Grahamstown

Dean’s Letter, September 3 2017

Dear Cathedral family

Today at the 9.30 a.m. service is a very special day for us all: the announcement and induction of our Head Chorister for 2 017-2018; and the induction and robing of five new choristers. What a wonderful team of deeply committed and talented musicians we have! Our choir intern/assistant Director of Music, Kutlwano Kepadisa (Kepa), together with Anelisa Kelemi, lead the choir with distinction and grace and vision. Asakhe Cuntusalana (marimba intern) heads up our marimba team. In the absence of a Cathedral organist, we are blessed by a team of volunteer organists (and a pianist) from the Cathedral and around town. There is a music choosing group. Maggy Clarke keeps in touch with everyone and ensures that communication happens between the various groups and teams. I am immensely grateful to all who play such a big role in leading and shaping the worship at the Cathedral.

We continue to hope that Cameron Luke, the Director of Music-designate, will be able to join us sooner rather than later. But the paperwork and visa application process is lengthy and takes, it seems forever. We are currently waiting for his SAQA certificate to reach us. A while back we had hoped that he would join us soon after the Festival; then we set our hopes on Advent Sunday; now I am not so sure! We simply don’t know when the doors will finally open. Please let’s hold Cameron, and our music team, in our love and prayers during this uncertain and challenging time.

Next Sunday is our annual cluster Confirmation service. We shall be joined by candidates from parishes in our archdeaconry. It is good that this takes place on a Sunday morning, in the context of our regular Sunday worship. We can welcome and embrace those being confirmed, and their families; it is a community celebration and significant event; we can see their happy faces! As well as confirming our younger candidates – teenagers and some students – the Bishop will also admit, from other churches, adults who are moving over to the Anglican Church.

The sacramental rite of Confirmation is many things. It is a rite or moment of passage or transition from childhood into adulthood. It is when we make a personal commitment to Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour. We receive the power of the Holy Spirit for worship, witness and service. We choose, as young adults, to put our faith and trust in God. To walk in the Christian way. To believe. The Catechism puts it like this: “Confirmation is the rite in which we express a mature commitment to Christ, and receive strength from the Holy Spirit through prayer and the laying on of hands by a bishop.”[1]

The image I enjoy is one of belonging, feeling welcome, coming home. Over the past few months, a pair of robins (birds) have taken to coming into the deanery kitchen, when we are there, to look for food. We find their beak marks in the butter. They tackle the sugar. They are inquisitive, bold, curious, delightful. I welcome them and enjoy watching them feel at home. Like those two robins, my prayer is that our confirmation candidates will feel at home and know that they belong.

My love to you all

[1] An Anglican Prayer Book 1989. Pg 441, #122