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Bishop Joshua Louw’s Column – Nov 2023

Dear Friends 

Greetings to you as we look forward to celebrating the feast of Christ the King on the 26th of November. Yes, signaling the end of our liturgical year ‘A’.  

Many of you have used the last few Sundays to focus on stewardship and rededication. My hope is that we would have discovered, in these teachings, that God is the great giver and all that we are and have, is through God’s love and grace for us. My hope is that we have and that we will recommit ourselves afresh to the triune God, his world and his church.  

I had an opportunity to preach and preside at the final gathering of our retired clergy, lay workers and their spouses on Wednesday, 8 November at the parish of St Thomas, Rondebosch. What a wonderful experience in fellowship and friendship. Allow me to thank Canon Erica Murray, who has been the chaplain to the retirees for many years, for her dedication and love. As we welcome Canon Dr Andrew Hunter as her successor, we are grateful for his willingness to serve. Thank you to all of you as you so willingly continue to serve God’s church even in your retirement. May we continue to drink from your fountains of wisdom.  

On Sunday, 29 October, you were all invited to join our children and youth care centres to give thanks to God for another year. As a diocese, we have been involved with this ministry for the past 160 years! Thank you to those who were present, though the numbers were few. We extended appreciation to the staff and the governing bodies of these centres for the excellent work that they are doing with these children on our behalf.  

Visiting these centres is always a pleasure. We have 4 Children and Youth Care Centres (St Georges Home for Girls, Leliebloem CYCC, St Michaels CYCC and Fikelela CYCC) under our care. One of the action steps that we undertook at the service was to ask people to make a commitment in using what God has given them to serve these children. Please check out their websites for more information.  

Some of us were part of the big march in solidarity with the people of Palestine, for a ceasefire and for the return of the land to the Palestinians. For this month alone more than 3000 Israelis and more than 11000 Palestinians, including women and children, have died. About 1500 children are reported missing. May we continue to pray for peace in the Near-East and for God’s justice to reign.  

As much as we look at international affairs, we are also called to care for things that affect our communities around us. The gangsterism and violence are affecting all our communities directly and indirectly and it is important that we are in solidarity with the communities worse affected. This was the motivation for the prayer walk in Manenberg on Sunday afternoon the 12th of October. Great appreciation to everyone who attended, it was great seeing you all in procession for a worthy call. Thanks to Reverends Ronald Muller, Glynis Rhodes and the parish of the Reconciliation, Manenberg, for organizing the march. The idea is that we continue to be a praying presence, so I have asked volunteers to contact me so that we can form a task team to look at future prayer walks.   

Please pray for Reverend Miseka Mapukata as she will be instituted as the next rector of St Peter’s, Hout Bay on Sunday 26 November at 3pm. You are more than welcome to attend.  

We hold the Elective Assembly in the diocese of False Bay in prayer as they prepare for the election of their next bishop on the 24th -25th November 2023.  

The candidates are: The Reverend Canon Dean Apples, The Venerable Lundi Joko, The Reverend Xola Mlandu, The Reverend Canon Stafford Moses and The Venerable Delmaine Petersen. Pray for them, their families and the diocese. 

We will be having our ordination service to the priesthood on Sunday 3rd December at 2.30pm at St. George’s Cathedral, Cape Town. Please pray for Reverend Grant Damoes, the retreat conductor and preacher, as well as the Reverends Zukile Dondolo and Jeremy Smith to be ordained.  

At this service we will also honour Mr. Claude Barron with the Diocesan Award and welcome Mrs. Lucille Henniker as a member of the Order of Simon of Cyrene. Please continue to pray for them and their families and support them with your attendance. 

Amidst all the challenges that life throws at us, God continues to be faithful, so let us try to do our best in our service to Him and each other. 

God bless! 

+Joshua  

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