011 622 4142 MISSION SA 509 P01 04. 10. 90 08:42
NATIONAL CONFERENCE OF CHURCHES IN SOUTH AFRICA 5-9 NOV 1990
PO Box 7933: Senderwood 2145
Tel: 011 62257500
Fax (011) 822-4142
FAX COVER SHEET
TO FAX NO (02231) 77-4336
CONTACT NAME: PROF W JONKER
DATE: 3 OCTOBER 1990
FROM CONTACT NAME: BARNEY PITYANA / DENNIS HOUSE
FROM FAX NO 011 – 622-4142
TOTAL NO OF PAGES 7 (Incl. Cover Sheet)
CHURCH CONFERENCE 5-9 NOVEMBER 1990
We have great pleasure in inviting you to the above Conference with a view to participating in the manner indicated on the enclosed draft programme. Some 250 participants are expected to attend, representing Churches, Religious Organisations and Para-Church Groupings from right across the spectrum of organised Christianity in South Africa. It will certainly be an historic event. Through it we believe that Christianity in South Africa is being challenged to a united witness in certain areas in the face of the changes now confronting the whole nation.
You will notice that a sincere attempt has been made find a balance between the various theological perspectives represented in our country. At the same time we are inviting speakers who can present a challenging, informed and inspired message.
Steering Committee: Co-Chairman:
Dr. Louw Alberts and Rev. Dr. Frank Chikane
Committee members: Dr. Isak Burger. Mr Michael Cassidy. Prof. Johan Heyns. Mr Dennis House. Mrs Emma Mashinini. Rev. Ray McCauly. Bishop Wilfred Napier. Archbishop Themba Nlogana. Rev. John P Scholtz. Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
Toward united Christian witness in a changing South Africa
The main thrust of the conference will be the group discussions but in order for them to succeed the programme requires:
- Devotional leaders in the morning that will set the tone for the rest of the day. These speakers are asked to spend 15-20 minutes in a scripture exposition around the concept of Unity in Christ.
- Speakers introducing the various topics in a period of 30 minutes. Please note that their papers must be handed in by 26 October for reproduction by 5 November. Moreover, a copy must be sent directly to the appropriate respondent by the same date. Because of overseas visitors the Conference will be conducted in English.
- Respondents are to present a critique of the paper in a period of 10 minutes and formulate two questions/propositions that can get the discussion groups started.
- The Epilogue (15 minutes) should be essentially spiritual in character in order that participants may be encouraged and challenged with a view to their personal quiet times.
We trust that you will see your way clear to accept the invitation and participate in the rest of the Conference. For those speakers whose organisations cannot pay for their expenses the Steering Committee will accept the responsibility.
DENNIS HOUSE N BARNEY PITYANA
CONFERENCE CO-ORDINATORS ON BEHALF OF STEERING COMMITTEE
SOME NOTES ON PROGRAMME
- We, the staff at the National Coordinating Office, met last week and reviewed the programme. I set out herein some of our anxieties as well as our proposals to improve it.
1.1. We noted that there is a large number speakers drawn from the leadership of participating groups and theologians. We are concerned that this circumstance may minimise participation, and groups may not be effectively resourced. We noted also that this historic event, where churches which have been at times hostile to each other or indifferent, there does not seem to be any opportunity for dialogue about their essential theological positions in order to promote better understanding. Thirdly, we note (and this may be perfectly understandable in the light of pressures on the programme) that there is no provision for free time which could be used for exposure visits or sightseeing. That kind of “rest” could be essential for the delegates to get to know one another.
1.2. We appreciate that the programme as outlined cannot now be changed eg. the speakers reflect a need to maintain the balance and prominence for the participating bodies. We are therefore confining ourselves to the restructuring of the rest of the programme.
- MONDAY ARRIVALS
12.30 – 2.00 Lunch
14.30 – 4.00 Registration
15.00 Opening worship
Preacher: Archbishop D. Tutu
16.30 Session 1: Opening Actions
Chair: Dr. Louw Alberts
Preliminary remarks and Greetings:
The Conference in Outline:
Mr. Michael Cassidy
Dr. Khoza Mgojo
20.00 Session 2: Understanding the South African Reality
Dr. Frank Chikane
Prof. Koos Vorster
Dr. Elaine Botha
Archbishop H.N. Ngada
22.00 Informal Fellowship
08.00 Morning Worship: Bishop Joe Bell
09.00 Session 3: Understanding the Church situation and
Prof. W. Jonker
Prof. John de Gruchy
Bishop T. Mfecane
Dr. F.P. Möller Jr./Dr. Izak Burger
11.00 Session 4: Groups
15.00 Session 5: Groups
17.00 Session 6: Report Back
20.00 Forum: Perspectives on Future of S.A.
Dr. David Bosch
Fr. SMangaliso Mkatshwa
Pastor Hugh Whetmore
22.00 Epilogue: Ms. Moalosi
08.00 Morning Worship (Revd. Maswanganye)
09.00 Session 7: Church/State relations in S.A.
Prof. J. Heyns
Prof. C. Villa Vicencio
Revd. M. Rajuili
Revd. Rex Mathie
11.00 Session 8: Groups
15.00 Session 9: Groups
17.00 Session 10: Report Back
21.00 Concert: “Spirit Wind” – leading to Prayer & Praise
Inspirational Address: Ray McCauley
08.00 Morning Worship (Bishop Serote)
09.00 Session 11: The Role of the Church in a Changing South Africa
Revd. Caesar Molebatsi
Dr. Beyers Naude
Dr. D. Morphew
Revd. Roxanne Jordan
11.00 Session 12: Groups
12.00 Session 13: Report back
17.00 Discussion on Declaration of Principles
20.00 International Forum
22.00 Epilogue: Bishop W. Napier
08.00 prayers: Prof E.K. Lukamane
08.30 Session 14: Presentation of draft Statement/Declaration.
11.00 Session 15: Final Statements
Chair: Dr. Frank Chikane
Final Address: Dr. Louw Alberts
12.00 Closing Worship:
That the feature of the programme is that the work is bounded by worship. We trust that there will be both variety and tradition. We are approaching a team to help facilitate our acts of worship throughout the week There will be 3 major acts of worship – Opening, Wednesday evening and the closing Services.
- On Tuesday there is a forum to promote dialogue among and about the participating confessions. Representatives will be invited to share briefly their understanding of the challenge facing Christian Witness today from the perspective of their tradition.
- There will be a number of overseas observers among us. The International Forum on Thursday evening is designed to offer a perspective from the overseas fellowship.
- Thursday afternoon has been kept open for relaxation, sightseeing, etc. However, because of the cost factor, we will not be able to arrange outings, but participants are free to use the time as they wish. The conference centre has an attractive variety of recreational facilities.
1st October 1990.