This week’s prayer request is for much closer to home: Port Elizabeth and Pretoria. I’m sure you know where they are, so I won’t put up a map, although I’m equally sure that Anglican Communion members outside South Africa (who follow the same prayer cycle) will think of Port Elizabeth and Pretoria as neighbours to each other.
Diocese of Port Elizabeth
The Bishop of Port Elizabeth is The Rt Revd Nceba Nopece.
The Diocese of Port Elizabeth has a website (http://www.anglicandiocesepe.org.za/) but, disappointingly, it is not as informative about its activities or its prayer needs as I had hoped for. Its Events page, showing their Diocesan Calendar, is empty, and its News page was last updated 2 years ago in October 2013. However, their website does describe the diverse nature of the Diocese of Port Elizabeth: “Stretching from the blue Indian Ocean, across the fynbos covered mountains into the semi-arid Karoo; the diversities of urban and rural, industrial and agricultural, migrant and settled communities present numerous challenges in faithfully proclaiming the gospel of Christ.”
Iindaba, the monthly magazine of the Diocese of Port Elizabeth, gives a better indication of their activities and prayer needs. A prayer from the July 2015 edition reads:
May the Lord disturb you and trouble you;
May the Lord set an impossible task before you, and dare you to meet it.
May the Lord give you strength to do your best;
and then – and only then –
May the Lord grant you peace.
[Written by Danielle Strickland. She is a Captain in the Salvation Army in Canada.]
The prayer reminded me of a similar Franciscan prayer or blessing of discomfort.
The Diocese of Port Elizabeth marks July as Mental Health Month. Their magazine contains an article by a lady taking care of someone who has Alzheimer’s. She writes “During this long walk I began to realize that this is quite a silent illness as there is still a stigma attached to mental illnesses. No one really speaks about it. If only there was the awareness about Alzheimer’s like we now have for HIV infection, which has taken the fear out of HIV/AIDs. So [that] many more people can get advice and assistance before the condition becomes serious.”
Please pray for
- All people with Alzheimer’s and for their families and care givers too.
- The current research into this disease and its treatment.
- Dr Heather Rauch and her team of volunteers in the Port Elizabeth Diocese who run clinics and are planning to establish support groups for people caring for their loved ones.
- Education about Alzheimer’s and other mental illnesses.
Contact numbers for Alzheimer’s South Africa as given in the article are 0860 102 681 and 081 350 8079. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The article also draws attention to other types of dementia.
Making a difference in spite of war and beheadings
This chilling headline refers to an article in their magazine about a visit by Canon Andrew White, the Vicar of Baghdad. Via our prayers for Port Elizabeth, please join them in praying for the Church in Iraq. Please read the article in Iindaba for more information.
Diocese of Pretoria
The Bishop of Pretoria is The Rt Revd Dr Johannes Seoka
The Diocese of Pretoria has a website (http://www.dioceseofpretoria.org/) but it does not work, so I cannot get any info via that route. I have contacted the office of the Diocese of Pretoria and although they have promised to send me a list of their prayer requests, I have not received it yet.