African Orthodox Church links up with Midlands ANC to help poor and unemployed

2012-07-13 00:00

BISHOPS and a pope of the African Orthodox Church in Edendale reached out to the ANC in the Midlands yesterday to find ways to better serve the poor and the unemployed.

Reverend Israel Mkhize, chairperson of the Midlands Christian Council (MCC), said the church leaders were struck by ANC policy documents that referred to the triple challenge of poverty, unemployment and inequality in South African society.

Mkhize said that at their last meeting they had decided to meet the leaders of the Moses Mabhida branch of the ANC to deepen co-operation in the region.

“We want to encourage dialogue and look at joint efforts to work on projects that deal with poverty.”

The meeting started with the singing of hymns and prayer, and Moses Mabhida regional secretary Supa Zuma welcomed the delegation. Mkhize handed over a petition requesting co-operation in the following areas:

• Dialogue through invitations, symposiums and forums for strategic debate.

• Joint efforts on programmes and projects geared to uplift local communities.

• To be called upon more often and not just in times of elections and social mobilisation.

• To be deployed in areas of distress for spiritual guidance and particularly to ensure the wellbeing of the elderly.

• To be included in — and even tasked to lead — the moral regeneration programme.

The church delegation prayed for stability in the country, for order and peace in the build-up to the ANC’s elective conference in Mangaung and for success in the fight against poverty, inequality and unemployment.

Regional chairperson Alpha Shelembe marvelled at the timing of the meeting, saying that this time last year the party in the region was in shambles and there was a fire at one of the offices in the very same building.

He thanked the church leaders and asked them to continue their prayers in the lead-up to the Mangaung conference, for wisdom to prevail and for everyone to accept the outcome of the election results and continue to work for a better South Africa.

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