Friday, 2 December 2022

STATEMENT BY ARCHBISHOP THABO MAKGOBA ON SOUTH AFRICA'S CURRENT CRISIS

“The country is in crisis and our governing party seems to be in meltdown.

“It is correct that no one should be above the law, but to pass final judgement on a person based on what is in effect a board of preliminary investigation, which has not made a final determination of the facts, could lead to lawlessness in South Africa.
“The church is observing the season of Advent, which is a time of alertness as we wait to celebrate at Christmas the arrival of the Incarnate Son. Our focus as we prepare for Christmas should be to give voice to the “ordinary” people of the country.
“The vast majority of South Africans want to see our political leaders dealing with their problems such as loadshedding and joblessness urgently, and are probably getting impatient with seeing a governing party at war with itself.
“If the President loses the political support of his party before a final determination of his conduct is made, I call for the establishment of a government of national unity under a respected elder to stabilise the country until the next election. And during the next year we need to hold an economic Codesa to address the real crisis facing the country, which is the scandalous gap between those who benefit from intergenerational wealth and those who are locked out of the economy.”
Issued by Bishopscourt

INTERVIEW BY Sakina Kamwendo, SAfm, SABC

Saturday, 29 October 2022

Celebrating the Coronation of His Majesty King MisuZulu Sinqobile kaZwelithini

 

Homily at the Celebration of the Coronation of His Majesty

King MisuZulu Sinqobile kaZwelithini

as King of the Zulu Nation

Moses Mabhida Stadium: Durban

The Most Revd Dr Thabo Makgoba

Archbishop of Cape Town

29th October 2022 @10h00

Reading: Psalm 84



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



Your Majesty, King MisuZulu;

Your Excellency President Ramaphosa;

Your Majesty the King of Eswatini;

Honourable Prince Buthelezi;

Your Majesties and Royal Highnesses, members of other Royal families;

Members of the Diplomatic Corps;

Programme Directors;

Government Ministers and Officials;

The many Religious Leaders here present;

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ:



I am honoured to join you to share in this historic event. Thank you for inviting me today. I am also privileged to be joined here by Bishop Nkosinathi Ndwandwe of this Diocese of Natal, Bishop Vikinduku Mnculwane of Zululand and the Royal Chaplain, Archdeacon Bongani Mhlongo. A warm welcome to all and, most importantly, thank you to the organising committee and 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 and throughout their lives, their zeal, their prayers and their service and witness. I especially thank God for his faithfulness to all who have made it possible for this celebration of Your Majesty's coronation to take place today. Our gratitude to God for his sustaining care for you, particularly during the turbulent times of the past, and for affording you this time of great hope and opportunity, even though of course it comes with challenges.

In our reading today, the Psalmist gives us a picture of a pilgrim newly-arrived at the Temple in Jerusalem. After a long journey of eager anticipation, the pilgrim is now admiring the beauty of the Lord's house. The Psalmist is impressed first by the loveliness of the Temple, then – seeing even the tiny birds making themselves at home – he appreciates the safety offered by that house. So he associates the Temple with how the Lord provides for us places of sacrifice for sin, reconciliation and communion with God. As one translation says, “My heart and my body cry out for joy, to the living God.”

So sisters and brothers, today we too can cry out for joy in celebration of this important milestone in the history of the Zulu Kingdom. Your Majesty, we are grateful for the close relations between the Anglican Church and amaZulu going back into the 19th century, recognising with shame instances where sound cultural traditions were undermined but also proud of the role those such as the Colenso family played in defending their Majesties Kings Cetshwayo and Dinizulu. We recall too the Anglican antecedents of King Dinizulu and of King Solomon, and of how your grandfather, a good Anglican himself, built houses for worship, for which we remain deeply grateful.

Your father, His Majesty King Zwelithini, was also a great and faithful member of our church who not only attended worship but also held up his faith in the Lord as a moral compass for many until his last breath. It was a great privilege for me to be invited to play a role in his burial. Prince Buthelezi, we also recognise your long service as a faithful Christian who has been blessed with a long life and remains actively involved as a support system to the Royal Family. Prince Buthelezi, as you approach the time when you will be called home, we appeal for that to happen in a spirit of reconciliation and healing.

Your Majesty, you too can build and leave a powerful legacy of your own. Your grandmother was a person who stood tall in society; it does not matter that you are called to this high office, with its onerous responsibilities, when you are young. You too can grow and become tall in the eyes of the Zulu nation, the South African nation and the world. We are saddened by the recent dissension within the Royal Family, for it does not build but detracts from the legacy that King Zwelithini left behind. It is my humble prayer that in the near future you may be able to find each other and reconcile.

Reconciliation is very critical. Our church recognises that for reconciliation, which God wants to see happen, there needs to be both justice and accountability. Thus in the Church we have called for the historic legacy of colonialism to be deconstructed and any remaining complicity of our member churches in British and American empires to be ended.

But God's call for reconciliation is a challenge not only to the Royal Family and the Church: it is a challenge to us all. And for reconciliation to be achieved in our divided society in South Africa today, there needs to be both justice and accountability, the achievement of which is the responsibility of all, including both traditional and elected leaders.

Mr President, we are grateful for your steadfast focus on rooting out state capture from the public and private sectors, and the faith community pledges its strong support for your latest initiatives. But, Mr President, no one will be more aware than yourself of how public trust in government has been corroded by leaders who have elevated the pursuit of private profit above ethical public service in the past decade.

In this Province and nationally, can we say that justice and accountability are served when mafias in the taxi and construction industries hold legitimate business people to ransom, closing down their operations and even killing their staff if they refuse to pay protection money?

Can we say, Mr President, that justice and accountability are served when the State fails to bring to justice all those responsible for the killing of Abahlali baseMjondolo.

Both nationally and in this Province, Mr President, can we say that justice and accountability are served when migrants from elsewhere in Africa are scapegoated for just being here?

In the private sector, can we say that justice and accountability are served when the intergenerational inequality of the apartheid era continues, when the sons and daughters of the wealthy flourish, while the sons and daughters of the poor are caught in a self-perpetuating spiral of inadequate education, denied opportunities and poverty?

Your Majesty and Mr President, as I end, the basic consensus which has underpinned our nation since 1994 is crumbling. Levels of distrust are higher than ever before. Confidence in leaders, whether in the public or private sector, is at a record low. Is it not time for all of us – traditional leaders, political leaders, civil society, religious leaders, leaders in the economy representing both capital and labour – for all of us to come together to convene consultations – culminating in a National Indaba – as a way of growing up as a nation and beginning to heal a society characterised by fear and a damaged psyche?

Your Majesty, as you embark upon your reign as King of a nation that is recognised internationally as one of the greatest in Africa, I believe you are being called upon to step up and emulate the highest traditions of your ancestors. I pray that you will summon the resources of our faith and allow God to help you fulfill this honourable calling.

May God bless you richly, Your Majesty. God bless you, Mr President, and your Cabinet and all the leaders of our nation. God bless the Royal Family. God bless South Africa, her leaders and all her people.

Amen.



Friday, 21 October 2022

To the Laos - To the People of God - October 2022

 Dear People of God,

In a visit to ACSA's Provincial residential college and in deliberations at the Synod of Bishops and the Provincial Standing Committee (PSC), a good deal of attention was given this past month to the vital issue of theological education for our clergy and people.

In Makhanda, I joined leaders in theological education to install the Revd Dr Percy Chinganga as Rector of the College of the Transfiguration (CoTT). We warmly congratulate him on his appointment, confident that the education of our ordinands is in good hands with him and his staff. His installation came soon after the annual September Provincial meetings, where we discussed a major report on the future of theological education, drawn up by a commission convened by the Revd Dr Barney Pityana. As I told PSC, the body which represents clergy and lay representatives as well as bishops from all ACSA's Dioceses, theological education and formation are not optional extras for the church: they are our lifeblood, and they matter not just for our future as an institution but for the welfare of God's people as we go out to proclaim the love and the justice of God in our suffering world.

I want to promote sound theological formation not just for our clergy but also for lay Anglicans. A wonderful way of doing this would be to enroll at CoTT, even if you don't want to enter the ordained ministry, and I invite those of you who want to improve their theological knowledge to explore studying there full-time. As I suggested at the Diocese of Cape Town's clergy school last week, my dream is that our parishes and homes will become institutions of teaching and learning, as well as places of prayer and worship, in your communities. I urge you to take steps to offer education of various kinds – including theological education – for all our people. And please consider supporting CoTT individually and through your parishes and Dioceses – it is playing a vital role.

Also recently, I attended the Desmond Tutu International Peace Lecture on what would have been the 91st birthday of our late Archbishop Emeritus. The lecture featured Amina Mohammed, a Nigerian who is the United Nations Deputy Secretary-General, and Doug Abrams, the American author who worked with Archbishop Desmond and the Dalai Lama to create The Book of Joy, and who brought us an inspiring message of hope. At the CoTT installation, I continued the commemoration of Archbishop Desmond's birth by delivering our first Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu Memorial Lecture, where I stressed that we are still called and sent to carry out a prophetic ministry in the world today. As we held these events, we remembered warmly and sent our love to Mrs Nomalizo Leah Tutu, who has just turned 89! A belated Happy Birthday, Mama Leah!

In the ACSA memorial lecture, I said we still need to warn our governments that they are accountable, nowadays accountable to the people but also to God. I spoke out strongly against those in power who enrich themselves with tenders which they fail to deliver on, and warned opposition parties hoping to come to power soon that they too will experience the temptations of power. I also condemned the new “mafias” which we are seeing in the construction, mining and taxi industries, which are demanding protection money for allowing legitimate businesses to operate. If we continue down this road, I said, with police, municipal and national governments turning a blind eye, too cowardly to act, we will end up a failed state.

As I write, I have been on an inspirational visit to Rome with ecumenical colleagues to engage in dialogues aimed at ensuring that the mining industry internationally conducts its operations in a way that respects the integrity of the earth and takes care of people and communities. I am grateful to Cardinal Cardinal Michael Czerny, SJ, for his wisdom and the generous offering of his time, and to Archbishop Ian Ernest at the Anglican Centre in Rome, as well as their teams.

In conclusion, I am very pleased to confirm that Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury will be with us in Cape Town at the end of November, where he will join the final meeting of the Design Team which planned the 2022 Lambeth Conference. We will also welcome him publicly at Evensong in St George's Cathedral at 4 pm on Thursday November 24th.

God bless,

††Thabo Cape Town

Wednesday, 12 October 2022

Address to Diocese of Cape Town clergy school 2022

 Diocese of Cape Town Clergy School 2022

Opening Address by

The Most Revd Thabo Makgoba

Archbishop of Cape Town

11th to 14th October 2022


Matthew 28: 18 -20


May I speak in the name of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.

Bishop Joshua, Clergy of the diocese and invited guests, I'm grateful to be able to join you in this way from Makhanda, where earlier this afternoon I was installing the next Rector of our only residential college, Dr Percy Chinganga. I would have loved to be with you in person, but doing so online is better than not at all.

Tuesday, 11 October 2022

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu Memorial Lecture and Installation of CoTT Rector

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu Memorial Lecture

and Installation of the Rector

 College of the Transfiguration

The Most Revd Dr Thabo Makgoba

Archbishop of Cape Town

The Cathedral of St Michael and St George: Makhanda

11th October 2022 @15h00

Jeremiah 36: 27 -37:2; Psalm 35; Luke 8: 40 -56


Fellow theologians (all of us here are theologians, no matter how far along the journey we are);

Fellow students of the Gospel (because all of us, no matter how well qualified, remain students all our lives);

Sisters and brothers in Christ:

Friday, 30 September 2022

Homily for the Opening Service of Provincial Standing Committee 2022

Provincial Standing Committee 2022

Homily for the Opening Service

The Most Revd Dr Thabo Makgoba

Archbishop and Metropolitan

28th September 2022


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

A very warm welcome to you all, in your Diocesan and Provincial hubs, to this year's PSC. A special welcome to those of you attending PSC for the first time; I hope that your fellow members in the hubs will help familiarise you with our procedures so you feel fully included in our deliberations. ADD LAWYERS We meet for the first time without Dioceses in Mozambique and Angola, after the inauguration of the new IAMA Province, so a special welcome also to representatives of the Dioceses of Lesotho, Namibia, St Helena and Swaziland in Eswatini.

Friday, 23 September 2022

To the Laos - To the People of God - September 2022

Dear People of God,

As announced to the Diocese of Cape Town back in May, I finally managed to take my sabbatical leave from June 1. Lungi and I travelled a little, mainly to my ancestral home of Makgoba's Kloof in Limpopo but also to see the Passion Play in Oberammergau, which had been delayed by Covid. However, I did interrupt the sabbatical a number of times to undertake important commitments, such as taking part in the Lambeth Conference and also helping to consecrate bishops in the new Province of Mozambique and Angola, and – in our own Province – of Bishop Patrick Djuulume of Namibia.

I return to my office distressed to see that President Cyril Ramaphosa is still failing to play open cards with the country about the money allegedly stolen from his farm in June. As we said in a statement I approved during my sabbatical, the public is owed quick and clear answers on whether he kept foreign currency in contravention of Reserve Bank regulations, and whether tax has been paid on sales from his farm. There cannot be one law for the rich and well-connected, and another for the rest of us. Overall, the quality of our political leadership at present leaves a lot to be desired, also illustrated by the leader of the Democratic Alliance using disgraceful language about his ex-wife in the public space. It is crucial that our leaders enjoy credibility, and in the event of a serious crisis occurring, it is very worrying to contemplate the possibility that people will have lost so much respect for them that they will refuse to listen.

But back to Lambeth. As was to be expected, the media devoted most of their attention to the divisions in the Communion over human sexuality, and in particular over whether to bless same-sex unions, marry same-sex couples or ordain members of LGBTQIA+ communities. The Conference did not change our 1998 resolution that marriage is a commitment to be entered into only by a man and a woman. But we acknowledged the chasms within the Communion and in sum the Provinces have to go back to the drawing board to hear the varied voices and to debate the matter with a view to arriving at what God might be saying through the Holy Spirit to the churches of the Communion.

However, there were also much more positive – and exciting – initiatives, such when we launched The Communion Forest. This is a worldwide environmental initiative in which Anglicans around the Communion will choose projects most suited to where they live to protect and enhance their environments. Depending on where you are, you might choose to plant trees, re-establish grasslands, help create wetlands or restore coastlines. As Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury said, it could become the “most widespread and diverse” environmental project in the world.

We also set up for the first time an Anglican Communion Science Commission, which will help equip the church to think and talk intelligently about science and technology, enabling us to play our full part in addressing such crises as climate change, extinction, disease, the abuse of new technologies and the misuse of artificial intelligence. My first university degree having been in the sciences, I am particularly pleased about this initiative, and I will co-chair the commission with Bishop Steven Croft of Oxford. Our Province will be represented on the commission by Bishop Luke Pretorius of the Diocese of St Mark the Evangelist.

Unique to this Lambeth Conference were a set of “Lambeth Calls”, the final texts of which we will publish online when they become available. The conference also adopted a series of “Statements of Support” which addressed the suffering and challenges which people in different parts of the world are undergoing.

In Africa, they dealt with the situations in Nigeria, Sudan, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Tanzania. Especially relevant for us is that on refugees and migrants, which reaffirmed the commitment of Anglicans to “the treatment of refugees and migrants as made in the image of God and therefore deserving of equal dignity and respect.” Full details here >>

One of the statements, on Israel and Palestine, will be relevant to our discussions at this year's meeting of Provincial Standing Committee, since it endorses the concept of a “two-state solution” to the ongoing conflict in that part of God's world. The statement comes at a time when many people believe such a solution is no longer viable in practice.

PSC will also consider an important report on discrimination at church schools. As I told our Cape Town schools recently, I urge anyone concerned with the future of Anglican education to read it, because it offers real hope that together we can protect our children from experiencing what the task force describes as “acts of intentional or careless discrimination, or systematic marginalisation of individuals or their identity.”

Please pray for PSC, which meets from September 28 to 30. Please also pray for a visit in November by Archbishop Justin Welby and the Lambeth Design Team. We plan to arrange a service in St George's Cathedral in Cape Town during the visit, more details of which will be announced later.

God bless,

††Thabo Cape Town







Thursday, 8 September 2022

Condolences on the death of Queen Elizabeth II

On behalf of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, I send our heartfelt condolences to the British people and to all those in the Commonwealth for whom she was Head of State.

May Queen Elizabeth II rest in peace and rise in glory. We send our greetings to the new King and his Consort, and pray that God will sustain him and his people in the days to come.

Left, Archbishop Thabo is Prior of the Order of St John in South Africa, a royal order of chivalry with roots going back to 1099. Queen Elizabeth II was the Sovereign Head of the Order.


Monday, 5 September 2022

Archbishop addresses transformation at Anglican schools

A sermon delivered at a combined Confirmation Service for Anglican Schools in Cape Town, held at St Cyprian’s School Chapel on 4th September 2022:


Readings: Jeremiah 18:1 -11; Psalm 139: 1-5, 12-18; Philemon 1-21; : Luke 14: 25-33

May I speak in the name of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.

Sisters and brothers in Christ, dear people of God, heads of participating schools – Mrs Shelley Frayne of St Cyprian’s School, hosting us this year, Mr Antony Reeler of Diocesan College and Mrs Heather Goedeke of Herschel – also friends and families, I am pleased to join you to share in this important milestone in the lives of the confirmation candidates, especially since we are meeting for the first time since the church has lifted Covid-19 restrictions on worship.

Tuesday, 21 June 2022

Sermon at the Consecration of four new Bishops for IAMA (Maputo)

Igreja Anglicana de Mocambique e Angola

Sermon for Consecration Service

The Most Rev Dr Thabo Makgoba

Archbishop and Metropolitan of ACSA

19 June 2022

Pavilhao de Maxaquene Sports Hall: Maputo


Readings: Isaiah 6: 1-8, Psalm 100; 2 Cor. 4: 1-10; John 21: 15 -17

May I speak in the name of the Holy Trinity: God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, our advocate and friend. Amen.

Your Excellencies, Presiding Bishop Carlos, Dean of the Province Andre, fellow Bishops, distinguished guests, clergy and people of God:

It is a great joy for me to welcome you to this service as we give thanks to God for this very important milestone in the history of IAMA – the consecration of new bishops for the church of God and this new Province of the Anglican Communion.

Friday, 10 June 2022

Church calls for "quick and clear answers" on Ramaphosa farm theft

Although there does not appear to be any equivalence between the actions of President Ramaphosa in keeping large amounts of cash on his farm and the crimes committed under the previous administration, the public is owed quick and clear answers on whether he kept foreign currency in contravention of Reserve Bank regulations, and whether tax has been paid on sales from his farm. There cannot be one law for the rich and well-connected, and another for the rest of us.

While the disgraceful scenes in Parliament yesterday are to be condemned in the strongest of terms, they illustrate how transparently and openly leaders of Government need to behave if they are to avoid opportunistic attacks on their leadership which damage the country and its image in the world.

This statement is issued by the Office of Archbishop Thabo Makgoba, with his approval but in his absence on sabbatical. The statement can be attributed to his office. Neither the Archbishop, nor Bishop Stephen Diseko, the Dean of the Province, who stands in for him when he is away, are available for interviews.
-- 

Wednesday, 25 May 2022

A Message from Archbishop Thabo on flooding in KwaZulu-Natal

The latest news on more heavy rain in KwaZulu-Natal, six weeks after hundreds died in disastrous flooding, is traumatising. Please continue to pray for the people of the province, support leaders in all sectors who have stepped in to help, and do whatever you can to give practical or monetary help to help alleviate the plight of the survivors, either through our ACSA disaster fund or otherwise.

The following is a prayer for the people of the province:

Lord Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Redeemer, as we recall your Ascension, 

May those affected by death and destruction in KwaZulu-Natal feel your presence as you walk alongside them in their grief and suffering;

Protect them from the effects of the devastation of the flooding;

Minimise the effects of climate change in their communities;

And help them as they seek your mercy amidst the shock they have experienced;

For your name's sake, Amen

Monday, 23 May 2022

Archbishop issues Ascension Day prayer for peace in Africa, Europe & the Middle East

Archbishop Thabo Makgoba has urged people to pray for peace on Ascension Day, and has issued a special prayer for parishes and Dioceses to use.

Preaching at a memorial service for the Revd Siyabulela Gidi, who died suddenly in Cape Town recently, he appealed to everyone "to give peace a chance wherever we are and in whatever we do."

He added: "In our communities, in our country and the world let us end the resurgence of conflict and war. As we look towards the Ascension, let us continue to pray for the people of Ukraine and Russia, for those in South Sudan, Mali and Ethiopia, for those in Yemen, Palestine and Israel, that social justice and the peace that flows from justice will prevail."

He published the following Ascension Day prayer today:

Loving God,

Your Son Jesus Christ has ascended in glory

and called many to witness of his resurrection:

Guide us and make us new that we may work for peace and unity in the world; 

For you live and reign in the unity of the blessed Trinity 

One God, now and forever,

Amen



Sermon for the Memorial Service for the Revd Siyabulela Gidi

 Sermon for the Memorial Service for the REVD SIYABULELA GIDI

St Mary Magdalene Parish – Gugulethu

The Most Revd Thabo Makgoba

Archbishop of Cape Town

22nd May 2022

Readings: Romans 8:31-39, Psalm 23; Luke 14: 15 - 23

May I speak in the name of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit – God who is our comforter and friend and whom Revd Siyabulela so faithfully loved and served. Amen

Dear sisters and brothers in Christ; dear Bishop Josh, dear Mrs Gidi (Khayakazi) and your children, Okuhle, Oluvo, Chulumanco and Nmivuyo, your brother Zolani, dear Cirha and Tolo families and friends, dear colleagues and guests from near and far:

It is heart-rending that we are here today to offer condolences to you all, and to pay tribute to the Revd Siyabulela Gidi, a husband, a father, a grandfather, an uncle, a son, a colleague, a friend and a faithful priest in the Church of God.

When I received the news of his passing, I was distressed and moved. Distressed because like you, I always find it difficult to accept the loss of a loved one. Moved because I remember the prominent role that Father Siyabulela played in church and society alike – in the dioceses of Grahamstown, Natal and here in Cape Town.

As we say farewell, and give thanks to God for his life and witness, be comforted by these words from St Paul: “May the God of peace himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do this” (2 Thess. 5:38-23-24). Indeed we know that Fr Siyabulela has not been separated from the love of God – if these words are true for anyone, they are most certainly true for him.

But despite those comforting words the scriptures offer us, our hearts are heavy today. We struggle to comprehend that we shall not hear his voice, nor his humour again, nor shall we find ourselves enveloped in his huge embrace – an embrace of love that went far wider than the reach of his arms and touched the most marginalised and needy in our communities. I have been deeply touched by the accounts of his encounters with hundreds of people, as reflected in the past week through the testimonies we have heard. Since his ASF days, he has played such an important role in the lives and livelihoods of many, many people across the Province. Thank you MaMtolo, Dlangamandla for being his support system throughout his ministry.

Colleagues, we are here today to bring to God our grief, even as we give thanks for the life of our dear Fr Siya, and commend him to the everlasting care of God, who is the Resurrection and the Life. We have come to hear God's comforting words to us, for in Jesus God has tasted death and yet lives, and because he lives he has opened the gates of glory to all who believe.

We know that the Reverend Gidi now enjoys the fullness of abundant life (John 10:10). Just as Jesus wept at the grave of his dear friend Lazarus, though knowing he would rise, he understands our tears even as we believe. Dear friends, in him we find a safe place to bring our weeping as we mourn the loss of a dear husband, a father, a colleague and friend.

From his early years, when his love for God was expressed in his devotion to the ASF and youth ministry, Fr Siyabulela served the Church tirelessly. As a young cleric arriving in the Diocese of Grahamstown in 1995, he immersed himself in pastoral work and community activities as a field worker at Kei Road and later King Williamstown and Stutterheim. This period saw the growth of churching communities in the Church of the Holy Name (Cumakala).  

During those years the Church saw the depth of his ministry and he was soon appointed to lead God’s people in various ways. His leadership roles were too many to list here, but they included service in the dioceses of Grahamstown, Natal and Cape Town, in the Western Cape Council of Churches and the Kwa-Zulu Natal Council of Churches, as well as an appointment as Public Policy Officer during Archbishop Emeritus  Njongo’s time.

However, this brief outline does not fully convey the fullness of this remarkable priest, husband, father, brother and friend. St Paul, in the Letter to the Romans (8:31-39), gives a review of the course of a Christian life which is lived in a realm beyond the grasp and power of the law, demonstrating that if God be in our destiny nothing else matters, since he gave his own Son to die on our behalf. 

Sisters and brothers, as we celebrate the well-lived life of this faithful servant of God, may we all grow in conviction that God’s love poured out through the obedience of Jesus on the Cross is such that there can be no condemnation of those who live in Christ Jesus. The supremacy of Christ over all the Church’s foes is a guarantee that God takes care of our every need.

We thank you, Mrs Gidi, and we thank Mchenge, Dlangamandla, for sharing your husband and father with us. He became a brother to us and a father to many, and we are especially grateful that when he was called to serve the Church he willingly accepted God's call, wherever and in whatever way it came. In our Province and beyond, you willingly supported his ministry.

In Luke’s Gospel (14:14-23), Jesus mentions the blessings enjoyed by those who would share at the heavenly banquet. Key here is whether one has accepted the heavenly invitation. The idea that departed friends shall rise to glory is one that fills us with joy, and one which gives us hope in Jesus Christ. Just as the resurrection of all who died in him depends on him, so too will the resurrection of Revd Siyabulela. God’s overflowing love reaches out unconditionally to everyone, as our Gospel reading told us. It flowed unrestricted through Fr Siyabulela as well. He displayed that love exceptionally to his family, to those he cared for and to the community through his selfless life. Conscious of the needs of the poor and marginalised, his love also fuelled his unstinting involvement in the struggle for the liberation of the soul.

Dear brothers and sisters, as we remember Fr Siyabulela today, I appeal to all to resolve to give peace a chance wherever we are and in whatever we do. In our communities, in our country and the world let us end the resurgence of conflict and war. As we look towards the Ascension, let us continue to pray for the people of Ukraine and Russia, for those in South Sudan, Mali and Ethiopia, for those in Yemen, Palestine and Israel, that social justice and the peace that flows from justice will prevail. We should remember Siyabulela by advocating for peace and social justice, and we should divert the millions that are used for buying ammunition for war towards caring for the needy and poor as Fr Siya did during his lifetime.

As I end, let us call to mind the words of St Paul to Timothy – words that are just as apt for Fr Siyabulela today. For me they sum up his life: “I have fought the good fight, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award on that day – and not only to me, but to all who have longed for his appearing” (2 Timothy 4:7-8).

Well done, good and faithful servant, may you rest in peace and rise in glory!

God bless the Gidi and Sigenu families and friends. God bless all gathered here today. God bless this Diocese, the Province and our nation - our beloved South Africa.

Amen.


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.