A new church leaders’ forum, known as the Nelson Mandela Bay Consultation of Christian Churches (NMBCCC), has been established to promote partnerships in which church leaders in the metropole can listen, speak and act together.
The establishment of the forum was part of “an amazing move of the Holy Spirit” calling on the church in South Africa to recover its prophetic voice in soCciety, said NMBCCC facilitator, Rev Gill Bowman, in an interview yesterday.
She said church leaders representing many church groupings in NMB started meeting to “listen to God together” in early 2010 at the instigation of Archdeacon Zwelidumile Tom. They agreed that the church had lost its voice in South Africa after having played a key role as agents of change leading up to the first democratic election in 1994.
“The church had become silent on critical issues such as poverty, corruption, the disproportionate wealth of a few and lack of service delivery,” she said.
Delegates continued to meet and agreed that they would not form an organisation, but rather a vehicle which would enable leaders of all local church groupings to come together to listen afresh to God speaking into the issues faced by their communities. In a recent development the NMBCCC established a media group charged with speaking to the media on behalf of the church in NMB. The media group members are Bishop Michael Coleman, Pastor Neville Goldman, Bishop Lunga ka Sibot, Bishop Bethlehem Nopece and Dominee Danie Mouton.
The NMBCCC aimed to establish focus groups on government, economics, science, church, family, education, arts and entertainment, and business, to specialise in these areas and to brief the media group on church initiatives or statements in these fields. Current key issues affecting local communities, such as poverty, the need to undergird the Christian family, and education, health and transport services, were also on the agenda.
The next meeting of the NMBCCC is on July 25. Church groupings or Christian organisations interested in participating in the NMBCC can obtain registration forms from Archdeacon Zwelidumile Tom at (Tel /Fax) 041 454 0345 or (email) firstname.lastname@example.org.