By Cynthia Botha, Publishing Secretary
Liturgies do not only offer comfort, they also serve to challenge our present context, our assumptions and presuppositions about the world, about others, God and ourselves, as we look forward to Christ’s coming again. Our understanding of God, ourselves and the world change, and with it the way we express ourselves.
Do we have a Prayer Book today which is truly African in form and context? Does it represent the local Southern African situation? To be honest, one would say no. An Anglican Prayer Book, 1989 has been with us more than 25 years now and one may ask – does it really bear witness to the African context? In some areas it is more successful than others.
The process to revise APB 1989 was first proposed by the Synod of Bishops in 2012. The Bishops called for a revision that would deal with the masculine and patriarchal nature of the text, in particular with the masculine pronouns for God and for people that are used throughout APB 1989.
This proposal was taken to Provincial Standing Committee, who amended the proposal to include a thoroughgoing revision of the whole book in order to make it more relevant to and expressive of our Southern African context. This task was given to the ACSA Liturgical Committee. Together with a Prayer Book Revision sub-committee, the process of revision has started.
The first publication in the series of revisions is titled Celebrating Sunday with a sub-title Under Southern Skies in an African Voice and the idea of producing liturgy that is African in the southern hemisphere will govern the process going forward. Who we are and what we are in this Province of the Anglican Communion is important.
The whole revision project is expected to take about 10 years or more to complete.
See Provincial Notices on this website for regular updates on the revision of the Prayer Book
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Statement of the Synod of Bishops on the situation on South African university campuses
Statement on the death of 94 Mentally challenged people by the Bishop Of Kimberley at the 52nd Session of the Diocesan Synod
Commentary on the death of 94 Mentally challenged people
The 52nd Session of the Synod of the Anglican Church of the Diocese of Kimberley & Kuruman expressed great sadness at the deaths of 94 mental patients who died because they were disrupted by what appears to be insensitive relocation.
We learnt that despite objections and pleas by their families their comfort thus contributing directly to their tragic deaths.
We further noted the cold and insensitive attitude of the speaker of the National Assembly, the Hon Baleka Mbete, who found it impossible to concede to a request for a moment of silence to acknowledge the tragedy.
We believe that such a gesture would have meant a lot to the grieving families. Unfortunately, this rejection reflected on the entire ruling party since none of them risked the opportunity of making such a conciliatory and sympathetic gesture.
We continue to pray for the families as they struggle to get to grips with the situation. We also pray for those in authority that they may be enabled to make good and right decisions – rather than expedient ones.
May God bless all who can and do make a difference and may we all be convicted to always take the right decisions for the benefit of the vulnerable people in our midst.
The Right Revd Oswald Swartz
on behalf of the Synod of the Diocese of Kimberley & Kuruman
NB: At the time when this statement was being prepared, it was reported in the press that the number of deceased had grown to 100 and probably beyond. We make a serious call for those in authority to address this matter with the urgency it deserves and take bold steps in putting remedial plans into place.
The Dean of Johannesburg, the Very Revd Xolani Dlwathi, addressed the city’s Mayoral Budget Lekgotla on the moral responsibilities of government to provide clean and accountable governance.
The full text of his address to the city’s civic leaders can be found by downloading the PDF below.
International Anglicans Ablaze Conference
5-8 October 2016
Bishops Diocesan College, Rondebosch, Cape Town.
Registration opens from 10h00 to 13h00 on 5th of October.
Conference begins on Wednesday the 5th at 14h00 and ends on Saturday the 8th at 13h00.