St Monnica’s and the worldwide church
Dear Saints, Every Sunday when we recite the Nicene Creed, we confess that “we believe in one holy catholic and apostolic church”. St Monnica’s church doesn’t just aspire to be a community of Christ’s disciples in Midrand, but we know we are part of the Anglican Communion all over the world and of the worldwide communion of churches from various denominations.
The worldwide communion of churches is organised in the World Council of Churches, a fellowship of 350 member churches who together represent more than half a billion Christians around the world.
The Anglican Church of Southern Africa of which St Monnica’s parish is part, is one of these members churches. These member churches meet every 7 years or so in an Assembly, held on a different continent. I had the privilege to attend the 6th Assembly on behalf of our church in 1983 in Vancouver Canada. That’s where I met Rob, who was attending on behalf of the Reformed Church in the Netherlands and who later became my partner.
One of the affiliated worldwide bodies of the World Council of Churches is the Young Women’s Christian Association.
The YWCA Council meets every 4 years on a different continent and this year their conference is held in Africa, hosted in Johannesburg. The conference started on Sunday with opening worship and is planned to close tomorrow. I was happy when I was invited to support the worship team of the conference as a so called “local expert”. It enables me to share some of the liturgical aspects that are specific to the Anglican tradition in South Africa to the 400 plus attendants of the conference from all over the world and from all kinds of Christian denominations. And I am grateful that our organist Clement Asedina can add a bit of flair from the way we worship at St Monnica’s.
The challenges women and particularly young women are facing worldwide are not unique to South Africa and it is heartening to see how at this conference so many young women Christians from across the world and the various churches are inspired by the Good News of Christ to tackle these challenges. It gives hope also to our parish of St Monnica’s in Midrand that we are not alone in our endeavour to become a loving, vibrant, holistically growing community of Christ’s disciples, building an empowering and sustainable Christian church, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
This Sunday is the last Sunday of the Church calendar and we celebrate that Christ is King, not only of the world, but of the universe.
It is also the last Sunday that Revd Allie Josseph is with us, as he is going to continue his ministry as a full-time Assistant Priest at St Michael’s Anglican Church in Bryanston. Fr Allie was ordained to the priesthood in the Roman Catholic Church and has been worshiping with us at St Monnica’s for the past few years. We are grateful that our parish could facilitate that he could be licensed in the Anglican Church and that he can now continue his full-time ministry in our Diocese. We will miss his jesting yet profound homilies.
Yours in Christ as always,