Greetings Fellow Workers
As we pass the one-year mark of our lockdown days, it’s interesting to reflect on these words to the Thessalonians. It is true that Paul’s separation context was persecution and not pandemic driven, nevertheless, we can learn some helpful applications from his words.
Firstly, we can identify with his Spirit rooted desire to be with his fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Even with the communication advantages of technology we can all agree that there is no substitute for physical contact. In this time of separation, we have seen some concerning out workings of ‘long COVID’ at a spiritual and psychological level. Its important for us to keep prayerfully fighting despondency and working at meeting and encouraging each other – within the allowances of the changing regulations.
Secondly, we can learn from how much Paul treasures his fellow believers. They are his ‘joy and crown’ in his hope of glory. This reminds us that the real treasures of Heaven are people not things. A perspective even Christians too easily forget. Do we look at lost people as potential Kingdom treasure? Do we delight in relationships with our fellow believers as family who will share in the glory that is to come? Let us work hard and gathering and treasuring Kingdom gems even in these difficult days.
We continue to participate in government submissions lobbying for responsible regulations pertaining to religious gatherings. At this stage the allowance of 250 or 50% capacity still stands, with 500 the outdoor maximum. We are expecting a review and will update our churches. Please continue to be responsible in observing COVID regulations.
REACH-SA has been monitoring a government proposal to revise current marriage laws. This draft bill is driven by a desire to consolidate variant marriage legislation into a single Marriage Act. While we understand the need to update some outdated clauses, we do have serious concerns about implications that could affect our freedom of conscience. We have been granted an extension to submit these concerns to the parliamentary committee.
This FORSA update will give you more information.
Bishop Martin Morrison
After nearly 28 years as Area Bishop and Rector of Christ Church Midrand, Martin Morrison has chosen to step down and focus on other critical projects and ministries. Although he will not be completely retired, we do realize that a significant chapter of REACH-SA history has come to an end. Martin has been used by God to establish countless ministries, outreach projects, church plants, NGO’s and schools. He has pioneered many Kingdom ventures across our borders and has an extensive record of ministry accomplishments. We praise God for the phenomenal Kingdom driven energy of our Bishop and trust that the Lord will give Martin and his wife Jean a good time of rest during their sabbatical as well as renewed energy to tackle the next chapter of their ministry lives.
Presiding Bishop’s Relief Fund
We have been so humbled by the willing contributions of God’s people to the Relief Fund. During the most difficult months of lockdown we were able to distribute almost R1m to our churches. We will continue to keep the Relief Fund open for more contributions to assist churches in need.
If you or your church would like to contribute, please send to:
Name: Church of England in South Africa
Ref: PB Relief Fund
- We are planning for our September Synod and Clergy Retreat but continue to monitor COVID patterns and regulations. Please pray for our leadership to have wisdom and insight as they work out plans for this national gathering.
- Pray for us as our regions continue to discuss various structural changes and transformational plans that will help us grow all the more into a fellowship of Churches that reflects equity within the diversity of God’s family as well as compassion for the lost as we partner together to reach all people in our nation for Christ.
- Pray for our continued international relationships through GAFCON and particularly our Anglican partnerships throughout Africa.
- Pray for the Anglican Church of Sydney as they gather next month to elect a new Archbishop.
- Pray for the newly established Anglican Network in Europe, headed up by Bishop Andy Lines. Ask the Lord for gospel unity and growth in a very challenging environment.
Mayibuye iAfrika kuJesu
The Presiding Bishop has been busy visiting the various regional leadership meetings as well as fulfilling several preaching engagements around the country.
COVID Vaccine Registration
The government has invited health care workers and people over 60 to enroll for their COVID vaccine. Please follow the link to register.
The Word at Work
A teaching resource page is now available with growing content for all our REACH family and beyond. This will contain contributions by clergy and teachers from our REACH churches and Bible college.
The Word@Work Youtube Channel
REACHing the Fields
You can also follow our REACH-SA page to see Presiding Bishop interviews, teaching and other denominational updates and prayers.
REACHing the Fields page
All over the country small groups are working together to study the GWC Explore Correspondence Course. Here (pic) a group from Gqeberha (formerly Port Elizabeth), led by Denise Symes, is meeting to study Explore together. There are many similar study groups meeting around the country.
Why not sign up today?