At first I thought this was a good news story:
Once whites-only S. African church has first synod with blacks
The Gereformeerde Kerke in Suid-Afrika, or Reformed Churches in South Africa
(GKSA), began their annual general synod on 4 January in Potchefstroom ...
The Synod will begin by
commemorating the 150th anniversary of its institution in the then Boer republic
of Transvaal. ... it later supported theological justifications for
the apartheid ideology of racial separation after the Second World War. This led
to the expulsion of the three churches from international ecumenical bodies.
At least one district of a regional synod of the GKSA, Greater
Johannesburg, currently has a minority of white congregations. One of its
congregations has a Congolese minister who preaches in English and French, a
departure from the traditional dominance of Afrikaans.
About 20 of the 240 delegates to the general synod are black. At the
Sunday service on 4 January the Rev. Abel Modise, a black pastor who serves
congregations in the former townships of Kwa-Thema and Ratanda near
Johannesburg, which were black dormitory towns under apartheid, was elected as
one of two assistant "skribas" (scribes) of the general synod.
While the main medium at the synod remains Afrikaans, a language
derived from Dutch, translation services in English are provided. The synod
opened with the singing of psalms in Afrikaans and Tswana, two of South Africa's
11 official languages, the latter spoken by most black GKSA members.
I guess it is good news really, once you realise what a low base the church is starting from:
Some observers have speculated that the presence of delegates from black
communities renowned for more lusty singing during church gatherings, will bring
a new dimension to worship. Another controversial issue is allowing women to
preach from the pulpit.