This is a "Memory Pin" designed by members of the United Congregational Church of Southern Africa (UCCSA) and they were made by a group of HIV-infected women who are "living positively" with AIDS. The UCCSA hopes that by wearing this pin, it will break the silence about how AIDS is affecting us all.Read more
Supply' verses 'demand': a dilemma facing the kwaZulu-Natal Region of the UCCSA. Here, too many churches lack the resources to support full-time ministerial leadership and the 'demand' for ministers is low despite a high demand for Christ's word. As a consequence, ministerial leadership is in short 'supply.' In response to this dilemma, the Regional leadership has initiated an ambitious program to make every church viable and for every church to be served. For almost ten years, Bethel Congregational Church has been unable to support and thus call a minister. The UCCSA prays that by 'supplying' me to Bethel, the faith community will in time strengthen and grow and thus support its own minister. With my assistance, evangelism and outreach can now be initiated and the future of the church assured. Bethel seeks to be relevant to the needs of the community, both in worship and service. I thank God for this faith community and its willingness to look ahead. I pray I am worthy to serve such beautiful, strong, and faithful people.Read more
Rev. Adora Iris Lee
Global Ministries’ missionary serving in southern Africa.
READ: James 2:14-18
As I journey with our partners in southern Africa to mount a Christian response to the HIV/AIDS pandemic, these words compel me to ask myself, and others: Are we ‘showing our faith by what we do’ in the fight to stop the spread of HIV and AIDS? Is our faith influencing our individual works? Is our faith made real by our collective witness? Are we doing all we can to prevent HIV and AIDS? Are we doing what we must to support those who suffer from AIDS? Are we showing our faith by what we do to fight HIV/AIDS at home and abroad?
Although I would love to report that I have changed the economic status of those I serve, alleviated poverty, and wiped out racism, I can't. Such a monumental task is impossible and any claim to such changes would be narcissistic. I have grown to understand my role as a missionary at Inanda Seminary as serving the one. I am merely a vessel of relationship, support, and presence to represent the United Church of Christ and our oneness in the body of Jesus Christ. My primary role is to provide spiritual leadership to the school and individual pastoral care and counseling for the students and staff. Much of my ministry is focused on the individual staff member or student that needs a listening ear. One particular student stands out for me this year. She and her mother have the bleakest story of incest and sexual abuse. God has opened a door in their lives for healing and recovery. To be present and serving the one is a reminder that when one suffers in the body of Christ, all suffer. This is the example that Jesus gave. His ministry focused on healing individuals, one at a time. Jesus never eliminated poverty, disease, or racism; he served the one.Read more
Hundreds of elderly wait outside in long lines for hours to collect their pension money each month. Regardless of the weather, hot summer African sun or cold damp winter rains, the grannies begin to assemble at 5:00 in the morning to wait for the Department of Social Welfare to issue their monthly pension. The students at Inanda Seminary decided that they would like to respond with love to these pensioners. The students distribute juice and cookies to ease the frustration of aches and pains as they wait in the line for half the day. The response has been tremendous. The elderly express gratitude for love and kindness that they have been remembered and cared for. The students realize that they get more from giving than from getting. The elements might not be bread and wine, but the symbolism remains the same. In the distribution and receiving of the juice and cookies, it is a reminder of Christ’s love poured out for each of us regardless of age, color, orientation, gender, or economic level. As love abounds, relationships develop, and we are united as the body. We are all members of the same body (I Corinthians 12:12-26).Read more
"A Pilgrimage of Reconciliation and Hope": to think and engage, to challenge and discuss, to inquire and experience. Thirty-three people have gathered at Lancaster Theological Seminary in Lancaster, PA to travel to Southern Africa to quarrel with questions that strike at the heart of our lifestyles as individuals and as communities.Read more