TCN is an informal network of volunteers supporting and encouraging Church leaders in NM Bay. We believe a Church working together guided by John 17:21 will make a major contribution to our city. TCN is committed to supporting Church Leaders in Business, Churches, Education, Government and Civil Society by taking a message of hope and reconciliation to the furthest ends of the city (www.tcn.org.za
The Nehemiah Vision remains the glue that holds us together. The vision focuses on working with established structures already in place in municipal wards. It is a practical approach to encourage churches to influence and add value to the community outside our church buildings. It encourages communities to work together. A society that remains disconnected will never gain any traction in dealing with the challenges of inequality, poverty and unemployment.
The Citywide Prayer Network continues to grow from strength to strength encouraging all churches in the city to join in through weekly prayer pointers. To close the gap between the church building and the community we are encouraging local church Pastors in the different municipal wards to pray together regularly.
The highlight of the year was undoubtedly the progress made in the area of healing and reconciliation. The “What’s your Story” initiative, over the last two years, has seen NM Bay partnering with “Heartlines” to play a leading role in South Africa’s journey from racism to reconciliation. Persons and groups participating have included local churches, movie cinemas, two local and regional radio stations, Gateway News, youth and music groups, university students, school learners, church synods, denominational and several church leader breakaway workshops to Carmel Retreat Centre.
We are all concerned about the breakdown of families and TCN is encouraging churches to support current growing men’s ministry initiatives ie Men of Hope, Men of Honour, Connected to Greatness, Mannekamp and prison ministries.
In the area of inequality we believe that churches are well positioned to make a difference in the areas of education and health. The Director of the NM Bay Education District Office has invited local churches to get involved in one or more of the following activities: adopt a school, focus on junior schools and early childhood development, run homework, reading, math and science clubs, support staff, parents and learners, provide sanitary towels and encourage participation in the Character Transformation initiative. In the area of health, we are partnering with Project Sparkle and encouraging churches the adopt a clinic or hospital in their municipal ward, support management, medical staff, patients and hunger initiatives.
In the area of poverty and unemployment we are partnering with Ikhala Trust in hosting workshops for all churches and NGO’s to embark on a unified approach to tackling the scourges of poverty, unemployment and inequality. Participants are encouraged to exchange ideas and form interest groups in each of the fifteen outreach categories. We are encouraging each ward to promote job creation, ABCD, Farming God’s Way and Early Childhood Development initiatives.
In supporting “Anchoring our Democracy” regular inputs are communicated to the workplace through a number of initiatives ie Work Life ministries and Unashamedly Ethical. A milestone was reached in November 2018 when a senior delegation of Church Leaders met with the Mayor and his leadership. The proceedings and outcomes of the meeting were exceptionally candid and constructive, with the following items discussed the organizational stability of the municipality, corporate governance, disruption of council meetings and lack of service delivery. The outcome of the meeting was the formation of a Joint Committee to focus on the behavior at council meetings, service delivery, combating corruption and the Nehemiah Project.