TO ALL IN THE UPCSA (RSA)
The South African Council of Churches (SACC) continues to respond to the challenges that are brought about by the spread of COVID-19 and the measurers put in place t o fight against the spread. The SACC would like to be in contact with all the ministers, in a missional endeavour to reach out to all ministers and communities. They are requesting contact details of all the ministers. In compliance with the imperatives of the protection of personal information, we would not do that. Instead, we encourage those ministers who would like their details to reach the SACC to respond to the addresses provided in the message below. When you do so, please copy us at firstname.lastname@example.org. In addition to that, we will forward the contacts of the Moderators and Clerks of Presbyteries, who may coordinate with our ministers in the respective Presbyteries. Please read the message that follows and respond, as your circumstance may permit.
Dear leaders, may I use this platform to recap on things we would appreciate responses to.
- The SACC WhatsApp platform for daily COVID information updates to our churches will go live this week. For this to serve your church we need to receive each congregation’s WhatsApp administrator’s contact registered to receive on behalf of the congregation. Kindly assist and have these reach Luthando on *email@example.com*.
- We request churches to share with the SACC office the list and location of their ministers. This enables a better and faster coordination of pastoral attention to specific areas. For example, to know the 20 ministers of different churches who are serving in the vicinity of a mine in Rustenburg enables a more collective focus on the specific situation of miners clocking for work and going underground with no COVID protective equipment. Their monitoring would enable the SACC National Coordination chaired by the General Secretary to engage the Minerals Council (Chamber of Mines) or the Government Dept. of Minerals to address this immediately to protect lives. Such information helps us to know who are ministering in Alexandra in Johannesburg, Phoenix in Durban or Philippi in Cape Town, so that on these more difficult areas of ministry there can be a more targeted approach. The information must be sent to Luthando on *firstname.lastname@example.org*. However, if the churches are not comfortable sharing that information with the SACC, we shall understand and accept; but we do need to know as time is of the essence. Then we shall not to expect to work in that way.
- We are considering securing minimal protective gear for ministers of member churches who are conducting funerals and don’t have the means to access sanitizers and masks. Knowing where the clergy with such needs are located at the time of need will be helpful. We do not promise that we shall be able to supply these, we are in search and when we get them, may place them at district church points for access by all who need them. This is another reason why it is helpful to know where the ministers are.
- We continue to urge local churches with your help dear leaders, to reach out to each other and to all churches in their neighbourhoods to form Local Ecumenical Action Networks (LEANs), for community pastoral care. These need to have a Family Support Unit with trusted mothers to receive cases of domestic abuse and other manifestations of stress on the home. The dedicated SACC website www.coronachurch.org.za has guidelines on forming the LEAN, plus other resources and information. Once a LEAN is formed it should be registered through the same email email@example.com so that it can be given appropriate attention.
We would very much appreciate a conversation on these at our weekly meeting at 14:00 today.
Under the Risen Christ,
Let us work together to fight against the spread of COVID-19.
Rev Lungile Mpetsheni
Uniting Presbyterian Church in Southern Africa P O Box 12355 Aston Manor 1630
Tel : + 27 11 727-3500
“I am doing a great work and cannot go down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and go down to you?” (Nehemiah 6:3)