Monday 21 August 2023

Ad Laos - To the People of God – August 2023

The text of Archbishop Thabo's August Ad Laos, published in the Cape Town diocesan newsletter, Good Hope:

When the taxi strike paralysed much of Cape Town this month, religious leaders joined forces to intervene both with city authorities and the taxi industry in order, as I said in St George's Cathedral on Women's Day, ”to give the people of the city a light and a path that will lead to a possible solution.” The relatively quick end to the immediate crisis a day later was encouraging, but we still have a long way to go before Cape Town's transport situation stabilizes. Our condolences go to the families of those who died in the violence which the strike prompted, and please continue to pray for a long-term solution to the situation.

Within the church in the Western Cape, we have suffered significant bereavements in recent months, with the deaths of the Revd Canon Karl Groepe, formerly Dean of Studies in the Diocese of Cape Town, the Revd Marcus Slingers of the Cathedral, and the Revd Canon John Suggit (at the age of 101). Our condolences go to the Groepe, Slingers and Suggit families. As the long life of John Suggit reminds us, we are a Eucharistic community, doing all “in remembrance of Him.” As I said at his funeral, people not familiar with a Eucharistic theology and spirituality were powerfully moved by John's conviction of the centrality of the Eucharist to our faith, and of the potential which this act of worship offers for the transformation of the world. (You can find the sermon on my blog>> )

Whether we are consoling the bereaved, comforting the suffering, or calling on the City of Cape Town and the taxi bosses in Santaco to “press the pause button” and explore peaceful alternatives to their impasse, we do all in remembrance of the Prince of Peace, who said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives” (John 14:27). At the centre of the Eucharist, or Thanksgiving, is an attitude of gratitude. We are grateful for the relative peace that pervades our country as a whole, in spite of all the hardships and inequality, and we pray for Niger and other countries in turmoil.

Pray also particularly for Eswatini and our sisters and brothers there as they prepare for elections in August and September, and then begin a National Dialogue on their future. Anglicans are expressing the wish that the country's Elections and Boundaries Commission will facilitate a free and fair election which, with the dialogue, will usher in a peaceful era for the nation. And in our neighbouring Anglican province of Central Africa, pray for the people of Zimbabwe as they too go to the polls.

The Church of the Holy Spirit, Kirstenhof, has recently dedicated their Life Centre. We are proud of them for this step forward. On that note, thanks to Bishops School for the recent musical they staged to raise funds for Eluvukweni Anglican Church in Crossroads. Please, parishioners of the Diocese of Cape Town, do help me and the parishioners of Crossroads to build a church and Early Childhood Development Centre to enable them to minister to and educate their community more effectively.

I ask for your prayers for next month's meetings of the Synod of Bishops and Provincial Standing Committee, during which bishops, clergy and lay representatives from our dioceses in Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia, St Helena and South Africa will gather virtually. You can see what will be discussed and decided upon by looking up the PSC Agenda on the provincial website >>

Finally, our warm congratulations to Bishop Eddie Daniels of the Diocese of Port Elizabeth on being named a Sub-Prelate of the Order of St John of Jerusalem, and to Canon Andrew Hunter, the former Dean of Grahamstown, who retired in Cape Town recently and who has now been named Dean Emeritus of the Diocese of Grahamstown.

God bless,

†† Thabo Cape Town

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