16 September 2019
The Zimbabwe Heads of Christian Denominations (ZHOCD), which includes the Zimbabwe Council of Churches, writes this pastoral message to the Zimbabwean President as head of Government and to all the Citizens of Zimbabwe seeking a lasting solution to the deteriorating human security situation in the context of a deepening economic crisis.
From the Zimbabwe Council of Churches
We mourn the death of one of the remnants of the rare generation of Pan-African and Frontline States leaders. Robert Gabriel Mugabe will be remembered for the great achievements in his earlier period and also the many challenges under his watch in the latter part of his reign.Read more
The All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC) is deeply saddened by the seemingly intractable xenophobic attacks in some parts of South Africa against fellow African sisters and brothers. Electronic and print media have continued to publish videos of the sordid actions of some South African sisters and brothers brutalizing their own kind in the pretext of territorial protection and struggle against imaginative occupation. These have then caused reprisal attacks from other African countries such as Nigeria and Zambia. The AACC and well-meaning institutions are profoundly disturbed by these inhuman acts against innocent people created in the image and likeness of God. These heinous attacks are highly condemnable. The attacks jettison cultural and ideological philosophies of UBUNTU and UJAMAA. This culture of violence must be rejected by all with accompanying actions of entrenching a culture of hospitality.Read more
Lectionary Selection: Luke 14:1, 7-14
Prayers for Lesotho:
O God, we pray for Lesotho, a country that holds both spectacular beauty and stark challenges within its borders.
We are grateful for the magnificence of the mountains and the alluring austerity of the lowlands in mid-winter. We thank you for the richness and goodness of life lived, from the chaotic hustle and bustle of marketplaces to the isolation and solitude of expansive grazing lands. We are grateful for your presence in us and among us.
We pray for farmers who painstakingly wait months for rain to fall so that they can plant their crops. We pray for herd boys, as young as four years old, who spend days alone with their sheep on high, sunny, windswept mountain slopes. We pray for pregnant women who travel from remote villages to reside among strangers at hospitals for weeks before their babies are born. We pray for men who leave their loved ones for months at a time to labor in the dangerous mines of South Africa. We pray for laborers who make the heavy choice to leave their beloved homeplaces in order to seek better economic opportunities in lowland cities. We pray for those who have too many funerals to attend on the same Saturday, who must choose which loved-one’s burial they witness.
In this time of political unrest, we pray for government leaders, that there will be an end to warring party factions, instability, and corruption. We pray for wise and honest leadership that will direct Lesotho toward justice, prosperity, and peace.
We pray for the Lesotho Evangelical Church in Southern Africa (LECSA) as it seeks to live out God’s call to minister to the poor and marginalized. Give them vision as they prepare for their annual Pilgrimage of Peace and Justice in October. Guide them in developing new ways of communicating their Strategic Plan. Watch over those involved in the implementation of church projects from the completion of church halls and pastors houses to the delivery of furniture and toilets to schools that need them, to the improvement of spaces for waiting mothers at health institutions.
We pray for justice, that all people are invited to the table, that all are welcomed and honored.
One of the most intimate settings in which we’ve been able to connect with our Basotho neighbors has been at our weekly Prayer Circle meetings, Thapelong. Thapelong gatherings are encouraged denomination-wide in the Lesotho Evangelical Church of Southern Africa (LECSA) and are seen by many involved in church-life as a vital expression of their faith. The LECSA church that we attend in the capital city of Maseru is very large and has many Thapelong groups organized by neighborhood.Read more
The hard work has been completed and the day of new beginnings came June 29 when the Evangelical Presbyterian Theological Seminary held its graduation celebration on the Green Hills campus in Peki.Read more
Lectionary Selection: Luke 10:38-42
Prayers for Botswana:
You who are the Good Shepherd of your people, I pray for your people around the globe that they may experience your love and come to appreciate your abundance of peace and true justice. Oh Lord our Redeemer, this day I specifically pray for the people of Botswana and for our partners with Global Ministries.
I further pray, Oh Lord, that you will heal the people of this great nation and grant us peace and justice irrespective of race, ethnicity, or gender. Bestow upon us the recovery of right vision and foresight. Oh God, real solutions will only come as we the people of Botswana put our priorities in the right place and set our focus on you.
Therefore, may the Holy Spirit help us to be as Mary in our text who spent time in the presence of Jesus. Oh Lord, often we become so busy with our work and ministry that we neglect to spend quality time with you – the King of kings and the Lord of lords who, after all, is the very inspiration behind our service. Help us Holy Spirit to find the right balance between our work, ministry, and mission and not make excuses as to why we become easily distracted and as a result are troubled regarding many things!
Dear Lord, we humble ourselves before you and ask that you forgive us our transgressions and neglect of you. We ask O Lord, that the motives for everything we do be acceptable unto you, we pray in Jesus’ name, Amen!Read more
El que es enseñado en la palabra, haga partícipe de toda cosa buena al que lo instruye. Gálatas 6:6
Es una alegría servir en Zambia y enseñar en la Universidad de la Iglesia Unida de Zambia (IUZ). Algunos problemas crónicos me presentan retos: no hay conexión de internet confiable para las aulas, una biblioteca en necesidad, una copiadora antigua que no es confiable y un sistema de suministro de agua en descomposición; pero lo estamos logrando. Llegué el invierno pasado para enseñar historia de la iglesia, pero me reclutaron para enseñar historia de la iglesia africana, habilidades de investigación, teología y misionología. Mi esposa vino unos meses después para apoyar a la biblioteca de la universidad y ha encontrado otros desafíos en el laboratorio de computación y otras áreas.Read more
In mid-May I had the pleasure of traveling to Soweto, South Africa with members of Planning Commission of the Lesotho Evangelical Church in Southern Africa (LECSA) to assist with a Strategic Planning Workshop for church leaders and lay people in Gauteng Presbytery.Read more
One who is taught the word must share all good things with the one who teaches. Galatians 6:6
It is such a joy to be serving in Zambia and teaching for the United Church of Zambia (UCZ) University. I am challenged by some chronic problems - no reliable Wi-Fi for the classrooms, a needy library, one old copier that is not dependable, and a decaying water supply system - but we are succeeding. I arrived last winter to teach church history but have been drafted to teach African church history, research skills, theology, and missiology. My wife came a few months later to support the university library and has found other challenges in the computer lab and in the stacks.Read more