05 April 2020
Dear Church Leaders across our beloved Province of KwaZulu Natal,
COVID-19 CHURCH DISASTER RESPONSE: A Call to all KZN Church Leaders
We greet you in the name of Jesus Christ, our Saviour.
The Covid-19 pandemic & resultant lockdown are causing immense spiritual, psychological, emotional and physical stress, fear and anxiety – with the loss of jobs & income, increase in domestic violence, lack of food, and infections & sickness. The weeks ahead are going to get much harder.
Now is the time for us, as the Church (at all levels, across the Province), to “get ourselves connected, organized and get into action” for the (inevitable) brutal impact of the pandemic. .
The KZN Christian Council, in consultation with a broad cross-section of Church Leaders, have established an inclusive & coordinated KZN Covid-19 CHURCH DISASTER RESPONSE structure
It includes 5 Provincial Task Teams to lead & support our responses at the municipal, local fraternal & congregational level. Accordingly, we humbly, but boldly, call on Churches Leaders across the Province, to come together in the following very specific and practical ways: –
- Convene your local ecumenical Ministers’ Fraternals (Christian association) on-line, this week, and discuss this “Call to Action” – in relation to your shared local community. Get connected and get organized!
- Call your congregation to pray, fast, render service and action to overturn Covid-19.
- Donate, gather & provide food & cash to the most vulnerable.
- Circulate the pastoral letters & other relevant Information that will be sent to you regularly. B. A Guide & Toolkit will be available within one week.
- Make suitable Church buildings available as “Hope Centres” to complement needs of the health system, as will likely be required (for storage, distribution, testing or quarantining).
- Identify families needing emergency relief & advise our structures. Further, identify those who may need other forms of support in your congregations, e.g. the sick & elderly, health workers, volunteers, etc.
The battle-line of the Covid-19 storm is going to be in our communities, with the frontline in our health facilities (hospitals, clinics & health centres). We need to be prepared to collaborate at this level. Our Ministers’ Fraternals need to be actively refocused on all the above.
Dear Friends in Christ now is a time for our congregations to act like the Good Samaritan rather than the Priest or the Levite. Let us imitate Jesus by committing & sacrificing our time, talent & resources to the victims of Covid-19. Let us be our brothers’ & sisters’ keepers. Could there be a better time for the Church to confront & defeat this Virus, than Holy Week & Easter – by responding to this Call to act.
Below is a list of your key contact persons, for you as Church Leaders: –
- Mxoli Nyuswa: 081 295 1930 Zululand, King Cetshwayo & uMkhanyakude district municipalities
Revd Sonto Thusi: 078 029 0774 – Uthukela, Amajuba & uMzinyathi district municipalities
- Revd Milton Cele: 082 453 0469 – Ugu & Harry Gwala (South) district municipalities
- Revd, Dr Lucas Ngoetjana: 076 129 3686 – uMgungundlovu district municipalities
- Bishop Nathi Zondi – 083 340 8135, Pastor Ivan Haylock – 082 8225768 and Pastor Peter Watt – 083 779 3872 – Greater eThekwini Metro area
Brothers and Sisters in Christ, this then, is the Call. We will be following up with other specifics in the days and weeks ahead.
May our God strengthen and lead us through this storm – into the calm which our Lord Jesus brings to those who call on Him in need: “Oh Lord, how we need you at this time”!
On behalf of the extended Church Leadership of KZN, in & because of our Faith,
+Wilfrid Cardinal Napier OFM
Dean Nkosinathi Myaka
Chairman of the KZN Church Leaders Group