Come Let Us Build

To all members of the Diocese of Harare CPCA and friends both near and far,
 
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!
 
EBENEZER! To God be the glory for all he has done for us! God be praised for the faithfulness, courage, commitment, endurance, peacefulness and resilience of the people of the Diocese of Harare CPCA.
Glory to God for the prayer and moral support from Christians of all denominations across the world! I am elated about the outcome of the Supreme Court hearing. My dear sisters and brothers in Christ, this is your victory! This is your hour! Give all the glory to our almighty Father in heaven. I want to immediately call upon all our people to be gracious in winning the legal battle. Now let the work begin!
 
When the Rt. Revd. Dr. Sebastian Bakare was called by the Province from retirement to come and help set up diocesan structures (a job he did so well), he rallied the diocese under a theme from Nehemiah – “Come let us rebuild the Diocese”. I call that the first phase of the rebuilding the diocese of Harare. With the good news about the Supreme Court judgement in our favour, I am once again calling on all members of our beloved diocese and friends both near and far to heed to our call to join us in the second phase of our rebuilding the diocese. We take our inspiration from the O.T. Book of Nehemiah. Nehemiah rallied the remnant of the people of Israel to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem at the end of their time in exile. We have come to the end of our exile by God’s grace. Like Nehemiah I am calling on you all to “Come, let us rebuild the walls of Jerusalem (our diocese 2nd phase) so that we may no longer suffer disgrace” Neh. 2:17. The amazing response of the people to Nehemiah’s call was an enthusiastic resounding, “Let us start building” Neh. 2:18. Beloved in the Lord, that is the spirit we need! That is the resolve that we must have. We must have a mind to work. We must say with our hearts and with our mouths, “let us rise up and build!” Beloved, it will not be easy! It will take faith. It will take commitment, and make no mistake, IT WILL TAKE SACRIFICE! We must be willing to take the criticism as well as the risks. BUT THE END RESULT WILL BE THE GLORY OF GOD!
 
Please note that the first thing we ask every parish to do when you go back is to carry out thorough inspection of all our buildings (Neh. 2:11-16). Assess the damage, note what needs to be done and carry out a full inventory of what we left behind when we were evicted. This second phase of rebuilding our diocese will involve two kinds of rebuilding. First, there is the rebuilding of our churches (renovation) corresponding to the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem in Neh. 1:1 -2:20 & 3:1-6:19. Secondly there is the rebuilding of God’s people in our diocese corresponding to Neh. 7:5-12:26 and the dedication of the wall and temple in Neh. 12:27 – 13:20. Just as each family in Nehemiah built the wall in front of their houses, each person is to help renovate their parish buildings. Let us help those who don’t have the means. We will also need to take time to cleanse and rededicate our churches, starting with the Cathedral.
 
The rebuilding of God’s people in our diocese should be a priority also. Our people were greatly traumatised by the persecution of the last five years. They are in need of healing. The spiritual and pastoral care of our people through holistic ministry should be reflected in all our diocesan and parish programmes. In many ways we had already started doing this. None-the-less, we need to strengthen it.
 
Dr. Todd Morris tells us about a plaque in an old English Church that reads, “In the year 1653 when all things sacred throughout the land were demolished or profaned, Sir Robert Shirley built this church, whose singular praise is this, to have done the best of things in the worst of times.” Remember that it was at a time when Anglican churches were being closed and Presbyterians were being harassed and persecuted. Yet in the midst of that…in the worst of times, Sir Robert Shirley did the best of things…he built a church! My brothers and sisters in Christ, it has fallen to us, to you and me, to do the best of things in this hour. It is for us to build our diocese and our parish churches.
 
Come let us work together, let us rise up and build! Renovate! Paint! Let us do it all to God’s glory.
 
God bless you all.
 
+Chad, Harare
The Rt. Revd. Dr. Chad N. Gandiya
Bishop of the Diocese of Harare CPCA




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