Last week our circuit hosted the 49th annual gathering of the Natal Coastal Synod. Some of the highlights were:
We were so proud of the fantastic job that our people did as hosts – thank you to everyone who catered, accommodated, organised, cleaned, fetched and carried and made it possible for the whole thing to come together. Our visitors were so impressed and Kym and I basked in the glory of all your efforts :) – well done!
We elected a number of new leaders at synods around the country and are especially excited that three female bishops were elected (previously, only one woman has ever been a bishop in our church). One of the three, our own Rev Purity Malinga, will take over the leadership of the whole denomination as Presiding Bishop next year when Rev Zipho Siwa retires. She was elected by an overwhelming majority and the synod venue in Darnall burst into celebratory song when the result was announced. Good news!
A three day meeting may not be your idea of a fun way to spend a weekend (not ours either, actually…) but in amongst all the administrative stuff, there were numbers of God-moments:
celebrating the ministry of Mrs Phewa, a nurse, who on retirement, volunteered years of her time to work very effectively with the church in HIV/AIDS ministry.
hearing and affirming the call of new ministers and deacons entering the ministry or preparing for ordination (and, by the way, from next year, Kym has been appointed to take on the responsibility of overseeing our synod’s ministers in training).
enjoying rich times of worship together and lots of laughter and good conversation over meals between people of all languages and cultures.
It is such a privilege to be part of this big church family!