Sunday, April 23, 2006

April 2005

Dear friends in Christ

It is a great pleasure to be writing to you as a member of the parish, and as a resident of the City of Tshwane! Thank you all for the wonderful welcome we have received as a family over this Easter period. As a family, it is good to be together again, and we have enjoyed some time with our extended Canadian family who have spent the last ten days with us. We will be moving into our new house – 518 Lancelot Road, Garsfontein x 5 - in a week or so, which will be a real pleasure. Dawn is discovering the joys and frustrations of being part of a developing work environment as her role in the company she works for transforms to allow her space in the wider group. Cassie has settled into St Mary’s, DSG, extremely happily, which makes the trials of living separately as a family over the last few months worth-while. Nathan, who has recently turned 18, has decided completing his Matric is a priority: we have registered him through Damelin to complete his Grade 10 via correspondence this year. In the meantime he is looking for work in order to contribute towards the cost of his studies, and we would appreciate any contacts you may be aware of that would provide suitable experience for him as he enters the working world (Nathan’s cell is 083 600 9447).

I have greatly appreciated the opportunity to be with you all for Holy Week and Easter. There is something very special about sharing this time with one’s new community, and with all our worship opportunities this past week I feel like I’ve been among you for months, and not just days! I am struck that Resurrection is all about new life and new beginnings, and that we need to explore what this particular remembrance of Jesus’ resurrection in 2005 means for us as a community of Christians at Corpus Christi - particularly with my advent among you as your new rector. Change is a very natural and normal function of life and an ever-faster aspect of it as our world digitises and becomes ever-more hi-tec. The temptation is always to maintain, and not grow. Maintenance is generally comfortable, but may tend towards tedium; growth certainly pushes our comfort boundaries, and can often be exhilarating (and scary!). Our past needs to inform our present and guide our future, and always needs to be interpreted in the context of our faith in the resurrected Jesus and His call on us to obedience. I look forward to discovering our past and exploring our future as we seek growth together.

I have much appreciated letters of congratulation on my appointment as your rector from both Father Bob Harris and Father Richard Hatfield (now Father Chad, and Dean of St Herman Theological Seminary in Kodiak, Alaska). Father Chad hopes he and Shelley will be able to join us for our 25th anniversary celebrations in 2007.

In closing a thought from Oswald Chambers in his book My Utmost for His Highest, which reflects something of the sentiment Father Bob shared with me in his letter: “If we are going to be ready for Jesus Christ, we have to stop being religious. In other words, we must stop using religion as if it were some kind of lofty lifestyle – we must be spiritually real.”

Yours in Christ


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