July 2012 Newsletter

From the desk of the CEO…

I am pleased that KZNCC is producing this bi-monthly news-letter sharing current ecumenical news. This newsletter will also announce and cordially invite you to forthcoming activities. In the upcoming newsletters we plan to create spaces for ecumenical sister organisations to share news-clips of happenings in local areas. I am delighted to draw your attention to the KZNCC's new web page where we will be uploading new information, www.kzncc.org.za . Both our new webpage and facebook are interactive and will give us opportunities to interact with you and receive your feedback on a regular basis. I end by sharing with you my favourite motivational quotation for the month.

“You are what your desire is. As your desire is, so is your will. As your will is, so is your deed. As your deed is, so is your destiny.” (Brihadaranvaka Upanishad).

Dr Douglas Dziva


 Good Day, San'bonani - Out There:

"You shall not stand by idle while your neighbour's blood is being shed." (Leviticus 19:16). Can we stand idle while a woman's blood is shed through rape and domestic violence? Can we stand idle when blood is shed in the streets of KZN through political and criminal violence? Can we stand idle when blood is shed in Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Sudan, Congo and Palestine? Can we stand idle when blood is shed by our children through abuse? 'Have we not all one Maker? Has not one God created us?" (Malachi 2.10) We affirm KwaZulu-Natal Christian Council for not standing idle.

Shalom Bishop Mike Vorster
Chairperson


Crisis of the South African Council of Churches (SACC)

A major crisis situation has arisen for the South African Council of Churches (SACC). This crisis results from the great difficulty of raising funding in the present economic climate. Though the SACC has played a crucial role for many years in the ecumenical struggle for justice, it has been in this crisis for the past few years. This financial crisis now finally led the SACC National Executive Committee to take a decision to restructure SACC partly by drastically reducing its staff by the 30th of July 2012.

Though this decision is being hotly contested by some staff, it is unlikely that the NEC will be able to reverse this decision. At KZNCC, our observation is that the reality is that there aren’t sufficient funds to carry out the retrenchment let alone continue the work of SACC.

It should also be noted, that the national church leaders have been brought together on a few occasions to begin working out how SACC could continue to play a meaningful role. We encourage the national leadership of the member churches and organisations to continue to pray for solutions as well as to take urgent steps to contribute solutions to this crisis and to shape the future.

In the midst of this SACC crisis KZNCC’s work is not affected as it has not received any program funding from SACC in the past 6 years. We pray that the Lord will guide us, and we ask for your prayers and support as we seek to build a strong ecumenical ministry.


Programmes

KZNCC facilitates the following programmes:

  • Churches' Provincial Advocacy Programme
  • Ecumenical Democracy Development Programme
  • KwaZulu-Natal Church AIDS Network (KZNCAN)
  • KZN Land Issues
  • Healing of Memories and Reconciliation

News

From the Wailing Wall to the Separation Wall – and Back: A presentation by Hidlegard Lenz

Former KZNCC staff member, Hildegard Lenz, made a presentation on 10 April on her experiences as a German Ecumenical Accompanier (EA) in Israel and Palestine. Her talk was very well-received, as she recounted her three month visit to Palestine at the end of 2011.

Hildegard profiled the sad circumstances that are unfolding in the country on a daily basis including military restrictions and prescriptions, intimidation, and systematic persecution of Palestinians by Israelis.

She described herself as being there as a human rights activist, peacekeeper and Christian. Her presentation formed part of her task as an EA – to expose the abuses that are taking place there. There was an undeniable alignment of the current situation in Palestine to that of apartheid South Africa. As such, she encouraged South Africa and its churches to become part of the international movement condemning the occupation of Palestine, in light of our own history.

Inter-Faith Symposium Paper: Presented at the second Inter-Faith Symposium of the KZN Legislature by Mogashudi Lucas Ngoetjana: 25 April 2012.

The title of the paper read by Dr Lucas Ngoetjana at the Symposium was National Unity in Diversity, "Supporting One Hundred Years of the Role Played by Religious Struggle Fighters Nationally and Provincially" . This paper maps the role of religion throughout colonial times and the struggle years of apartheid. It also highlights the effect of the different religions with regard to missionaries and, later, the ANC and the liberation movement.

This interesting exposé of both the positive and deeply negative outcomes of the missionary system, traced the religious movement through various upheavals, including providing a religious justification for apartheid, to look at present-day South Africa in terms of reconciliation of our religious diversity.

Especially during the 1980s, political groups, activists and your ordinary citizens banded together via religious institutions against a common enemy – apartheid. The paper urged South Africans to remember our history of suffering and hope within religious tradition, and to apply those in the present situation, which is in need of renewal. We need to unite under a universal God and to show mutual respect and appreciation for one another.

Ecumenical Outreach - Meetings With Members Of KZNCC

The CEO is presently meeting with the leaders of all KZNCC member churches and member organisations for a KZNCC revitalisation plan through ecumenical outreach and relationship-building processes.

In these one-on-one discussions, we share KZNCC's Strategic Review position, as well as exploring the many ways of collaboration or partnerships to strengthen the ecumenical movement. The results so far have been very positive and staff are extremely encouraged by the support from church leaders in the province, as well as from ecumenical organisations.

TAMCC Independence

Over the past 8 years KZNCC has been supporting and grooming TAMCC. This support was in the form of paying for office space, salaries and programme ideas. Over the past 5 years, TAMCC has grown and developed to such an extent that it decided to be an autonomous ecumenical organisation with its own offices, programmes and paying its own staff. The TAMCC officially became independent on 1 March 2012 and this was celebrated on 30 May by over 200 church delegates singing, eating and praising the Lord for the new status of their local ecumenical council.

TAMCC focuses on the following programmes:

  1. Economic empowerment for rural communities,
  2. Healing of Memories and reconciliation sessions for people affected through land issues,
  3. HIV/AIDS and Health issues for people in rural areas

They offer internships in collaboration with the Global Fund, USAID and the Office of the Premier.

Please contact Rev. Gugu Shelembe telephone - 036-6353128 or gugushelembe@gmail.com 

The KwaZulu-Natal Christian Council (KZNCC) is a fellowship of churches and church- based organisations in the KwaZulu-Natal province. The KZNCC was established in 1995, and is an autonomous organisation affiliated to the South African Council of Churches (SACC).

KZNCC VISION:

Inspired by our Christian faith the KZNCC, with its member churches and ecumenical organisations, strives to achieve social justice in KwaZulu-Natal.

KZNCC MISSION:

The KZNCC promotes fellowship, partnerships and networking amongst its member churches and organisations in order to stimulate reflection on social issues and joint action to promote justice, development and peace in KwaZulu-Natal.

WE VALUE...

  • An ecumenical and people- centred approach, driven by our Christian faith but respectful of, and willing to work with, people of all faiths
  • Love and compassion
  • Honesty, integrity and simplicity
  • Open and transparent communication
  • Greater participation of women, youth and disabled people

Good stewardship of the resources entrusted to us.

FORTHCOMING ATTRACTIONS

Pastoral Retreat

A need has been identified amongst Senior Clergy for a Pastoral Retreat where they can rest and reflect on their role in the church. KZNCC, in partnership with African Enterprise, has decided to offer such a retreat to Pastors. The retreat will take place from 2-4 October 2012, at African Enterprise and the programme has been developed in such a way that ample time for reflection and meditation is set aside. For further details please contact Rev Zipho Ntuli at 033-3454819 or zntuli@kzncc.org.za