The United Congregational Church of Southern Africa (UCCSA) and the Uniting Presbyterian Church in Southern Africa (UPCSA) organized a Ministers Joint Worship in preparation for the upcoming Council for World Mission (CWM) Assembly to be held in Durban, South Africa, in 2024. The event, held in KwaZulu Natal on 31 October, brought together ministers and Local Organizing Committee members from both denominations to foster unity, collaboration, and spiritual preparation for the Assembly.
The joint worship service was a significant milestone in the journey towards the CWM Assembly, providing an opportunity for ministers to come together, share their experiences, and engage in collective worship. The event emphasized the importance of unity among Christians and highlighted the common mission and purpose shared by the UCCSA and UPCSA.
By hosting a joint worship service on Reformation Day, the UCCSA and the UPCSA emphasized their shared commitment to the principles and values of the Reformation. These principles include the authority of Scripture, salvation by grace through faith, the priesthood of all believers, and the importance of individual and corporate worship. The act of worship on this day served as a reminder of the historical significance of the Reformation and its ongoing relevance for the participating churches.
Rev. Thandi Mwelase, who also serves in the Spiritual Life Working Group, was the liturgist. The worship service included prayers, hymns, and sermons delivered by Rev. Mthethwa, former Moderator of the UPCSA. The preacher used the Book of Jeremiah, Chapter 1, to reflect on the word of the Lord. Rev. Ian Booth, Rev. Mthokozisi Hlela and Intern Minister Miss Sharon Shabalala led intercessory prayers for the Assembly
Rev. Wellington Mthobisi Sibanda (UCCSA Communications and part of the Communications Assembly Working Group) offered a history and introduction to CWM. Assembly Coordinator Miss Zimbili Sibisi gave an update on the CWM Assembly, the theme and the Assembly logo. The event also served as a platform for ministers to discuss the logistical and organizational aspects of the upcoming CWM Assembly.
Rev Thabani Masikane led the second part of the event. Participants had the opportunity to exchange ideas, discuss challenges, and plan for the involvement of their congregations in the Assembly.
As the UCCSA and UPCSA continue their preparations for the CWM Assembly, this Ministers Joint Worship event laid a solid foundation for collaboration and cooperation between the two denominations. It reinforced their commitment to working together towards the shared goals of the Assembly and deepening their relationships as brothers and sisters in Christ.
Article by Rev. Wellington Mthobisi Sibanda (UCCSA Director of Communications)