A Belated CelebrationJune 21, 2012
On July 2012, the iThafamasi Congregational Church welcomed the Reverend Thulani Ndlazi, Moderator of the KZN Region of the UCCSA, to ‘introduce’ the Rev Dr Scott Couper to the congregation.
The KZN Region appointed Scott to iThafamasi and its two outstations (eMbuyeni and eZimpondweni) over a year ago in April 2011. However, the death of Scott’s father and denominational gatherings in the USA only permitted him to begin in July 2011. So, a June 2012 ‘introduction’ was cause for a belated celebration. Thulani preached on fundamental facets of Christian leadership, that each should bring out the best in each other for the benefit of all.
Since July 2011, Scott and iThafamasi have ‘hit the ground running’. The church has overseen the renovations of the eMbuyeni outstation. The church has ‘resurrected’ a food pantry ministry whereby donated food is cooked in a shipping container next to the church and distributed to children at the local school nearby so that at least all have one healthy meal a day. Confirmation class has begun with enthusiastic young scholars learning the ‘ins and outs’ of Christianity and Congregationalism. Home visitations, such as one held last week at Elliot Mbata’s khaya, sometimes continue the entire night as a prayer vigils. Of course, funerals, tombstone dedications and coming of age ceremonies decorate the calendar.
Thulani is a product of African and North American church as he studied for the ministry in South Africa and the United States (Lancaster Theological Seminary). Scott also is a product of both continents having been educated in the USA (Chicago Theological Seminary) and South Africa. Both have served the UCCSA since they were ordained. More than colleagues, Scott and Thulani are friends who get together with their wives, Susan and Thelma, whenever their schedules’ permit.
Thulani reminded iThafamasi how fortunate they were to have the only minister in the KZN Region with a doctorate serving them. Thulani reminded Scott how fortunate he was to be placed with such beautiful people and in such a beautiful place. After several months of rewarding ministry at iThafamasi, Scott needed little reminding! Nonetheless, Scott felt blessed to share his ministry with a close friend and colleague. Both reminded each other of why they were called to the ordained ministry.
“Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!” - Psalm 133:1
Gracious God, thank you for those in North America who give to the ministry of Christ, so that they send others to serve on their behalf. Thank you for those in South Africa who also give to the ministry of Christ, so that they may host others from far away. Thank you for Christian leaders in both North America and Africa who serve together in common witness. Amen.
Love always in Christ,
Scott Couper serves with the United Congregational Church of Southern Africa (UCCSA) as a Development Manager of the Inanda Seminary. Susan serves with Inanda Seminary, Durban, South Africa as the chaplain.
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