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Congregational

Chronicle
Newsletter Date: April 2015

UCCSA SAYS #NOXENOPHOBIA

Inside this issue:

2
UCCSA says
#Notoxenopho
bia
SACC message

UCCSA @ 50

Executive Com 4

A prophetic
response

News Brief

67

OBLIGATIONS 8
OF
CHURCH

The reflection from our Newsletter of this past month is an invitation to join
in the struggle for peace. God is calling us to confront the twisted animal nature that rules in us. To all Africans who are eager to respond to the current Xenophobic outbreaks. I AM AFRICA is a movement by ordinary Africans to break the silence against Xenophobia and to initiate real action for
people affected. The I AM AFRICA posters are available on Facebook page or
can be emailed to you. Email info@africapeace.co.za.The goal is for these
posters to be in every shop, office, school and places of worship as well as on
every street light and bus stop.
UCCSA Communications Officers
Mr Mthobisi Wellington Sibanda

Congregational Chronicle

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The SACC Update on the Xenophobic Challenges in


South Africa .April 23, 2015
The South African Council of Churches is, shocked, appalled and alarmed by
the horrific acts of xenophobic violence that have gripped South Africa, lately
beginning in Durban and spreading to Gauteng Province! We condemn this
violence in strongest possible terms. We are disappointed at ourselves as
churches that are found in every corner of our country, that we were caught
unawares by these sad developments.
We understand that there are many underlying social and economic reasons
for the apparent resentment of non-nationals in some of the poor communidriven by the ties, but none of these could remotely justify these inhuman acts of violence.
Even so, the factors behind this need investigation and effective attention.
gospel of Jesus On our part and Christian communities, we commit to an abiding campaign
Christ who was of community dialogues and the quest for reconciliation and healing. In this
regard we join the People's March in Johannesburg on Thursday April 23, to,
a baby-refugee
together with civil society and government representatives, register our abwith his
horrence for this and be a prayerful presence in the midst of the massive
public anger. We ask for supportive prayers and cooperative actions.
parents in
The SACC is

Africa;

The SACC is driven by the gospel of Jesus Christ who was a baby-refugee
with his parents in Africa; and it is compelled by biblical concern and care
for those considered as foreigners or strangers. In this context Jesus says:
Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for
the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to
eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and
you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I
was sick and in prison and you did not look after me. (Mathew 25: 41 43)
The SACC condemns this dastardly treatment of fellow human beings, and
seeks to collaborate with other faith organisations, civil society organisations, all tiers of government, and with business organisations, for immediate, medium term and long term solutions to these pressing challenges of
our country, and to ensure that all migrants who live in South Africa live
safely and can freely participate in the economy and social life.
Bishop Malusi Mpumlwana, SACC Acting General Secretary

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Congregational Chronicle

UCCSA 50th Anniversary Celebrations


The UCCSA is turning 50 years in 2017. This provides us an opportunity to Remember, Renew and Rejoice! We thus have to dream of the future of our church. That includes: We need
to make this major highlight of our milestone. This is an opportunity to
reflect, renew and dream as a church on the future of our congregational family.
Commissions for now

Fundraising Committee

Organising Committee Logistic and Budget

Information and Publicity.


Activities now
The Communications Unit will start designing a Road Map from the 1967-2017 in conjuction
the with the members of the UCCSA and will be Inviting people to write stories or journal on
accomplishments of Celebrations for the last 50 years. UCCSA Leadership will embark on
Road shows and publicity and marketing of the UCCSA brand . They will be a call for Mass
Choir festivities and celebrations .The Central office will also Invite people to suggest themes
for celebrations and we intend to have a strong Media and Marketing Campaign .

Executive Committee Member,


38th UCCSA ASSEMBLY 2015
Greetings and the blessings to you on this week
in which we await the outpouring of the Holy
Spirit!
DATES AND VENUE
The 38th Assembly of the United Congregational Church of Southern Africa will be held from
Wednesday 19th to Tuesday 25th August 2015, at Windhoek High School, Namibia.
The pre-assembly Executive meeting will commence on Wednesday 19th August 2015. The Assembly itself will commence on Thursday 20th August 2015 and will conclude with the
closing service at 19h00 on Tuesday 25th August 2015.
ASSEMBLY AGENDA/REPORTS
Items for the agenda of the Assembly and Reports to the Assembly should reach the Office
of the Secretariat not later than 26th June 2015. Items not submitted in writing will not
be placed on the agenda of the Assembly.
Your co-operation in these matters will be appreciated.
Yours in Christ
Rev. Alistair Arends
General Secretary

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From Gods Silence to Gods word: A prophetic response to xenophobic waves in South Africa:

Introduction
The article seeks to attempt a hypothetical questions what is God saying when things are like
this? Is God silent or ignoring the situation? As a human being yes God is silent, but as theologians, I think someone is challenged to discern the voice of God.
What is being said: Those attacking the foreigners
are accusing them of taking their jobs.
The Migrating for Work Research Consortium
(MiWORC), an organisation that examines migration
and its impact on the South African labour market in
2012 found that 82 percent of the working population
aged between 15 and 64 were non-migrants, 14 percent were domestic migrants who had moved between provinces in the past five years and just four
percent could be classed as international migrants.
With an official working population of 33,017,579
people, this means that around 1, 2-million of them
were international migrants.A racial breakdown of the
statistics reveals that 79 percent of international migrants were African, 17 percent were white and
around three percent were Indian or Asian.
From Gods silence to Gods word!
The section and the article assume that there is/was a time when God was or will be silent is
our lives as if to suggest divine deafness. I would speak of divine restraint instead. The reading
of the book of Lamentation and Isaiah 40-55 suggest that God other voices to speak till they
have said all they want or can say. He doesnt interrupt, comfort, correct, explain or excuse.
The prophetic question the articles brings is: those who want to hear Gods word on the situation where should they put ear? Definitely not in the affluent suburbs there in not attack there,
no service delivery protest, only the interest of Empire is there
1. His voice is heard in the auditorium of the slum, emijodolo. Why, it is for the struggling African to identify them with struggling South African, unfortunately, they only have a handful,
guarded jealously. The survival skill says dont share
Secondly, the liberation movements have failed to transform the exodus theology to the across
the river Jordan theology. Where burning tyres is no longer the methodology, but dialogue and
tolerance
As the UCCSA we need to redefine our public engagement and prophetic theology to reflect that
it is victim-centred. Not all Zimbabweans, Mozambicans, Somalis are the vicims, but those who
hunted by the brutality of the regime in Zimbabwe, political instability in Mozambique, those
who can not defend themselves from the Boko Haram and Al Shabbab. Whose dignity, equality
of all humans and the image of God is easy to take away. These are the black poor Africans .
Rev Sindiso Jele

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A missional
community
listens to and
understands
the stories of
their
neighbors in
order to be
able to tell
the Gospel
Story in ways
that are Good
News to
those specific
people.

Extract from UCCSA Statement on Afrophobia/Xenophobia


The United Congregational Church of Southern Africa condemns in the
strongest terms possible, the recent attacks on black non- South Africans. As
a church which ministers in five countries in Southern Africa, we feel the
pain of our brothers and sisters to whom we are related, in the deaths and
displacement of their relatives in a country which they admired for the
miracle in 1994. We believe in the Christ promise of fullness of life for all,
the all has no distinctions or qualifications it means all of Gods creation!
While welcoming the governments response to debate the issue in parliament this week, condemnatory statements by the ANC, COSATU and the
SACP, we regret that the response is too little and too late: When the first
attacks occurred in Johannesburg in 2008, the then President, Thabo Mbeki
asserted that we must continue to manage the reality of unfulfilled expectations. Seven years later the issues for those who live in abject poverty still
remain. Greg Nicholson has named them and we echo his view they are
job creation, skills development, hunger, service delivery, corruption, widespread poverty while a minority remains obscenely rich.
In places of such social deprivation, here in South Africa, as in other parts of
the world, the scapegoating of the other in our midst becomes the easy
way out, even if the other is not responsible for our misery. In South Africa
such scapegoating has found expression in extreme Afrophobia, the killing
and displacement of the stranger in our midst. Most people in Government,
who were in exile in North Atlantic countries will have been at the receiving
end of such racial discrimination, as the graffiti in the UK shouted out loud:
Wogs go home! Could we not have brought the learning from that experience home with us? And when we first saw the signs in 2008 could we not
have acted more swiftly in the knowledge that competition for limited resources (jobs, housing, a decent meal) leads to such displaced victimisation?
Racism is still alive and kicking in the so-called rainbow nation and the
storm still rages! Given the systemic nature of racism and the ideology of
superiority which underpins and sustains it, both during Apartheid and
now, it feeds a pecking order, hierarchies between different ethnic groups
in South Africa with the Tsonga,Venda and Shangaan at the bottom of the
ladder. But then came people from North of the Limpopo and Zambezi, and
irrational though it may be, the poor and marginalised in South Africa are
not too eager to share the land of milk and honey with them, especially if it
is already, for them , in short supply! So a lower rank of the ladder is quickly
introduced.
So the Presidents statement that these are our brothers and sisters who
provided shelter and assistance for us in exile will be cold comfort for the
poor who were not in exile, suffered under Apartheid and thought it will be
a better life for all post 1994, but by and large it has not been for them; only for a fortunate few.
So, a peace bus from Gauteng to KZN to provide solidarity to the more than
2000 displaced from their homes is a laudable gesture of support especially
with basic necessities through Gift of the Givers. But for Government and
Church alike, the questions remain: Why did the need to flee from their
homes in an area of abject poverty? We cannot every time only pick up the
pieces. It is time to consistently and urgently address the root causes which
feed this Afrophobia. We Express our deepest sympathy and sense of shame
to the families of those who died in this irrational violence

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News Brief
The Synod Secretary Rev Ndlazi and the Central Region Chairperson
Rev Hess with the IMB Central region IMB members leading a march
to deliver the General Seceretary Rev Alistair Arends statement about
the church's non tolerance to Xenophobia/ Afrophobia. We would like
say a big thank you to the leadership, the President Mrs Mpho Mooketsi for reaching out and providing food parcels that were received by
the ward councillor together with the UCCSA statement.

Common Leadership
The meeting
was very
convivial and
hopeful, and a
lot of
groundwork
was done.

The Officers of the Denomination Rev Phillip Strydom (UCCSA President),Rev Alistair Arends (UCCSA General Secretary),Rev Mosweu
Simane(UCCSA President Elect and Mrs Florince Norris(UCCSA
Tresurer) visited the UCCSA Zimbabwe Synod Conference. During that
time they met with Synod leadership, retired ministers and took part in
the activities of the Synod. It is hoped that through this visits a sense of
oneness, support and common vision for the Church will be achieved.
Part of the Executive members that were there were The Acting Mission
Council Rev Kudzani Ndebele, Botswana Mission Secretary Rev Mpatho
and UCCSA Communications Officer Mr Mthobisi Sibanda

The CWM Team Participants to the UCCSA


The CWM Team, composed of six members, visited the United
Congregational Church of South Africa (UCCSA) from 5 to 18
April. They went to the UCCSA local congregations in Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia and South Africa. From
Left-Right

Rev Andrew Scott

Moon Kim Joeong

Angela Martins

Uva Rova
Rev Christopher Vijiyan

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#GenerationNext Breakfast fellowship


GenerationNext Breakfast fellowship with Rev
Marco Antonio (Executive Secretary -Africa Office
Global Ministries) ,UCCSA Communications Offiicer
Mr Wellington Mthobisi Sibanda and Mfanafuthi
Shezi (Past SA Synod Youth Convenor)and UCCSA
Caretaker Mr Thomas Mmolo
This was after an Official Visit to the UCCSA Central
Office where he met the UCCSA Leadership.Rev.
Marco Cable is the new Executive for the Africa Office. It was his first official visit to the Member
churches in Africa

UCCSA Synods are kindly invited to send nominations to the UCCSA General Secretary for the
positions of President-elect and Treasure ,Assembly Training for Ministry Chairperson and Mission Council Convenors so that they can be published in the Next Newsletter. The Synods are
invited to send a picture of the person they are nominating with a brief motivation of no more
than two paragraphs. Please note that we will be publishing the profiles of the candidates for
Treasurer and President-Elect in the next newsletter if we have them before 31 July 2015

CWM Face to Face Programme


To apply for this Programme, you must be a student preparing for
ministry and must not be already ordained

Interested applicants may contact the General Secretary of


the Denomination Church or the Principal of the Theological
College. Application forms may also be downloaded from
the CWM website at: www.cwmission.org. You may also contact
Sudipta Singh, Programme Secretary for Empowerment and Training at (email): empowerment@cwmission.org. Duly completed application must be submitted via email at the above-mentioned email
address or at hard copy to this address:
Deadline of application is on 15 July 2015.

Business Tagline or Motto

Rev Alistair Arends


The General Secretary
Email:gensec@uccsa.co.za
Rev Kudzani Ndebele
Media Liason Officer
Mr Wellington Mthobisi
Sibanda
Communications Officer
Email: wellosacha@yahoo.com
Tel: +27 11 837 9997
Fax: +27 11 837 2570
Email: tellus.uccsa@gmail.com
Website: www.uccsa.co.za

OBLIGATIONS OF CHURCH MEMBERS


The main obligation is to bear in mind that the church was founded, not
by humans, but by Christ. Christ is the head of the church, its life and its
authority. From this fact originates the church members duties.
To join in worship regularly
Members should make a point of being at services, with heart and mind
prepared. The goodness of God greatness of Gods mercy in Jesus Christ
call for our praise. As we worship, we receive new strength and vision,
and at the same time contribute to the spiritual strength of the Church.
To share in the work of the Church
One cannot expect to obtain the benefit of Christian fellowship if you
leave all the work to others. The Church has many and varied activities.
There is enough to do for everyone to offer their gift, develop skills and
experience the joy of service.
To join in governing the Church
Congregationalist sees the running of the affairs of the church as part of
their worship. The Church meeting is its governing body, under Christ; it
is our duty and privilege to take part.
To support the Church financially
Consecrated giving is part of discipleship. The Church cannot fulfil its mission without financial resources.
To create a pattern of private devotion
If we are to receive what the Church fellowship has to offer, we must
first be prepared to give to it by deepening our own spiritual lives. We
should learn to live in Gods presence by having a daily quiet time of prayer and reflection, of studying the Bible systematically and receptively until
it becomes the Word of God to us.
To attend the celebration of Holy Communion
This is the feast of those who love the Lord, not of those who are worthy
of his love. in it we celebrate the gift of Christs sacrifice made once and
for all. It is also the meeting-place where we renew communion with him,
at his invitation.
To assist in creating a loving spirit in the Church
The Church is a body of people who have responded to Gods call in
Christ. In fellowship with them we learn the kindness, patient, thoughtfulness and courtesy, which we owe to all people
To maintain our Church membership when we move to a new region
The local church is part of the UCCSA. We must link up with it wherever
we go
To value our Congregational heritage
We accept the unity of all who believe in Jesus Christ, Lord and Saviour,
while also regarding our Congregational tradition as a unique and vital
part of the church Universal. We are thankful for a heritage, which gives
us so many opportunities to serve. The UCCSA is part of a great company consisting of sister churches throughout the world all linked together
by the council for World.