Wednesday, 18 May 2022

To the People of God - Ad Laos - Easter 2022

Archbishop Thabo Makgoba's Easter letter, written primarily for the Diocese of Cape Town:

Dear People of God

As we continue to celebrate Easter, I encourage you – on a note of thanksgiving for the Resurrection of our Lord – to pursue the evangelisation of those around you, one by one. Check in with your friends and neighbours, whether they are Anglicans or not, to see whether they have returned to worship in the wake of the coronavirus lockdowns.

    Form study groups and buy a lectionary, or choose a segment of the Gospels yourselves, and meet weekly to read, reflect and pray – and then resolve to give to the neediest in our communities. Perhaps it can be a donation of food – even just a loaf of bread – or maybe a contribution to a disaster fund or our Theological Education Fund. If you're able, attend a group retreat, or start small groups following the Ignatian or Benedictine rules of life and commit to a year or two to nurture our church spiritually.

    I'm addressing these appeals to all, both clergy and laity, young and old. We need to recharge our batteries after these last two difficult years, but we also need to reach out once again to others. As part of this process of renewal, it is my intention that in 2023 we should begin an annual re-commitment service for our Diocese's lay ministers – and for choirs – just as the clergy reaffirm their ordination vows every year. I know that our young people, our servers and members of other organisations in our parishes are good at organising such services, and I want us to make sure that we use their talents to God's glory. And I especially want us to reach out into the world beyond our stained glass windows in the coming years.
    I write to you from Germany, which I am visiting for a few days, from where I joined faith leaders of different traditions from around the world in an event which was part of a much bigger summit of world leaders on Covid-19. Co-hosted by a number of countries, including Senegal (the current leader of the African Union), the United States and Germany, it included President Ramaphosa, who called on global agencies to assist in boosting the local manufacturing and production of Covid-19 vaccines by procuring vaccines and boosters from African manufacturers. For my part, I urged that low- and middle-income countries should be given more control over the supply of Covid-19 vaccines, tests and treatments. In a panel discussion, I was privileged to join young Buddhist nuns from Kathmandu in Nepal, who movingly described how they moved around their communities during the height of the pandemic to persuade people to get vaccinated.

    I will be taking sabbatical leave from June 1 until August 15, including time at the Lambeth Conference, during which Anglican bishops from around the world gather at Canterbury in  the UK. Bishop Joshua Louw and his team will be looking after the Diocese of Cape Town, and Bishop Stephen Diseko of Matlosane, the Dean of the Province, will look after the Province, assisted by the Metropolitan's Executive. Please direct your inquiries to them. If you feel the need to contact me, please rather add your concern to your prayer list instead! But if you really feel you must, you can write to my PA, the Revd Abigail Hopley, who will help where she can. Otherwise I will be reflecting, reading, resting, writing, walking, gardening, praying and enjoying time with my family, at home, in Makgobaskloof, in KwaZulu-Natal, Joburg, Makhanda and abroad.

    In your prayers for global peace on Ascension Day, please spare a thought for peace in Ukraine and all those affected by that conflict, even as you pray for peace on our continent and other continents, as well as for Palestine and Israel.

    God be with you until I write again, and God bless you.

++Thabo Cape Town

Sunday, 1 May 2022

St Bernard Mizeki Guild - “A mission-shaped guild for a mission-shaped church in the world”

An address to the 19th Triennial Provincial Conference of the St Bernard Mizeki Men's Guild in Pietermaritzburg, Diocese of Natal, on 29th April 2022:

Dear Brothers in Christ,

I greet you all warmly in the name of our Saviour, Jesus Christ. He is risen, He is risen indeed! Alleluia! 

Thank you very much for doing me the honour of inviting me to address you, and for choosing as the theme the important subject “A mission-shaped guild for a mission-shaped church in the world”. The Guild is one of the most important initiatives in the life of our Church and you play a crucial role in so many congregations, not only in sustaining the faith and lives of your members, but in supporting mission and ministry in different ways. Thank you warmly for what you do, and thank you for who you are. We are blessed by your presence and work among us. 

Sunday, 17 April 2022

Sermon delivered at the Easter Vigil, St George's Cathedral, Cape Town

Lections: Romans 6:3-11; Psalm 114; Luke 24:1-12.

Christ is Risen! Christ is Risen indeed! Alleluia!

Sisters and Brothers in Christ, as we hear again the glorious story of the Resurrection and its message of new beginnings, may each one of you experience the fullness of Christ’s gift of abundant life. May you know the joy, the hope and the peace that Easter brings.

Thursday, 14 April 2022

Sermon for Maundy Thursday 2022

Preached at the Renewal of Vows and Chrism Mass of the Diocese of Cape Town on Maundy Thursday at Mark's Church, Athlone: 

Exodus 12: 1-4, 11-14; Psalm 116: 1-2, 11-18; 1 Corinthians 11: 23-2: John 13: 1-17, 31b-35

In the name of God, Creator, Son, Redeemer and Holy Spirit, Sustainer of life, Amen.

It is so good to see you all again! A warm welcome to those who have joined the Diocese since the last renewal of clergy vows or those who have been elected to new roles within the Diocese or placed in new parishes. Thank you to all the staff, the Diocesan staff at Braehead House and elsewhere, and to the staff at Bishopscourt and the Provincial Office, especially to Canon Charleen and Bishop Joshua for leading and managing Diocesan affairs. 

Thursday, 24 March 2022

Address at the opening of "Truth to Power" - Apartheid Museum/Tutu Legacy Foundation exhibition

Remarks made at the opening of the “Truth to Power” exhibition at the Old Granary, Cape Town, on 24th March 2022:

Dear Trevor, Dear Thandi, Mthunzi and Xabiso, Dear Nyaniso, Dear Mr Leonard Shenxane and Ms Lungi Morrison, thank you to all Tutu family members for gracing us with your presence, especially during your time of mourning. Be assured of our love and our prayers for Mama Leah and for each of you as you come to terms with life without your beloved husband, father and grandfather.

Monday, 21 March 2022

Human Rights and the Mining Industry

The keynote address to a Human Rights Dialogue held by the Minerals Council South Africa, with Anglo American and Global Compact Network South Africa, on on 17th March 2022, ahead of South Africa's Human Rights Day: 

Good morning to you all. Thanks for being part of this event. You all have busy lives and work schedules, and your time is appreciated. 

Thank you in particular for joining this workshop on human rights. But you may well ask, what has a religious leader got to say about human rights? Sure you should be hearing from a lawyer or a legal philosopher? My answer is straightforward: respect for human rights is as central to religious faith as it is to any part of life. Our late Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu used to put it this way: whether you are a Muslim, a Christian, a Hindu, a Jew or a Buddhist, not one of these faiths has a low doctrine of human beings. And if you are a person of no faith, you almost inevitably follow what they called the Golden Rule: that you should treat other people as you wish to be treated.