Sue Rakoczy draws threads and themes from conference on hope-giving

Here follows a few quick notes on the conclussion of Sue Rakoczy on the SAMS conference, which concluded today. Prof Sue Racokzy, from a Roman Catholic community of women, started by  Belgian priest in 1845, started by sharing the stories of 2 faith communities, namely the ecumenical community of Taize in France and a South African community in Pietermaritzburg, PACSA.


The community of Taize was started  by Brother Roger- tragically murdered in mass in 2005

Came from religious family- minister; his grand mothers and father planted in him the seeds of reconciliation and unity. His father was profoundly influenced by the wars between Christians; Christians were slaughtering each other, it is in this context he aimed to make a profound statement. His father went into pray in catholic church

In university Brother went to monastery and formed a circle of friends- and had a vision of community life

When he was 25- he went to France to find a community house, he found house for sale in village of Taize. He stayed a few nights with an old women. Who said: please stay with us; we are lonely

After war- he and few friends started to live together as a prayerful Christian community, the first monastry in Protestantism. In 1945 they vowed to live the monastic life.  

In 1950s: they started to ministered to youth of the world.  Young people said: there is something here, its more than what they see in the institutions of their time.

Today they are still an ongoing spirituality of trust

Pope John Paul 3: call it ‘spring time’

Sue: When I visted Taize, I felt I am at the centre of the Christian church, not Rome Cantebury, Geneva

Why ? Because of 4 essentials:


Concern for justice/Outreach to the world


Christian community


Roger was killed; Alloysious took over.

 Pietermaritzbiurg community (PACSA)

Late 70s Peter and Joan Kitchoff were concerned about lack of consciousness amongst whites of injustice ( Anglican ) reach out to white churches. They were shunned, this is crazy

Gradually PACSA drew 2 constituencies:

a       likeminded white concerned Christians

a       black Christians see them as partners

At his funeral: people from black community were telling the stories how Peter was at the times of their need. 


1994: all NGO’s fell apart.

Pacsa said: SA is not a just society- new inventions, economic justice; gendere justice and HIV/AIDS is still and issues



During the last few days we’ve been telling stories of hope

St Paul in Rom 5: hope doesn’t disappoint

Musa Dube said: nature of stories; she raise important points, we have to interpret our stories, who tells the stories, who is able to tell the story, who is silent. Stories to a larger community;


What have we leant

Abert: we are in between in between time of hope and hopelessness, its painfull. We know it about our churches- a very dynamic painfull tension. Stories are told by real persons. We hear lots of self-revelation. We choose what we share. Musa didn’t talk about herselves, but we heard

Tony shared his story- coming to faith, a lapsed Christian faith

Christina stories of many women and men

This morning about Atu  Raja: we also saw: the before and after, the transformation

They were physically repellent and later restore to life, to flourishing


Hope is personal, incarnate, corporate, not abstract, theoretical … always more then our visions of it

We’ve heard of the story of Edinburgh 2010 – it was a corporate story, became more


Christina: communities of hope, not just individuals, new communities where women feel sense of corporate-ness of connection


Emerging: another side of corporate hope within postmodern context


Albert underscored corporate stories; we need to give account. Hope is corporate, complex


Stories have been contextual:

The context of colonialism- how Christianity and Africa connected

How do we relate it to Africa. A context of despair of women, violence.

Genevieve: the context of meeting poor people in Moz


A next thing:

Hope is praxis; it is transforming action; we have to rise up and build

We have to do the works of hope- Mukanyo, Studenttrust, healing, Sudan

Francis of Asssise: preach the gospel, if necessary use words.

What directions do these lead is:


Greater hope ?

Albert asked: where is God today ?

Old images of God do not satisfy

Many people, women do not relate to experience….

Where is God: what took you so long- God is dead ?

Women, we get use to the suffering- its like being hit on the hammer on the head


Hence: we need new stories of hope

Hope is already and not yet.

We need real earth communities of hope

Justice in Sudan, in SA in 2008


What is emerging in Africa

a       women and men together

a       public voice

a       we need new earth stories- our old church stories doesn’t work: The church need to be a place of justice hope or love

a       we have an emerging, praxis base theology of hope


We don’t do this: to hope is in God alone- God as mystery is only basis for hope- we cannot look for signs, signs help but they are not hope.

We’re in time of dark faith and dark hope


Theology of hope is communal and personal


Klippies raised the question:

What do other people expect of us ?


Gen used words ‘urgent’ and ‘urgency’: Hope is urgent. You can never be too young, too white, to this or that.

What is the vision of hope

Kindom- not kingdom ( human community is  family) – we are one human family

The vision of hope is renewed community of the earth- this is what we have- its our only home, a peaceful humanity


To conclude;

We heard vision of hope – the already and not yet

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