Friday, 8 February 2019

Lambeth Conference: Archbishop of Cape Town calls on bishops to “express your difference”




[Anglican News] The Primate of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, Archbishop Thabo Makgoba, has called on Anglican bishops to attend the next Lambeth Conference despite differences within the Anglican Communion.

Archbishop Thabo chairs the international Design Group, brought together by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, to plan the once-in-a-decade gathering of Anglican bishops, which will take place in Canterbury, Kent, in 2020.

“I know people talk about the fabric of the communion as torn”, he said, “but we are all fallible human beings in need of God’s love and grace, and we need each other.”

Archbishop Thabo made his comments in a video on the Lambeth Conference website. In it, he says: “As said in Sepedi [the language of Northern Sotho]: one bangle doesn’t ring, two bangles will make a beautiful noise. So we are never alone in this journey.

“Whether you agree with where the communion is, whether you don’t agree, come and express your difference in this beautiful space which is a gift from God. Don’t just stay at home and say ‘I’m not going’.

“We want to hear that voice. It’s not a conference of like-minded people; it is a conference of Anglicans. I mean, for God’s sake, Anglicans, from our inceptions, we’ve always had push and pull. So push and pull should not be a distraction, but it should be celebrated.

“It’s what I call at home, ‘celebrating the gift of difference’. So I encourage all bishops and their spouses to make every possible effort to come and see what God is doing through us in his world.”

Speaking about the shape of the Conference, Archbishop Thabo said that it would begin with a spiritual retreat, a time to say to bishops and their spouses “hey, shut up . . . and listen to God; and listen to one another in silence.”

He said that after the retreat, “we will worship together; we will walk together; we will talk together; we will love together; we will wrestle together; break bread together; reflect theologically and in mission bring ourselves and bring our dioceses and provinces into that space.

“And then, as my predecessor but one used to say, ‘God is not finished with us’; and God will actually continue his work in us and through us for the Anglican Communion.”

In a separate video on the website, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, spoke of how bishops can prepare for the Lambeth Conference, beginning with prayer. “My vision for this conference is that, if nothing else, we emerge as a Communion that is visibly more deeply committed to prayer and the reading of scripture.

“So pray, and read scripture together; get into the swing of it in a new and fresh way. For example, between Ascension and Pentecost, there will be the fourth 10-days of Thy Kingdom Come. . . Get involved in that. It’s a time for prayer for mission; prayer for God to warm the hearts of those who need to hear the good news of Jesus.”

He continued: “Pray for those you disagree with and resist the urge to be swayed by gossip and rumour. So when you hear something, don’t necessarily believe it, turn to God and say ‘if that’s true, I pray for him or her’. But also, try and find out the truth.”


Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Sermon at a Confirmation Service of churches in the Parish of Wynberg, Cape Town

Confirmation Service: Christ Church, Kenilworth
The Most Revd Thabo Makgoba
Archbishop of Cape Town
Sunday, 3rd February 2019 

Jeremiah 1:4-10; 1 Corinthians 12:31b -13:13, Luke 4:21-30

May I speak in the name of God, our Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer, Amen.

Thank you Rob for the warm welcome we received on our arrival here this morning. Thank you for the refreshing worship and testimonies from the confirmation candidates during this service.

Monday, 4 February 2019

Religious leaders meet Western Cape political leaders to urge peaceful elections

W. Cape religious and political leaders at Bishopscourt.

With an eye on the pending national and provincial elections, the Electoral Code of Conduct Observer Commission (ECCOC), chaired by Archbishop Thabo Makgoba, met with representatives  of nine political parties active in the Western Cape on Tuesday 29 January at Bishopscourt.

The purpose of the meeting was to introduce ECCOC to political leaders.  One of ECCOC’s tasks is to ensure that political parties and their leaders understand that they should not incite violence and instability at election times when tensions could be running high.

“We help to defuse tense situations where they arise or seem likely, by playing a mediating role at times of stress or potential violence. We hope that political parties and the electorate see our presence as helping to ensure that there is a moral presence on election day,” said the Archbishop.

He said that ECCOC will have a strong presence at polling stations, acting as an observer. Its presence will stress the need for a moral and value driven election and ECCOC will report any irregularities and inappropriate behaviour by parties to the IEC.

The parties present at the meeting indicated support for ECCOC and thanked the Archbishop and his ECCOC team for acting as an independent and impartial influence prior to and on election day.