Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ
Greetings to you all in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. May Christ strengthen us all in 2015! By now all have hopefully returned from their holidays and are refreshed and well rested.
I am also back from my leave. We had a nice break and a lovely time with the family. We managed to break away for a few days which we spent at Table View in Cape Town. We have enjoyed the quality time as the nuclear family. We also had quality time with my mom and other members of our family at Mqanduli.
We as the Ntlali family thank the diocesan leadership in all its formations and the diocesan family for supporting us through 2014 through prayer, love, generosity, hospitality, and all various kinds of support which we have received. The year has started and Sambesiwe our grandchild, who was born prematurely, is now 15 months old. She is lively and active and walking. Esona and Buhle have started grade 1 and grade 2 at St Andrews Junior Primary School respectively. Anda is doing grade 11 at St Andrews College and Cwayita is doing grade 10 at DSG. Aphiwe is doing second year in IT and Zipho is doing her BA degree in development both at NMMU. The sub-dean and Lilitha are growing well under the dean at the cathedral. Masandi continues to work for the Education, Training and Development Practices Sector Education and Training Authority, which supports universities and FET colleges in the Eastern Cape. Buntu is working for Alexander Forbes in Port Elizabeth. My mom is going to be 82 this year and is in good health and so are my brothers and sisters. We wish all families throughout the diocese blessings as they start the year 2015 and may God bless all our children as they start their schooling.
Lent has arrived again. It gives us a sacred space for our spiritual discipline. At the same time it draws us to the face of God and to reach Easter in a forgiven, peaceful and joyful spirit. It enables us to say the halleluiah in a concrete way.
Lenten Appeal for 2015
The project for Lent in 2015 is an appeal for financial support and giving to revitalize the capital resources of the diocese with a long term strategy plan of sustaining this capital, so that ministry and service to the people can be achieved in the maintaining of property, and sustainable growth of the church of God.
Synod of Bishops
The Synod of Bishops is a sacred space where meet as the Bishops and the Archbishop of ACSA; where we value our fellowship, our love for each other, our time of worshipping together; where we share the Gospel of Christ, where we listen to one another’s burdens and pray for each other; where the Archbishop invites leaders to empower us in areas like the theology of the Body and how to manage conflict and our common work and reflect what is God doing in our Province and in our various dioceses.
We continue to pray for the Dioceses of Umzimvubu and Pretoria and all other dioceses. We continue to thank God for the leadership of Archbishop Thabo and his contribution to ACSA and the Diocese of Cape Town, and in the Anglican Communion.
We urge all rectors and priests in charge to see that intercessory prayers are said for the following dioceses and for the elections and consecration services that will be conducted by the Archbishop and the Bishops of the Province:
Elective Assembly Dates
Highveld - 19-21 February 2015 (this has now been referred to the Synod of Bishops for a decision) Natal 15 – 17 July 2015 Namibia - 29 – 31 July 2015 Pretoria 4 – 6 February 2016
Namibia - 20 September 2015 Natal - 21 November 2015 Pretoria - 14 May 2016
Also pray for the following dates and activities of the Province:
3.1 Theological Sunday: 23 August 2015.
All parishes are asked to focus on the gift of theology and also to pray for the College of the Transfiguration. All collections will be forwarded to the diocese.
Account number with First National Bank: 5232 1144 702;Branch Code: 210717;Ref Theological Sunday.
The diocese will forward the money as a collective to the Treasurer of ACSA.
3.2 Synod of Bishops: 13 – 14 September 2015
3.3 Annual Planning Meeting: 15 – 16 September 2015
3.4 Provincial Standing Committee Meeting: 17 – 18 September
We as chapter discussed at length the importance of having a Canon Missioner. The purpose of appointing a canon missioner is that we want someone who will focus in the co-ordination and running of the following programmes:
Growing the churchAnglicans AblazeFresh ExpressionsNew WineRooted in JesusAlpha CoursesIviyo or AbavakalisiMission and evangelismChurch plantingRenewal conferences through our Guilds.
We have appointed Archdeacon Mark Spyker as Canon Missioner and he will be licensed on the 5th of May at the next Chapter Meeting. We are blessed in Chapter because Archdeacon Mark Spyker has been doing the programme on Growing the Church. He will continue as Archdeacon of East London East and he will start the new office on the 5th of May. We are in the process of appointing a new Archdeacon for East London East who would be announced on the 5th of May.
We encourage all parishes to audit their finances and have Vestry meetings, and thereafter to submit their annual financial statements to the Diocesan Finance Manager and their Archdeacons. Kindly forward the vestry reports, names of the new churchwardens and their contact details to the Bishop’s office immediately after your vestry of 2015. Kindly check the Acts of the Diocese for deadlines.
Will take place at St John’s, East London on Wednesday, 11th March 2015. Further details will be communicated in due course.
Renewal of Vows
This service will take place at St John & St Chad, Zwelitsha and will start 09h00 on Thursday 2nd April 2015.
The Revd Loyiso Zibi has been placed temporarily at Holy Cross, Mdantsane with effect 1st January 2015.
Congratulations to Ntshukumo Zantsi on obtaining his honours from the University of Pretoria.
We welcome Dr Vicentia Kgabe as Rector of COTT and Mr Tonderai Masururwa as Registrar. We pray that through God’s grace they may fit into the life of the College. The 2014 graduation ceremony and the inauguration of Dr Kgabe take place at 15h00 on 18 March 2015 at the Cathedral. All Clergy are invited to attend.
St Bernard Mizeki Diocesan Men’s Guild
We give thanks to God for the gift of St Bernard Mizeki Men’s Guild. It gives a sacred space for menfolk to have a sense of belonging. In that process they are able to worship and to serve God as an organisation in the proclamation of the Gospel. We also value their ministry to the various homes, and the support they give to those who get circumcised. We had quality time on the 18th of January 2015 at St John & St Chad, Zwelitsha in their renewal service. It was a privilege to celebrate and to preach and motivate them in their aims and objectives. We also robed Canon Dr Beja as a new member of the Guild and we licensed the Revd Siyabonga Ndyoki as a diocesan Chaplain of the Guild. We continue to give thanks to God for the ministry of the former Diocesan Chaplain, theRevd Lizo Sokopo.
St Agnes Guild
On 24 January 2015 we met with the Girls at a place called Njwaxa. It was also a renewal for them and they launched their policies and constitution. We were very happy to be given a brand new oven for our stove at Bishopsbourne. We give thanks to God for the ministry of our girls.
We also give thanks for the President and the leadership of the Mother’s Union for looking after the girls.
Mother’s Union will have their triennial elections for a President on 16 May 2015. Please keep them in your prayers.
Please pray for the family of the late Revd Mbulelo Ngqoza; for the Ntshingwa family with the loss of their nephew Luyanda Petela and for Canon Stephanie Lee as she lost her husband on the 13th of February 2015. The Revd Mxoli Sizani’s mother Mathabo Sizani passed away on 23 February 2015 at Settlers’ Hospital in Grahamstown.
A book by Prof Stephen M Njiro, a Senior Research Veterinarian of Pretoria He Shall Bear Their Iniquities. It is about the Lord’s sufferings as presented in Isaiah 53 and is useful aswe approach Holy Week/Easter. To order this book, contact Prof Njiro on 012 529 9164 or 072 759 8809.