Chairman address 2022

Our Diocesan Theme which was introduced in the Bishop’s Charge in December last year is “New wine is put into new wineskins and so both are preserved” (Matthew 9:17). The theme is undergirded by three sub-themes, i.e. Remembrance, Identity, and Defining the New Normal.
Remembrance calls for an appreciation of the past, a reflection on where we came from, and is essentially a call to allow our blessed history to fund our hope and dreams for the future. Identity calls for a critical look at who and what we are, so that we can determine if we have or are compromising our calling. Lastly, Defining the New Normal is an exercise in coming to terms with the changes which the C-19 pandemic and our ever-changing VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous) context demands.
Tumelong Mission was originally a settlement in Lady Selborne. It was established in about 1939 at the request of Bishop Wilfred Parker. A large nursery school (early childhood development centre) was established on the premises which already housed the church and the mission house. The staff of Tumelong were available to the Church and community and handled anything from sacristan work in the church, Sunday School work, first aid for victims of assault, training for church workers, etc. Tumelong was not an apolitical ministry and got caught up in the resistance to the oppressive laws during the establishment of grand-apartheid in the 1950’s. One of its earliest Wardens, Mrs Hannah Stanton was imprisoned and later deported.
Tumelong Mission in Lady Selborne was eventually demolished by the Apartheid regime in 1966 and the work continued from the Cathedral premises, and spread to include projects in Hammanskraal, Ga-Rankuwa, and Mabopane. These projects included sewing clubs, school-feeding schemes, selling high-protein foods, developing curriculums for Sunday Schools and facilitating the training of teachers.
Tumelong has survived further disruptions like the 1976 unrest and the resultant changes in staff, location, and projects. Today it’s administrative headquarters is at the St Saviour’s Church premises in Pretoria West, and its work has footprints all over the Diocese of Pretoria.
Today Tumelong is ministry of the Diocese of Pretoria which focuses mostly on relief and development and it does this work in partnership with HOPE Africa (an Anglican Church of Southern Africa entity). Its program of work covers HIV/Aids; Fill a Bag (Food parcels and clothes), Bottle Tops and Bread bag Tags to exchange for wheelchairs, Orphans and Vulnerable Children (in collaboration with the Starfish Greathearts Foundation), Early Childhood Development, and Family Values.
Our stated objective remains to focus on the actual needs of the people and to provide material and other means of support to those in need regardless of religion, race, or creed. It also includes the building of sustainable quality of life through the provision of skills in order to overcome hunger, poverty, ad unemployment.

Defining the ‘New Normal’
The Covid-19 pandemic has underlined the critical need for a ministry such as Tumelong. Through its vast network it has helped the Church in the Diocese of Pretoria to respond to the need for relief, care and development amongst those who were deeply affected by the pandemic. In this Tumelong were greatly assisted by the governments’ Solidarity Fund (through HOPE Africa), many of the churches in the Diocese of Pretoria, and a number of individuals who provide support.
One of the positive developments in our response to the ‘new normal’ is the cementing of the partnership with the Department of Health, and the beginning of a new partnership with PEPFAR.
The need for Tumelongs’ work has become more pronounced during the pandemic and it is indeed heartening to see how well the staff is responding to the increased demands.
Immense gratitude must go to Paulina Tlaka (director) and her team, the Tumelong Board, our funders and partners, the parish churches of the Diocese of Pretoria and the individuals who support the mission of Tumelong.
We face the future with confidence, since we are able to see how Tumelong has been provided for in the past. We remain committed to provide care, relief, and development to the holy faithful people of God.

The Rt Revd AJ Kannemeyer
Chairman of the Tumelong Board

Director’s message 2022

It gives me great pleasure to present this 2021 Annual Report for Tumelong.

Operating for the second full year under the conditions dictated by the Covid-19 pandemic has been exceedingly difficult. We have felt this most sharply in the dramatic drop in enrolments at our ECD centres, and our inability to implement capacity building projects. Nevertheless, our ECD centres remain important assets for the Diocese and the communities they serve. This is underlined by the decision of the church at provincial level to prioritise early childhood development and their desire to learn from our experience.

On the positive side, our HIV-AIDS work received a substantial boost by the full absorption of our Community Health Workers into the payroll of the Department of Health. By this, Tumelong surrenders a degree of control over its personnel but gains in return a progressive new model of partnership which ensures the church’s witness continues – and does so at much reduced cost – while shared outcomes are achieved.

Another positive thing to highlight is that despite the financial pressures that our local congregations have been subjected to since the Covid-19 pandemic began, they still were able collectively to donate than 1 173 food parcels, 115 bags of clothes as well as bottle tops. Food parcels are the bedrock of our Care and Relief Programme and it is indisputable that without the participation of individual parishes this work would collapse. We are especially grateful to those handful of parishes which despite their own financial pressures refused to de-prioritise this area of their own mission to the world in need.

Perhaps the most significant achievement has been the addition of a whole new project to our suite of services following a successful fundraising effort. This is the PEPFAR-funded Family Matters / Parental Care project, which at its peak will equip 720 parents with skills to foster healthy relationships with their children.

I believe that 2022 will be a better year. With the relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions and the opening of churches, we will now be able to meet with Friends of Tumelong and social development coordinators to work on scale, using a new model of delivery which significantly shifts the locus of activity to the local and archdeaconry level. This is in line with the empowerment approach introduced to our social development coordinators a couple of years ago, called the Church and Community Mobilisation Process (CCMP).

I ask you to continue to support us as you have done with material and financial help, but above everything else with prayers for us and for the work we do.

Lastly, my deep-felt thanks to all – our parishes, diocesan institutions and organisations, donors, and stakeholders – for your support. Special thanks are due to Bishop Allan and the Governing Body for their commitment and guidance, as well as to our staff and volunteers for their hard work, patience and sacrifice.



Bishop Jo Seoka center- Ga- Rankuwa

  1. Learner Profile

The centre runs a day care and after care programme. The after-care programme had 37 children while the day care programme had 32.

These numbers reflect a decline of 3 and 8 leaners when compared to 2019. The general leaner profile of the centre is shown in the table below.

Table 6: Learner Profile of Bp Jo Seoka Centre

0 – 3 years7613
3 – 4 years459
4 – 5 years6410
  1. Food garden

The centre received vegetable seedlings from Tumelong Mission which were duly planted in the yard. The garden project is going well and is being looked after by one of the volunteer staff.

  1. Mandela Day Event

The centre played host to the Diocesan Mandela Day commemoration which was held successfully on 18 July 2019.

The events started with a Morning Prayer, hosted at the adjacent St Peter’s Parish.

The Morning Prayer was led by the Archdeacon of Tshwane-Bokone, the Venerable Zamile Adonis who was representing the Bishop. He was assisted by the parish rector, the Revd Titus Motau.

A number of people, including ten priests, participated in the day’s activities which included cleaning of the buildings and planting of the food garden.

Father Titus Motau (R) poses with some of the priests and other participants after planting  a tree

A total amount of R727.00 from the collection plate was received as a donation to Tumelong Mission.

Green-Anglicans, an environmental ministry of the church led by youg people, donated six trees which were planted on the premises.

In addition to the trees, the following donations were received from a variety of partner institutions and individuals.

Table 7: Donors for Mandela Day

DonorNature of donation
St Peter’s AWF1 packet sweets; HB pencils; 12 packets wax crayons
Maboloka HavenBowel of cooked morogo (spinach)
AWF Guild of St Laurence Soshanguve1 x mop; 2 x refuse bags; 2 x Ariel washing powder; 2x5L dish washer; 1x5L multiple cleaner; 1x5L Jik; 1x5L tile cleaner; 3kg Macaroni; 2×2,5kg samp; 18 Toilet rolls; 2x1L Liquid dishwasher
LTG72 pack oranges; 1 x bag of clothes
Mr Maphanga (Manager of Elegant Fuel)24 x Coke cans; 24 x Sprite cans; 24x 500ml bottled water; 6 boxes rolls; 2 x packets of wors
Diana Higgs and friendsCleaning material; 12 x mixed tin stuff; 2kg sugar; 3kg onions; 2kg potatoes; 3kg sweet potatoes; 1 packet gloves
Public Service Commission10kg rice; 10kg mealie rice; 10kg samp; 5 x tin fish; 7 x tin beef; 36 toilet rolls; 2 x note books; 5-pencil pack
St Michael’s and All Angels2 x 18 toilet rolls
St Mary’s Pretoria North6 x 1kg Kellogg’s Corn Flakes; 24 x Lucky Star tin fish; 24 x baked beans; 6 x Bull Brand Beef.
  1. Other activities

The Parish of St Francis of Assisi in Waterkloof sponsored the centre’s Christmas party which was held on 22 November 2019. Ms. Alma Grobler from Wimpy Moreleta Park provided the children with food.

Tumelong staff

A second Christmas party was held on 4 December 2019 – courtesy of Logistics Transport Globally (LTG), a freight and supply chain company located in in Rosslyn.

Maboloka Haven 2019

Located in Maboloka near Brits in the Bojanala District Municipality (North West), this ECD centre enrolled a total of 69 children in 2019 – an increase of 23% from the number of children who were enrolled the previous year.

This increase enabled us to add a third class, something that was made possible by the expanded building project that was completed the previous year.

The table below indicates the general learner profile at the facility.

 Table 5: Learner Profile of Maboloka Haven

6 mo – 3 years15924
4-5-year-olds (a)91322
4-5 year-olds (b)101323

Thirty-eight of these learners graduated.

Learners during a graduation at Maboloka Haven

  1. Food Garden

The food garden established at the centre continued to provide vegetables and healthy meals for learners at the centre.

This is a successful project of the Archdeaconry of Madibeng, which continued to support it with tools and other essentials.

Other activities

In the course of the year, signage at the centre was completed and fire extinguishers installed, making the centre fully compliant with the applicable health and safety requirements.

The statutory registration of the centre coordinator with the South African Council of Educators (SACE) as an ECD practitioner was extended for another three-year period.

Our relationship with the Department of Health is not limited to HIV-AIDS support but extends to childcare and the provision of health services.

In July Maboloka Clinic administered immunisation catch up and nutritional screening, Mabendazole deworming tablets, and Vitamin A drops.  This is always done with parental consent.

An educational trip to Pretoria Zoological Gardens was undertaken on 13 September 2019.

In February 2019, we were privileged to be able to host a first year UNISA teaching student, Ms Alleta Mohlakoane, who is doing practicals with us to fulfil the requirements of her ECD qualification.

The Corpus Christi Anglican Church in Garsfontein sponsored the centre’s year-end party which was held on 28 November 2019.

We are left in limbo with our class of 2020 as Covid-19 is creating havoc, our children are miserable and faced with uncertainty of whether they will come back to the centre due to financial challenges.

Director’s message 2019

The year 2019 was a challenging year for Tumelong Mission. Faced with a growing financial pressures and a decline in funding, the organisation was forced to discontinue some of its projects and scaled down on operations.

We have had to shut down our Computer Centre in Soshanguve despite the need and scale down on our flagship environmental project – the Bottle Tops and Tags for Wheelchairs. Our HIV and AIDS programme, which had to contend with much reduced staff, was also a casualty of these storms.

In an effort to manage we restructured our operations, which enabled us to get going, but put additional burdens on some of our staff. The results of these pressures are reflected in this report.

Despite these severe challenges, we continued to do our best to serve God’s people.

During the year, Tumelong Mission provided voluntary HIV counselling and testing to 9 111 individuals and reached 64 000 people – mostly youth – through its outreach programme.

A total of 1 511 food parcels were distributed to needy families, an increase of 36 from last year; and seven persons with disabilities were provided with wheelchairs.

 Our two ECD centres cared for a combined total of 139 children, in both day care and after care. Not only did these learners, most of whom come from poor households who cannot afford fees, receive educational benefit; they also received nutritious meals in a safe and caring environment. For many of these learners, these meals are their only meal for the day.

A pleasing development regarding ECD is that the Madibeng Municipality has recommended that the Maboloka Haven be upgraded to the status of an Educare facility, in view of the improved buildings. Consequently, the authorities are in the process of reviewing our application to achieve this.

Our Youth Inspiration Project which we initiated last year took off to a great start, but unfortunately its further development and implementation has been hampered by resource and capacity constraints.

Amid all these challenges, we do not lose hope and we are fighting – and praying – hard for the work we are doing to continue. In the latter part of the year, we procured the services of professional fundraiser who has now begun to do some work.

Bishop Allan’s special appeal to the church in December for ongoing support for the work of Tumelong Mission has elicited some positive response, but more donations are needed from the people of God.

My prognosis is that 2020 will continue to be challenging, but I have faith that things will get better. I ask for your support and especially your prayers.

In conclusion, I thank you all – our parishes, diocesan institutions and organisations, partners, donors, and stakeholders – for your support. Special thanks are also due to Bishop Allan and the Governing Body for their commitment and guidance, as well as our staff and volunteers for their hard work, dedication and sacrifice.



“1992 is not a year on which I shall look back with undiluted pleasure. In the words of one of my more sympathetic correspondents, it has turned out to be an annus horribilis”.

These words were uttered by Queen Elizabeth II in a speech she made in 1992 to mark the occasion of the 40th anniversary of her accession to the throne. The phrase annus horribilis was first used in 1891 to describe the year in which the Roman Catholic Church defined the dogma of papal infallibility (Wikipedia).

Annus horribilis means ‘horrible year’. It is a phrase that captures the challenging nature of the year under review. The effects of a declining South African economy had severe implications for Tumelong and other Non-Governmental Organisations. Not only did government funding take a sizeable dip, but donations have all but dried up. We were faced with a situation in November 2019 where we were unable to pay salaries or bonusses at the end of the year. An appeal to the Diocese saved the day. Many folks were moved to donate.

Tumelong was then able to start the year on a positive note as a result of the generosity of the holy faithful people of God. Then the COVID-19 pandemic visited our shores. As I write we are in our fifth week of a level 5 lockdown. In less than a week we’ll enter a slight ease of the lockdown restrictions. Indications are that the church may only return to function normally from about October this year. Needless to say, the traditional support base of Tumelong is badly affected, and as a result, Tumelong’s future looks even bleaker.

We dare not lose hope. Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu used to remind us in the darkest days of the Apartheid years that we are called to be prisoners of hope. St Paul mentions hope as one of the three great virtues that abide. Hope is the firm expectation of all that God has promised through his Son our Lord Jesus Christ. Our hope should be the bedrock that anchors us in these times of uncertainty, illness, and death.

The prayer of lamentation should come naturally to us in these days of isolation. To be isolated is one thing, but when our forced isolation during the lockdown period is nuanced by the stark inequalities of our society and we see how thousands of people scramble for food, then it stems our mood to be even darker. The prayer of lamentations are shouts from the heart, shouts of suffering, groans of anguish, and screams for help. They are prayers that are uttered in pain and need, but they also express the hope that things will change, that God will listen. Such is expressed in Psalm 6.

So we shall pray for a faith to endure these troubled times. We shall try our level best to continue to bring relief where we can. And we shall fix our gaze on God in the firm expectation (hope) that God will come to the aid of his people.

Our gratitude is extended to the many generous benefactors. To the staff of Tumelong. To all the holy faithful people of God. We shall overcome.



Dedication of the new building of Tumelong Haven Creche in Maboloka on Mandela day by The Right. Revd. Allan John Kannemeyer.




Thank you all for making the time to come and celebrate with us the blessing of these humble buildings. Today is a very important day for us, not only in the history of this creche, but in our life together as the people of God.
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Nelson Mandela
Just a month ago, this creche turned 17 years. Yes, that’s how long it has taken to be where we are today. The creche started from small beginnings on 10 June 2001 as a Saturday feeding scheme for orphans and needy children, operating from a caravan at Maboloka Clinic, which you passed on your way here less than a kilometre away. MaDikeledi Khacha was instrumental here.
Two years later, the caravan grew into a “mokhukhu” – a shack – with just two rooms, serving 8 children who were attending during the week. In fact, only one room was used for learning, because the other room served as a kitchen.
Then, in 2006 this double-stand on which we are today was donated to the diocese by the lekgotla, or the chief of this area. It was through the efforts of Christina Mogale, a social worker from Madidi, that a donor installed the “zozo”, or prefabricated structures, that we are replacing today. At that time, the number of children had grown to about 20.
Seeing that the children had nowhere to play, the St Mary’s Diocesan School for Girls built these shelters under which we are gathered and the play area over there, including that sandpit and the swings.
Throughout this time, there were no proper facilities here for the children. Water was fetched from the village using 20 litre water containers “Digubu”. Toilets were initially unhygienic buckets, and even later when long-drops replaced them, they were only covered on the sides. You can imagine how degrading this must have been even to little children and indeed how fatally risky it must have been, judging by stories we have heard of children falling into pit latrines in provinces like the Eastern Cape and Limpopo.
It was only in 2017 that proper toilets were constructed ,tiled by our fellow parishner’s at Corpus Christi Garsfontein and St Francis Waterkloof, Corpus Christi installed a borehole also so that they can have access to clean water.
St Alban’s College for Boys installed a new kitchen unit and a cabinet in the store room .Sis Dorah from St Francis Waterkloof heard me saying that I will be happy if we could build a proper classrooms for the children because when it rains water come through the classes , she later asked me to do a presentation to Nozala Trust around June 2017, the Trustees of Nozala Trust gave us a substantial donation in December, supplemented by donations from Eurico Ferreira and St Mary’s Diocesan School for Girls, which enabled us to construct this new building. The building comprises 4 classrooms, an office area and a sick bay. Unfortunately, Rosanne Blackbeard from St Martin’s, Irene, who generously donated brand new and high-quality mattresses and blankets for the children could not be with us today.
So, this building which we are blessing today, marks the culmination of the work of many caring people over a long period of time. To you all who contributed financially and labouring , I express my heartfelt appreciation and that of the church, the children and the community for making it possible for us to realise this dream.
As we stand here today, this creche has 54 children, 33 of whom are girls and 21 boys, aged between 3 months and 6 years. The crèche is registered with the Department of Social Development. Our partnerships with the Department of Health and Bojanala District Municipality ensures that none of the children miss their necessary immunisations, and those with pyscho-social problems receive attention from social workers. The team of our dedicated staff who are volunteers earning a minimal stipend, led by centre coordinator Matsietsi Monethi, maintain a safe and conducive environment, through a structured curriculum which includes learning, playing and enrichment activities .The children and their families are also offered pastoral care by our local parish, led by Fr Elias Lekoro, the priest at St Paul’s church, not very far from here.
Most of the children served by this crèche are either orphans or come from destitute families. For many of them the balanced meals they receive here are the only meal for the day. This crèche is also a distribution point for scores of food parcels and items of clothing that we collect from the faithful of the Anglican Church and give to vulnerable households whom we have identified through the work of the crèche. Some of the parents are here today.
From all that I have said, we can all agree that life is hard for these children, and for the community of Maboloka – and you yourselves can see the conditions under which the people live in this area, 25 years after democracy.
I have no doubt that what these children and their parents want is for the hardships to disappear, and to have the best facilities for their children, like those crèches in other parts Pretoria. That is what they want, and what we all want for them. But what they need is tenderness. What they need is to be loved. What they need is a companion for the journey, today you became that love and companion they have been looking for.
And, this is the gospel Jesus proclaims; for in Jesus, God becomes our companion for the journey and walks with us in those moments when life is most difficult. By sharing the things that God has entrusted to you with these children and the community here, you have become the face of God to them, the presence of love, the presence of God. As they smile back at you with gratitude and fondness, as they play and learn in safety, and as they enjoy these facilities that you have gifted them, you will see the face of God in them. “Give a child love, laughter and peace.” Nelson Mandela
So, today my own heart is full of joy and gratitude because our children will be able to learn in conditions that are better. Their dignity has been restored. As today’s Psalm says, “The Lord does not forsake his inheritance.” And, indeed, “God’s consolation has brought us joy”. It is my prayer that the community of Maboloka, as stewards of this gift, will look after and protect this asset so that it can serve future generations.
May the fruits that we see today encourage us all to do more not only for this crèche but for all other people in need throughout our diocese. As scripture says, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest, if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have the opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers” (Gal 6:9-10).
And let us, acting together, so continue the mission of our Lord, “to bring good news to the poor, to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free and to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour” (Lk 4:18-19).
As I conclude, I now ask the Representatives of the following companies and institutions to quickly come forward if they are present:
• Nozala Trust
• Corpus Christi
• St Alban’s College
• St Mary’s Diocesan School for Girls
• Eureco Ferreira
Sisters, brothers, thank you so much for all you have done for the children and community of Maboloka village. May God richly bless all of you and multiply from where you have taken. Let’s give them a big round of applause. (Shaking hands, hugs and kisses!)
And to our Beloved Bishop Allan a dedicated servant of the people of God, Archdeacons, shepherds of God’s people, the board members of Tumelong Mission thank you very much for your leadership, encouragement and support.
A big Thank you to the Chief and elders of these community in providing the land and allowing us an opportunity to serve the vulnerable in this village.
To the Anglican clergy, Organisations, Guilds and Friends of Tumelong thank you for your support in this Mission of Development.
Lastly I would like to thank the Madibeng Archdeaconry, especially the Anglican women Fellowship from Manche Masemola in Letlhabile, St Paul Maboloka and other community members for being with us every day for the past two weeks to clean up and prepare for today.
“There can be no greater gift than that of giving one’s time and energy to helping others without expecting anything in return.” Nelson Mandela
“We can change the world and make it a better place. It is in your hands to make a difference.” Nelson Mandela



Let’s join our Lord in His mission to the poor

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor”. Luke 4:18-19

Our theme for 2017 was to ‘’enlarge our territory’’, by which we dream of increasing the footprint of the Lord’s work in all our Archdeaconries, building capacity and being a serious agent of social change.

In pursuit of this theme, we up-scaled our HIV and AIDS prevention programmes in 2017, registering huge improvements in the number of people reached. We also introduced Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision.


“Enlarging our territory” also means bringing substantial improvement to our care of children. We promised the previous year that we would be focusing a lot on early childhood development as this is the most important area to get the foundations right for small children to be able to learn and grow to their full potential. In 2017, thanks to the generosity of Corpus Christi and St Alban’s College, new ablution facilities and a borehole were constructed, the kitchen renovated, and new cupboards installed in the storeroom at Tumelong Haven, Maboloka. Additional funding secured from Nozala Trust, and supplemented by St Mary’s Diocesan School for Girls and Eureco Ferreira, will see proper classrooms built for this child care centre. We expect completion in June 2018 and look forward to Bishop Allan officially opening and consecrating the buildings on Mandela Day, 18 July 2018.


Our care and relief work continue to bring hope and needed relief to scores of destitute families.  In the next year, we hope to intensify this part of the church’s ministry. With the Bishop’s current efforts to prioritise the youth, and the decision to include the environment as part of our mission to care for creation, we will add entrepreneurial skills to our current offerings and work to reach more youth. The appointment of a fieldworker who will be working closely with the clergy and Friends of Tumelong, will strengthen community development efforts and bring greater collaboration and alignment as we let our collective Prayer of Deeds “proclaim the good news to the poor”, breaking into our communities and enlarge the Kingdom’s territory.


I would like to thank you all for your interest in the work of Tumelong and the support we get from donors, Parishes, Friends of Tumelong, and many people who help in innumerable ways.


Special thanks are due to Bishop Allan Kannemeyer for his support and guidance, as well as our dedicated Board of Directors for their commitment, oversight and strategic direction.

My final words of gratitude are reserved for Tumelong staff for their commitment and amazing work ethic and to the Diocesan staff for their helpfulness. To all, may the Lord richly bless you and please to continue to walk with us and to pray for us as we continue to enlarge the territory of the Lord’s reign, who calls each of us to join him in his own mission to the world and to the poor.

Mrs. Paulina Tlaka



Devotional Classics, a devotional book by JR Foster and JB Smith has become standard reading for anyone who wish to understand a little bit about the varied practices of Christian spirituality. In it they define six main expressions of Christian practice.
These are the Prayer Filled Life (Contemplative Tradition), the Virtuous Life (Holiness Tradition or Devotional Surrender), The Spirit Empowered Life (Charismatic Tradition), the Word Cantered Life (Evangelical Tradition), Sacramental Life (Incarnational Tradition), and the Compassionate Life (Social Justice Tradition or the Prayer of Deeds).
While all six of these themes of Christian life should be held in balance in the life of a disciple of Christ, we find that one is emphasized, often at the expense of others. There are no prices for working out where Anglicans are placed within Foster and Smith’s work. In our churches the altar dominates. It is housed in a sanctuary, from where specially trained worship leaders lead the worship. At almost every service the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist is celebrated. We’ve been drawn to what Foster and Smith call the Sacramental, or the Incarnational Tradition.
A good discussion can be had in Bible study classes about these expressions of Christian practice. For now, I wish to draw your attention to the Compassionate Life, also called the Social Justice Tradition, or more simply, and this is the name I prefer, the Prayer of Deeds. We focus on the prayer of Deeds because the ministry of Tumelong essentially is to help the holy faithful people of God in our Diocese to take seriously the call of our Lord Jesus in Matthew 25:23-46. It is in this text that the righteous are judged by the words: “I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave drink, I was a stranger and you made me welcome, lacking clothes and you clothed me, sick and you visited me, in prison and you came to see me” (vv35-36).
Often in the life of a Christian the focus is on the first part of the teaching of our Lord: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind. But this is an incomplete focus. The Prayer of Deeds is a call to complete the Lord’s teaching and bring balance through a focus on the latter part of this teaching: Love your neighbour as yourself.
The Prayer of Deeds is the call to the holy faithful people of God to seek the total transformation of individuals and communities. The response to this call will involve one in relief work, development work, social transformation, and taking position against all that which oppress and cause suffering.
Tumelong is rightly referred to as the relief and social development arm of the Diocese of Pretoria. But who is Tumelong? At present it seems as if it is Paulina Tlaka and her staff, assisted by a small sprinkling of the faithful. There is huge room for improvement in the participation of parishes in the important work of Tumelong. It is hoped that the newly appointed fieldworker will help to bridge the divide between Tumelong and the rest of the Diocese.
As always, our deep gratitude and appreciation is extended to Paulina Tlaka and her staff. They, together with the Friends of Tumelong, the Governing Body, and the individuals and parishes who pray and give to help Tumelong achieve its mandate deserve our special thanks.
Let us commit again here today to live the Prayer of Deeds by taking up the complete teaching of Christ.
The grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.
The Right Revd AJ Kannemeyer
Bishop of Pretoria (Anglican) and Chairman of the Governing Body