TOC Court Case: Way Forward Regarding the Trans-Orange Conference (TOC) Court case in November, 2017, and the Judgement handed down on 28 March, 2018, the SAU would like to share the following information on the way forward:
On Friday, April 13, 2018 the TOC officers, SAU officers and legal counsel from Conference, Union and Division met with external Legal Counsel, seeking clarity on the Constitutional complications brought about by the judgment; the further implication thereof on the ordination process of the SAU; the reinstatement of some of the Applicants and the meaning and effect of the proportionality directive. All these matters formed part of the scope of the meeting. After extensive discussion between the parties relating to the aspects highlighted above the overall conclusion was that the Church should refrain from appealing the Judgement, but should rather focus on implementing the Judgement in order to align the Church with the reconciliatory spirit evident in the judgement. Obviously, the difficulties in the practical implementation of the judgement will require earnest prayer and innovative thinking on the part of the Church, but we believe that God will give us the wisdom that is required to do so. What is of importance is the fact that some of the directives given by the judge, which are contrary to the TOC Constitution, might seem unusual and inexplicable. However, it is only an interim measure in order to remedy the divide in the Church. In other words, ‘unusual circumstances require unusual intervention’.
The SAU Administrators’ Committee (ADCOM), representing the Second Respondent, took a decision on the same day to also not appeal the judgement.
On Saturday night, April 14, 2018, the TOC Executive Committee (Excom) met, and received a comprehensive report from the Legal Counsel of Conference, Union and Division concerning the options with regard to the Judgement which was delivered on March 28, 2018. The TOC Excom resolved not to appeal the judgement, and to implement the instructions given by the Judge. The TOC Excom also recognised that the judgement has many challenging aspects. But these will be dealt with during the process of implementation.
On Sunday, April 15, the TOC Administrators conducted a meeting of all their pastors and other workers, held at KwaThema Adventist Church. Thereafter, Elders representing all the congregations in the constituency were also called together. Once again, comprehensive information-sharing and open discussion was encouraged. A presentation by Adv. N. Bangisi and Adv B Mkize gave clarity on all the issues. The action voted by the TOC Executive Committee was also adopted by the representatives of the Churches.
The TOC plans to go ahead with the Session scheduled for Sunday, June 24, 2018. The court ruling prescribes an interim process moving towards the Session. This interim process is not meant to set a precedent for future sessions. Regarding the view that “the judgement is in contradiction with some aspects of the constitution of the Conference,” here is one clarification: The judge has prescribed a mechanism for the Business Session to be called, and representation to the session will follow the steps outlined by the Judge. Although this will not be exactly according to the TOC Constitution, the judgement supersedes the constitution in this regard. The election process for the coming Session can be compared to setting up an “interim governance” strategy, specifying proportional representation of the TOC and “Alberton” bodies in the next Executive committee. The new officers and Excom will serve for their 3-year term, but at the following Session, all appointments will be made according to the constitution.
A further aspect that requires attention by the SAU is the question surrounding the current control and management of the TOC. In terms of the judgment the current TOC Excom and Administration under Dr Paul Shongwe is the only legitimate structure of the TOC. It is this Excom that has been mandated by the Court to manage the affairs of the TOC in the interim and it is also this structure that has been called upon by the Court to call the TOC Session. In accordance with the judgement it is important for the SAU to recognise this structure as the legitimate structure of the TOC and for organizational purposes we are not required to recognise any other.
On Sunday, April 15, 2018, a statement regarding the way forward after the Court Judgement was released by Dr Paul Shongwe, the President of the TOC. In his fifteen minute video address, he called for all parties to work towards unifying God’s Church in the territory of the TOC. ... See MoreSee Less
Emmanuel Primary School 105 years old! On March 29, 2018, Emmanuel Primary School in Lesotho celebrated its 105th anniversary of existence. Emmanuel Mission itself has been around even longer, since 1896. At Emmanuel, there was a great celebration: there were guests from the Lesotho Conference, the SAU, and even the Lesotho Government. At present, there are over 300 learners. We praise the Lord for the influence of this school that has taken place for so many decades, blessing the people of Lesotho. We acknowledge those who selflessly invested their lives during the last 105 years. ... See MoreSee Less
Camp Meeting at Sedaven During the 2018 Easter weekend, the Gauteng Regional Council of the NCSA, arranged a Camp meeting at Sedaven. The guest speakers were Ps Steve Riley, from Trinidad and Tebago, as well as Ps Mandla Lupondwana from the SAU. Their messages were thought-provoking and enthusiastic. ... See MoreSee Less
Camp meeting at Sterkspruit On Sabbath, April 7, 2018, church members gathered for a camp meeting at Sterkspruit, in the Eastern Cape, held in the district of Ps Mabenge. There were a number of guest speakers, and the church members were enthusiastic. About 110 children were present, all dressed in their Pathfinder and Adventurer uniforms. The Ambassadors also had a special programme. It’s beautiful to find faithful Adventists all over the SAU territory, and it’s a wonderful privilege to be part of the Church of God. ... See MoreSee Less
The fourth SID Women’s Ministries Conference was held at Heartfelt Arena in Pretoria from the 03-07 April 2018. +- 4300 Women were in attendance. The SAU had 1500 women in attendance making it to be the Union with more women. We want to thank God for the role played by SAU and other Unions in ensuring that women are involved in Mission. ... See MoreSee Less
In Bloemfontein on Horwitz Street on the premises of the Universitas SDA Church nestles a primary school.
Aurum Primary school, which has recently changed its name to 'Aurum Seventh-day Adventist Academy'. It is one of our church schools with a little less than 50 students and we are anxious to have our school increase in enrollment which can only take place if we are able to move into a building of our own.
The school already has a plot of land and is in need of your help in building a strong and lasting structure. Please support our endeavours!
For more information, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org ... See MoreSee Less