Sunday, April 23, 2006

February 2006

Dear friends

Our Prophetic Role

As you read this, 2006 is probably already a month or more old! I am reminded that it is important we make the best of every day, and that we use 2006 to make a clear impact for God in our various communities within which we live and work. At our New Year’s Day service Father Njiro in his sermon reminded us that the Church needs to give leadership to the World, and that as the people of God we have a prophetic calling. We, like most human beings, are nervous to stick our necks out – someone may just chop off our heads! – and so find this type of prophetic reminder uncomfortable. However … what are our values as Anglicans and as Christians? Are we willing to stand up for what is right and good? Dare we make a difference for God in our society? or are we content with the “easy” road?

… on being Anglican

You should by now have received a letter from me on this topic in the post. Please read, note and inwardly digest its contents! Since joining the parish in April 2005, I have found the particular issues raised in the letter to be a regular source of unnecessary anguish for both myself and the families requiring the services concerned. We describe ourselves in our Statement of Purpose as “a traditional Anglican Church”, and yet when it comes to death – especially – we throw tradition to the wind, and seek to be anything but Anglican in our practice. I tire of being placed in the untenable position where a pastoral request may require my canonical disobedience. Please, please, PLEASE … let us respect our traditions as Anglican Christians.

Father Stephen Njiro

Stephen and Esther Njiro have been part of our community at Corpus Christi for over a year now. Father Stephen was ordained priest in the Anglican Church in Kenya in 1991. He was awarded a Master of Arts in Christian Ministry by the International School of Theology (California, USA) in 1990. In addition to this, he carries a Doctorate in Veterinary Pathology, and is employed as a Professor at Onderstepoort. The Bishop has given us permission to use Father Stephen in his priestly ministry, and he will be utilised here at Corpus Christi, and at St Agnes, Stanza Bopape, in a self-supporting capacity. It is the Bishop’s policy to allow non-stipendiary clergy substantial time to settle into the community before they take up any duties, so … although we already know him well … WELCOME Father Stephen!

Lent & Home Fellowships

Lent is just around the corner, with Shrove Tuesday on 28 February 2006 (come and join us for Pancakes at the Church!) and Ash Wednesday on 1 March 2006 officially marking the start of our preparation for the Easter events. We will again offer an evening “Lent Course” at the Church, beginning on Wednesday 8 March 2006. For those who find navigating the streets in the dark difficult, transport can be arranged … just speak to Bonita in the office! We will begin each evening with Evening Prayer in the Church, followed by a presentation and group discussion in the Hall. No particular qualification for your attendance is required, just a desire to get to know God and his children better. We are in the process of putting it all together, so please keep an eye out for further details in the Sunday Pewleaflet.
It is my hope that we can use the Lent Course to launch a few more Home Fellowship Groups in the parish. However, attendance at the course will NOT automatically force you into a Home Fellowship Group … but it will be encouraged!

Council & Broad-based Parishioner Involvement

In an attempt to open up our structures, and to provide greater opportunity for every-member participation in the life of the parish, our first step is change at Executive and Council level. We have created Executive portfolios for myself and the Churchwardens, which will be mirrored in Council committees. The idea is that these committees will be made up of a Churchwarden who will act as facilitator, two or three councillors plus anyone else who may be active in the particular areas concerned. Council meetings will allow for a committee meeting component (open to all) followed by a decision making time (Executive and Council members). The new council spent a productive Saturday on 21 January getting to know each other, and beginning this new process. Your input is desired: please let us know of ideas, hopes and dreams that you may have for our parish life and community involvement.

“The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus.” (John 1:41-42a)

Many blessings to you all for the year ahead: may we all, like Andrew, bring many “Simon’s” to Jesus.

Yours in Christ


No comments: