Gabarone Charismatics Host Ecumenical Event
By Sr Phatsimo Ramokgwebana SC – This year’s ecumenical Ascension Day lunch, hosted by Catholic Charismatic Renewal in the diocese of Gaborone, was another successful occasion, bringing people together for praise and worship.
Held at the Ave Maria Pastoral Centre on what is a national holiday in Botswana, the main purpose of the event is to promote ecumenism by bringing together the Catholic Church and other Christian denominations.
Each year the diocesan team and spiritual guide Fr Camillus Ogaraku invite a speaker from a different church. This year Pastor Keleneilwe Kgerethwa of the United Congregational Church of Southern Africa preached on “the love of God”.
The day started with morning Mass, which was also attended by members of other denominations, followed by praise and worship with music and testimony.
Pastor Kgerethwa said he was honoured to be among Catholics and to be given space to speak at the event.
Noting that Catholics and Protestants are commonly referred to as mainline Churches, because they belong to the same tradition, he said: “Our secret is one baptism, one God, one Christ, and one Faith.”
He added that “the beauty of Catholics is they express in-depth their faith towards the many things they do”.
After the event, Pastor Kgerethwa said: “I loved the praise and worship [and seeing participants] presenting who God has been to them in the Catholic Church.”
“I saw testimony, the instruments, the melody, the voices — it was so heavenly,” he said. Borrowing from the Transfiguration account, the pastor said: “It was indeed good to be here. If I was Peter I would just say, let us build ourselves space, let us not go away.”
After a networking lunch, Bishop Victor Phalana of Klerksdorp reflected on “worshipping the Lord in spirit and in truth”, a topic given by Charismatic Renewal to help members in their own reflections and study.
Jesus, Bishop Phalana said, wants us to worship him in the heart, through the heart, with the heart. External expressions of faith, he added, are also important as we worship God.
In praising God and in our evangelising efforts, “We also have to show the spirit of humility, contrition, repentance and conversion. That alone has to prepare us to be sent.”
Bishop Phalana noted the presence of a spirit of joy at the event: “People could not contain it, in the dances, songs, ululating, praising and prayers.”