Sunday, September 22, 2013

Methodist Church in South Africa (MCSA)

Highlighting the MCSA:
Vernon van Wyk regularly posts updates on the Methodist Order of Deacons Facebook page, with news of Methodist Church of South Africa (MCSA) as well as issues of interest to the wider church. It has been interesting to read his updates from the MCSA Conference held in Mthatha in the last week.

Rev Elize Goddess (2nd left), Rev Ray Goddess & Deacon Vernon van Wyk
For instance, the Conference heard a report from the Child Care Desk which included this statement:

The Child Care Desk affirms the Methodist heritage to care for the poor by encouraging the people called Methodist to serve children and youth who are vulnerable and at risk due to displacement, and high unemployment.
War threats, poverty, disease, HIV/AIDS and deprivation continue to destroy many children’s livelihoods and future.
The collective family of Methodists, through their efforts are committed as they serve the structures established at district levels to attend to children who are vulnerable and at risk.
MCSA Districts are working hard towards becoming a compliant church and body of Jesus Christ fulfilling Gods intended mission for all children.
The Desk wants to ensure that “No Child is not Known”

Yesterday, the world news reported that South African police had lied about events in the "Marikana Massacre' last year, with the mass shooting of striking miners at Marikana last year, according to a commission of inquiry set up by President Zuma to investigate the killing of 34 miners at a mine run by the platinum giant Lonmin in August 2012. The report accuses police of falsifying and hiding documents, as well as giving false accounts of events. The accusations are bound to increase anger among miners. Last week they held a protest in Pretoria over the government’s refusal to pay legal fees for those giving evidence.

In response to the first anniversary of the 'Marikana Massacre', the MCSA Presiding Bishop Ziphozihle Siwa issued this statement:

"As we pause to reflect on the anniversary of the Marikana Massacre, we should take a moment to pray for the still grieving families and together mobilize resources in cash and kind to ease their plight.  To sympathise verbally is not enough. Our actions should include supporting the call for funding their legal representation at the Farlam Commission. Failure to represent workers and victims of the massacre at the commission would be a travesty of justice.

The Methodist Church pleads with all the mine workers and community members in Marikana, irrespective of union or political affiliation to work towards peace and stability as the on-going senseless killings are worsening an already intractable situation. We pray that the first commemoration of the Marikana tragedy on 16 August 2013 will be a solemn occasion devoid of political overtones and that both the mining authorities and Government will do everything within their power to ensure that the commemorative events are treated with the dignity they deserve.

May God guide us to find a just and sustainable solution to one of the darkest periods of our nation. God's heart bleeds when his people are treated unjustly and we implore the various stakeholders to heed the pain of God and His people. Our humanity is at stake". 

The ministry context for the MCSA is very complex. Please hold the MCSA diaconal ministers in your prayers, as well as the diverse work of the MCSA.

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