Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ
Easter greetings to all members of the Diocesan family.
We +Ebenezer, Mama Noncedo and children always give thanks to God for your unceasing love for us. We are well and continue to thank the leadership and all members of St Agnes for replacing our old oven at Bishopsbourne with a new one. It enables us to enjoy homemade bread and cakes. We do not underestimate your prayers, generosity and hospitality which we receive from all of you as we travel and visit you throughout the 57 parishes of the Diocese. We pray that God, out of the riches of His grace, may strengthen you with the power of the Holy Spirit in your inner beings as you do God’s work.
We had a wonderful clergy school that was held at St John’s, East London on 11 March 2015. We enjoyed the warm welcome, the prayers, hospitality and generosity. Amongst other things, we had long discussions on the issue of funerals in the diocese. We ended up with the following resolution which has been endorsed by the Diocesan Council on 26 March 2015.
We +Ebenezer and clergy of the Diocese of Grahamstown affirm only what is written in the General Rubrics on funerals as follows:
“the Rector or Priest-in-Charge is the sole person to consult the family which services are to be used and to make a choice from the options included in each service. The Priest may authorise a Deacon or Layminister to take any of the services”.
Therefore, your parish executive committee and your parish council will be informed of the decision taken by the Rector or Priest-in-Charge. (APB p 528ff).
Meeting with the Guilds
We are pleased by the support, ministry and the contribution which our Guilds are doing towards the life and ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ in the diocese and beyond.
On 22nd March 2015 we met at St Saviour’s parish, East London. We started with the Eucharist which was followed by a warm, loving, constructive, positive meeting. It was also attended by the Stewardship and Giving Committee, Layministers Executive committee and the Deacon’s Executive Committee.
After the Diocesan Finance Manager’s report on the status of the finances of the diocese the meeting took the following resolutions:
The Bishop’s Appeal was unanimously accepted
- A suggestion was made that if we could get 5000 Anglicans that would contribute towards the Bishop’s Appeal at R600.00 each on a voluntary basis this would be a good attempt. Therefore a decision was taken that let it be done in consultation with all guild members and through a meeting with the churchwardens and clergy to get a buy-in that will be communicated to all members of our parishes. This will allow all who are willing to participate in the diocese could freely do so.
- A method was suggested in the following way:
- One can contribute a once-off payment of R600.00 between April and August;
- One can contribute R120.00 a month over 5 months, beginning end of April 2015 up to the 23rd of August 2015.
- Banking details are as follows:
NAME: Diocese of Grahamstown Development Trust
BANK: Standard BankBRANCH: King William’s TownACC NO: 081 066 813BRANCH CODE: 050419TYPE OF ACC: Current AccountREFERENCE: Surname and Bishop’s Appeal
Further information can be requested from the Archdeacon to the Ordinary BTM Mfenyana on 072-036-3232 or email address firstname.lastname@example.org
- There will be a meeting on the 6th of June at St Alban’s East London at 10h00 with all parish rectors, priests-in-charge, presidents, chairpersons and chaplains of the various guilds, the leadership of the diocesan departments, leader of Grahamstown Diocese Development Trust, the chair of our Section 21 Development Agency, Diocesan Finance Manager, the leadership of layministers and deacons, all the churchwardens. Those mentioned will be invited to come and broaden the income basis of the diocese.
AWF Fundraising initiative
- Be informed that on the 1st May which is St Joseph’s day the AWF will be having a service at St Andrew’s NU13 Mdantsane, and doing a fundraising for the Ministry Endowment Fund of the diocese. You are all invited.
- The meeting that was held on 22nd March 2015 at St Saviour, East London of all guilds, layministers and deacons decided that on the 7th of November 2015 there will be an Umjikelo, at which there will be fundraising towards the deficit of the diocese at R100.00 per person at Bernard Mizeki, Scenery Park starting at 10h00. All people of the diocese are welcomed to participate in this initiative.
We had a very fruitful Diocesan Council. It took the following decision:
- All parishes by the end of May should pay all monies in full such as:
(a) Insurance;(b) Medical Aid;(c) Kahlamba.
These are contra amounts which we collect and pay over. This will enhance the cash flow of the diocese.
- The resolution of the Clergy on funerals which was taken decision on the 11th of March was endorsed by Chapter and Diocesan Council.
- We are pleased to inform you that the Diocesan Finance Manager has passed his probation period and the diocesan council has fully employed him in terms of a five year contract. Feel free to consult him in all financial matters through your churchwardens and rector or archdeacon.
Archdeacon Mark Spyker has been licensed as the Canon Missioner of the Diocese at the Chapter meeting held at St Peter’s West Bank on 5 May 2015. Archdeacons Gareth Jones and Chuma Mduzana have also been licensed as Archdeacons of King William’s Town East and East London East respectively.
Mother’s Union News
There will be a MU Diocesan Council meeting for the election of a president in St George’s Hall, Grahamstown, on Saturday, 16 May 2015. The Diocesan MU conference will be from Thursday 9th July 2015 to Sunday 12th July 2015 in Zwelitsha/King William’s Town.
The Synod of Bishop has elected the Very Revd Charles Mthetheleli May as the next Bishop of the Highveld. He will be consecrated on Saturday, 12th September 2015. Please pray for him and his family.
Congratulations to the Revds Mthetheleli Wulana and Lungiswa Mkiva on obtaining their Bachelor of Theology degrees from TEEC.
Intercessory Prayers for:
- The Revd Loyiso Zibi lost his son-in-law, Sabelo Mdingi under tragic circumstances. The funeral took place on 11 April 2015 at Kokstad.
- Shona Domeris’ mother passed away recently.
- The Revd Nkosiphendule Matshaya’s brother Mxolisi Matshaya passed away recently and his funeral took place at Good Shepherd Church, East London on Saturday, 9 May 2015.
- The Revd Benson Sokopo lost his nephew Lunga Sokopo under tragic circumstances. He was buried on 9 May 2015 in Port Elizabeth.
- The Revd Helwana from St James Mooiplaas has recently undergone surgery to remove a brain tumour.
- Canon Nontobeko Moletsane is hospitalized at St Dominic’s, East London.
- The Sub-dean Mzinzisi Dyantyi’s mother-in-law, Mrs Gloria Sikampula is suffering ill health and is presently in the Mandela Hospital, Mthatha.
- Archdeacon Zamile Dlanjwa is also suffering ill health at the moment and is presently in the St Dominic’s Hospital, East London.
- Mariana Jones, wife of Archdeacon Gareth Jones, has undergone hip replacement surgery at the St Dominic’s Hospital, East London.
- Nolu Mbolekwa, wife of Godukile Mbolekwa, is having kidney and lung problems and is now in Greenacres Hospital, Port Elizabeth.
Pray that the violence as a result of xenophobia may come to an end in South Africa.
Pray for those who died in the recent earthquake in Nepal. Please also pray for the survivors and those trapped after the earthquake.
Also pray for the families of the 147 people killed in the recent attack at the Garissa University in Kenya.
15th April 2015 marked the one year anniversary of the abduction of the 276 girls in Nigeria. Our prayers are with the families of the kidnapped girls and all the people of Nigeria as there has been no closure about where the girls are and whether or not they are still alive.
We call upon all members of the diocese as we serve God and one another in these trying times to pray the prayer of Mother Teresa de Avila “Christ has no body on earth but ours, no feet but ours. Ours are the eyes through which Christ’s compassion for the world is to look out; ours are the feet with which He is to go about doing good; and ours are the hands with which He is to bless us now”.
Grace and peace
BISHOP OF GRAHAMSTOWN