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Allow me to thank all Pastors who responded to my previous Newsflash. I want to ensure that the information and communication you receive from the AFM National Office during this time of crisis, are relevant and useful. Therefore, I would like to ask you to complete a short questionnaire that will give us a more complete picture of the impact of the Coronavirus on our local AFM Assemblies:
Thank you for your feedback and input. In this Newsflash I would like to address some of the issues raised and other issues that we need to take note of.
1. ISSUING OF PERMITS FOR FUNERALS
In the previous Newsflash I mentioned that Pastors who are to perform a funeral service need a special permit from the Head of the Denomination. I further stated that our General Secretary, Dr. Henri Weideman ([email protected]) is responsible to issue these for the AFM of SA Pastors. A new question that was raised was:
“…Who is responsible for issuing the permit? According to your e-mail it will come from your (AFM National) office. I have also received notice from our local municipality that it must be issued by the station commander or local magistrate.”
While our position remains that the Head of the Denomination is responsible to issue permits to pastors who are going to conduct funerals, I am advising that Pastors should also check with the local Station Commander about the special permit from the Head of the Church. This would alleviate unnecessary inconveniences.
2. GENERAL BUSINESS MEETING (GBM)
The other question had to do with the impact of the Coronavirus on the coming GBM (General Business Meeting). The decision about the continuation of the GBM will be taken by the July 2020 NLF (National Leadership Forum) meeting. The NLF will be guided by the spread of the Coronavirus.
3. DISTRIBUTION OF FOOD BY CHURCHES
The question in this regard, relates to the food distribution by Government (Department of Social Development) and its effect on food distribution by local assemblies. I would like to give the following update on the food parcels’ distribution.
The Government has chosen to conduct all relief from their systems, as they are the only ones with capacity to assess if people are not double dipping. The Churches are, therefore, advised not to provide lists to Government. Instead, people should be directed to access relief directly from government. The following link is provided for people to get relief:
Churches which do their own self-funded ministry to the needy may continue, provided that the usual precautions of social distance, masks and sanitizers are in place. Such churches should apply for appropriate permits through the Department of Social Development.
4. ALERT LEVEL 4 OF THE COVID-19 LOCKDOWN
According to the Risk Adjusted Strategy Regulations issued on 29 April 2020 by the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Clause 24 (1) indicate that religious premises are some of the places that remain closed under Alert Level 4. For your reference the document can be downloaded here:
After consultation with the NLF we made a submission for the phased-in opening of church operations. Unfortunately, we did not receive acknowledgement nor response from Government. For ease of reference I am also including a copy of my letter as dated 27 April 2020:
We (The National Office Bearers) are looking at other options in our pursuit to have administrative church operations and Pastors allowed to operate during Level 4.
The AFM National Office remains closed. Most of our National Office Staff are operating from their homes.
5. PASTORS & PASTORS’ SPOUSES WHO PASSED ON
It is with sadness to inform you about the passing on, of some of our pastors and pastors’ spouses, due to causes unrelated to Covid-19:
Emeritus Past. Godfrey Faleni from Kei Region,
Emeritus Past. A.T. Kanase from the South Peninsula Region,
Emeritus Past. B.N. Mashiya from the Southern Free State Region,
Mrs. Ntombi Mabaso, spouse of emeritus Past. H Mabaso from Zululand Region, and
Mrs. Yvonne Lottering, spouse of emeritus Past. George Lottering from the Woord en Lewe Network.