Diakonia Council of Churches, which for more than four decades has worked towards a just society, presents its annual ecumenical Good Friday service at dawn on Friday 30 March starting at the Durban Exhibition Centre (DEC) before processing – in silence – through the streets of the city, to the Durban City Hall.
The well-established tradition of the ecumenical Good Friday Service has become not only the flagship of Diakonia but also a major event in the Durban calendar, attended by thousands of people who gather together at the most auspicious time for Christians, to commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus and his death on Calvary.
Each year, the service highlights a particular aspect of national suffering or injustice. The service this year will focus on the theme Do Not Fear, Stand Firm.
“This Good Friday we will be reflecting on an internal journey to see if we are ready for God’s vision for us as individuals.
We need to stand firm, even if it means standing alone – standing in truth, in hope, in justice and in faith. The world, and (at times) our country, may seem like it is in turmoil with rampant prejudice, corruption, crime and financial strife and while most of us feel we should rather look away and focus on ourselves, families and work stresses, we must ask ourselves if we are doing what God wants us to do in our land,” says Nomabelu Mvambo-Dandala: Executive Director of Diakonia Council of Churches.
The sermon will be delivered by Revd Thulani Ndlazi - the Synod Secretary of the United Congregational Church of Southern Africa (UCCSA), a position he has held since 2013. Prior to moving to Johannesburg to take up this role, he was based in Durban 2011 – 2012 as Moderator of the UCCSA, for the KwaZulu-Natal region. Durban people will remember him as the programme manager of the Church Land Programme based in Pietermaritzburg from 2004, in which he spearheaded and coordinated the first ecumenical Land Matters Project (focusing on land and human rights) in KwaZulu-Natal. He also co-facilitated research based Bible Study production process that also led to a formation of rural social movement called Rural Network.
From 1995 – 1998 he studied at UDW reading for a Bachelor of Art in Theology (Honours) specialising in Systematic Theology and Ethics. As a post grad he studied in the Lancaster Theological Seminary in Canada from 1999 to 2002.
Meditative singing will start at 5.15am, where after the first part of the service will take place at 6.00am.
The congregation will proceed through the streets of Durban in silent public witness.
The service will conclude at approximately 8.15am at the City Hall with the flowering of the Cross – as an act of commitment by all present to act for a just society and take up God’s call.
Limited parking and street parking is available at the DEC with additional off street parking around the City Hall. Transport back to the DEC from the City Hall will be arranged for the elderly and the infirm.
Entry to the Good Friday service is free, with a collection being taken up during the service to support the burgeoning costs of this event. All are welcome to participate in this significant, multi-lingual Christian Easter event.
For more info, contact the Diakonia Council of Churches on 031 310 3500 or visit www.diakonia.org.za.