Newsflash: Friday, 22 May 2020

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22 MEI ENG 2020

AFM Colleague,

1. PENTECOSTAL WEEK AND PENTECOSTAL SUNDAY

We are in between momentous events on the Christian church’s calendar. The first one is Ascension Day which we celebrated yesterday, on 21 May 2020. The second one is Pentecost Sunday which will be celebrated on 31 May 2020. To officially announce the start of Pentecost Week, I have prepared a short message which is available on the AFM’s Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/AFMOFSA/

In Acts 1:4-5 we read “And being assembled together with them, He [Jesus] commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; for John truly baptised with water, but you shall be baptised with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”  

I would like us to pray, with the following prayer points in mind:

  • God’s intervention in the Covid-19 pandemic. 
  • Holy Baptism. 
    (According to our 2019 Wellness Survey only 46% of the participants’ local Assemblies prioritize Baptism in the Holy Spirit).
  • Powerful working of the Holy Spirit in our assemblies. 
    (According to our 2019 Wellness Survey only 41% of the participants’ assemblies experience powerful working of the Holy Spirit).
  • Revival.

Let us make use of this period to reflect on: 

  • The Gifts of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 12:1-11).
  • The Fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).
  • Equipping Ministries (Ephesians 4:11-13).

Finally let us prepare a message for our congregations on the Outpouring of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2) for Pentecostal Sunday, 31 May 2020.

2.  PCD (PASTORS CONTINUOUS DEVELOPMENT)

The Covid-19 pandemic created a situation where some national and regional empowerment events have been postponed or cancelled. Whilst we are considering ways to ease the credit expectation for 2020, we cannot bring it down to zero. Therefore, we encourage you to do what you possibly can and even to use the time available now to build up credits for next year (2021).

From the existing PCD credit framework (that can be accessed and/or downloaded from the PCD website at www.pcdafm.co.za), the following is still possible even under lockdown:

1. Book reviews.

2. DVD/Online Teaching sessions.

3. Study Groups: This can be done via WhatsApp groups or ZOOM.

4. Online Study Articles: On the PCD website.

5. Accredited Online Courses: This can be done with proof of registration, one PCD
credit for every hour of input, to a maximum of 20 credits per year.

6. The Personal Development Plan (PDP): Can be done via Cell phone, WhatsApp or
Zoom.

7. Some regions are currently providing training events online or via WhatsApp.

8. Non-AFM Events – Like the GLS (Global Leadership Forum) and Empowered21,
currently provide online workshops. Some of these registrations are for free.

Kind Regards!

Henri Weideman & Irma van Schalkwyk

3. “IN ESSENTIALS UNITY, IN NON-ESSENTIALS LIBERTY, IN ALL THINGS CHARITY” –   (St. Augustine 354-430 A.D.)

There are non-negotiable Bible truths which Christian believers wholeheartedly agree on, across all ages and from virtually all church traditions. However, there was a trend over the centuries, and even more so in our days, that non-essential issues, i.e. things that will not make a difference to our salvation and things about which there is a difference of opinion are so accentuated by some, that it causes confusion to ordinary believers and often tear apart and divide the body of Christ.

Read more about this in an article written by Dr. Isak Burger (Former President of the AFM of SA):

https://afm-ags.org/category/media/

Blessings!
MG Mahlobo

Nuusflits: Vrydag, 22 Mei 2020

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22 MEI AFR 2020

AGS Kollega,

1. PINKSTERWEEK EN PINKSTER SONDAG

Ons is tussen twee belangrike gebeure op die kalender van die Christen-kerk. Eerste op die kalender is Hemelvaartdag wat ons gister gevier het, op 21 Mei 2020. Tweedens is Pinkster Sondag wat op 31 Mei 2020 gevier word. Vir die amptelike aankondiging van die Pinksterweek, het ek ‘n kort boodskap saamgestel wat vandag beskikbaar is op die AGS se Facebook-bladsy:

https://www.facebook.com/AFMOFSA/

Handelinge 1:4-5 “’n Keer toe hulle so saam was, het Hy aan hulle dié opdrag gegee: “Moenie Jerusalem verlaat voordat julle van die Vader ontvang het wat Hy belowe het nie. Julle onthou mos dat Ek julle vroeër daarvan vertel het: Johannes het met water gedoop, maar júlle sal binne ’n paar dae met die Heilige Gees gedoop word.”

Ek wil hê dat ons moet bid met die volgende gebedspunte in gedagte:

  • God se ingryping in die Covid-19 pandemie.
  • Heilige Doop.
    (Volgens ons Pastorale Welstand studie van 2019 prioritiseer slegs 46% van gemeentes die doop in die Heilige Gees)
  • Kragtige werking van die Heilige Gees in ons gemeentes.
    (Volgens ons Pastorale Welstand studie van 2019 ervaar slegs 41% van gemeentes die kragtige werking van die Heilige Gees)
  • Herlewing.

Laat ons die Pinksterweek gebruik om na te dink oor:

  • Die Gawes van die Heilige Gees (1 Corintiers 12:1-11).
  • Die Vrug van die Heilige Gees (Galasiers 5:22-23).
  • Toerustings Bedieninge (Equipping Ministries) (Efesiërs 4:11-13).

Vir Pinkster Sondag, 31 Mei 2020, laat ons ‘n boodskap voorberei vir ons gemeentes oor die uitstorting van die Heilige Gees (soos in Handelinge 2).

2. PCD (PASTORALE DEURLOPENDE ONTWIKKELING)

Die Covid-19 pandemie het ‘n situasie geskep waar sommige nasionale- en streeksbemagtigings geleenthede uitgestel of gekanselleer is. Terwyl ons maniere oorweeg om die kredietverwagting vir 2020 te vergemaklik, kan ons dit nie tot op nul laat sak nie. Daarom moedig ons pastore aan om te doen wat hulle kan en selfs die beskikbare tyd te gebruik om krediete vir volgende jaar (2021) op te bou. Vanaf die bestaande PCD-kredietraamwerk (wat afgelaai kan word vanaf die PCD-webwerf by: www.pcdafm.co.za), is die volgende nog moontlik, selfs onder die inperking:

  1. Boekresensies.
  2. DVD/Aanlyn onderrig sessies.
  3. Studiegroepe: Dit kan gedoen word via WhatsApp-groepe of ZOOM.
  4. Aanlyn Studie artikels: Op die PCD-webwerf.
  5. Geakkrediteerde aanlyn kursusse: Dit kan gedoen word met ‘n bewys van registrasie, een PCD-krediet vir elke uur insette, tot ‘n maksimum van 20 krediete per jaar.
  6. Die Persoonlike Ontwikkelingsplan (PDP): Kan gedoen word via ‘n selfoon, WhatsApp of Zoom.
  7. Sommige streke bied tans opleidingsgeleenthede aanlyn of via WhatsApp aan.
  8. Nie-AGS geleenthede: Soos die GLS (Global Leadership Forum) en Empowered21, wat tans aanlyn werkswinkels aanbied. Sommige van hierdie registrasies is gratis.

Vriendelike Groete!

Henri Weideman & Irma van Schalkwyk

3. “EENHEID IN ESSENSIËLE DINGE, VRYHEID IN DIE NIE-ESSENSIËLE, MAAR IN ALLES LIEFDE. –  (Augustinus 354-430nC)

Daar is heelwat ononderhandelbare Bybelwaarhede waaroor Christengelowiges oor alle eeue en uit feitlik alle kerklike tradisies heelhartig saamstem. Daar was egter deur die eeue ’n tendens, en vandag in besonder, dat nie-essensiële kwessies, m.a.w. dinge wat nie ’n verskil aan ons saligheid sal maak nie en dinge waaroor daar verskil van mening moontlik is, só deur sommiges geaksentueer word en oor hare gekloof word dat dit verwarring by gewone gelowiges bring en dikwels tot afkraking van mekaar en verdeeldheid in die liggaam van die Here lei.

Lees meer hieroor in ‘n artikel deur Dr. Isak Burger (Voormalige President van die AGS van SA):

https://afm-ags.org/category/media/

Seën!
MG Mahlobo

Newsflash: Friday, 15 May 2020

15 MAY ENG 2020

AFM Colleague,

1. THE PROLONGED LOCKDOWN

The country has been in lockdown since 26 March 2020. Indications are that Coronavirus will be with us for the foreseeable future. We were on lockdown Level 5 from 26 March until 30 April 2020. From 1 May 2020 it moved to Level 4. Some of the business sectors were allowed to operate under stringent lockdown regulations. Religious places remained closed.

2. CHURCH’S ATTEMPT TO ENGAGE GOVERNMENT 

We were not at all happy about the prolonged prohibitions of church activities. We wrote to Government and proposed that pastors be regarded as part of the essential services and that church administrative staff be allowed to operate from church offices under Level 4 regulations. We did not receive any acknowledgement nor response to our letter.

As part of attempts to get a hearing from Government we are part of the weekly discussions of the SACC (South African Council of Churches) National Church Leaders Forum. Recently we were part of the 38 churches who made submission with Freedom of Religion South Africa (FORSA) on the essential role of pastors and the gradual opening of church operations and ministries. We are also part of the National Pentecostal Forum representing 2.4 million members and making similar submissions.

On Wednesday, 13 May 2020 the President of the country, Mr. Cyril Ramaphosa, addressed the nation. In his address he alluded to the prospects of the country moving to Level 3 from 1 June 2020, while some areas with high infection rates remain at the current level. Our expectation is that Level 3 will allow relaxation of some of the current restrictions. We hope that this transition will be made clearer as we move towards the end of this month.

The President indicated that there will be consultation with relevant stakeholders. We will make use of this opportunity to engage with Government again. We will do so as AFM leadership and also, as part of Ecumenical Christian Organizations.

3. APPEAL TO REGIONAL LEADERS AND PASTORS TO REMAIN IN CONTACT WITH THOSE THEY SERVE

The prolonged lockdown has been difficult for our members and pastors. They are beginning to experience lockdown exhaustion. Some of those who needed pastoral counseling were not able to access it because pastors were not seen to be providing essential services. Guidance and messages of encouragement are needed.  It is for this reason that I call upon our pastors to provide guidance and encouragement to our members.

I am requesting Regional Leaders to provide guidance and motivation to pastors in their regions. This can be done through the establishment of digital communication platforms such as WhatsApp. Pastors should also establish such platforms for purposes of contact with members at the local assembly level. The Departmental structures should also consider the same. We can still contact those we serve through phone calls.

4. SPECIAL TEMPORARY COVID-19 SOCIAL RELIEF OF DISTRESS (SRD) GRANT

In this communication I am including information on the SRD Grant for our members above 18 years who have become vulnerable due to unemployment and are not receiving any grant from the Government. I am requesting pastors to share this information with their members:

https://afm-ags.org/category/media/

Blessings!
MG Mahlobo

Nuusflits: Vrydag, 15 Mei 2020

15 MEI AFR 2020

AGS Kollega,

1. DIE VERLENGDE INPERKING

Suid-Afrika is sedert 26 Maart 2020 onder inperkingsmaatreëls geplaas. Die voorspelling is dat die Koronavirus nog vir die afsienbare toekoms met ons sal wees. Ons was op Vlak 5 vanaf 26 Maart tot 30 April 2020. Sedert 1 Mei 2020 het die inperking na Vlak 4 beweeg. Sommige sakesektore is toegelaat om onder streng regulasies weer  te begin werk, maar godsdienstige instansies soos kerke, moes egter gesluit bly.

2. DIE KERK SE POGING OM IN KONTAK TE TREE MET DIE REGERING

Daar was groot ontevredenheid  oor die langdurige verbod wat op kerk aktiwiteite geplaas is. Ons het aan die Regering geskryf en voorgestel dat pastore as deel van noodsaaklike dienste beskou word en dat administratiewe personeel toegelaat moet word om vanuit kerkkantore op Vlak 4-regulasies te werk. Ons het geen erkenning of reaksie op ons brief ontvang nie.

As deel van pogings om in kontak met die regering te tree, is ons deel van die SARK (Suid-Afrikaanse Raad van Kerke) se Nasionale Leierskap Forum se weeklikse besprekings. Onlangs was ons deel van die 38 kerke wat voorleggings gemaak het saam met FORSA (Freedom of Religion South Africa) oor die wesenlike rol van pastore en die geleidelike opening van kerkbedrywighede en bedieninge. Ons is ook deel van die Nasionale Pinkster Forum wat 2,4 miljoen lidmate verteenwoordig en ook soortgelyke voorleggings gedoen het.

Op Woensdag 13 Mei 2020 het die president van die land, Mnr. Cyril Ramaphosa, die land toegespreek. In sy toespraak het hy verwys na die vooruitsig dat die land vanaf 1 Junie 2020 na Vlak 3 sal beweeg, terwyl sommige gebiede met ‘n hoë infeksietelling moontlik op die huidige vlak sal bly. Ons verwagting is dat Vlak 3 sommige van die huidige beperkings sal verslap.

Ons hoop dat hierdie oorgang van Vlak 4 na Vlak 3 duideliker sal word namate ons nader aan die einde van hierdie maand kom. Die President het aangedui dat daar met die betrokke partye gekonsulteer gaan word. Ons sal van hierdie geleentheid gebruik maak om ook weer met die regering kontak te maak. Ons sal dit doen as AGS-leierskap, en ook as deel van Ekumeniese Christelike Organisasies.

3. ‘N VERSOEK AAN ALLE STREEKLEIERS EN PASTORE OM IN KONTAK TE BLY MET LIDMATE

Die verlengde inperking is baie moeilik vir ons lidmate en pastore. Sommige mense wat pastorale berading benodig, het nie toegang daartoe nie, want die dienste wat pastore lewer word nie as noodsaaklike dienste gesien deur die regering nie. Boodskappe van bemoediging en leierskap is baie nodig. Ek doen ‘n ernstige beroep op ons pastore om boodskappe van bemoediging aan ons lidmate te stuur.

Ek versoek streeksleiers om leierskap en motivering te verskaf aan pastore binne hul streke en netwerke. Dit kan gedoen word deur digitale kommunikasieplatforms te skep soos WhatsApp groepe. Pastore kan ook WhatsApp groepe skep om in kommunikasie met hul lidmate te bly. Die Departemente kan ook dieselfde kommunikasieplatform oorweeg. Ons kan nog steeds kontak hou met ons lidmate deur middel van platforms soos WhatsApp en telefoon oproepe.

4. SPESIALE TYDELIKE “COVID-19 SOCIAL RELIEF OF DISTRESS (SRD) GRANT”

Ek sluit inligting in oor die “SRD GRANT” vir ons lidmate bo die onderdom van 18 jaar wat kwesbaar is weens werkloosheid en geen subsidie ​​van die regering ontvang nie. Ek versoek pastore om hierdie inligting met hul lidmate te deel:

https://afm-ags.org/category/media/

Seën!

MG Mahlobo

Newsflash: Friday, 8 May 2020

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8 MAY ENG 2020

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:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ImpactOfCovid19AFM

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:

https://www.gov.za/services/social-benefits/social-relief-distress

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:

https://afm-ags.org/category/media/

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:

https://afm-ags.org/category/media/

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.

Blessings

MG Mahlobo

Nuusflits: Vrydag, 8 Mei 2020

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8 MEI AFR 2020

Dankie aan die Pastore wat op my vorige Nuusflits gereageer het. Ek wil verseker dat die inligting en kommunikasie wat jy ontvang vanaf die AGS Nasionale Kantoor tydens hierdie krisis-tyd, relevant en bruikbaar is. Daarom wil ek jou vra om ‘n kort vraelys te voltooi wat ons ‘n meer volledige prentjie sal gee oor die impak van die Koronavirus op plaaslike AGS Gemeentes:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ImpactOfCovid19AFM

Baie dankie vir jou insette en terugvoer. Verder in vandag se uitgawe wil ek spesifieke kwessies bespreek en ander kwessies uitlig waarvan ons almal kennis moet neem.

1. DIE UITREIKING VAN PERMITTE VIR BEGRAFNISSE

In die vorige Nuusflits het ek genoem dat Pastore wat ‘n begrafnis moet onderneem, ‘n spesiale permit benodig wat uitgereik word deur die Hoof van die Denominasie. Vir die AGS word die permit uitgereik deur die Algemene Sekretaris, Dr. Henri Weideman ([email protected]). ‘n Nuwe vraag wat nou gevra word is:

“…Wie is verantwoordelik vir die uitreiking van die permit? Volgens u e-pos sal dit van die AGS Nasionale kantoor af kom. Ek het ook ‘n kennisgewing van ons plaaslike munisipaliteit ontvang dat dit deur die stasiebevelvoerder of plaaslike landdros uitgereik moet word. ”

Terwyl ons by ons standpunt bly dat die Hoof van die Denominasie verantwoordelik is om permitte uit te reik aan die Pastore wat begrafnisse gaan onderneem, beveel ek aan dat Pastore ook met die plaaslike stasiebevelvoerder in gesprek tree oor die spesiale permit vanaf die Hoof van die Denominasie. Dit sal onnodige ongemak verlig.

2. ALGEMENE SAKEVERGADERING (GBM)

Die ander vraag het te make met die impak van die Koronavirus op die komende GBM (Algemene Sakevergadering). Die besluit oor die voortsetting van die GBM sal geneem word tydens die NLF (Nasionale Leierskapforum) vergadering in Julie 2020. Die NLF sal gelei word deur die verspreiding van die Koronavirus.

3. VERSPREIDING VAN VOEDSEL DEUR KERKE

Hierdie hou verband met die verspreiding van voedsel deur die regering (Department of Social Development) en die uitwerking daarvan op voedselverspreiding deur plaaslike gemeentes. Graag hou ek jou op hoogte van die nuutste inligting oor die verspreiding van kospakkies.

Die regering het besluit om alle verligting aksies self uit te voer vanuit hul eie sisteme, aangesien hulle die enigste is met die moontlike kapasiteit en vermoë om te bepaal of mense “dubbel” gehelp word. Daarom word die kerke aangeraai om nie lyste aan die regering te gee nie. In plaas daarvan moet mense nou direk verwys word na die regering om toegang tot hulpverlening te kry. Die volgende skakel is beskikbaar vir hierdie doel:

https://www.gov.za/services/social-benefits/social-relief-distress

Kerke wat hul eie selfbefondsde bediening aan behoeftiges doen kan voortgaan, mits die gewone voorsorgmaatreëls vir sosiale afstand, maskers en sanitiseerders behou word. Sulke gemeentes moet egter deur die Department of Social Development aansoek doen vir die toepaslike permitte.

4. GRENDELSTAAT VLAK 4

Volgens die Risiko-aangepaste Strategieregulasies soos vrygestel op 29 April 2020, deur die Minister van Samewerkende Regering en Tradisionele Sake, dui Klousule 24 (1) daarop dat godsdienstige persele sommige van die plekke is wat gesluit bly onder Vlak 4 van die Grendelstaat. Ter verwysing kan hierdie dokument hier afgelaai word:

https://afm-ags.org/category/media/

Na konsultasie met die NLF is ‘n voorlegging saamgestel vir die ingefaseerde opening van kerklike bedrywighede. Ongelukkig het ons geen erkenning of reaksie van die regering ontvang nie. Ter verwysing sluit ek hier ‘n afskrif van die brief in soos op 27 April 2020:

https://afm-ags.org/category/media/

Die Nasionale Ampsdraers is huidiglik besig om na ander opsies te kyk met die doel om administratiewe bedrywighede en pastore toe te laat om te funksioneer gedurende Vlak 4.

Die AGS Nasionale Kantoor bly gesluit. Die meeste van ons Nasionale Kantoor personeel werk vanaf hul huise.

5. OORLEDE PASTORE EN EGGENOTE

Met groot hartseer lig ek jou in oor die afsterwe van sommige van ons pastore en hul eggenote – as gevolg van oorsake wat nie verband hou met die Koronavirus nie:

Emeritus Past. Godfrey Faleni van die Kei Streek,

Emeritus Past. A.T. Kanase van die South Peninsula Streek,

Emeritus Past. B.N. Mashiya van die Suid Vrystaat Streek,

Mev. Ntombi Mabaso, eggenoot van emeritus Past. H Mabaso van die Zululand Streek, en

Mev. Yvonne Lottering, eggenoot van emeritus Past. George Lottering van die Woord en Lewe Netwerk.

Seën

MG Mahlobo

Newsflash: Friday, 24 April 2020

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24 APRIL ENG 2020

AFM Colleague,

There are two important Presidential Circulars for your attention. The first is information on the NLF Salary Relief Fund for AFM Pastors and the second concerns Covid-19 Food Relief. I also address questions regarding the issue of declaring Pastors as an essential service, as we are still receiving many enquiries.

1. PRESIDENTAIL CIRCULARS

Presidential Circular Nr. 1 – NLF Salary Relief Fund for AFM Pastors:

https://afm-ags.org/covid-10-nlf-salary-relief-fund-for-afm-pastors-17-april-2020/

Presidential Circular Nr. 2 – Covid19 Food Relief

https://afm-ags.org/covid-19-food-relief-18-april-2020/

2. PASTORS AS WORKERS RENDERING ESSENTIAL SERVICES

We have been receiving enquiries about the classification of Pastors (Ministers of Religion) as rendering essential service under the State of National Disaster and Lockdown Regulations.

The South African Council of Churches (SACC) of which the AFM is a member church, did make a request early in the lockdown that Ministers of Religion be regarded as providing essential services during the current period. The request was turned down by Government for understandable reasons. Part of the challenge is that the numbers of Pastors, Priests, Ministers, Bishops, Apostles and other Religious leaders are so many in every community that there might be such a flood of people in the streets in the name of the church, that it will undermine the purposes of the lockdown. The other challenge is that there is no standard protocol that determines who qualifies to be designated as a pastor. This may lead to an explosion of new pastors demanding essential service accreditation. Another issue is the shortage of personal protective equipment, which may lead to the exposure of pastors to the virus and to them possibly ending up transmitting the virus.

In terms of the Regulations promulgated by Government, funerals form part of essential services. In this regard Pastors who are to perform a funeral service need a special permit issued by the Head of the Denomination. For the AFM of SA this permit is issued by the General Secretary, Dr. Henri Weideman. AFM Pastors who have conducted funerals were issued with this form.

It is important to emphasise that the leadership of the AFM in its previous communications took a position that our pastors and members should comply with the regulations regarding the lockdown for purposes of ensuring that we do not become transmitters of the virus but rather be transmitters of Hope.

Blessings!
MG Mahlobo

Nuusflits: Vrydag, 24 April 2020

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24 APRIL AFR 2020

AGS Kollega,

Daar is twee belangrike Presidensiële Omsendbriewe waarvan jy asseblief moet kennis neem. Die eerste handel oor die NLF se Salarisverligtingfonds vir AGS Pastore en die tweede handel oor Covid-19 Voedselverligting. Ek spreek ook vrae aan rakende die kwessie om Pastore as ‘n noodsaaklike diens te verklaar tydens grendeltyd, aangesien ons heelwat navrae hieroor ontvang.

1. PRESIDENSIËLE OMSENDBRIEWE

Presidensiële Omsendbrief Nr. 1 – NLF Salarisverligtingfonds vir AGS Pastore:

https://afm-ags.org/covid-10-nlf-salary-relief-fund-for-afm-pastors-17-april-2020/

Presidensiële Omsendbrief Nr. 2 – Covid19 Voedselverligting:

https://afm-ags.org/covid-19-food-relief-18-april-2020/

2. PASTORE AS WERKERS WAT NOODSAAKLIKE DIENSTE LEWER

Ons het heelwat navrae ontvang oor die klassifikasie van Pastore (Ministers of Religion) as noodsaaklike dienslewering onder die “State of National Disaster and Lockdown Regulations”.

Die Suid-Afrikaanse Raad van Kerke (SARK) waarvan die AGS ‘n lid is, het vroeg in die inperking periode versoek dat Ministers of Religion ook gesien moet word as noodsaaklike dienslewering gedurende die tyd. Die versoek was afgekeur deur die regering weens verstaanbare redes. Deel van die uitdagings is die groot hoeveelheid Pastore, Priesters, Predikante, Biskoppe, Apostels en ander Godsdienstige leiers in elke gemeenskap, wat sodoende kan lei tot ‘n moontlike oorvloed van mense in die strate in die naam van die kerk. Dit kan die inperking se doel dan ondermyn. Die ander uitdaging is die tekortkoming van ‘n standaard protokol wat bepaal wie gekwalifiseer kan word as ‘n Pastoor. Dit kan moontlik lei tot ‘n magdom nuwe Pastore wat noodsaaklike diens akkreditasie eis. ‘n Verdere uitdaging is dat daar ‘n tekort is aan persoonlike beskermende toerusting wat kan lei tot Pastore wat blootgestel word aan die virus en sodoende deel aan die verspreiding van die virus.

Ingevolge die regulasies uitgevaardig deur die regering, vorm begrafnisse deel van noodsaaklike dienste. Pastore wat ‘n begrafnis moet onderneem sal ‘n spesiale permit benodig wat uitgereik word deur die Hoof van die Denominasie. Vir die AGS word die permit uitgereik deur die Algemene Sekretaris, Dr. Henri Weideman. Die AGS Pastore wat al begrafnisse onderneem het, het die permit ontvang.

Dit is belangrik om te beklemtoon dat die leierskap van die AGS in sy vorige kommunikasie standpunt ingeneem het dat ons Pastore en lidmate aan die regulasies rakende die inperking moet voldoen – om te verseker dat ons nie die virus help versprei nie, maar dat ons die kanale van hoop sal bly in ons gemeenskappe.

Seën!
MG Mahlobo 

Newsflash: Thursday, 9 April 2020

Download the PDF version here:

9 APRIL ENG 2020

AFM Colleague,

Let us be the beacon of hope for South Africa. Whatever happens, we remain people of Hope. We have Hope and we have Faith in Jesus Christ our Lord. May the grace of God, the love of Jesus and the communion of the Holy Spirit, rest, rule and abide with you – now and forevermore. This too shall pass.

1. URGENT COMMUNICATION TO OUR PASTORS: THE CHURCHES’ INTERVENTION ON THE IMPACT OF THE CORONAVIRUS 

The South African Council of Churches (SACC) reached out to National Church Leaders with a proposed SACC Coronavirus Pastoral Plan. This plan seeks to address the adverse impact of the Coronavirus on some of our local communities. The four critical pillars of this plan are: (i) Relief, (ii) Awareness, (iii) Care and (iv) Support (including Advocacy).

The plan is to create Local Ecumenical Networks (LEAN) which will comprise of a minimum of ten (10) pastors from different denominations or ministries within local communities. These LEAN networks must create Whatsapp groups that include all households in their locality for purposes of communication. If these Whatsapp groups wish to be linked to the SACC Whatsapp, they will be free to do so.

Currently there are two (2) issues that require urgent attention.

These are the provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Food Security.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

At this point in time there is a lack of PPE, especially for health workers. These are the frontline “foot soldiers” in the fight against Coronavirus spread. Their protection against infection must not be compromised. We have requested Government to do everything in its power to ensure the supply of PPE.

Food Security

Food security needs urgent attention. It is estimated that over 200 000 households in South Africa will need food by next week (from Monday, 13 April 2020). This number may increase to 300 000 families if the lockdown is not lifted by Thursday, 16 April 2020. The SACC held meetings with Government regarding this matter. Government is prepared to intervene through the Solidarity Fund that it has created.

Three (3) things are required from churches. The first one is the capacity to identify households that are in need of food. The second is the willingness on the part  of churches to do the distribution to the families in need. The third is to ensure collaboration with community-based organizations.

I have requested NLF members to get a response from their constituencies on their willingness to participate in the creation of LEAN for purposes of alleviating food security challenges. They will be in touch with you in due course. In your response indicate if you already have a structure with systems in place to do this. It would be appreciated if you can also indicate availability of church facilities for the purposes of scanning and isolation of infected people in the church’s neighborhood. If need be, we may also require that church facilities be used for food storage.

The leadership of the SACC has been requested to engage Government on the possibility of using vouchers instead of food parcels. Such vouchers must be acceptable to all outlets including tuck shops and spaza shops.

Additional information can be obtained from the SACC Pastoral Plan which is available here:

On the Coronavirus Pastoral Plan of SACC

2. GOOD FRIDAY MESSAGE

I pre-recorded a message for 2020 Good Friday. This message can be accessed through the AFM Facebook page and will be available on Friday morning.

Apart from the bi-weekly Pastoral Newsflash, it is important to stay connected with the church. In this regard I encourage you to Like our AFM Facebook page and AFM Website during this time to receive information that is shared on weekly basis as need arises:

Facebook: @AFMOFSA 

Website: www.afm-ags.org

Here is more information on how to stay connected to Pastoral Communication:

3. AFM NATIONAL OFFICE

The AFM National Office is closed during this lockdown period. 

For normal enquiries the following staff can be contacted through email:

Sureta (Finances): [email protected]

Mpho Sethole (Data): [email protected]

Mpho Seleka (Pastors’ Calls & Assemblies): [email protected]

Jolande (Marriage Officers’ Applications/Appointments/Resolution 181):
[email protected]

For any emergency you are advised to call the following numbers:

  • Mr. Desmond Alie (Office Manager): 079 864 3009
  • Mr. France Madiba: 072 704 2347
  • Dr. Henri Weideman (General Secretary): 083 282 8432
  • Past. George Mahlobo (President): 083 229 8852

Financial stability & communication during the lockdown period. 

Our directive is that local Pastors and their local Treasurers/Financial Administrators should find ways and make it possible for members to give tithing & offerings through electronic financial transactions (EFT). We encourage our pastors and our structures to explore innovative possibilities for continuous communication with our members, including but not limited to: Whatsapp, Facebook and other social media platforms, streaming of sermons and e-mail. We need to gather Spiritually and even electronically, though we cannot be together physically. Governing Body meetings can also be held through platforms such as skype, zoom, Whatsapp, Video Calls etc. We need to regularly communicate with one another to encourage and to share our Hope and Faith with each other (Hebrews 10:24-25).

AFM events beyond April 2020. 

I would like to remind all AFM Pastors, Leaders and Members that all assembly gatherings, Children’s ministry classes and 2020 AFM Good Friday Conferences have been cancelled. The outstanding NOB Regional Visits, Regional Leaders-, Regional Treasurers-, Regional Secretaries/Administrators- and Administration of Justice Workshops, as well as MIL workshops are suspended, pending further updates.

If the spread of Covid-19 is not contained by the end of April 2020, all National Departments’ Conferences will have to be rescheduled or cancelled. The Church’s  National Office Bearers will give a directive regarding church events beyond April 2020.

For a detailed communication of the impact of the national lockdown on AFM church activities, again refer to the following statement issued on 25 March 2020:

https://afm-ags.org/afm-statement-coronavirus-implications-of-national-lockdown/

And to download the 2020 AFM National Calendar, kindly visit the following link:

https://afm-ags.org/category/media/

4. PASTORAL LETTER: 1ST QUARTER

I want to encourage you to make sure that you have also received and read the Pastoral Letter of the first quarter. The articles contained in this issue will be of great value to you and your ministry. Two of the articles are written in a practical style to assist you and your assembly with tools and steps regarding:

  • The Role of the Pastor in a Missional Church Context
  • Implementing the One AFM Game Plan Driver: Community Involvement

Available online from:

https://afm-ags.org/pastoral-letter-1st-quarter-2020/

Blessings!

MG Mahlobo

Nuusflits: Donderdag, 9 April 2020

Laai die PDF weergawe hier af:

9 APRIL AFR 2020

AGS Kollega,

Laat ons die baken van Hoop vir Suid-Afrika wees. Wat ook al gebeur, ons bly mense van Hoop. Ons het Hoop en ons glo in Jesus Christus, ons Here. Mag die genade van God, die liefde van Jesus en die verbondenheid van die Heilige Gees in jou rus, regeer en by jou bly – nou en vir altyd. Die Koronavirus-krisis, sal ook verbygaan.

1. DRINGENDE KOMMUNIKASIE AAN ONS PASTORE: DIE ROL VAN DIE KERK IN VERBAND MET DIE IMPAK VAN DIE KORONAVIRUS

Die Suid-Afrikaanse Raad van Kerke (SARK) het uitgereik na Nasionale Kerkleiers met ‘n voorgestelde Koronavirus Pastorale Plan. Hierdie plan poog om die negatiewe impak van die Koronavirus op sommige van ons plaaslike gemeenskappe aan te spreek. Die plan het vier belangrike fokusse: (i) Verligting, (ii) Bewusmaking, (iii) Versorging en (iv) Ondersteuning (insluitend Voorspraak “Advocacy”).

Die plan is om plaaslike ekumeniese netwerke (“Local Ecumenical Networks” – LEAN) te skep wat bestaan ​​uit ‘n minimum van tien (10) pastore van verskillende denominasies of bedieninge in plaaslike gemeenskappe. Hierdie LEAN-netwerke moet Whatsapp-groepe skep wat alle huishoudings binne hul omgewing insluit vir kommunikasiedoeleindes. As hierdie WhatsApp-groepe aan die SARK se WhatsApp gekoppel wil wees, kan dit gedoen word.

Daar is tans twee (2) kwessies wat dringend aandag benodig.

Dit is die verskaffing van “Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)” en Voedselsekuriteit.

“Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)”

Huidiglik is daar ‘n tekort aan PPE, veral vir gesondheidswerkers. Hulle is die “voetsoldate” op die voorpunt van die stryd teen die Koronavirus. Hulle beskerming teen die infeksie moet nie in gedrang wees nie. Ons het die regering versoek om alles in sy vermoë te doen om die verskaffing van PPE te verseker.

Voedselsekuriteit

Voedselsekuriteit het dringend aandag nodig. Volgens beramings sal meer as 200 000 huishoudings in Suid-Afrika voedsel benodig teen volgende week (vanaf Maandag, 13 April 2020). Hierdie getal kan toeneem tot 300 000 gesinne as die nasionale inperking op Donderdag, 16 April 2020 nie opgehef word nie. Die SARK het vergaderings met die regering gehou rondom hierdie kwessie. Die regering is bereid om in te gryp deur die Solidariteit Fonds wat hy geskep het.

Drie (3) dinge word van kerke vereis. Die eerste een is die vermoë om huishoudings te identifiseer wat voedsel benodig. Die tweede is die bereidwilligheid van kerke om die verspreiding aan die families in nood te doen. Die derde is om samewerking met gemeenskapsgebaseerde organisasies te verseker.

Intussen het ek NLF lede versoek om ‘n antwoord by hul betrokke streke en rolspelers te kry oor hul bereidwilligheid om deel te neem aan die skepping van LEAN, met die oog op die uitdagings en verligting ten opsigte van voedselsekuriteit. Jy sal binnekort van hierdie versoek hoor vanaf jou streeksleiers. Dui asseblief in jou antwoord aan indien jou gemeente alreeds ‘n struktuur met stelsels het wat dit kan doen. Ons sal dit hoog op prys stel indien jy ook kan aandui indien die kerkfasiliteit beskikbaar gestel kan word vir skandering en isolasie van besmette individue in die plaaslike gemeenskap. Indien nodig mag daar ook vereis word dat die kerk se fasiliteite gebruik word om voedsel voorrade te stoor.

Die leierskap van die SARK is versoek om die regering te toets oor die moontlikheid om geskenkbewyse (“vouchers”) in plaas van kospakkies te gebruik. Hierdie geskenkbewyse moet vir alle afsetpunte, insluitend snoepwinkels en spazawinkels aanvaarbaar wees.

Verdere inligting rondom die SARK se Pastorale Plan is hier beskikbaar:

On the Coronavirus Pastoral Plan of SACC9444

2. GOEIE VRYDAG BOODSKAP

Ek het vooraf ‘n boodskap opgeneem vir Goeie Vrydag 2020. Hierdie boodskap sal Vrydag oggend beskikbaar wees op die AGS Facebook-blad. Afgesien van die twee-weeklikse Pastorale Nuusflitse, is dit belangrik om gereelde kontak met die nasionale kantoor te behou. Ek moedig jou aan om gedurende hierdie uitdagende tyd bewus te wees van gereelde kommunikasie wat gedeel word, ook deur ons Facebook-blad en webtuiste:

Facebook: @AFMOFSA

Webwerf: www.afm-ags.org

Om meer te weet oor hoe om in verbinding te bly met ons:

3. AGS NASIONALE KANTOOR

Die AGS Nasionale Kantoor is gesluit gedurende die inperkingsperiode. 

Vir algemene navrae kan die volgende personeel per e-pos gekontak word:

Sureta (Finansies): [email protected]

Mpho Sethole (Data): [email protected]

Mpho Seleka (Beroepe & Gemeentesake ): [email protected]

Jolande (Huweliksbevestigers/Aanstellings/Resolusie 181): [email protected]

In die geval van ‘n noodgeval, skakel die volgende nommers:

  • Mnr. Desmond Alie (Kantoor Bestuurder): 079 864 3009
  • Mnr. France Madiba: 072 704 2347
  • Dr. Henri Weideman (Algemene Sekretaris): 083 282 8432
  • Past. George Mahlobo (President): 083 229 8852

Finansiële stabiliteit en kommunikasie gedurende die inperking. 

Ons opdrag is dat alle Pastore en hul plaaslike Tesouriers/Finansiële Administrateurs, maniere moet vind om dit vir lidmate moontlik te maak om hul tiendes deur middel van elektroniese finansiële transaksies (EFT) te kan gee. Ons moedig ons Pastore en ons strukture aan om innoverende moontlikhede vir deurlopende kommunikasie met ons lidmate te ondersoek, insluitend maar nie beperk tot: Whatsapp, Facebook en ander sosiale media platforms, aanlyn-uitsending van preke en e-pos. In hierdie tye wat ons nie fisies saam kan wees nie, moet ons geestelik en elektronies bymekaar uitkom. Beheerliggame se vergaderings kan ook gehou word op platforms soos Skype, Zoom, WhatsApp, video-oproepe ens. Ons moet gereeld met mekaar kommunikeer om ons Hoop en Geloof te deel en so mekaar aan te moedig (Hebreërs 10: 24-25).

AGS Byeenkomste

Ek wil alle Pastore, Leiers en lidmate herinner dat alle byeenkomste, kinderbediening en die 2020 AGS Goeie Vrydag konferensies gekanselleer is. Die volgende byeenkomste word opgeskort hangende verdere kommunikasie:

  • NOB Regional Visits
  • Regional Leaders/Secretaries/Administrators Regional Workshop
  • Administration of Justice Workshop
  • MIL Workshops

As die verspreiding van Koronavirus nie teen einde April 2020 bekamp is nie, sal alle nasionale departemente se konferensies herskeduleer of gekanselleer moet word. Die Nasionale Ampsdraers sal verdere instruksies gee ten opsigte van alle byeenkomste wat na die maand van April 2020 geskeduleer is.

Verwys gerus weer na die AGS se volledige verklaring rondom die impak van die Koronavirus en die nasionale inperking op alle kerk aktiwiteite. Die verklaring was uitgereik op 25 Maart 2020 en is beskikbaar vanaf die AGS webblad:

https://afm-ags.org/afm-statement-coronavirus-implications-of-national-lockdown/

Besoek asseblief die volgende skakel om die AGS Nasionale Kalender af te laai:

https://afm-ags.org/category/media/

4. PASTORALE BRIEF: 1ste KWARTAAL

Laastens wil ek jou graag aanmoedig om seker te maak dat jy die 1ste Kwartaal se Pastorale Brief onder oë gehad het. Ek glo dat die artikels in hierdie uitgawe tot groot seën van jou bediening sal wees. Twee van die artikels is vanuit ‘n praktiese perspektief geskryf met die doel om jou toe te rus met nodige kennis en stappe rakende:

  • Die rol van die Pastoor in ‘n missionale-kerk konteks.
  • Implementering van die One AFM Game Plan: Gemeenskapsbetrokkenheid

Beskikbaar aanlyn by :

https://afm-ags.org/pastoral-letter-1st-quarter-2020/

Groete en Seën!
MG Mahlobo