Archbishop Thabo Makgoba
St Mary’s School – Waverley, 17h00
24 March 2015
1 Timothy 1:15-17, Luke 6:43-49
May I speak in the name of God who knows each tree by its fruits and who separates the bad tree from the good one. Amen.
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, let me repeat, what a great delight it is to be with you and to be licensing and inducting Roger as CEO of ABESA tonight
Roger, we offer you hearty congratulations on this appointment and we warmly welcome you and Ann to this key ministry of our Church.
Let me also congratulate the Board on this appointment, an excellent choice.
We know that Roger comes with extensive experience in educational excellence and a deep mature, Christian faith. We look forward to harnessing these good fruits for both Church and nations of ACSA.
Roger, I am confident if I may paraphrase as St Paul’s in 1 Timothy when he says, “the saying is sure and full of acceptance”, I am also saying that you will be an example to those who would come to believe in Him (Christ) for eternal life”, as you serve God through ABESA.  As St Luke says your leadership and development of ABESA will be characterized by good decisions, for the common good as a viceroy for God’s Kingdom here on earth. 
The Lukan Jesus expects, you to discern that which is life giving and that which is not; that you participate with ACSA as we heed God’s call to be a community of good persons out from which our good hearts will produce good. Luke says that good decisions and good direction can only come from godly discernment. This should be rooted in and informed by an assurance and belief in God’s abundant love and care for that which God has entrusted you with care and nurture of His young. Elsewhere we know that this is the God who out of the store of His treasure takes things that are old and new (Mathew 23:52).
Friends, like Roger and ABESA, we are called at this prestigious occasion to be “good persons who out of the treasure of our hearts produce good.”
What might this good be?  or what is this treasure? Or if you like what are the good fruits as opposed to the bad fruit that we are expected to differentiate, know and even produce?  In other words what is the context in which Roger, and all of us are called to serve?  Are we able to read the seasons of our times?
Allow me to paint the feelings about this context by the words of Dickens in a novel called, A Tale of Two Cities - “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredubility, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way …”
Dickens’ message in this book is an optimistic one – a message about the possibilities of transformation for a better future. These possibilities are realized in the transforming contribution of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa within the education sector that provide an enduring legacy. ACSA’s past involvement and transformation of education is a metaphor for the transformation of the lives of the South Africans. We know that in spite of having lost a number of our Anglican Schools to apartheid in 1955, some have overcome these adversities. They are now leading the pack, as best schools in Southern Africa. This is the good fruit that overcame the bad fruit (Policies that sought to make the black child inferior). Our schools stood up and against odds admitted children of all colour.
We too can still do better. I believe we can do better, our church believe that too. This is the hope and the possibilities we yearn for when we say in our Vision Statement, Anglican ACT :
•    Anchored – in the love of Christ
•    Committed – to God’s Mission
•    Transformed – by the Holy Spirit
and when we also say in our, Mission Statement; across the diverse countries and cultures of our region we seek :
•    To honour God in worship that feeds and empowers us for faithful witness and service,
•    To embody and proclaim the message of God’s redemptive hope and healing for people and creation;
•    To grow communities of faith that form, inform and transform those who follow Christ
The missional priority “protection and nurture of the young “is the key educational peg that makes our mission and vision statement, a reality in educational provision. ABESA however, takes the priority from just an aspirational statement, in the list of six other priorities and unpacks it: what needs to be done, or perhaps what the church sees as an overarching job description for Roger and KPA for ABESA.
On my part, I desire that each young person may grow into a contributing member of society; an effective citizen of the world, who can be part of life solutions at every level, personal and professional. The good fruit and a sure Christian that our lessons talk about. ABESA and our Province have articulates this as follows:
•    To support the existing church schools,
•    to galvanize parish and community involvement, and
•    to establish high quality accessible Christian schools.
To quote the letter of the 25th of June 2014 written by chairman, Bishop Peter Lee and the CEO, Roger, they aptly and so succinctly stated “we need to take courage under the banner of the Anglican Church and do what we can to make a significant difference to the lives of boys and girls throughout Southern Africa. Without doubt strong high quality accessible Christian Schools with teachers who have a sense of vocation, who create a disciplined learning environment and enable boys and girls to reach their dreams are an ideal and reality that needs to be achieved”. They end by saying, “we appeal for your support in achieving this vision and for you be part of this exciting initiative with the Anglican Church.”  This is the undertaking that ABESA has placed before itself, you and notions within ACSA.  This is what we are licensing Roger to lead.
Indeed our shared hope and prayer is that ABESA will develop young people intellectually, socially and spiritually, thus preparing them to take great responsibility in the world of possibilities and opportunities that Dickens talks about.
This vision and undertaking by ABESA Board and ACSA prompted me to revisit two key questions:
Firstly, what actually is the task of education; and 
Secondly, what, in the light of our answer, is the true vocation of schools within Southern Africa, in the unfolding years of the twenty first century?
The simplistic response might be that the role of schools is to pursue and disseminate learning. But this backs the question of what constitutes learning.  It is of cause far more than the accumulation and communication of information; facts and figures, opinions and arguments, practices and procedure.  For theory cannot be abstracted from the human context of surrounding societies and the wider world. Elsewhere, in my writings, I have contextualized this by calling for the New Struggle. The New Struggle to work as a collective in defining and throwing questions today. The ‘we’ as opposed to the ‘me’ necessary to guide us as we pursue the kingdom values, of which  Ubuntu values form a part, as we take into cognizance the needs and the aspirations of our society.  The New Struggle is about risk-taking and does not tolerate “failure”. It calls for a national dialogue to recover and reach consensus on the values that we need to hold each other and our leaders accountable. We need to teach those values to our children or inequality of opportunity will continue to be pervasive in our society. Simply put, it is the right thing to do.
The New Struggle is about pro-courage and this is what we are committing ourselves as the Anglican Church through ABESA. What then is the task? The task of education then should be understanding the world in which we live, the world from which our students come and to which they return. Education must fit us for engagement with such a changing world.
What we need then is beyond mere knowledge – understanding, perhaps, but what resonates for me best is to be rooted in the foundation – Jesus. This is what enable us to stand firm in the midst of the struggles and storms of this world; and enables us to be – so to speak – part of the solution and not part of the problem.
To paraphrase the lessons again, the parables of our gospel readings denotes the wrestle of making choices between good and evil. However, the mercy we receive from Jesus Christ enable us to obtain the wisdom of God in making correct choices in life. We have chosen to bear good fruits. So, I want to encourage you to go beyond the evil of the past - the bad fruit – the apartheid system; the current bad fruit, poor educational results, to giving good fruit, - support of schools, assist state schools and build new high quality, a credible , Christian schools.
Roger and ABESA Board, I want to assure you of the support of the Synod of Bishops and our Provincial Structures in this work that you are undertaking. Remember that you will need to form good and credible partnerships to succeed.


Drink from the well of our current Anglican Independent Schools, all the independent schools and public schools as you establish new quality Christian and accessible Anglican Schools.

Let us pray:
Lord God of all truth,
Anchor us in the love of Christ,
Commit us to your Mission, and
Transform us by the power of your Spirit
So that we may live lives of faithful
Worship, witness and service,
For the glory of your holy Name.
Congratulations once again Roger.