Friday 22 March 2024

Ad Laos - To the People of God - March 2024

 As published in Good Hope, the newsletter of the Diocese of Cape Town:

As we approach Holy Week, let me start first by wishing each of you a blessed Easter! May we continue to be the Easter people of God as we bring to all the light and justice of Jesus, especially through serving those on the margins of society.

I write also following a meeting of the Diocesan Standing Committee, where we approved the 2024 budget for the Diocese. The post-Covid picture looks bleak, as the chair of the Diocesan Finance Committee reminded us. The majority of parishes are doing well but the few not doing well are dragging the common pot down so much that we need to take drastic action soon. DSC agreed to set up a body to look at all the pressure points, make us more responsive to the needs of our communities, and turn the situation around. This body will give its first report at the forthcoming Diocesan Synod, which meets from June 13-15th this year.

During this Lent, I continued reflecting in my blog upon various aspects of society through the lens of the week’s readings in the Lectionary. I continued the discipline of not just reflecting for a church audience but also of writing and sharing these thoughts in the wider public space and have enjoyed the feedback and engagement on them. This past week, I shared one on the role of non-governmental organisations. You can read my reflections on the NGO sector as we head towards elections here >>

At the latest meeting of the Synod of Bishops, the key point in a report we received from the Revd Jaques Pretorius, Executive Director of the Anglican Board of Education, was how we can partner with Early Childhood Development (ECD) initiatives by using parish properties to help open ECD centres. In this way, the church can become part of the solution in fixing our education system. (You can read the full statement of the Synod here >>)

At a recent meeting of the National Executive Committee of the South African Council of Churches, we took account of the general sense of anxiety being felt around the country stemming from the fact that the May 29 election will be one of the most contested in our history. (The NEC's statement can be found here >>) As I said at the meeting, we cannot remain blind to this situation. As a result we have appealed to all our member churches to join all other people of faith on Sunday May 5th to pray for a free and fair election. Please join these nation-wide prayers in your parish.

God bless.

††Thabo Cape Town

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