From the Anglican Church of Southern Africa
The Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, the Most Revd. Thabo Cecil Makgoba, has issued a statement encouraging prayer and participation in the Anglicans Ablaze Conference to be held in Johannesburg in October this year.
In a letter issued to his Province, he says:
"I am greatly looking forward to the Anglicans Ablaze Conference, and am writing to encourage you to join me there! It will be a wonderful opportunity of enjoying, and building up, the common life we share together in Christ, within the Anglican Church of Southern Africa. We shall especially be celebrating and exploring more deeply the Provincial Vision and Mission Statement (enclosed), which we believe our Lord has drawn us to adopt through Provincial Synod in 2010. The Bishops of our Province join me in commending this gathering to you.
Our prayer is that the Conference will help us draw on the Vision in more concrete ways, so that God may transform us, and our own circumstances and contexts, as he desires. To help guide and inspire us, we have invited an impressive list of speakers from within ACSA, from elsewhere in our Continent, and from various corners of the globe.
The more of us who are there, the better the Conference will be! So I am taking this opportunity to invite all clergy and other leaders, key members of Provincial and Diocesan organisations, and especially our young people, to come – and when you come, bring a group with you! This is not just for ‘leadership’, this is for Everyone! This is a wonderful chance for each of us to come and let God’s Spirit breathe renewed life into us, so we can live out our baptism calling and confirmation promises of worship, witness and service with a new freshness and power, in a struggling and hurting world that desperately needs God’s transforming touch.
This is ACSA’s Conference, but most of all we want it to be God’s Conference, shaped by God in all its planning, as well as led by God in all that we do and share together in Bryanston. Therefore, whether you will be able to join us or not, I strongly urge you to pray regularly for it, and for everyone involved. Bishop Martin, who is the Liaison Bishop for Growing the Church (GtC) which is organising this conference on behalf of Anglicans Ablaze, has prepared this beautiful collect, both for church services, and our private prayers. Please do make use of it.
"Almighty God, consuming fire of love,
You have given us the vision to be:
- Anchored in the Love of Christ,
- Committed to Your mission, and
- Transformed by the Holy Spirit;
- To honour You in living worship,
- To embody and proclaim the Good News,
- And to grow communities of faith;
Set us ablaze with Your power and love,
To build up Your Church and serve You in the world
To Your praise and glory,
In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
GtC has coordinated resources focussing on the Vision and Mission, for use in a sermon series, and mid-week Bible studies in small groups. These can be downloaded from the website, www.anglicansablaze.org, in a format ready for printing at home, in the parish, or at any copy-shop. You can also order printed copies from GtC – details on the website, or phone 021 712 0408. I encourage all our clergy to find ways of using these studies in Parishes so everyone can get to know the Vision and Mission Statements, and be helped by them in the life of their own Diocese and Parish. The studies will be especially relevant in helping those coming to the Conference to prepare more fully, and to let their conference experience bear rich fruit on their return. The studies also encourage exploration and strengthening of links with diocesan and parish visions and priorities, for we believe that God has called us to a broad provincial vision which can complement, support, and work in synergy with, the great diversity of our vast Province. Please do use it.
We are encouraging GtC to deliver a first class conference at an affordable price. The financially challenged should not be excluded. GtC will therefore soon make available fund-raising letters which conference attendees can use, if appropriate, to encourage contributions towards the cost of the conference from family, friends and others. And if you can help sponsor a participant who might otherwise not be able to attend, such financial support would be gratefully appreciated.
We also ask those of you who live in and around Johannesburg please to consider whether you can help conference attendees with accommodation and/or transport. We would also welcome any help that organisations can give to visiting groups.
In summary, I am asking you please:
If you can offer practical or financial help, or if you want more information about the Conference, please contact the GtC office, info@anglicansablaze or 021 712 0408.
I look forward to seeing you in Bryanston in October. There are only 2000 places, so please book early!
Yours in the service of Christ,
+Thabo Cape Town"
The Anglicans Ablaze Conference will be taking place at the New Life Conference Centre in Bryanston, Johannesburg, 3 - 6 October 2012, and its theme is A Generation Rising Up.