Friday 29 May 2015

New Generation Appeals to World Leaders: 'Save Our Soils for Us and Our Children!'

Amsterdam Declaration focuses on need for immediate action to safeguard soils - vital for food supplies - for future generations

AMSTERDAM - "Please look after our planet. Cultivate it, pass it on responsibly, so we may do the same. Please look after the soil."

This was the urgent plea, on behalf of the Youth Food Movement and the world's children, of 20-year-old Nyakallo Makgoba at the closing ceremony of the Celebrating Soil! Celebrating Life! conference in Amsterdam last Friday. 

Speaking at the UN-backed event on the importance of soil to food supplies, Nyakallo Makgoba and Joszi Smeets of the Youth Food Movement demanded delegates, including ministers, royalty and business leaders, act to stop to soil erosion and degradation.

Wednesday 27 May 2015

To the Laos – To the People of God, Pentecost 2015

Dear People of God,

At Pentecost, we celebrate the birth of our Church, marked by the empowering of Jesus’ Apostles by the Holy Spirit. So Pentecost, and the season which follows, give us an opportunity to ask questions about the nature of the Church. Questions such as: What are we as believers supposed to become if we want to witness to the presence and the working of the Holy Spirit? 
On Pentecost Sunday, I worshipped with the congregation of St Monnica's in Midrand, north of Johannesburg, where we used the reading for the day from Ezekiel, in which the prophet is set in a valley that was full of dry bones. I call that passage my conversion passage, because growing up in Alexandra Township I recall vividly how the Revd Sam Buti, the schools chaplain in Alex, linked the image of the dry bones to the frequent gang killings that happened there. In particular, he warned us that one day all of Alex would be a valley of dry and dead bones if we didn’t pluck up the courage to root out the gangs. 

Tuesday 26 May 2015

Pentecost & Xenophobia

In an audio message recorded for Pentecost, Archbishop Thabo Makgoba has linked the celebration of the beginnings of the Church to the creation of a society that is "neither Afrophobic nor xenophobic."

Listen to the message here / Read the continuation of this report below

Speaking against the backdrop of recent attacks by South Africans on migrants from other parts of Africa, the Archbishop likened the diversity of languages spoken at Pentecost, as recorded in Acts, to the languages spoken by migrants in South Africa today. 

He said in the message:

Saturday 9 May 2015

Graduation Address at the the School of Theology University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee

University of the South, Sewanee, Tenn.

Archbishop Thabo Makgoba

Isaiah 46:3-5; Psalm 27:5-11; Hebrews 10:19-24; John 4:23-26

Graduates and your families, guests, fellow honoree Bishop Skirving, Bishop Howard, Bishop Alexander, Vice-Chancellor McCardell, sisters and brothers in Christ:

Firstly, congratulations to all of you who are graduating, and especially to your families who have prayed for you and supported you in a myriad of other ways.

My warm thanks to you, Bishop Alexander, and the School of Theology, for doing me the honour of asking me to join you on Commencement day. It is a great privilege to come up here on the Cumberland Plateau and to follow in the footsteps of my predecessor but one, Archbishop Tutu, who came here in 1988 to be similarly honoured. I am especially pleased to be able to visit the University of the South, this great institution of the Episcopal Church, because education is one of the top missional priorities in our Province of the Anglican Church.

Tuesday 5 May 2015

University of Pretoria honours two prominent South African clerics

Two of South Africa’s prominent clerics, Archbishop Dr Thabo Cecil Makgoba and Reverend Frederik (Freek) Swanepoel, were awarded the Chancellor’s Medal at the University of Pretoria’s Autumn Graduations in recognition of their contribution towards peace and reconciliation in South Africa.

The Dean of the Faculty of Theology, Prof Johan Buitendag, said the award of the Chancellor’s Medal by his faculty is the start of a build-up to the centenary celebrations by the Faculty of Theology to be held in 2017. The Faculty of Theology, founded in 1917, was the first theology faculty in the country.

Statement from an Extraordinary meeting of the Synod of Bishops

The Synod of Bishops held an extraordinary meeting at the Wits Business School in Johannesburg on Saturday April 25, primarily to elect a new Bishop of the Highveld, but also to discuss other urgent matters.
  • The Synod considered six exceptional candidates for the Diocese of the Highveld. It elected the Very Revd Charles May, currently Dean of Johannesburg. Please pray for Charles and his family as they prepare for his consecration and new ministry.
  • We discussed the xenophobic attacks in South Africa in recent weeks. Bishops from Mozambique, Swaziland, KwaZulu-Natal and other areas of South Africa reported on the situations in their dicoeses. We resolved to:
    • Urge that the crisis brought about by the violence and the search for solutions should be viewed as a regional issue, involving South Africa's neighbours and nations elsewhere in Africa as much as South Africa itself;
    • Condemn the violence unequivocally, and to lift up the stories of compassion and hope which have emerged in response to the brutality of some;
    • Endorse the Archbishop's interventions in recent weeks and align ourselves with his calls for a “new struggle” in South Africa, directed against inequality, especially inequality of opportunity.
  • The Synod noted with sadness and pain the appalling loss of life in Nepal, and assured survivors and those trapped after the earthquake, after-shocks and avalanches of their prayers.

Monday 4 May 2015

An Appeal to Young People by Archbishop Thabo


Dear People of God

It has struck me afresh again that it is our 21st anniversary of our democracy and most of our youth have just turned 21 or are still 20. I would like to hear from this age group (20 – 21) who have voted for the first time last year.

I would like to hear from you as I regard myself as the servant of God and what I would like to hear from you is:

1. What are the 2 main issues that you are currently wrestling with?
2. What are the values that you think that are missing in Southern Africa?
3. What are the important values you would like to hear from the Anglican Church of Southern Africa?

We have created a special e-mail address that will be open for a period of 2 months only for this project to enable me to respond directly to all. Please do disseminate the message to all in your parishes as this opportunity is open to all who would like to write to the Archbishop. Herewith is the e-mail address:

Yours in the service of Christ