17 Mar

Communique: MCSA Response to Covid -19


Communique: MCSA Response to Covid -19



As governments, public health officials and communities respond to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) globally, including the countries of our Connexion, the Bishops of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa had a tele-conference to discuss doing church during this period of crisis. The Bishops were due to meet this week in the Queenstown Synod, but in light of the urgency of the situation the Connexion faces, decided to rather tele-conference. Taking into consideration the current public health authority advice from all 6 countries of our Connexion, and after consultation with the Bishops, the Presiding Bishop, Rev Purity Malinga, gave the following directives:

Sunday Services

Services are encouraged to continue but with the following adjustments:

  • As per government edicts, that no more than 100 people attend any given service, and where possible that social distancing is practiced in the church and the high hygiene protocols be upheld. 
  • We call upon ministers with societies that have more than 100 congregants to become creative in devising ways of meeting the congregation’s spiritual needs. We propose that the congregation be divided into groups of less than 100 where church building sizes allow and even less where they do not, and the number of services on a Sunday (and possibly other days of the week) be multiplied. Remember that it’s not just about numbers of people in attendance but also about space and proximity. This also presents an opportunity for us as Wesleyan followers to use our class meetings and cell groups effectively. 
  • We encourage all ministers to access the latest information on Covid-19 and provide regular updates to their congregants.
  • In Societies where a member/members have tested positive for Covid -19 and the said member/members came into contact with a large number of the congregation that a call be made, with the assistance of health authorities, for all affected members to self-isolate and be tested. 
  • We also encourage E- worship where possible as a creative alternative to physical gatherings. 
  • Those handling communion should maintain the high hygiene protocols and individual communion cups are still considered the safest. However, these will need to be sterilised after use so they can be used again in another service. Communion can be postponed when the situation does not allow for it to be celebrated safely. 
  • Disinfecting communion rails, pews/chairs and all other surfaces should also become the new norm in fighting this virus that can, depending on the surface, survive up to three days.

Conventions and Youth Synods

  • All Conventions and Youth Synods are postponed with immediate effect until further notice. 
  • Convention reports should however still be submitted to the relevant Synod Officials so as not to hamper or delay administration.

Circuit Quarterly Meetings

  • Circuits are encouraged to look at creatively holding their April CQM’s while still abiding to the no more than 100 persons edict. 
  • The Synods through the Office of the Bishops will provide guidelines to superintendents about how to reduce the attendees to the meeting without losing the value of broad participation and contribution. 
  • The highest levels of hygiene must be upheld at all these meetings and anyone who feels unwell and presents with flu like symptoms is requested to self-isolate.


  • All combined Good Friday and Easter Sunday services are cancelled. 
  • There will be no circuit gatherings for Easter this year; however we encourage societies to still have short, impactful services with 100 or less congregants at a time. 
  • There should therefore be no extended 7 Words services that require catering. 
  • Creative methodologies such as live streaming and recordings will be utilised to ensure that no one is left out during this very important time in the church calendar.

Funerals, Weddings and Baptisms

  • We call on all ministers to educate families about the need for reduced numbers as funeral gatherings at home as well as at the actual funeral. The number, as with all other gatherings should not exceed 100. The same has to be upheld with weddings. 
  • All baptisms must be postponed with immediate effect.

Opportunity for prayer

  • The pandemic provides us with an opportunity to not only go back to basics, but to join in solidarity and prayer for those affected and impacted by Covid -19 and for all the nations of our Connexion and the world at large as we together fight the debilitating effects of this scourge. 
  • The Presiding Bishop calls on all the People called Methodists to join together in prayer on Thursday 26 March at 12H00 wherever we are.

Final reflections

In the midst of this global concern is the profound realisation that we are in this together and that we are indeed our sister and bothers keeper. It will call for leadership on the part of our ministers and creative synergies from all role players. We are at this time reminded of our individual responsibility for the wellbeing of all of humanity. We urge everyone to stay informed and below are some links to resources and guidelines that are available to us.

The office of the Presiding Bishop will continue to disseminate updates as the situation evolves. There is no better time for us as a church to live out our vision and mission of “A Christ healed Africa for the healing of nations” as we “proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ for Healing and Transformation.”

Child Friendly Explanation of Corona Virus WWW.MINDHEART.CO

“Shaping tomorrow today- walking humbly with God”


Kind regards,

Rev. Purity Malinga

Presiding Bishop

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16 Mar

The MCSA’s Response to the Corona Virus

The MCSA’s Response to the Corona Virus

In the wake of the first positive diagnosis of the Corona Virus in South Africa, the Methodist Church of Southern Africa (MCSA), a body that meets in large numbers most days of every week, has to implement measures that will help us to curb the spread of this highly contagious virus.

We have noted the panic that seems to have South Africa and other countries in its grip and we call for calm as we, together, implement strategies that can help our communities.

We encourage all our ministers and members to educate themselves about the virus, how it spreads, the symptoms and how we help stop the spread. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has advised that we each take the following simple measures seriously:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water especially after using the bathroom and before preparing and eating food. 
  • Maintain social distancing- at least one metre between yourself and anyone who is sneezing and coughing. 
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth because our hands touch many surfaces and they can pick up the virus 
  • Practice respiratory hygiene by covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze and get rid of the tissue immediately. Sneezing and coughing into the crook of your arm is encouraged. 
  • If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early

As a church we propose the following:

  • Those preparing Communion should first wash their hands thoroughly with soap and running water and paper towels NOT in a communal dish and towel. They can then wear disposable gloves and masks so that if they have the virus, they do not spread it.
  • Anyone feeling unwell should excuse themselves from serving.
  • The ministers serving communion should also wash their hands with soap and running water or use alcohol based hand sanitizer before serving communion. 
  • For those circuits who can afford it, it may be wise to use disposable single use cups for communion for each service. For those who cannot, it will be necessary to then have soapy, hot water with a disinfectant and a team to wash the communion cups thoroughly before they are reused in the next service. 
  • We plead with those who may feel unwell or have cold or flu like symptoms to stay at home and seek medical treatment until they are feeling better before venturing into church services and other related church meetings 
  • We ask that each society ensure regular and thorough cleaning of surfaces that people touch regularly, including such things as door handles, light switches etc. 
  • May those who can afford to do so, make alcohol based hand-sanitisers available for congregants to sanitise their hands as they enter the church. 
  • Ministers should practice caution when paying home visits to ill patients and when necessary resort instead to phone calls. 
  • May we also do away with communal towels in our bathrooms and instead provide paper towels or hand dryers where possible.

We have no reason to believe, at this point, that services should be cancelled but we ask that we all play our part as proposed above, as well by keeping abreast with the latest findings. May we not be found among those who share fake news and spread unnecessary panic.

We continue to pray for a vaccine to end the deadly ravages of this virus and for healing for those who have already contracted it.


Lord in your mercy! Hear our prayers.


Rev Purity Malinga

Presiding Bishop

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Status: Position paper adopted by DEWCOM

Date: February 2014

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08 Aug

Youth Unit

This unit exist to advocate for the involvement of the young people in the church by providing resources as well as creating learning opportunities for holistic development and growth.

Its mandate is:

  • To promote spiritual formation of young people by, among other things, developing a biblical literacy;
  • To promote a Christian faith based way of living in young people;
  • To promote the implementation of sustainable poverty alleviation programmes;
  • To promote a relation centred evangelism and ministry that grows our church;
  • To promote implementation of prevention strategies; care and destigmatisation of those infected and affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic; and
  • To research and bring to the fore issues that affect young people.

Further information

Wesley Guild

4G Youth pastor training programme

Methodist Youth Unit website

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08 Aug

Mission Unit

The Mission Unit is located in the Office of the Presiding Bishop of the MCSA.

The Role of the Mission Unit is to:

  • Initiate, promote and protect the mission values of the MCSA coordinate, support, monitor and evaluate mission initiatives;
  • Assist in the resourcing of mission;
  • Establish and maintain strategic partnerships;
  • Provide strategic guidance; and
  • Ensure compliance to our prophetic and mission-related tasks as a Church.

Our goal is to educate, facilitate, train, empower, develop, network, promote and resource local churches to become centres for healing and transformation – places where spiritual growth can take place and where justice and people-centred development is practiced in the quest for “A Christ-healed Africa”.

The mission values of the MCSA are enshrined in the church’s Mission Charter adopted by the MCSA Conference in 2005. The mission strategy of the MCSA is based on four pillars of Mission:

  • Spirituality
  • Evangelism & Church Growth
  • Justice & Service
  • Development & Economic Empowerment

Overseas partners include the Methodist Church of Great Britain, the United Methodist Church in Germany and the General Board of Global Ministries. Some of the major projects undertaken in conjunction with our partners have included the School Uniform Campaign, the Love Box Campaigns, the Chains of Hope Programme, and establishing the HIV and AIDS and Childcare Desks.

Partnerships with other sister Methodist/Wesleyan churches in the African continent are maintained – for example, with the Methodist Church in Zimbabwe, the Wesleyan Church in Angola, etc. Projects across the Connexion are supported through two Mission Funds – the Pula Fund and the Methodist Relief and Development Fund

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Finance Unit

The Finance Unit  can be found in Bruma at the Methodist Connexional Office and is regarded as the financial nerve centre of The Methodist Church of Southern Africa.

In 1936 Conference formed the Finance Unit in order to centralise the administration of the various funds of the Church into one office. Over the years the staff have faithfully attended to the myriad details of its very wide-ranging brief. The office staff are all committed Christians who feel called to their positions and love what they do. They understand that the Finance Unit is a service centre to the Church and are there to assist in extending God’s kingdom.

The Finance Unit is headed up by the Unit Director, Mrs Joanne Trytsman, who reports to the Lay General Treasurer/Chief Financial Officer of the MCSA Mrs Thini Ngonyama

Scope of responsibilities – a brief overview

  • Pension/provident funds – The Finance Unit administers several funds including two pension and one provident fund. Total assets under administration amounted to approx. R1.1 billion at December 2010.
  • Payment of stipends/pension – Over 800 Ministers, Evangelists and Biblewomen, as well as 600 Supernumeraries are paid monthly through the Finance Unit.
  • Insurance of church properties – The Finance Unit administers the insurance cover for the Church’s assets which amount to over R3.5 billion.
  • Medical Aid – The Finance Unit, in conjunction with TopMed Medical Scheme, administers the medical aid for our Ministers, Evangelists and Biblewomen.
  • Property – The Finance Unit holds the Title Deeds and administers the records of over one-and-a-half thousand properties owned by the MCSA.
  • Financial Reporting of Units – The Finance Unit also administers and reports on 5 Connexional Units, viz. Mission, Education for Ministry and Mission, Communications, Ecumenical Affairs and Connexional Youth.

Electronic 4S and 4C schedules

To download the new PDF 4S and 4C schedules, please visit the Compliance Unit page.

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