Family

Family
Our most recent family pic with only Andrew missing

Monday, July 30, 2012

Wesley and Human Trafficking


Today is the day that William Wilberforce is remembered in the Book of Common Prayer. The prayer is a very relevant one for us to use as we pray into and against human trafficking. John Wesley described the slave trade as  that execrable villainy which is the scandal of religion, of England, and of human nature (see his letter to William Wilberforce below) and surely his sentiments on 21st Century human trafficking would be the same. 
Collect of the Day: William Wilberforce and Anthony Ashley Cooper, Lord Shaftesbury, Prophetic Witnesses, 1833, 1885
Just and eternal God, we give you thanks for the stalwart faith and persistence of your servants William Wilberforce and Anthony Ashley Cooper, who, undeterred by opposition and failure, held fast to a vision of justice in which no child of yours might suffer in enforced servitude and misery. Grant that we, drawn by that same Gospel vision, may persevere in serving the common good and caring for those who have been cast down, that they may be raised up through Jesus Christ; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Letter from Wesley to William Wilberforce 

Dear Sir:
Unless the divine power has raised you us to be as Athanasius contra mundum, I see not how you can go through your glorious enterprise in opposing that execrable villainy which is the scandal of religion, of England, and of human nature. Unless God has raised you up for this very thing, you will be worn out by the opposition of men and devils. But if God be fore you, who can be against you? Are all of them together stronger than God? O be not weary of well doing! Go on, in the name of God and in the power of his might, till even American slavery (the vilest that ever saw the sun) shall vanish away before it.
Reading this morning a tract wrote by a poor African, I was particularly struck by that circumstance that a man who has a black skin, being wronged or outraged by a white man, can have no redress; it being a "law" in our colonies that the oath of a black against a white goes for nothing. What villainy is this?
That he who has guided you from youth up may continue to strengthen you in this and all things, is the prayer of, dear sir,
Your affectionate servant,
John Wesley

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Prayer for International Nelson Mandela Day


A Prayer for International Nelson Mandela Day

O Lord, who in a time of turmoil and confusion raised up your servant Nelson Mandela, and endowed him with wisdom, patience, and a reconciling temper, that he might lead South Africa into ways of stability and peace: Hear our prayer, and give us wise and faithful leaders, that through their ministry your people may be blessed and your will be done; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


The above prayer is my adaptation of the collect for the day (see below) from the Book of Common Prayer, which today remembers William White, the man who built the American Church to be independent, autonomous and democratic.


{Collect of the Day: William White, Bishop of Pennsylvania, 1836

O Lord, who in a time of turmoil and confusion raised up your servant William White, and endowed him with wisdom, patience, and a reconciling temper, that he might lead your Church into ways of stability and peace: Hear our prayer, and give us wise and faithful leaders, that through their ministry your people may be blessed and your will be done; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.



Sourced here }

Some ideas for Mandela Day


  67 ways to change the world (sourced here)

Think of others

1. Make a new friend. Get to know someone from a different cultural background. Only through mutual understanding can we rid our communities of intolerance and xenophobia.
2. Read to someone who can’t. Visit a local home for the blind and open up a new world for someone else.
3. Fix the potholes in your street or neighbourhood.
4. Help out at the local animal shelter. Dogs without homes still need a walk and a bit of love.
5. Find out from your local library if it has a story hour and offer to read during it.
6. Offer to take an elderly neighbour who can’t drive to do their shopping/chores.
7. Organise a litter cleanup day in your area.
8. Get a group of people to each knit a square and make a blanket for someone in need.
9. Volunteer at your police station or local faith-based organisation.
10. Donate your skills!
11. If you’re a builder, help build or improve someone’s home.
12. Help someone to get his/her business off the ground.
13. Build a website for someone who needs one, or for a cause you think needs the support.
14. Help someone get a job. Put together and print a CV for them, or help them with their interview skills.
15. If you’re a lawyer, do some pro bono work for a worthwhile cause or person.
16. Write to your area councillor about a problem in the area that requires attention, which you, in your personal capacity, are unable to attend to.
17. Sponsor a group of learners to go to the theatre/zoo.

Help out for good health

18. Get in touch with your local HIV organisations and find out how you can help.
19. Help out at your local hospice, as staff members often need as much support as the patients.
20. Many terminally ill people have no one to speak to. Take a little time to have a chat and bring some sunshine into their lives.
21. Talk to your friends and family about HIV.
22. Get tested for HIV and encourage your partner to do so too.
23. Take a bag full of toys to a local hospital that has a children’s ward.
24. Take younger members of your family for a walk in the park.
25. Donate some medical supplies to a local community clinic.
26. Take someone you know, who can’t afford it, to get their eyes tested or their teeth checked.
27. Bake something for a support group of your choice.
28. Start a community garden to encourage healthy eating in your community.
29. Donate a wheelchair or guide dog, to someone in need.
30. Create a food parcel and give it to someone in need.

Become an educator

31. Offer to help out at your local school.
32. Mentor a school leaver or student in your field of expertise.
33. Coach one of the extramural activities the school offers. You can also volunteer to coach an extramural activity the school doesn’t offer.
34. Offer to provide tutoring in a school subject you are good at.
35. Donate your old computer.
36. Help maintain the sports fields.
37. Fix up a classroom by replacing broken windows, doors and light bulbs.
38. Donate a bag of art supplies.
39. Teach an adult literacy class.
40. Paint classrooms and school buildings.
41. Donate your old textbooks, or any other good books, to a school library.

Help those living in poverty

42. Buy a few blankets, or grab the ones you no longer need from home and give them to someone in need.
43. Clean out your cupboard and donate the clothes you no longer wear to someone who needs them.
44. Put together food parcels for a needy family.
45. Organise a bake sale, car wash or garage sale for charity and donate the proceeds.
46. To the poorest of the poor, shoes can be a luxury. Don’t hoard them if you don’t wear them. Pass them on!
47. Volunteer at your local soup kitchen.

Care for the youth

48. Help at a local children’s home or orphanage.
49. Help the kids with their studies.
50. Organise a friendly game of soccer, or sponsor the kids to watch a game at the local stadium.
51. Coach a sports team and make new friends.
52. Donate sporting equipment to a children’s shelter.
53. Donate educational toys and books to a children’s home.
54. Paint, or repair, infrastructure at an orphanage or youth centre.
55. Mentor someone. Make time to listen to what the kids have to say and give them good advice.

Treasure the elderly

56. If you play an instrument, visit your local old-age home and spend an hour playing for the residents and staff.
57. Learn the story of someone older than you. Too often people forget that the elderly have a wealth of experience and wisdom and, more often than not, an interesting story to tell.
58. Take an elderly person grocery shopping; they will appreciate your company and assistance.
59. Take someone’s dog for a walk if they are too frail to do so themselves.
60. Mow someone’s lawn and help them to fix things around their house.

Look after your environment

61. If there are no recycling centres in your area, petition your area councillor to provide one.
62. Donate indigenous trees to beautify neighbourhoods in poorer areas.
63. Collect old newspapers from a school/community centre/hospital and take them to a recycling centre.
64. Identify open manhole covers or drains in your area and report them to the local authorities.
65. Organise the company/school/organisation that you work with to switch off all unnecessary lights and power supplies at night and on weekends.
66. Engage with people who litter and see if you can convince them of the value of clean surroundings.
67. Organise to clean up your local park, river, beach, street, town square or sports grounds with a few friends. Our children deserve to grow up in a clean and healthy environment.

Happy Birthday Nelson Mandela

"Do all the good you can, By all the means you can, In all the ways you can, In all the places you can, At all the times you can, To all the people you can, As long as ever you can." This was said by John Wesley, but sums up the goal of International Mandela Day.

MandelaDay.com (here) states the following: Change was the gift given to all South Africans by Nelson Mandela. Now it's YOUR turn. In the spirit of Madiba and his vision to spread justice and freedom for all, this is your chance to step up to the plate and become a part of a continuous global movement for good. By becoming a Mandela Day Changemaker you can show that actions speak louder than words by giving a little of your time to make a change that's close to your heart. (or by giving a little of your time to make a difference to the life of someone less fortunate.)

I think each of us (or is that each of we....where is my English teacher when I need her?) South Africans has our unique "Mandela story".....my first real "Mandela experience" was on arriving for my first year of dental studies at Wits University (Johannesburg) in 1978 (18 months after the June 16 Uprising) and being confronted with the Free Mandela Campaign. I am ashamed to say my allegiances were more with the Free Beer Campaign, but, I realise now..........something did begin to change in the Free State boytjie who arrived at Wits that year.

I remember just where I was when I heard of Nelson Mandela's planned release (I was just up the road from my dental practice in Pietermaritzburg, and I remember thinking....even though you want to, this isn't the  safest place to celebrate by jumping out the car and shouting Hooray! Pmburg did not respond that well to the news of Mandela's release).

I remember queuing to vote in our first democratic elections just 4 weeks after going into my first appointment as minister and thinking...a new life for our country and a new life for me.

The closest I have yet been to Madiba (other than driving past his home in Houghton) was when he was the guest opening speaker at the Methodist Conference at which I was ordained in 1998 in Durban. Our Presiding Bishop, Mvume Dandala, also presided over the marriage of Madiba to Graca Machel on the Saturday before our ordination service on the Sunday.

Happy Birthday Nelson Mandela and thank you for what you have allowed our LORD to do through you.