News

23Aug 2018

                   Fltr Rev Dinah j Tuwei, Rev Lydia Jebet Tanui and Rev Philisters Tuwei Keter

 

Our sister church in Kenya, the RCEA (Reformed Church of East Africa) made an historical decision during their 54th synod meeting, namely to include women in the ministry of the Word and sacraments.

The following first women to be ordained were Rev. Philisters Tuwei Keter who was ordained on 29 July at RCEA Cheptiret Parish, Eldoret, Rev. Lydia Jebet Tanui who was ordained on 12 August at RCEA Kipsinende Parish, Eldoret and Rev Dinah J Tuwei who was ordained on last Sunday, also at RCEA Kipsinende Parish, Eldoret.

The RCEA was established in 1944 when the DRC of South Africa started to do missionary work in Eldoret, Kenya.

The RCEA became independent in 1963 and currently has more than 200 congregations and 30,000 members. It also has more than 110,000 followers.

We still maintain good relations with the church there, and through NetACT (http://netact.christians.co.za/) we also have close contact with their theological school in Eldoret.

The RCEA is also a member of the World Community of Reformed Churches.

Contact their General Secretary, Rev. Jonah Lagat at jlagat2014@gmail.com for more information.

20Aug 2018

BACK, flrtr: Danny Fourie (CLF), Brian Kamwendo (CCAP Nkhoma Synod, Malawi), Kovilan Moodley (RCA, SA), Alberto Daniels (IERA, Angola), Jonah Lagat ((RCEA, Kenya), Kobus Odendaal (Witness Ministry, DRC Western Cape Synod and URCSA Cape Region Synod), Charles Juro (RCZ, Zimbabwe), Gustav Claassen (DRC, SA), Charmaine Stofberg (CLF). CENTRE, fltr: Arnau van Wyngaard (SRC, Swaziland), Nico Mostert (NetACT), Gabriel Marata (IRM: Novo Synod, Mozambique), Andries Hoffman (DRCA, SA), Nelson Posholi (LECSA, Lesotho), Mariëtte Odendaal (Communications Consultant), Berlise Louwrens (CLF), FRONT, fltr: Gideon van der Watt (Partners in Witness, DRC Free State Synod), Johanna van Wyngaard, William Zulu (RCZ, Zambia), Masilo Pooyane (DRCB, Botswana), Miguel Nobre (IRM, Mphatso Synod, Mozambique), Desireé Brown (URCSA, SA) and Kingstar Chipata (CCAP, Harare Synod, Zimbabwe)

 

“It was indeed a blessed moment to have a conference of that magnitude. I was blessed in particular, to understand prosperity gospel and public theology among other pressing societal needs.” Rev. Jonah Lagat, General Secretary of the (RCEA) Reformed Church of East Africa in Kenya.

“This might appear small in your eyes, but be assured that you are investing treasures in us which no one will take away from us. What we gathered in the last meeting is just super as it empowered us as scribes in our respective denominations across its region … May the good God richly bless you and keep you safe all the time as you continue investing in leadership in the church in Africa.”  Dr. William Zulu (RCZ, Zambia)

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If you sit around a table with representatives of all our Reformed sister churches in Africa and reflect about being church in Africa, you can not help to be amazed: at the head of the table sit two newly-found friends – the general secretary of the Lesotho Evangelical Church in Southern Africa, Rev. Nelson Posholi and Dr. William Zulu, the general secretary of the Reformed Church in Zambia – respectively descendants of Moshoeshoe and Shaka, who were still archenemies in the 19th century during the infamous Difaqane (time or troubles); now developing a close friendship. Right across me sits the general secretary of Angola’s Igreja Evangélica Reformada de Angola, Alberto Daniels – someone who was as recently as thirty years ago still from a hostile country.

So what has happened in the meantime?

The Reformed Family Forum (RFF) was established in 2015 as a result of the need for liaison between our sister churches in Africa and to celebrate and strengthen our shared family history, confession tradition and identity on our continent. This forum should not only serve as a network but, above all, provide a platform where this church family can brainstorm and reflect on what the current role and challenges of the church of Christ in Africa are.

This year we met at the beautiful Lumko Institute’s Retreat and Conference Center in Benoni from 3 to 5 August.

The RFF (http://rff.christians.co.za/) currently consists of the general secretaries of a family of Reformed churches in South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique, Malawi, Kenya, Angola and Nigeria. Partnership representatives of Witness Ministry (URCSA Cape Region Synod and DRC Western Cape Synod), Partners in Witness (DRC Free State Synod), NetACT (http://netact.christians.co.za/) and CLF (Christian Literature Fund: https://www.clf.co.za/) are also part of this forum.

During the first session the members were introduced to each other and briefly shared what work, projects and challenges they have to deal with in their respective ministries. Countries such as Angola and Mozambique still struggle to eradicate post-war consequences of the destruction of infrastructure, poor schooling, and so forth. Most of them struggle with corruption and poverty, like us here in South Africa, while others are struggling with the impoverishment of the gospel as prosperity theology.

This year there were a lot of firsts: It was the very first time that URCSA appointed a general secretary, and what is more, she is a woman! Me. Desiree Brown, formerly employed in banking, was welcomed with great enthusiasm. Her expertise and valuable contributions were received with great appreciation during the meeting. “It made me realize that the Gospel of Christ still has the penetrating power to speak to our people as it did 2 000 years ago,” her Facebook entry reads afterwards.

It was also the first time our sister church in Angola could attend the meeting, as well as their general secretary, Alberto Daniels – it was also his first visit to South Africa. He was deeply touched to see that there was already a chapter of their church published in the book, A Family of Reformed Churches in Africa. The fact that there are other Reformed sister churches in neighbouring countries is comforting and encouraging, especially for the churches who are suffering in their own countries.

It was also the first time that the Lesotho Evangelical Church in Southern Africa was invited to be a new member in the circle. Rev. Nelson Posholi was immediately requested to assist Dr. William Zulu and me. Desireé Brown to set up a guideline document for the general secretaries’ job description. This diligent team took up their task very seriously and helped (with the input of the rest of the group) to compile a meaningful document that will be of great help to general secretaries in future.

The value of the Christian Literature Fund Partnership was explained by their marketer Berlise Louwrens and editor Danny Fourie during the launch of a wealth of pamphlets, books and sermon guides; all valuable tools that discuss relevant themes in various languages ​​in an attractive way. Their manager, Charmaine Stofberg, was also present.

It was also of great importance that Rev. Nico Mostert from Bloemfontein, who represented NetACT, was present. NetACT is a partner that forms a network of theological schools, of which all these RFF churches are members. They do not only contribute to the promotion of pastoral education, but NetACT also offers these members the opportunity to help develop a church theology from and for Africa. Books like “Men in the pulpit. Women in the Pew?” and the award-winning “Living with Dignity” has been developed and published by NetACT.

The rest of the weekend was devoted to reflect on topics such as how to be a missional church, how to understand public theology and public witness, what role the church should play in this and how to understand and handle prosperity theology – concepts that were for most of our group still vague and unclear, but which were well discussed with the input of experts and researchers and tested and highlighted by the Word of the Lord.

The kaleidoscope of the quality of input from the diverse backgrounds of these members has just made us realize how rich our Reformed Church is with its more than 8 million members in Africa and how important it is to discuss our challenges from our different contexts with each other. May the RFF always helps to guide in such a way, that the world can see we belong to Christ.

Mariëtte Odendaal
Communication

04Jun 2018

The outgoing General Secretary (photo), Rev Libias, Boloma, sends us the names of the new office bearers that were elected at their recent Synod Meeting:

Synod Moderator – Rev Aston Galanti

Vice Synod Moderator – Rev Alexander Malemelo

General Secretary – Rev Kingstar Chipata

Deputy General Secretary – Rev Jaredi Mwale

Synod Actuary – Rev Mizeki Mndola

Committee Member – Mr Emmanuel Mavata

Committee Member – Mrs Loice Mbewe

Rev Boloma continues, “In this regard, we shall have an Induction Ceremony for the General Secretary on the 1st of July 2018 at CCAP City Church, at 10:00am.

“As before, we remind you that all official communication with CCAP Synod of Harare should be through the General Secretary using this same email address or his personal email address (kingstarchipata@yahoo.com).

“We continue to cherish the relationship between CCAP Synod of Harare and your organisation/institution.

“May the LORD bless us All.”

We thank God for your good leadership, Rev Libias Boloma. May God bless you.

17Jan 2018

Please take serious notice of the suffering of our brothers and sisters in the Benue State, Central Nigeria. “All Nigerian lives matter. There is no reason to kill in the name of cattle rearing or farming. We therefore call on all men and women of goodwill to stand with Benue State as we pave the way for peace and brotherliness with all Nigerians that wish to live and do business of any kind inside Benue State of Nigeria.” (Press Conference of MAFO, 15 January 2018) Continue reading

16Jan 2018
ZIMBABWE: Although we all know about the recent political leadership change in Zimbabwe, the circumstances at grassroot level are still very challenging. Rev Charles Juro, the General Secretary of our sister church, the RCZ (Reformed Church in Zimbabwe) sent as the following e-mail:

Continue reading

13Sep 2017

You are one of our Reformed Family in Africa’s seven million members and, like all the others, you are represented by your church’s General Secretary.

The General Secretaries of our Dutch Reformed Church family in Africa held their first RFF (Reformed Family Forum) meeting in 2015 and, since then, have come together once a year in one of the member-countries. Continue reading

11Sep 2017

Last year the general secretaries of 14 sister Reformed Churches in Southern Africa met for the first time to establish the DRC Reformed Family Forum. It was held in Lusaka, Zambia and it was indeed a historical meeting!

It was with great gratitude and joy that we rediscovered our family ties as sister churches and celebrated our shared history and Reformed identity. Continue reading