National Church Leaders’ Consultation (NCLC)
Date: 28-29 October 2019
National Church Leaders and other Faith Leaders gathered in Johannesburg on 28-29 October 2019 for their annual meeting and reflected on the theme:
Promoting an economy of life and dignity: Investment for social impact – the role of churches and faith communities in the implementation of the National Development Plan (NDP).
Archbishop Dr Thabo Makgoba
focused on “Being God’s people in God’s world” from the book of 1 Peter,
emphasizing that the church should be an example of:
- Hope – that is grounded in God who stepped out and stands alongside the vulnerable, the widow, and the foreigner;
- Holiness – as we attempt to imitate and reach unity with God, to find wholeness in ourselves and in others;
- Mutual love – which calls upon us to love because God loved us first, and the love of God must be at work in us.
Discussion and reflection
As churches, we will sustain our efforts to promote an economy of life and dignity. We have a role to play as partner in the social development of our country, and as equal partner with others in the implementation of the National Development Plan (NDP). Churches are not merely service providers for government and other stakeholders. Churches are committed to be effective in efforts that improve the lives of all people. We want to do this by also influencing policy formulation at national level to ensure efficiency and social impact. This will contribute to direct service delivery especially at local municipal level in partnership with government.
We also reflected on the prerequisites for us as churches to engage in holistic mission. We affirmed the need to reflect on our identity, as an improved self-understanding will result in clear actions. We need to unite more in collective prayer, reflection and action. We are cognisant of our own failures and disunity. We acknowledged underline the importance of ecumenical engagement and interfaith cooperation in our presence and involvement in the struggles of our people. We recommitted to lead by example, as a corrupt church has no message to a corrupt world.
We agreed to critically engage with the systemic challenges in our society and world, including the global market economic system. Many of our people remain poor despite periods of economic growth, as our people often remain excluded from the benefits of growth. We will enhance our capacity to act at local level in congregations via clergy in local communities.
Actions and few words are required amidst a myriad of challenges facing churches and our communities, including: sexual and gender-based violence; violence in society and in schools; poverty and unemployment amongst youth which leads to hopelessness, desperation and crime; and the scourge of HIV and tuberculosis.
The lack of ethical leadership and accountability both in church and society, marked by greed and materialism, the blatant waste of taxpayer money, the weakening of public institutions, service delivery protests, and the increasing evidence of plundered public resources . It is in the midst of these challenges remain our deepest concern. Church Leaders are called upon to stand together alongside of the poor as hope bearers. We pray that the State Capture Commission will ensure that wrong doers lend in jail.
We call on all Church Leaders to exercise their pastoral and prophetic ministry in addressing the challenges we identified and they too encounter, to act responsibly and with honour, to be prepared to suffer for doing what is right, and to constantly pray and act for South Africa.
The meeting elected Bishop Dr Sithembele Sipuka (Bishop of Mthatha, President of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference) as new Chairperson of the National Church Leaders’ Consultation. Archbishop Dr Thabo Makgoba, was thanked for his exceptional leadership of the consultation over the past years.
Note: A brief address to the consultation by Mr Thembekile Kimi Makwetu (Auditor-General of South Africa) is acknowledged and appreciated, as Mr Makwetu wished the Church Leaders well for the deliberations of the consultation.
Participating Church and Faith Leaders
1. Archbishop Dr Thabo Makgoba, Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town, Anglican Church of Southern Africa
2. Archbishop Zandisile Magxwalisa, Archbishop, Jerusalem Church of South Africa
3. Bishop Dr Sithembele Sipuka, Bishop of Mthatha, Catholic Church in South Africa/ President, Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC)
4. Bishop Ziphozihle Siwa, Methodist Church of Southern Africa/ President, South African Council of Churches (SACC)
5. Bishop Purity Malinga, Presiding Bishop Elect, Methodist Church of Southern Africa
6. Bishop Victor Phalana, Bishop of Klerksdorp, Catholic Church in South Africa
7. Bishop Mosa Sono, Presiding Bishop, Grace Bible Church
8. Bishop Zandile Myeni, Bishop, Ethiopian Episcopal Church
9. Bishop Melumzi Norushu, Ebenezer Apostolic Church Zion
10. Apostle Fanta Nonyane, Council of African Instituted Churches of Southern Africa
11. Revd Nelis Janse van Rensburg, Moderator, Dutch Reformed Church
12. Revd Miranda Magxwalisa, General Secretary, Jerusalem Church of South Africa
13. Revd Dr Peter Langerman, Uniting Presbyterian Church in Southern Africa
14. Revd Thenjiwe Base, National Treasurer, Reformed Apostolic Mission in South Africa (RAMSA)
15. Revd Hermy Damons, Director of Ecumenical Relations, Association of Christian Religious Practitioners
16. Revd Bonikay Nkenye, Council of African Instituted Churches of Southern Africa
17. Mr Vusumuzi Mndlalosi, Vice-President, Council of African Instituted Churches of Southern Africa
18. Fr Richard Menatsi, Catholic Church, Mtatha
19. Prof Jerry Pillay, Uniting Presbyterian Church in Southern Africa
20. Dr Gustav Claassen, General Secretary, Dutch Reformed Church
21. Dr Willie van der Merwe, Dutch Reformed Church/ Rector, Hugenote College
22. Dr Abraham Hanekom, Director, Centre for Witness, Dutch Reformed Church
23. Dr Renier Koegelenberg, NRASD
24. Mr Charl Fredericks, NRASD
25. Ms Shirley Moulder, Anglican Church of Southern Africa
26. Sheikh Achmat Sedick, Muslim Judicial Council SA
27. Ms Tahirih Matthee, Baha’i Community of South Africa
For enquiries regarding the National Church Leaders’ Consultation, please contact: Dr Renier Koegelenberg, NRASD, Tel.: +27 21 880-1734, Cell: +27 83 625-1047, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org