The conference commenced at 15h00 under the theme, “No matter how dark it gets, the sun will rise”. Various young preachers delivered powerful messages centered on the theme. They all stressed the importance of not losing hope, both in spiritual and social realms. “We may be feeling down, angry, abandoned, hopeless and neglected because of our loss, but GOD has not forsaken us”, they commonly said during various sessions.
Soweto District Choir emerged victorious during the Choir competition on Saturday afternoon. They were trailed by Phuthalushaka Branch Choir who were defending champions.
Bishop Hlabangwane opened the Conference officially. He reassured the youth of the unwavering support of church elders at all times and stressed the importance of unity. Singing the Archbishops’ songs such as Twanano and Lenstwe, the insatiable youth pressed him for more and he did not disappoint as he took to the dance floor as did what their Spiritual Father would have done. Congregants galloped in awe of appreciation and expressed satisfaction that Bishop Hlabangwane brings some relief as they sadly miss the Archbishop, especially during conferences.
When the moment of reckoning came on 10 February 2019 as Sundays are mainly meant for the Archbishop‘s messages, the young lions sang “Vha gai Vho-Miriri, vho ri siela vhusiwanani (we miss Archbishop Dr Mureri, he left us orphaned)”. It became the Conference song as both the young and old were on the urge of their sits whenever it was sung by the ever energetic Joshua Tshikalange from East Rand District.
Limpopo and Gauteng Youth Chairpersons, Merss Mutakalo Mathoma and David Mudau delivered touching addresses, dedicating their speeches to the unity of the church. They both stressed their resolve to rally their Provincial troops around the unity doctrine as the Archbishop would have expected much to the appreciation of the youth. Chief Insp Ramalamula, Cllr Nemulalate, Chairperson Nelufhangani, Bishop Maleho and Cllr Ramuya could not divert from the theme, but consistently harped on the importance of unity within the church.
Bishop Muzila of Gauteng delivered a message from the Archbishop‘s office. In a short statement, he reminded congregants about the importance of togetherness as well as living and protecting the legacy of the Archbishop. He indicated that the leadership has a responsibility protect and nourish the flock as per the scriptures. Turning his attention to the youth, the Bishop exhorted them to prioritize education and urged those studying at the University of Johannesburg to remain steadfast in their quest to establish a branch at the institution. He concluded by making a pledge to continue praying for the Mureri family in “this hour of need”.
The conference was undoubtedly a litmus test for the church as it sought to illustrate that the youth will continue the legacy of Archbishop Dr EMM Mureri at all times.
Peace be unto all!