lives that are being impacted by drought, flooding, storms and sea level rise. The delayed global response to climate injustice gives the impression that #blacklivesdontmatter. Without urgent action, Black lives will continue to be the most impacted, being dispossessed from their lands and becoming climate refugees.

We saw how COVID-19 swept through crowded vulnerable communities unable to socially distance; how rural communities without effective sanitation cannot keep themselves safe. Pollution affects the poor and people of colour the most, toxic dump sites are placed next to poor communities; indigenous people are forced off their land, air pollution is worst in poor communities of colour.

We stand at a Kairos moment – in order to fight environmental injustice, we must also fight racial injustice.

In the words of Archbishop Tutu, “If you are neutral in times of injustice you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”

This PSC affirms

The Statement on Environmental Racism issued by the Anglican Communion Environmental Network (ACEN) issued June 19, 2020, a day known as Juneteenth in the United States, marking and remembering the official end of slavery in that country in 1865. This Statement was signed globally by the Archbishop of Canterbury, 12 Archbishops and over 60 Bishops.

Let us take action for climate justice to show #blacklivesmatter.

This PSC Commits to:

Prioritising climate action by

– Online meetings: Committing to using online meetings wherever possible, in order to reduce plane and car travel.

– Combatting Deforestation: As a Church, encouraging a halt on the cutting of indigenous forests, and the roll out of indigenous or fruit tree planting from the symbolic tens to the hundreds and thousands. Promote alternatives to charcoal and wood burning.

– Solar energy: When hot water geysers need to be replaced on church or rectory property, install solar geysers. Explore mini-grid renewable energy systems.

Communicate internationally: Make the impact of climate change known to our companion Dioceses and at other events where we are invited to speak or communicate.

Categories
News

PSC calls on Govts – ‘Build Back Better’

The following resolution was approved by the recent meeting of ASCA’s Provincial Standing Committee:

This PSC, noting:

The Corona pandemic has exposed the deep health and economic inequalities in our nations. “The virus has exposed the unsustainable foundations on which it is built… that must be urgently fixed,” said Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

We cannot go back to ‘business as usual’ once COVID-19 is under control. We need a new vision. Our call is for a more just and fair world, for humans and for the web of life on which we depend. The challenge is to envision a different post COVID19 society “a more equitable future, a more just future, a gentler future”. (Archbishop Thabo). We need to use the post COVID19 rebuild period to implement goals of wellbeing and sustainability, ending inequality and environmental destruction.

Our present lifestyle and economic system is severely dysfunctional, resulting in environmental destruction, causing climate change and extinction of millions species. The resultant breakdown of our life support systems is causing increasing inequality, poverty and migration.

Resolves to:

a) Call upon our Governments to implement the Basic Income Grant to reduce abject poverty and malnutrition.

b) Call for post COVID-19 Government spending to prioritise job creation in green jobs in the following areas:

· Clean power. Invest in local small scale renewable mini-grid energy solutions. End fossil fuel subsidies immediately

· Invest in public transport. Increase funding for safe, efficient and affordable public transport, which includes electric vehicles.

· Deliver energy efficient homes. Build new houses which are energy efficient and retrofit existing buildings.

· Food security: Invest in more sustainable and nature-based climate resilient solutions. Encourage farmers to move away from industrial farming practices to agroecological systems, supporting small scale farmers and promoting home food gardens.

· Avoid rollbacks of environmental protection legislation and ensure foreign economic assistance is used to support resilient and carbon neutral recovery and development.

· Land and marine sanctuaries: Support the call for 30% of land and coastal waters to be set aside as sanctuaries to save critically threatened terrestrial and marine life.

Respectfully requests

Each member of PSC to sign an open letter to the Heads of State in the countries served by the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, delivering this resolution.

Categories
Provincial Notices

Beloved of God – course material available

BELOVED OF GOD

This six week course was written in response to a motion of Provincial Synod 1999 concerning violence against women. 

It has been reprinted and the information updated as material to deal with this topic on a parish level is very urgently needed in our society today.  The need for material was emphasized again at Provincial Synod 2019 and Provincial Standing Committee in 2020.

It can be used at any time of the year.

Two books are provided for the course:

Leaders Guide @ R50  each

Participants Workbook  @ R40 each. (contains all the handouts)

The  6  week Course covers:

Susanna – Beloved of God – reflection on Daniel 13.  All are beloved of God

Abused Women – considers at the abuse of power

Battered women –  looks at the cycle of violence

Raped women – Bible Study on Tamar /effects of rape on women

Afraid women – to help men and women come to know God is a loving God

ALL OF US – Beloved of God – breaking forms of oppression.

Available from: orders@anglicanchurchsa.org.za

ACSA Publishing Committee

Categories
News

Discrimination at Anglican Schools

Provincial Standing Committee devoted considerable debate to recent discussion of discrimination in Anglican schools.

A resolution proposed by Ms. Kim Williams of the Diocese of False Bay, and seconded by Mr. Teboho Makhalanyane of the Provincial Youth Council, was adopted after a number of amendments were accepted, including wording recognising that some schools are addressing the problem but urging them to speed up the process. The resolution reads:

This PSC,

Noting:

  1. The Church’s mission to seek to secure the rights of all human beings irrespective of colour, gender, sexuality and nationality;
  2. The number of former and current learners who have disclosed discrimination at our Anglican schools on the grounds of their racial background, sexuality or nationality;
  3. Some of our Anglican schools are addressing this critical need and are encouraged to hasten the process.

Therefore respectfully requests:

  1. This PSC release a statement that ACSA does not support any form of discrimination and assures the victims of its prayers and support.
  2. The Metropolitan to form a Provincial task team to work with the different Anglican Schools to:
    2.1 make recommendations on how best the ACSA can address discrimination issues at our Diocesan schools;
    2.2 give feedback at the 2021 Provincial sitting (be it Synod or PSC).
  3. The Safe and Inclusive Church Commission to set up a secure monitored email address at which students can report issues of discrimination.