Churches in Nelson Mandela Bay have been asked to ring their bells at 12 noon from Monday to Friday next week to remind Christians to pray daily at that hour for an end to a damaging political leadership crisis in the metropole.
The bell-ringing request is made in a letter to church leaders signed by four prominent clergymen, who call the Church in Nelson Mandela Bay to a participate in a month of “united, urgent and fervent prayer” (James 5:16b) about tensions between the Regional Executive Committee of the African National Congress and the Local Government.
The letter sent out today follows a request made by church leaders last week for a meeting with the regional chairman of the African National Congress, Nceba Faku, to discuss the “culture of recalling” elected leaders, and the possible ousting of the Executive Mayor Zanoxolo Wayile.
In today’s letter signed by Bishop Bethlehem Nopece, Bishop Lunga ka Siboto, Pastor Mvusi Gwam, and Archdeacon Zweli Tom, the clergymen say: “The root iniquity of the Metro has been identified as disunity. This disunity is destabilising our Local Government & affecting Service Delivery, causing heartache & violence.”
The letter continues: “The desire of the Church for the Bay is peace and stability – Jeremiah 29: 7. We want to see NMB flourish as the Gateway City to Africa. As the people of God, we need to come in the opposite spirit – a true spirit of unity – and pray for peace and a solution to this crisis.
“There is a group of believers that have been praying regularly for some years at 12: 00 daily for our Metropole. We would like to extend an invitation to every Christian in NMB to join them in prayer & set aside this time – at 12: 00 daily – to pray simultaneously for the Bay.
“It would be a great blessing to us, if Church Leaders would encourage all their members to participate in this very important prayer initiative from Monday 28 May to Saturday 30 June 2012. To launch this initiative we would like to request that Church bells are rung at 12:00 noon daily during the week of Monday, 28 May until Friday, 1 June 2012.”