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Church Message

Address by the Premier of the Northern Cape , Mrs Hazel Jenkins, at the Ordination Services of Suffragen Bishop Ellen Mathews – Titus and Apostle Dirk Titus on the 26 February 2011 at the Lutheran Church Centre in Homestead, Kimberley

Air Max 270 Men

Leaders of the Church

Congregants of the Church and Pentecostal Assemblies of the World

Members of the Community

Ladies and Gentlemen

We have gathered here this afternoon in this hallowed Lutheran Church Centre each with our own understanding of the Christian faith, and with respect, or any other faith to celebrate and witness the two people we know and love are being ordained as Suffragen Bishops namely Bishop Ellen Mathews – Titus and Bishop Dirk Titus.

Ladies and Gentlemen, your very presence here is indeed a clear reflection of your will, your wish and your desire for these two stalwarts in the service of the Lord to be ordained.

In your support and love for both these good people, we will collectively pray for their transition, hoping that their new positions in the Church will bring blessings that they did not think of or imagine.

As witnesses to this event, each one of us has also experienced what it is like to cross the threshold, for it is a point after which things will always be different, often challenging, and I am certain, most rewarding and fulfilling .

Ladies and gentlemen, in our Gospel reading, we hear how St John, almost at the end of his narrative about Jesus, describe a vivid encounter between the newly resurrected Jesus and the first Christians; eventually including St Thomas; and in this one story John weaves together several of the uncertainties, the human realities we cannot control and which cause every one if us pain at some stage or another.

Our lives certainly change as loss, fear and scepticism shape us. It is also easy to believe that what we as human beings really want is security, and that which will comfort us is something familiar or guaranteed.

We are indeed familiar with both these individuals and I call them Professional Christians and we ask them to continue enhancing the standards of society; that they remind us and prick our consciences as to which way our moral compass should point.

Moreover, as government, we call on all faith based organisations to uphold all the virtues that makes a good society and LEAD society in order that both our sense of morality and sense of being are not compromised.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I am of the view that spirituality, that is, love for the Almighty must be encouraged in every household, be it Christianity, Islam or Buddhism and we will certainly see a difference in society wherein mutual respect and tolerance of other people’s views are not only encouraged, but also maintained.

Where a wrong has been committed in society, from whatever quarter, we expect the leaders of the churches to be vocal. We rely on you as you are on the side of the down-trodden, the meek and the poor.

The Church has an important role to play in our constitutional democracy and we expect you, as well other sectors of society, to be agents of change, agents of hope, peace and agents who will surely bring about a better quality of life for all our people. As agents of change the Church can advance common nationhood and patriotism by encouraging its congregants to participate in our democratic processes, whether it be in the forthcoming Local Government Elections or the Population Census in October this year.

Note that you will not be entering the terrain of politics if you partner with government to overcome historical and social challenges that affect our communities. As leader of government in the Northern Cape, I look up to you and I am sure you will respond accordingly.

Remember, Ladies and Gentlemen, not so long ago, the Church spearheaded our heroic struggle for freedom. You championed the cause of all South Africans. Without you, our fight for liberation would surely have been diluted.

As I have remarked earlier, we welcome the church to join government in its mission to bring about a better life for all our people in the Northern Cape.

Together, we can certainly do much, much more.

I thank you

Baie dankie

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