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1. AFM of SA: National Calendar 2022
2. 2022 NOB Empowerment: Programme
3. Pastoral Letter: 1st Quarter 2022 (New!)
1. GOOD FRIDAY & RESURRECTION SUNDAY
As a child, I always wondered why the Friday of Passover was called “Good” Friday. For me, the images of the betrayal, suffering and painful death of Jesus were anything but “good.” Only later I realised that without the sacrifice on the cross, there would not have been a crown and no victory over sin and death. Hebrews 12:2 encourages us to “…fix our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. For the joy set before Him, He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” The vision Jesus had was the joy of redeeming and saving the lost. He gave His life as a ransom for many, and that made that particular Friday GOOD.
As followers of Jesus, we must celebrate Good Friday and again confirm our personal acceptance of the redeeming sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. We should however not linger too long at the empty cross and the empty grave but move with Jesus to the resurrection life made possible by Him. His victory over death and the power of the Holy Spirit enables us to live with resurrection power – even in challenging times.
Allow me to share a Good Friday message with you. Further, we will also post a special Resurrection Sunday video message on all AFM of SA social media platforms on Sunday, 17 April 2022.
2. COMMENTS ON THE DRAFT HEALTH REGULATIONS
The deadline for comments on the Draft Health Regulations is Friday, 15 April 2022. The Draft Health Regulations most applicable to the church are 16 J (4) and (5):
16J 4: “Indoor and outdoor gatherings may be restricted in accordance with the scientific evidence of the risk of transmission. During the Covid-19 pandemic the indoor and outdoor gatherings will be up to 50% of the venue capacity may be occupied on the proviso that:
(a) Production (of) a valid vaccine certificate,
(b) They practice social distancing of at least 1m; and
(c) Compulsory mask wearing for indoor gatherings.”
16J 5: “Notwithstanding the provisions above, the attendance of gatherings without proof of vaccination shall be limited to 1,000 indoors and 2,000 outdoors, but the conditions on paragraphs (b) and (c) above will be applicable.” (sic)
The National Office Bearers (NOB) studied the document and made a submission to the Department of Health. In summary, our position is as follows:
A. The Apostolic Faith Mission of South Africa is concerned that the Draft Health Regulations may impose a duty on the church to exclude our members based on their vaccination status. The AFM strongly supports the principle of freedom of choice. We are of the opinion that it would be a serious violation of the right to religious freedom as guaranteed by Sections 15 and 31 of the South-African Constitution, for the Draft Health Regulations to require proof of vaccination to attend gatherings of over 1,000 people indoors or 2,000 outdoors.
We propose that Regulation 16 be amended to do away with the requirement of proof of vaccination and that the religious sector be allowed to regulate its own gatherings according to existing hygiene measures, such as sanitising and social distancing.
B. The Draft Health Regulations do not include a defined criteria or process for a disease to be declared an endemic or a pandemic. Furthermore, the Draft Health Regulations impose the same degree of limitation on human rights, irrespective of the severity of the disease. No differentiation is made between a category 1, 2, 3 or 4 Notifiable Medical Condition (NMC) as per Annexure A, Tables 1, 2, 3. The limitations can seemingly remain in force indefinitely.
We propose that the Draft Health Regulations be amended to clearly define the criteria and the process for the declaration of an NMC to be a pandemic or an endemic, as well as the criteria and process to end any imposed limitations. We propose that limitations on gatherings should only be considered for category 1 NMCs, with a scientifically proven high risk of transmission.
3. A WORD OF THANKS & APPRECIATION
Brother Desmond Alie, our General Manager at the National Office for the last nearly 8 years retired at the end of February 2022. I hereby personally thank and appreciate him on this platform as well, for his loyalty, assistance and positive input over the years. He also played an important role in the unity processes of the church. I trust that the new season of his life will bring much fruit and satisfaction.
In managing the impact of the pandemic, the National Office Bearers (NOB) resolved to not fill the position immediately. The NOB and designated staff members will provisionally take care of the responsibilities.
4. 2022 NOB EMPOWERMENT VISITS
The National Office Bearers (NOB) are looking forward to once again being able to meet in person with our Pastors, Governing Body Members, Departments, Assembly Representatives and Youth, during the Regional NOB Empowerment for 2022. This year we will be sharing on the theme of Stewardship to which we are all called as believers and servants of God. Stewardship is also an important part of our Missional Strategy under the focus area of Governance.
20-21 May: Northern Cape (AFM Rehobot, Upington) & Eastern Cape (Gees en Lewe, East London).Highlights of the North West & Gauteng NOB Empowerment Workshops: