Sunday, April 23, 2006

April 2006

Dear friends


The Lectionary Readings this Lent have focused us on Covenant: God’s rainbow promise to Noah that he will never again destroy humanity as he did during the flood; God’s promise to Abraham and Sarah that he will grow a nation through them; God’s promise to Israel at Mount Sinai that he will be their God if they will be his people. A reminder that God has a plan, and – despite our lack of belief, our unfaithfulness, our doubt and disobedience – God remains faithful and focused on bringing his purposes to fruition. The Easter events (Jesus’ arrest, trial and crucifixion, his resurrection) are all an ongoing part of this plan that we may discover and abandon ourselves into the amazing selflessness of love that is God. Easter is an opportunity to celebrate that God in Jesus has taken on and destroyed the power of all that seeks to limit the purposes of God, and limit our experience of the selflessness and abundance of love God has for his creation and for all humanity: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” (John 3:16-17). We are remembered by God, we are not a forgotten people - may this be our experience this Easter!


Karen Kaiser Clark, a motivational speaker for over twenty-five years, very wisely said: “Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely.” Change in my life has always been allied to growth. I realised recently that this is not everyone’s experience, and that while I often casually and confidently throw the term around, for some people it evokes anxiety and trepidation, even fear. My confidence is deeply immersed in my relationship with the Living God, in his constancy, and so living in an age of constant change (not all of it good or controllable), change itself is not a focus: God is.
I do not believe in change for change’s sake. Any change that I consciously implement is designed to create greater opportunities for spiritual growth. I also negotiate these changes in discussion with Parish Council and the Ministry Team, and seek to keep them in line with our Statement of Purpose. If you have concerns, please take the time to see me: positive and negative comment is necessary if we are to be effective in serving God in our various communities that make up Corpus Christi.


Identified at the Parish Vision afternoon last year, as well as in our Parish Council planning day at the beginning of the year, are two clear priorities: fuller parishioner involvement in leadership structures and parish activities, and a greater focus on youth involvement. The implications of this are far reaching, certainly more far reaching than most of us are comfortable with: it involves those who are over-involved stepping back to allow space for others to come forward; it means that those who carry responsibility in any area of parish life need to consciously seek out and involve others in what they are doing. Some of us find this easy, others more difficult. If we truly seek and desire youth – from young children through to young adults – to be more involved, we need to adapt: for example, our hymn book that is full of wonderful hymns, is not youth friendly as it is an older style of music that young people are largely unable to relate to. We need a collection of hymns that give balance to the needs of old and young, and draws on the best of the past and the present.

Council Appointment: Treasurer

In line with the above priorities Council has appointed Colette Martin as our parish Treasurer for the 2006/7 Council year. She is a Chartered Accountant, and is furthering her studies in Forensic Accounting. She presently works for the South African Revenue Services. Colette has grown up in the parish, and as one of our young adults, will make a valuable contribution to this aspect of our parish life.
Lex Jackson, who has made a significant and valuable contribution as Treasurer over a number of years, steps down from this position, but will continue to be involved. Council has reappointed Lex as our Parish Stewardship Coordinator, and, importantly, he will continue to keep an eye on our Generosity Giving Scheme.
Our Parish Administrator, Bonita Brukman, has taken over all bookkeeping functions, and will report to the Treasurer on all aspects.
Please be assured that despite the growth of our Finance Team, confidentiality remains a key principle, especially regarding the nature of our personal giving, and will be well guarded.


Licensed Lay Ministry is an important part of our parish worship and pastoral care. Our six lay Ministers (Lex, Blandina, Louie, Margaret, Peter and Sabine) will be re-licensed by the Archdeacon on Sunday 2 April 2006, 18:00 at a The Good Shepherd Anglican Church in Eersterus.
In addition to licensed Lay Ministers we, in this parish, have another category of minister (not licensed) known as Cup-Bearers, who help administer the Chalice and help lead prayers in our worship services. In terms of Diocesan regulations the term “Cup-Bearer” is not a formal title, and these duties should carry a license. The Bishop is in the process of realigning his involvement and the procedures to be followed for applying for new licenses, and once this is in place Council has agreed that we recommend our Cup-Bearers (now Trainee Lay Ministers) be regularised.

Ministry to the Bereaved

Seven of our “recently” bereaved parishioners met last Saturday for tea and support, hosted by Jeanne and Lex Jackson. A number had lost spouses, one had lost a mother, and another a child. Experiences were shared, tears were shed, and comfort was received. It was agreed that the afternoon was valuably spent, and should happen again – monthly where possible. It was noted that the only two men present, myself and Lex, where not feeling particularly bereaved, and that the Widowers in the parish should be encouraged to attend next time.

Easter Programme

Please keep an eye on the Parish Diary on the back of the Pewleaflet. In addition to the normal Holy Week and Easter Programme:
We will be holding a Seder Dinner on Monday 10 April 2006 at 19:00. A Seder Dinner is also known as the Passover Dinner, and is what Jesus celebrated with his Disciples at what we call The Last Supper. The evening will be led by Marinda du Preez from Hartebeespoort, and the focus will be on the Christian implications of the Jewish tradition: “Out of Bondage into Freedom through the Blood of the Lamb”, and should prove to be a good evening of learning, worship and fellowship. Please let the office know if you are attending. The cost of the evening – including a booklet – will be in the region of R50 per person, but we will run the evening on a donation basis.
The Good Friday Service (3 Hour) will focus on the Seven Miraculous Signs of Jesus, and their significance, according to John’s Gospel. This service will include aspects of the Celebration of the Lord’s Passion, as well as the Solemn Adoration of Christ Crucified.
We have six Baptism candidates (from six families) for Easter Baptisms. Due to space limitations Council has agreed that move the Easter Vigil and Festival of Light to Holy Saturday Evening at 18:30, and include Baptisms at this service and at 09:00 on Easter Sunday. We will still hold a Sunrise (Son-rise!) Eucharist at 05:00 on Easter Sunday.


“Closure” is one of those overworked words in today’s fixated world, but none the less it remains an important concept. I encourage you all to celebrate Easter, either with us at Corpus Christi, or at a local Church wherever you may be holidaying. The Easter Celebrations bring closure to our Lenten Pilgrimage, and it is a valuable path to wholeness in God to bring this journey to completion.

Yours in Christ


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