Sunday, April 23, 2006

December 2005 & January 2006

Dear friends


Our new Church year has begun, commencing our pilgrimage towards the Christmas celebration of “Emmanuel – God with us”. This is a time of HOPE, based not on vague anticipations of the future, but on the concrete experience of the people of God in the past. The challenge before us is to concretise this HOPE for the future – to make it real in practical ways that make a meaningful difference to our family life, our community, our nation. The essence of this HOPE is that “God is with us”: we are not alone, we are not forgotten, we are not abandoned by the Creator – He is in our midst! This is truly GOOD NEWS, news that is the basis for our HOPE!

Closing off the year

A year ago Dawn and I were in discussion with Bishop Jo as to our possible future in this diocese, and Corpus Christi had been raised as one of the potential placements for us as a family. I am amazed at how long ago that now seems, and yet still somehow only yesterday. It is good to be in your midst, and I look forward to all that next year will hold for us. I am aware that my advent in your midst has brought some growth and, I hope, positive change to our parish life. Growth always incurs expense: in energy, in time, in commitment, and in wealth. On a practical note, a big thank you to all who have responded generously on a financial level over this year, and to those who have indicated they will continue to do so in the New Year: you enable the work and mission of God in our community in a very constructive and valuable manner. Anglicans often seem to be on a “Mission for Money”, but our renewed diocesan focus is enabling us to move towards “Money for Mission”, and your generosity enables us to get this focus right. Sadly there are always those who do not respond – for a variety of reasons both good and bad – and thus limit our potential (I have asked our Treasurer to follow-up on those of us who have not yet responded).


One of the major challenges for 2006 will be to broaden our parishioner involvement-base. There are those among us who carry big burdens of responsibility (yes, some out of choice, but others due to the nature of where we are), and I am hugely thankful for each one’s ongoing commitment and fortitude to the job, and to others who have made themselves available and tried to lighten the burden! However, Moses’ father-in-law gave him a mouthful about overworking himself, and the need to delegate responsibility to others, and this we need to do in many areas of our parish life. This will be a priority for Council next year. Please take time over the Christmas break to consider your talents, gifts and skills, and prayerfully seek God’s mind on how you can contribute these resources to the growth of God’s kingdom via Corpus Christi. We can only be effective as a parish to the degree that you and I are generous with the resources and abilities God has given us. My deep desire is to see us expand next year, not for any sake other than the expansion of God’s Kingdom in the world. Who is in control? Me … You … God … ?

Small Christian Communities

There can be no doubt that churches grow – be it modern mega-churches or those with centuries of tradition – when members meet regularly in small groups for worship, prayer, study, and fellowship. This is where friendship and support bases are developed and grown. It is our intention (one of our parish goals for 2006) to get as many Home Fellowship Groups as possible up and running next year, preferably on a geographical basis where feasible. To enable fellowship it is suggested that the groups begin each meeting with a light meal (½ hour), move into a time of study, discussion and prayer (1 to 1½ hours), closing the meeting with tea & coffee (½ hour); all this within a controlled time-frame enabling focused involvement and opportunity. Please, again, be praying over the Christmas break about your own potential involvement in a Home Fellowship Group. More information will be made available in the New Year.


I have broken my leave up into a number of short weeks’ away this year – and have earned that wonderful response, “On leave – AGAIN?” Needless to say this hasn’t distracted me, and I have had some wonderful opportunities, which have been both recreative and invigorating. Dawn and my most recent being a wonderful visit to Zongoene Lodge on the Limpopo River Mouth in Moçambique courtesy of Nissan, which included a flight in an old (older than me!), vintage Dakota (DC-3); quad-biking opportunities up the coast, with weather sadly blocking opportunities for snorkelling and deep-sea fishing; great seafood, and good company. I will be away in the Lowveld for a week during early December (giving Cassie the opportunity to catch up with old school friends, and a brief week in January (still unplanned). As many of you enjoy time off and time away with family over Christmas and New Year, may it be good! Drive carefully, and have lots of fun!

Season’s Greetings

From myself, Dawn and the family, God’s richest blessings and love to you all over Christmas and New Year!

Yours in Christ


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