Wednesday, December 12, 2007

RESPONSIBLE LEADERSHIP TO REVERSE GLOBAL WARMING AND ENSURE

RESPONSIBLE LEADERSHIP TO REVERSE GLOBAL WARMING AND ENSURE EQUITABLE DEVELOPMENT
A call from the All Africa Conference of Churches to the UN Climate Change Conference
COP 13 and CMP 3, Bali, Indonesia, 13-19 December 2007.

The All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC) is an ecumenical fellowship that represents more than 120 million Christians, with a membership of 169 national churches and regional Christian councils in 39 African countries. As a continental faith-based network, AACC speaks and stands for justice and the rights and survival of African communities, particularly the poor and the marginalised. The survival of African communities is threatened by the destructive consequences of climate change
attributed largely to industrial pollution of the atmosphere by the industrialized countries. The Fourth Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that climate change is happening now, and that it is man made with the consequences already being felt, particularly in the poorest and most vulnerable communities.
The current ecological crisis is primarily spiritual and ethical. As human beings we have failed to appreciate the intrinsic worth of ourselves, other humans, other species and future generations. We have failed to acknowledge the fact that the earth sustains life because of the harmonious balance of the elements and all the creatures within it. Our pursuit of happiness and high quality of life need not endanger other peoples, nations, communities, species and future generations that are also entitled to survival and happiness. Ecological sustenance can be assured only through the principle of being mindful of the welfare of others while we mind our own. Our survival is inextricably woven with that of others. In the long term, we cannot survive while others perish. Since the United Nations Conference on Environment (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1992, there has been much debate and many international deliberations on the global environmental crisis.

The Kyoto Protocol, one of the outcomes of these deliberations, has been signed and ratified by most nations. The current environmental crisis cannot be overcome through voluntary action, but through a legally binding commitment of all nations, particularly those responsible for the emissions which precipitated this crisis. The Kyoto Protocol was designed to ensure that all annex I (industrialised) countries would commit themselves to legally binding emissions reductions to 1990 levels. Since then, none of these countries have met this target, but have instead continued to increase their emissions, with the disastrous consequences which are now being experienced, particularly in Africa, Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP).

The AACC therefore calls upon all the industrialized countries to implement all provisions of the Kyoto Protocol as an initial step, and that after its expiry in 2012, that this is followed by new and higher commitments based on historic responsibility and development equity. The AACC calls for global responsible leadership – both in the North and in the South, in the support for a real and actual
reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, while at the same time preserving the right of all people to reach a dignified level of sustainable development. Governments of the industrialized nations must keep the promise that they made in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. The world is rapidly approaching the point of “dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.”

The AACC calls on the industrialized countries to urgently do the following:
Make binding commitments to support adaptation measures in the countries of Africa,
Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) in accordance with the targets agreed in the Kyoto Protocol, and establish frameworks and mechanisms to deliver sufficient and accessible adaptation funds and support, particularly to the most vulnerable populations. The funds and support for adaptation measures must be integrated within development processes in ACP, but must be in addition to, and separate from, current commitments on official development assistance (ODA).
Promote the role of the civil society in order to adequately respond to the global efforts to reverse the adverse consequences of climate change.
Support the efforts of the ACP countries to secure reliable and affordable energy necessary for poverty eradication in accordance with the Millennium Development Goals.
Support the innovation, contextualisation and development of technologies for industrial development in ACP, and give priority to the promotion of endogenous inventions and innovations.
Avail more financial resources for investment in energy efficiency and support new renewable energy options in developing countries, without proscribing conventional options or inhibiting the process of industrialization in the short term.
Ensure that bio-fuel production shall not be implemented at the expense of staple food production in developing countries.
The AACC calls upon the leaders of African countries to urgently do the following:

Make legislative and financial commitments to support adaptation measures at community, national and regional levels, whilst tapping into indigenous knowledge and practices and building upon existing adaptation efforts.
Promote the role of civil society in order to adequately respond to local efforts to reverse the adverse consequences of climate change – particularly at community levels.
Develop appropriate legislative measures and support local efforts to secure reliable and affordable energy necessary for poverty eradication in accordance with the Millennium Development Goals.
Define appropriate policy frameworks to support the innovation, contextualisation and
development of technologies for industrial development in their respective countries, giving priority to the promotion of endogenous inventions and innovations.
Mainstream investment in energy efficiency and support new renewable energy options in their respective countries without proscribing conventional options or inhibiting the process of industrialization in the short term.
Ensure that bio-fuel production shall not be implemented at the expense of staple food production in developing countries.
The following are some of the Provisions which a new Protocol should include:
 Protocol to be effective after ratification by a simple majority of the Parties to the UNFCCC.
Protocol to be mandatory on all UNFCCC Parties, irrespective of whether or not they ratify the Protocol. This is seen as important since they continue to contribute to global warming, even without having signed or ratified the Protocol.
Annex I countries to allocate Adaptation Funds and Mitigation Funds for contribution to Greenhouse Gas Emissions and historical emissions respectively, calculated on the basis of their respective proportional contribution to Greenhouse Gas Emissions at 1990 levels. These funds to be administered through bilateral protocols separate from Official Development Assistance (ODA) allocations.
Emphasis on local technological initiatives in response to the adverse consequences of humanrelated climate change, as confirmed by the Fourth Report of the IPCC (2007).
 Civil society organizations should be accorded a significant role in the mobilization of community initiatives to reverse global warming.
Regional Office: Togo: B.P. 2268, Lome, Telephone (000228) 21-59-24 Fax: 215266  Email: cetatogo@netcom.tg
AACC is a fellowship of 169 member Churches and Christian Councils in 39 African countries
La CETA est une communauté de 169 églises et conseils chrétiens dans 39 pays d’Afrique
PRESIDENT: The Rt. Rev. Dr. Nyansako-Ni-Nku GENERAL SECRETARY: Rev. Dr. H Mvume Dandala, GCOB KStJ

Monday, December 3, 2007

16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence


A Sermon by Dr Sipho Senabe, member of the Riverlea URC, yesterday reminded us again of the link between the prevalance and spread of HIV/AIDS and on the other hand gender-based violence. The 16 Days of Activism against Gender violence seeks to address this matter and need to be supported by the churches. Dr Senabe encouraged the church to become safe spaces for women, oppressed and violated by husbands, partners and boyfriends. We need to stand up against this scourge in our communities, but also in our homes, in our bedrooms, in the sanctity of our churches.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Climate change and the churches


At a conference, 28-29 Nov 2008 at University of the Western Cape on Climate change and the role of the churches, sponsored by Inter-church organization for development Co=operation (ICCO)the role of churches in the South were again affirmed. As local congregations, we need to revisit what we do in our maintenance, in our catechism, in our worship. Many of our congregations, in any case have vegetable gardens, in the backyard, we do ave enegry saving globes in our lights, etc. However, we can do more. Maybe its time for us to inform ourselves more. The UN convene a conference in Climate change, in Bali, Indonesia, 3-14 Dec 2007 and it would be crucial for us at the least to knwo what is discussed. More so, we need to tell the stories of how consumption patterns are impacting on our livelihood, we need to engage on the issue of land restitution, but also proper and optimal land usage. After all, this is one of the few gifts that we can give to our children, being handed down from generation to generation.

Friday, November 9, 2007

ASK vergadering/GSC Meeting


The Algemene Sinodale Kommissie (ASK) or General Synodical Commissio(GSC) met in Mamelodi, from 6-8 Nov 2007. Key issues were discussed and important decisions made, with regards to Unification, Belhar, the Ned Geref Kerk in Afrika, etc. In an article in a Afrikaans news paper today, Prof Kgatla articulated the GCS's position on Belhar, but it also gives insight into the spirit behind these decisions. Let's just highlight a few observations.

The GSC re-affirmed URCSA's position taken at the Esselenpark GSC meeting, that the Confession of Belhar should be part of the confessional basis of the new United (?) church.

With regards to the sensitive and difficult matter of the courtcases between some of our congregations and that of the Ned Geref Kerk in Afrika, where some of us have lost our properties, the Executive Committee were instructed to gather all the relevant information and data, old and new, that possible will shed light on the conversation between the URCSA and the Ned Geref Kerk in Afrika and approach the Human Rights Commission for more clarity on the way forward. GSC also decided to support our various congregations in their plight, which we understand to be the results of a heed to the call of the gospel.

On homosexuality, GSC affirmed the decisions of the General Synod of 2005, embracing gays and lesbians, but took a decision in line with the STvl namely that whilst the report of the Taskteam working on our policy is outstanding, the status qou remains namely that ministers should refrain from conducting such unions.

Another notable issues were the fact that many regions have already implemented the
Integrated Ministries model and that a new congregation, on the East Rand, the Reformed confessing community will possibly be integrated in our region. Praise God !

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Unification and reconciliation ?

Recently, we were invited to the meeting of the NG Kerk Hoëveld Synod, of last week. We were invited to come for the opening and could stay until tea. This invitation were welcomed and a few from the women, Moderamen as well as leaders of our youthministry attended. We appreciate this invitation and courteously, we will remain committed to open relationships to fellow brothers and sisters. The question however remains: does this bring us closer to unification, or to reconciliation ? At a deeper level we need to revisit our conversation on this question. How do we embody in a real way, the reconciliation and healing that our country and the world (still)need.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Belhar Celebrations in Stellenbosch


The Beyers Naudé Centre for Public Theology
and
The Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa, Cape Regional Synod
cordially invite you to
the twenty first anniversary of
the official acceptance of the Belhar confession.

On 26 September 2007 it was twenty one years since the official acceptance of the Belhar Confession in the Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa and 6 October 2007 marked twenty five years since this church accepted the concept of the confession.

We are hosting a panel discussion in order to celebrate this occasion and to reflect on the meaning of the confession for today.
The panel will be chaired by Rev. Llewellyn MacMaster.

The participants are Prof. Allan Boesak, Prof. Dirkie Smit, Rev. Simon Konzapi,
Me Elize Julius and Mr Sipho Mahokoto.

Date: 23 October 2007
Time: 18:00 – 20:00
Place: Attie van Wyk Auditorium
Faculty of Theology
171 Dorp street, Stellenbosch

Guests may be seated from 17:30.

RSVP before 12:00 on Monday 22 October 2007
anlene@sun.ac.za

Enquiries:
Anlené Taljaard
021 808 3250

Monday, October 15, 2007

General Synodical Commission Meeting

06 October 2007
The Scribes of Regional Synods and Commissions
Dear Brothers/ Sisters
General Synodical Commission meeting
The following is important information regarding the GSC meeting. We are kindly requesting you to speedily share the relevant information with the delegation of your synod or the responsible person in your ministry.
The date of the GSC is 06 – 08 November 2007 and the meeting will be held at the Mamelodi Dienssentrum in Pretoria..
Details of the route and a map to this conference centre will be available on request.. The meeting will commence at 10 am. The conference centre will provide bedding so there is no need to provide your own bedding. However you should bring your own towel and toiletries. The cost of the meals and accommodation will be carried by the General Synod.
Regional Synods should please make arrangements to carry the traveling cost of their delegations. Regional Synods are reminded that their delegation should also include a church council member. These church council members have been appointed at the last General Synod in 2005. For those delegates traveling by air, a shuttle service will be arranged. Please contact Erika in the office with your flight details if you need the shuttle service.
With regards to ministries, one person is allowed to attend per commission to present the report of the commission. The General Synod will be responsible for the travelling and accomodation cost for these delegates.
Reports of synods and ministries should reach the scribe’s office in electronic format by the 20th of October 2007.
God’s richest blessings on the work of your synod or ministry. We are looking forward to see you at the GSC meeting.
Yours in Christ
Rev Collin Goeiman (Scribe General Synod)

Monday, October 1, 2007

Jackie Selebi and Adv Vusi Pikoli

What does the church say about this new brewing saga?
For one, we would like to hear the comment from our members on this story. What we however must condemn, is the indications of power play, at the expense of the citizenry. In the face of violent crime in our communities, how is it possible for our leaders to play power games ?

Monday, September 24, 2007

Decisions, decisions, decisions...

The following decisions were taken at our most recent (24 Sept 2007) Synodical meeting. These are not the minutes of the meeting, but serve as a guideline for congregations and presbyteries

* that the Acta will be published by the Commission for Administation as soon as
possible;
* There will be a Fund-raising service for the Office.. SAVE OUR OFFICE-PROJECT (SOO)
on 28 Oct 2007 in Potch/Tlokwe.
* More congregations will be encouraged to pay their levies of R 150 per month through a stop order.
* We will together with the CWM explore the possibility of e camp for the ministry couples of our region next year...
* The new Integrated Ministries model forms will be forwarded to the Presbyteries and more workshops will be organized to discuss it and to implement it in our region. We are committed to the IM model.
* We will revisit our representations of women and youth at our meetings-25 % of our meetings on Church council, Presbytery and Synodical level should be women and 25 % youth.

The official minutes of the meeting will be forthcoming.

New name for our Regional Synod ?

The meeting of the Regional Synod in June 2007 decided that its time for us to have a new name. Of course, name change is never easy and we need to consult broadly as it is an emotional affair, but also costly, in terms of bank accounts, properties, etc. The last three months a task team consisting of the chairpersons of the CWM, CYM, MBB a member delegated by the Moderamen look at various options and names. Today, 24 Sept 2007, the Synodical Commission met at Kagiso and decided that these three (3) names be forwarded to our various Presbyteries. They have to discuss these and give feedback ASAP as to which name is most appropriate. The possible names are:
Makopanong
Kopanong
Gauteng-South
We would like to hear your comments

SYNODICAL COMMISSION MEETING 24 SEPT 2007

We will keep posting, the key developments and decisions taken at the meeting today.... keep coming back.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Synodical Commission meeting

24-25 September at Kagiso.
Synodical Commission meeting.
We will look at the outstanding reports from the Regional Synod and we need to take urgent decisions on matters of Administration, Name change and General Synod. The question of unification within the 'NG Kerk fam' will be of paramount importance

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Church order and regulations

We are in the process of revisiting our Regulations. You van send us your comments on possible changes and suggestions on mistakes. The document you can find here

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Integrated Ministry Workshop

The Integrated Ministries Workshop is planned for 18 August 2007.
Venue: NG Kerk in Potch.
Directions: coming in from Joburg, you turn Right at the third (3rd) traffic light
then turn Left at the first (1st) traffic light. The church is in front
of you or call Rev Dr Paul Ntshumayelo 0828232201
Presenter: Dr Dawid Kuyler (Assessor Freestate) He's been instrumental in facilitating the process in the Freestate Synod and developed Ring Forms that goes along with it.
Rev J De Wet (Chair of Service and Witness task team, General Synod). Their Ring/Presbytery has implemented the IM Model since 2000.
Time: 09h00- 15h00
For more information call Rev Dr Paul Ntsumayelo 0828232201

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Upcoming events- keep up please !

The Moderamen of Southern Tvl (for now)had a meeting and the following processes are put in place. Please diarize:
Pastoral letter will be out by next week. We will also post it here on our blog, modsouth
Acta will be dispached to congregations first week of August 07. It wil also be here as a pdf on modsouth.
Our monthly newsletter will start at the end of July 07 and it will also be here on modsouth.
Workshop on Integrated Ministries 18 August 2007 ( somewhere in Potch/Tlkowe)
for all executives and ministries. R 50 for meals and documentation.
Strategic planning workshop: 14-15 Sept 2007
Synodical Commission meeting: 24-25 Sept 2007
Next moderamen meeting 03 August 2007 at 14h30 at Kagiso church office.
So please keep these in mind and be there.

Keep in prayer our moderator and his family as they are currently facing a personal crisis due to a car accident. We pray for you Rev David Malete and your family.

Rom 8: 31
'If God is for us ; who can be against us ?' NIV

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Meeting

Meeting of Moderamen on Thursday, 12 July 2007 from 9am onwards

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Welcome to the information online channel of Moderamen South

This is the place where we will post some information from the Moderamen of the Southern Tvl Synod. So, lets keep the lines of communication open.