Wednesday, 11 July 2018

'The poor pay the price for climate change'


Archbishop Thabo was one of three speakers who addressed the General Convention of The Episcopal Church in Austin, Texas, on the "Care of Creation" on Tuesday. An excerpt from an Episcopal News Service report on the session:

A highlight of General Convention, the TEConversations were part of the three Joint Sessions of General Convention, each focused on one of its three priorities: racial reconciliation, evangelism and care of creation.

Each 90-minute session included three speakers, videos and music and ended with deeper, small-group discussions. The speakers represented international leaders, well-known Episcopalians and rising voices in the church.

Photo: Sharon Tillman/ENS)
Bishops and deputies...  heard from Cape Town Archbishop Thabo Cecil Makgoba, who reminded them that in Genesis 2:15, “God takes a woman and a man and he puts them in trust … to see that creation is not exploited but that it flourishes.”

Unfortunately, that’s not what has happened, and the poor and the marginalized, especially those living in Latin America, Southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, are paying the highest price.

In today’s world, where water is scarce or taken for granted as something that flows from the tap and is sold as a commodity, “900 million people do not have access to the lifesaving 20 liters of water a day because the needs of the poorest of the poor are not taken into consideration,” he said.

Water is mentioned 722 times in the Bible, said Makgoba. “The issue of water justice and climate care is real. We don’t have time to be quibbling about the science. We don’t need to be quibbling about the details. We need praxis.”

Sunday, 8 July 2018

Archbishop defends Mandela's legacy


The Archbishop's column in the July issue of Good Hope, the newsletter of the Diocese of Cape Town. July 18 marks the centenary of the birth of Nelson Mandela.

This month we celebrate the 100th anniversary of Madiba's birth. As Christians, we know that our God in Jesus Christ, is the God of the living and the dead. In that spirit, we give thanks for Madiba's life. 

During his last years, I had the opportunity to touch and feel his spirituality when I ministered to him. His faith was complex, but believing as he did that “religion is in our blood” as South Africans, he of all our presidents ensured that the voice of faith – not only of Christians – was heard in public life.

I am sad when I see young people attacking Madiba's legacy and claiming he “sold us out” by not building us the Promised Land in his lifetime. We ought not to take the events of history and look at them through the lens of today's eyes; when we do, we are bound to be insensitive to the realities that our forebears faced and to pass naïve and shallow judgements on their achievements.

We need to remember that 30 years ago, as Madiba entered discussions ahead of his release, then began negotiations with apartheid leaders, our country was at war. Historians describe it as a low-intensity civil war but for us and those communities who saw thousands of men, women and children killed it was most definitely a high-intensity war. And if you want to end a war you don't do it through more war – especially when your forces, in this case MK and APLA, have no prospect of military victory any time soon.

Madiba and his fellow leaders had to make compromises to end the war, and yes, we are feeling the impact of those compromises today. But they had to be made for the sake of peace and for the luxury of being alive to look back and criticise them. As it was, our fathers and mothers, our grandfathers and grandmothers, made huge sacrifices for our liberation for most if not all of their lives.

If you question what they achieved, then look at Syria today, where more than a quarter of a million people have been killed, more than six million have been forced to flee the country and another six million have been driven from their homes and displaced within the country. Or look at South Sudan, where the Anglican Church is a strong force. There, Salva Kiir and Riek Machar, who once served as president and vice-president together, fell out two years after they achieved their independence. Five years later they are still at war and successive rounds of peace talks have been abortive. There's no spirit of compromise, and what's happening as a result? There's no movement and people continue dying.

Would we have time, or even be alive, to criticize the compromises of Madiba's generation if they had not made them? Rather than look backwards at what we cannot change, let us rather look forward. Our forebears brought us into the Promised Land: it is up to us now to build it.

We need to focus on the challenges of today, raise them to a higher level and re-negotiate how we move our country forward to deal with the horrendous inequality we still suffer. We need to end inequality of opportunity. We need to put justice at the heart of what we seek to achieve, and be sacrificial in redistributing that which God has given to all South Africans to benefit the poorest of the poor – who seem to be ignored in the current debates. Above all, we need to become courageous like Madiba, wise like Madiba, and take the debates and decisions over the structuring of the economy and the distribution of land to a higher level and ensure apt policy to achieve these.

As we celebrate Madiba's life, let's also celebrate the long lives of those in our own Diocese who have lived to the age of 90 and beyond; let's congratulate them, wish them well and show them that we love and care for them too. Let's also join others in service of our communities, and especially the poorest of the poor, on Nelson Mandela Day, Wednesday July 18. As the Letter of James said, faith without works is dead. So I urge you in Madiba's memory to commit yourself to voluntary service of some sort – you can find details on this page of the Mandela foundation's website: https://www.mandeladay.com/pages/what-can-i-do

Thank God for the recent rain, pray that it may be sustained, and please continue to limit your usage to 50 litres a day each.

God bless you



Thursday, 14 June 2018

Church welcomes ConCourt judgement on sexual assault cases



Archbishop Thabo Makgoba has welcomed today's Constitutional Court judgement making it easier to bring to justice the perpetrators of sexual assault. He has also urged South Africa's parliament to act quickly to end the bar on pressing charges if offences were committed more than 20 years earlier.

He said in a statement issued in Cape Town:

“I welcome today's Constitutional Court judgement which declares as inconsistent with the Constitution the provision in the law which bars prosecutors from charging someone for sexual offences (other than rape) after the lapse of 20 years from when the offence was committed.

“Noting that the Court has given Parliament 24 months in order to enact changes to the law to implement its decision in practice, I urge Parliament to act quickly to adopt legislation to remedy the injustice which has prevented survivors of abuse from pressing charges.

“I welcome in particular the Court's recognition that survivors of sexual assault have often not reported offences at the time they were committed for fear of their abusers or concern over the possible responses from their communities.

“This new development in criminal law comes as our Church also takes action to make it easier for survivors of abuse to bring charges under church law.

“Church lawyers have recommended to me that we need to make it easier for complainants to access the process laid down under Canon (Church) Law and that we need to provide more support for them during the process.

“They are also reviewing how the Church can prevent sexual abuse and harassment and how it can initiate early intervention in such cases, including providing support services, a helpline and crisis and survivor support.”


Saturday, 19 May 2018

Dedication of Emmanuel Church, Umlazi

Sermon preached by Archbishop Thabo Makgoba at the dedication of Emmanuel Church, Umlazi, on Saturday May 19 in the Diocese of Natal:

Readings: 1 Kings 8: 22 -30, Ps 122, 1 Pet 2:4-10, Luke 19:1-10

May I speak in the name of God, Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer of our lives, Amen.
Bishop Dino, dear brothers and sisters in Christ, dear people of God: it is a great joy for me to be here with you as we give thanks to God for this place of worship.
Let me also acknowledge Prince Buthelezi and Fr Ncaca, who presided at Lungi and my wedding 28 years ago.
Emmanuel Church, Umlazi.
It is an honour and privilege to have been asked to celebrate with you at this historic moment in the life of this community and the Diocese. Thank you, Bishop Dino and your entire team for inviting me. Thank you everyone for the wonderful and warm welcome we received on our arrival here. Thank you also to those who gave of their time and were involved in the preparation for today.
I thank God for the unsung heroes and heroines who have kept the gospel light burning here through their lives, their zeal, their prayers and their service and witness.

Thursday, 19 April 2018

To the Laos - To the People of God - on Eastertide & Winnie Madikizela-Mandela

My dear People of God

Easter has once again been a busy time for travel: on the evening of Easter Sunday I left to chair a meeting of the Design Group for the 2020 Lambeth Conference. Preparations for the conference are well on their way, and the theme is:  “God's Church for God's World: walking, listening and witnessing together”.

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Accounting giants 'have strained our trust' - Archbishop


The text of an address by Archbishop Thabo Makgoba to the School of Accountancy at the University of the Witwatersrand:


Students, staff, members of the Institute, friends all:

Thank you for the invitation to be here. It is very encouraging to learn that you are engaged in a process of scrutinising yourselves and your practices with a view to ensuring that you are living up to your duty to serve the public and the nation.

Sunday, 15 April 2018

[VIDEO] Archbishop Thabo responds to Mama Winnie's death

Archbishop Thabo Makgoba says the death of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela marks a “changing of the guard” moment in South Africa.

He was in London, chairing meetings of the design group for the 2020 Lambeth Conference, when he heard the news. He flew home in time to attend her funeral.

He told the Anglican Communion News Service that “The old guards who were the stewards and custodians of our struggle, those who led us into democratic South Africa, are moving on...” He asked: “Are we mature enough, capable enough, to sustain the vision of a non-racial democratic South Africa where all South Africans flourish?”

He said he was “enveloped with a sense of deep pain and sorrow” when her heard that Ms Madikizela-Mandela had died.

“Then I started saying there were good things Winnie did and we need to give thanks to God for those... There are mistakes that she made because life threw a lot of curve-balls towards her... She handled some of those with dignity, but some she really hopelessly failed.

“But we need to remember the good that Winnie did, as a Methodist Christian, as a courageous woman, as a beautiful woman. And we need to say ‘what can we learn from who Winnie is?’”

He sent his condolences to the family, “particularly to the girls who have had to be mature adults while their parents were incarcerated.”

[Excerpted from the Anglican News report, South Africa will “stop and reflect” for funeral of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela]





Thursday, 12 April 2018

[VIDEO] Thy Kingdom Come - Archbishop Justin Welby speaks to Archbishop Thabo

Archbishop Thabo Makgoba has asked churches in the Province to join the Thy Kingdom Come initiative, praying for mission and evangelism between Ascension Day and Pentecost - May 10 to 20.

Ahead of this year's events, Archbishop Thabo discusses the question “what does it mean when we pray Thy Kingdom Come?” with the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Revd Justin Welby. During the discussion, he touches on his experiences as a teenager in Alexandra, Johannesburg, when he was chased by troops and feared for his life. 

[Acknowledgements: Anglican News


Monday, 2 April 2018

To the Laos - To the People of God - April 2018

Dear People of God

Usually in Lent I try to cut back on my schedule, but this year the busyness of the time leading up to Lent continued and I took on a number of tasks. While I maintained a discipline of prayer and reflection, particularly on water justice – praying for more rain in Cape Town and less flooding in the Diocese of Niassa in northern Mozambique – I also engaged the Anglican Communion and society equally.

Saturday, 31 March 2018

Archbishop's Easter Sermon

Archbishop Thabo Makgoba's sermon, preached at the Easter Vigil at St George’s Cathedral, Cape Town:

Is 55:1-11; Ps 114; Rm 6:3-11; Mk 16:1-8

Alleluia! Christ is Risen! He is risen indeed. Alleluia!

Brothers and Sisters in Christ, we meet this Easter, joining the whole Communion and faithful Christians across the world in singing this acclamation, and celebrating the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Sunday, 25 March 2018

Archbishop receives honorary degree from Stellenbosch University

The text of Archbishop Thabo's acceptance remarks appears below the video clip. 



Remarks on receiving the degree Doctor of Theology (Honoris Causa) at Stellenbosch University, on March 20, 2018:

Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor, students, staff and guests,

Thursday, 22 March 2018

Archbishop consults on improving Church's response to sexual abuse cases

Statement by the Most Revd Thabo Makgoba, Archbishop of Cape Town:

“In recent weeks, four individuals have either spoken out publicly or contacted my office privately to report experiences of sexual abuse in two dioceses, apparently during the 1970s and 1980s.

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Courageous Conversations as Public Theology: In Search of New Partnerships for Justice

A keynote address to the Together for Justice Conference at the University of the Western Cape:

Friends, colleagues, sisters and brothers in Christ: I greet you all in the name of God, Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer of our lives.

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

College of the Transfiguration - 2018 Graduation Ceremony

Graduation address at the College of the Transfiguration: 

Readings: Jeremiah 17:19-27; Ps 78:19-27; Mark 8:1-10 

I greet you all in the name of God, Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer of our lives. Amen

Monday, 12 March 2018

The Church's response to writer Ishtiyaq Shukri's open letter

The South African writer Ishtiyaq Shukri has written an open letter in which he responds to Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu’s recent stepping down as an ambassador for Oxfam after a scandal around allegations of sexual misconduct. 

In the letter, Mr Shukri said he was the victim of sexual abuse by Anglican priests and accused Archbishop Desmond of never fully addressing what he claimed was systematic and institutionalised sexual abuse happening in his own organisation.

In response, Archbishop Tutus office issued the following statement:

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.

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Archbishop's tribute to the late Hugh Masekela

On behalf of the Anglican Church, and on my own behalf, I extend our condolences to Hugh Masekela's nearest and dearest family and friends.

Hugh Masekela's legacy is that of an inter-generational institution, someone who across generation after generation articulated our people's experiences and reflected our evolving history through music.

Saturday, 6 January 2018

To the Laos - To the People of God – On the Feast of the Epiphany



Dear People of God


The Feast of the Epiphany is so special but here at home in Southern Africa it comes in the middle of our summer holiday and most parishioners are away. We still celebrate it of course, even if we do so on the Sunday following.

This year I send you, our parishioners and others who might read this, a short message wishing you good health and renewal as we celebrate the feast of the manifestation of our Lord to all people. May God manifest himself in our lives and wherever we live and work.