Saturday 26 June 2021

Message for the Memorial Service for Bishop John Osmers

Message for the Memorial Service for Bishop John Osmers in Christchurch Transitional Cathedral on Saturday, June 26. Bishop Osmers, born a New Zealander, died aged 86 of Covid complications in Lusaka on June 16. During the liberation struggle he lost his right-hand to a bomb sent by apartheid security forces: 

John Osmers was an exemplary pastor, prophet and priest who selflessly dedicated his life to the liberation and welfare of God’s people, especially in Southern Africa. Although we mourn his death, we also – along with the many thousands of people to whom he ministered – celebrate an extraordinary life.

As the Church in Southern Africa said when we conferred upon him the Archbishop’s Award for Peace with Justice , Bishop John achieved distinction in multiple countries for multiple reasons as a consequence of his lifelong work as a faithful servant of God. First in Lesotho, then in Botswana and then in Zambia, he served as a chaplain to South African exiles, by whom he is fondly remembered. 

I can do no better than to quote the words of one of them:

“John Osmers gave his home, telephone and meagre food supplies to all of us.

His little van carried young refugees around... He remembered their birthdays,

took them to the hospital when ill and took them blankets… in winter. He

arranged the all-night vigil yearly on 16 June... He took our traumatised

children to stay with him… South African parents whose children were exiled in

Lesotho, Botswana and Zambia owe John Osmers a debt that can never be


To that ministry, he added sterling service in our neighbouring Province of Central Africa, where of course he became the first Bishop of Eastern Zambia, Rector of St John’s Seminary and and Dean of Holy Cross Cathedral in Lusaka. 

Our condolences go to Elizabeth and all in his extended family. To John: well done, you good and faithful servant. Praise be to God for a life well lived. May you rest in peace and rise in glory.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for your feedback! Note that we do not normally publish your Anonymous comments here. Rather comment on our Facebook page: