Thursday, June 07, 2012

June 2012 - Family, Parish and Diocese

Dear Friends


As you are probably already aware, Dawn and I became proud grandparents on Thursday 24 May 2012! Little Rebecca-Lee was scheduled to arrive via Caesarean the following Monday, but demonstrated she will not be dictated to, and arrived a few days earlier to prove her point!! She is a beautiful child, and we were privileged to fly down and spend some time with our son, Nathan, and his fiancĂ©, Megan, after the birth. Rebecca-Lee arrived at just over 3kg’s, and is settling in well to life outside the womb! She is the first grandchild on both sides, so is likely to be somewhat spoiled in her early years by us all. I saw a most vibrant-pink plastic motor-bike in a shop around the corner from the hospital, but Dawn suggested she should at least be allowed to crawl before we bought it for her!


This year marks our 31st Birthday, which we celebrated last Sunday along with World Environment Day, and a wonderful tea after the services. It is amazing to think that we have been around as long as we have in this part of Pretoria. I am thankful for the cosmopolitan nature of our growing community, and the beauty of being the representative new South African community that we are. Our membership is continuing to grow resulting in an increased Sunday attendance, and the extra space we created with the extension of our Church a few years ago is now filled and often overflowing at the 9am service. We are going to need to find ways to expand our space, a difficult question as there appears to be little that we can do to further expand our present building. I am also aware, especially in Winter, of our two Teen groups that sit outside for their discussions during the sermon, and the need to create some indoor space for them, too. This is, of course, a good problem to have!


The relationship between the Cathedral and the Diocesan Leadership is still not resolved. We continue to seek a way forward, which as you are probably aware included a decision a few weeks ago to close the Cathedral. This led to a court interdict to reopen the Cathedral, that services should not be disrupted, and that clergy sent by the Bishop to take services should be respected, and that a process of mediation should be committed to within 30 days. Bishop Jo has requested the Archbishop of Cape Town to intervene, and a process is now being initiated under Canon 21.3. Of additional concern are the allegations of theft being spread via the media against Bishop Jo, as one of these actually relates to provision Diocesan Trustees have made for his retirement. The audited accounts for the Diocese over the last few years, including 2011, do not demonstrate any irregularities in this regard. Many of the media reports in recent weeks are based on aspects of the truth, but are often one-sided and sensational, rarely presenting the Diocese’s perspective. While I am profoundly a supporter of the freedom of the press, I am increasingly coming to understand the Government’s issues with the manner in which the press often exercises this right. Please continue to pray for all parties involved, that we may find a space together where restorative justice may prevail, and that healing may truly be experienced.

(Grandfather) Mark

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