Monday, 19 February 2018

Appeal for prayer for South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo

Dear Fellow Anglican


Friday February 23: Pray for South Sudan and the DR Congo

After Sudan became independent in 1956, it suffered decades of civil war. Just over six years ago, South Sudan broke away from the north amid great hopes that at last it would find peace. But a little over two years later, South Sudan suffered a new outbreak of civil war and it has not known true peace since. Under pressure from their neighbours, the opposing sides began new peace talks earlier this month, but at present they stand adjourned for an undetermined period.


The Democratic Republic of Congo has also not known permanent peace, in their case for the past 20 years. Armed rebel groups proliferate in the east. More than four million people are displaced from their homes. The President has served his two terms but has delayed a new election for two years. A former United Nations humanitarian chief, Jan Egeland, said a few days ago that right now the country faces one of the worst crises on earth, yet no one seems to care.

Pope Francis and a number of Anglican leaders, including Archbishop Peter Munde Yacoub in South Sudan, have issued a call to prayer for the people of both nations on Friday February 23. In his appeal the Archbishop said:

“Jesus says if we pray faithfully, the mountains can fall into the sea. We have mountains in front of us: the evil war and the killing of innocent people. Pray that Almighty God will remove this evil war and bring us peace, and remove the suffering of South Sudanese people.”

Friday is an Ember Day in our Province. Please add to your prayers for that day the following prayer as well. You might also use it on the Second Sunday in Lent too:


Loving God, Prince of Peace, we pray today for our sisters and brothers in South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo;

We pray for the victims and survivors of violence in those nations,
We pray for refugees who have fled to neighbouring countries, and for the millions of people crowded into camps for displaced people,
We pray for their politicians, that they will learn how to become servant leaders, dedicated to the interests of their people.

Lord Jesus, you are our hope,
Our faith in you grounds us in hope,
It gives us certainty that peace can be made,
It strengthens our resolve that peace must be made,
And hope helps us to triumph over all.

We pray that the people of the DR Congo and South Sudan,
Will focus on the hope that you inspire,
Hold one another's hands,
Look upon one another, eyeball to eyeball,
And resolve to build united, peaceful nations.

This we pray in your precious name,

Amen

†Thabo Cape Town

Thursday, 15 February 2018

Archbishop Thabo responds to President Zuma's resignation



President Zuma's resignation is an acknowledgement that public power is to be exercised on behalf of and in service to the people of South Africa, rather than for the self-service of the incumbent.

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

A homily for Ash Wednesday

A homily preached by Archbishop Thabo Makgoba on Ash Wednesday at St George's Cathedral, Cape Town:

Readings: Genesis.1:1-10; Psalm 133; Revelation 22:1-5; John 4:1-15

May I speak in the name of God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Amen.

Ash Wednesday reminds us of our need for repentance and coming closer to God. This is a time during which the whole church of God comes together to begin a journey towards Easter. The beginning of Lent calls us all to fasting and repentance in preparation for Easter, giving up sinful habits and embarking on spiritual discipline.

Monday, 12 February 2018

Destiny is not a Matter of Chance… But a Decision of Choice

Archbishop Thabo's reflection on the 28th anniversary of the day Nelson Mandela woke up a free man at Bishopscourt, on February 12, 1990:

Today, February 12, marks the anniversary of the day in 1990 on which Nelson Mandela woke up a free man for the first time in 27 years, after spending the night following his release at Bishopscourt, the Archbishop's residence in Cape Town. I have today blessed a plaque on a terrace in front of the house, marking the spot from which Madiba greeted the world's media that morning before conducting his first news conference.
Archbishop Thabo after blessing the plaque. 

I remember Madiba's long walk to freedom, as we all do, on many emotional levels. I have often celebrated his release on February 11 by visiting the gates of the former Victor Verster Prison near Paarl. On other occasions I have sat and meditated in the apartment at Bishopscourt which Archbishop Tutu made available to him for his first night away from prison.

Among the volumes of words written about or used by Nelson Mandela, the 13 that I most often remember are those from the poem by W.E. Henley which sustained him in prison:

“I AM THE MASTER OF MY FATE AND THE CAPTAIN OF MY SOUL.”

Those words are as true for us as when they first inspired Madiba. The emotional vertigo of the Zuma decade that has left each of us, our families, our friends, our communities and our nation feeling like we have been on the deck of a ship in the middle of the fiercest storm, is close to ending. South Africa’s destiny now is a choice that we all have in our hands: black hands, white hands, brown hands, yellow hands… rainbow hands.

At the same time, I am a realist. Unquestionably, I believe in South Africans and in South Africa. But as the boxer portrayed in the film Rocky Balboa says, let me remind you of something you already know: the world is not all sunshine and rainbows. It can be a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it.

Despite the progress made since Madiba's release, South Africans have been hit hard by many things over the past 20 years. We have been slowed down, we have been diverted, and we at times have been stopped by barriers thrown up by morally corrupt leaders who have created a most unequal society in terms of service delivery, education and healthcare. My principal concern is the way in which inequality has remained pervasive, hitting the poor again and again. But, to invoke Rocky Balboa again, the key to winning, surviving and thriving is, in the end, how much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!

The 11th of February 1990 was a moment of destiny. Seeing Nelson Mandela elected president of a free South Africa was another. Now, in 2018, we stand at the dawn of a new age where the dizziness of uncertainty can be replaced by the equilibrium of equality. We are again witnesses to a moment of destiny in which a decade of corruption can be replaced with the birth of a South Africa which, despite its many challenges, has a chance to unite, not as a political party but rather as a society committed to becoming a nation of extraordinary achievers of equality.

Let me ask: What do you and Nelson Mandela have in common? We are a nation of bridge builders. We will bridge the barriers of bigotry, bridge the chasms of inequality and bridge the barricades which block everyone from having equal opportunities. So, my countrymen and women: start cleaning the tools which we will use to build prosperity, start finding trust again in your hearts, and most importantly, start asking not what South Africa can do for me, but what I can do for South Africa.

Please pray for all our leaders, but in particular for the National Executive Committee of the ANC, for Cyril Ramaphosa, the party's president, and for all members of Parliament as they chart the way forward in the coming days.

ABOVE: Bishopscourt staff, from left, the Revd Mcebisi Pinyana, the Revd Nobuntu Mageza, Ms Wendy Kelderman, the Archbishop and the Revd Canon Desmond Lambrechts.
BELOW: The plaque commemorating Madiba's visit to Bishopscourt.




Sunday, 4 February 2018

Sermon preached at the 150th anniversary celebration of Leliebloem House, Cape Town

A sermon preached by Archbishop Thabo Makgoba at the 150th anniversary celebration of Leliebloem House, Cape Town, on February 4, 2018.

Readings: Isaiah 40:21-31, Ps 147:1-11, 1 Corr 9:16-23, Mark 1:29-39

May I speak in the name of God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.
It's a great joy to be with you today as we celebrate with Leliebloem 150 years of service to the community. History tells us that in 1868 Bishop Robert Gray established the House of Mercy as a refuge for women in Plein Street. Archdeacon Lightfoot made the initial donation for this initiative and the Society of St John the Evangelist (SSJE) made a generous input to its establishment.

Sunday, 28 January 2018

On the Guptas and Steinhoff: Sermon for the 160th Anniversary of St Paul’s Bree Street

A sermon preached by Archbishop Thabo Makgoba at the 160th Anniversary Celebration of St Paul’s Church, Bree Street, Cape Town:

Readings: Acts 26:9-23 , Ps 67, Galatians 1:11-24, Mark 10:46-52

May I speak in the name of God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Amen.
    Let me start by congratulating you on 160 years of fruitful ministry, witness and service to God in this place.
    On Thursday we commemorated the conversion of St Paul. What a colourful history St Paul had, and the cover page of your service booklet gives us a flavour of the colour you reflect.