Happenings, News

Church unity remains a dream of God: Desmond Tutu

PORTO ALEGRE (Brazil) — At a press conference following the Feb 20 plenary session of the World Council of Churches’ (WCC) 9th Assembly here, former Archbishop Desmond Tutu noted the title of one of his books, God Has a Dream.

“It really encapsulates what we all are living for,” he told the standing-room only press conference.

“God longs desperately for the time when all God’s children everywhere will know we belong in one family,” added the winner of the 1984 Nobel Peace Prize.

The WCC is a crucial instrument in realising God’s dream, he told the assembly.

Earlier, at the plenary session, he said that a united church helped defeat apartheid in South Africa.

But apartheid also continued as long as it did “in part because the church was divided”.

“Some — many Christians — tried to provide scriptural justification for it. See how a divided church has exacerbated the conflict in Northern Ireland.”

He was one of the speakers during the plenary session on “Church Unity: Claiming a Common Future.”

He said the story of the Garden of Eden shows how God “intended us to live in harmony with God, with one another, with the rest of God’s creation”.

Despite human sin, God worked to restore harmony and unity, eventually through the birth of the church.

He said: “This church was/is the embodiment of this Jesus Christ, described as he who is our peace coming into a polarised and fragmented and stratified world, the one who broke all barriers between peoples, barriers represented by the middle wall of partition in the Jewish temple that had separated the holy people of God from the gentiles.

“In this Christ, all were holy, none were profane, all are now seen to be God’s people.

“A united church is no optional extra. A united church is indispensable for the salvation of God’s world, when we will see the fulfilment of the vision of St John the Divine.” — United Methodist News Service.


Upper Room devotional broadcast in Zulu language

NASHVILLE (Tennessee) — Snap. Crackle. Pop. No, it is not the sound of a breakfast cereal but the beginning of the first isiZulu translation and radio broadcast of the Upper Room’s daily devotional.

The broadcast is found on frequency 1170 MW on TransWorld Radio, transmitted out of Swaziland into KwaZulu Natal, one of the provinces in South Africa, via Medium Wave receiver.

For the first time, the Upper Room devotional is being broadcast in an African language. “It’s plain for all to hear,” said Mr Roland Rink, coordinator of the United Methodist Church’s Africa Upper Room Ministries.

As at Feb 1, 2006, the devotional is heard daily at 6.57 pm Swaziland time, offering “food for the soul” to the almost 9 million Zulu-speaking people in KwaZulu Natal, an area with the largest Zulu-speaking population.

The broadcast is coordinated by Africa Upper Room Ministries and the Upper Room based in Nashville, Tennessee, in conjunction with TransWorld Radio, headquartered in South Africa with bases across the continent.

Africa Upper Room Ministries, housed at Anathoth House, is based in Eikenhof, an agricultural community south of Johannesburg, South Africa, and is the African continental office of Upper Room Ministries. — United Methodist News Service.