Priorities

Dear Friends,

The past two weeks we focused on Child Protection and the Elections.

Child Protection Month
Childhood is a critical stage for character, moral, and spiritual formation. Early spiritual development of children that includes fellowship, mentoring, exposure to God’s love language can have a lasting impact on a child’s faith and values. It is for this reason that in our mission and ministry, children are prioritised.

It was exciting to host children from the Circuit’s Early Childhood Development Centres — Gateway (Kensington) and Stepping Stones (District Six) during Child Protection Week. This was done in partnership with FAMSA’s Wellness Hub (based at CMM during the week). Children were educated on what it means to be healthy as well as on their right to good health. They were offered vitamins and had great fellowship and playtime.

At CMM we will endeavour to include and prioritise children in our services where we can. We will continue to observe the principles of child protection week to educate adults on just and healthy relationships with children and the responsibility to nurture and shape children as responsible ethical leaders.

 

 

Elections
South Africa enters an unprecedented and critical stage of her democracy. Response to this stage by politicians may shape or further fragment the nation.

The Church’s mandate at this critical time is to insist on the project to unite people, uplift and develop the poor, educate and safeguard all children, and the provision of bread for all people (eliminating hunger). The church, in her prophetic mission, should question any agenda that protects the privilege of some at the expense of others (Brueggemann) as it is contrary to the commandment to love.

God bless South Africa (and all the world) guard her children,
guide her leaders and grant her peace.

Peace, Sikawu

 

The bell, banners and blasphemy

 

Friends,

The first Yellow Banner that CMM raised was in 2011. In solidarity with The Right To Know Campaign (r2k) and many other civil society organisations CMM decided to spread the disturbing news about The Protection of Information Act, more honestly known as The Secrecy Bill. A Bill that would seriously curtail the press and punish whistle-blowers. In short, it was a law that would make it easier to lie and more difficult to speak the truth. We figured Jesus would object to it, so we objected to it.

This kick-started CMM’s Yellow Banner Campaign that would result in 18 more Yellow Banners being raised up CMM’s steeple tower, covering topics as varied as: The Arms Deal; ARVs; Xenophobia; Gender based violence; Sex Work; Homophobia; COVID; Marikana; Housing and State Capture among others.

What they all had in common was 1] an abuse of power resulting in vulnerable people becoming more vulnerable and 2] a remnant of courageous resistance. 

I am excited to let you know that a book about CMM’s Yellow Banner Campaign is about to come out. It is called The bell, banners and blasphemy. This book hopes to tell a little of CMM’s story for the past 13 years or so. The book includes large colour photos of the banners and a social and theological commentary of each Yellow Banner. There is also a photo essay of CMM’s hospitality to the refugees.

As a result of a gift, a 100% of the sales for the first 250 copies will go directly to Stepping Stones Preschool.

You will be notified of a book launch as soon as a date is confirmed. If you have any enquiries or if you would like to purchase the book or host a discussion / launch, please email: aslowwalkbooks@gmail.com

In grace,
Alan

Learn… Unlearn… Relearn…

 

Friends,

Last week I visited Humanity, an evolution exhibition at the Iziko South African Museum of Natural History – situated in the Company Gardens. (It is time the Company Gardens be renamed!) I highly recommend this exhibition as it invites us to reflect on ‘What makes us the SAME’, ‘What makes us DIFFERENT’ and ‘What makes us HUMAN’.

The exhibition makes an important stand against discrimination and racism in particular. It states clearly that “Races are not real. Racism is”. We are reminded that every single human being shares 99.9 % identical DNA with the next person. How the world needs to be reminded that every painfilled legacy of discriminatory othering is based on less than 0.1% of a human being!

The exhibition that is profound in its simplicity and accessibility critiques how evolution studies have been studied and communicated over the years. In this way it ‘decolonises’ this discipline. Remember a couple of years back some people were asking how it was possible to ‘decolonise’ science, after all “science is science” they said. Well, this exhibition is a brilliant example of decolonising education. It reveals the historical biases (and blatant prejudices) of white men in the field of evolutionary studies. The exhibition exposes stuff that I took for granted and never even thought to question.

This example of decolonising of education is a challenge to all of us to critique our own fields of interest or expertise. For example, if we look at the inside structure of CMM with its fixed pews in straight lines, it is easy to see column of colonial soldiers marching in straight lines. Eyes front! Focused on the back of the soldiers’ head in front of them. No talking! Only one person speaks. The commander in the front – who shouts the commands. Everyone else must listen and obey. So instead of community we have columns. Instead of “braided” truth we have single truth spoken. Instead of seeing each other’s faces – we see the back of each other’s heads. We don’t know if a person is happy or sad, weeping or frowning. Sadly, this model is replicated over and over again – even in churches without fixed pews. Free standing chairs are placed in straight rows revealing how we willingly participate in our own “confinement” opting for columns over community, and so undermining the gospel we proclaim.

May we continue to learn… unlearn… relearn…

In grace,
Alan