Sunday, April 23, 2006

September 2005

Dear friends


The parish vision afternoon was a great success in terms of beginning to nail down our sense of purpose – our vision, our mission – and highlighting those things we consider to be of value to us at Corpus Christi. It also began a process of “Conversation” that I hope will be ongoing. Importantly, we celebrate our 25th anniversary next year, and so in many ways begin a new phase in our existence as we look forward into our next quarter century. For this reason alone it is important that we clarify our purpose: we began in 1981 as the “parish on the boundary” catering largely for Christians of an Anglo-Catholic bent; as we begin the next phase we discover a boundary that has moved substantially east, and a parishioner-base that is significantly changed from our early beginnings. While we are likely to remain a Christian community that values a traditional Anglican outlook, we also need to be open to the Holy Spirit’s leadership, willing to be both flexible and inclusive in our worship and caring.

Arms of the Parish

I am much indebted to Trevor Wilson for helping us revive and clarify (at least for myself) the “Arms of the Parish”, which essentially give structure and direction to our parish organisation, ministry and outreach. The importance of this is twofold: firstly, that we identify people in our community to give direction to the various areas of responsibility; and, secondly, that we create opportunities for broad-based parishioner participation. The preserve of the few needs to become the playground of the multitudes.

Home Fellowship Groups

We face two challenges as a congregation: to provide meaningful opportunities for spiritual and relational growth for ourselves; to grow the work of the Church into the continuously expanding east of Pretoria. Home Fellowship Groups (known by various names in various places: cell groups, small Christian communities, etc.) are a way to meet both challenges, especially if they are organised on a geographical basis. In my experience over the last twenty-two years, this is the only way that the Church can be effective in pastoral care, friendship development, spiritual growth and mission on an ongoing basis. Various groups over the years have brought me personally to increasing depth in my spirituality and friendships. More about this in the next while!

Welcome, Father Danny!

Father Danny Adonis has been part of our parish for some time. He is, however, licensed to the Archdeacon (who was Father Bob, and is now Father Timothy from St Frances, Waterkloof), and so since Father Bob’s retirement there has been some confusion as to where Father Danny belongs. We now have agreement that the Archdeacon will coordinate Father Danny’s Sunday programme, and that Corpus Christi will be his home parish! And so we officially welcome Danny and Nomvula and their family with us at Corpus Christi.

Pastoral Prayer

As part of our caring for you, the Wednesday morning group – that has been praying for those on our Sick List – will now also be praying through the parish roll, bringing seven of our families before God every week. Due to lack of another creative method, they have begun at “A” and will work their way through to “Z”! Expect a phone call from Margaret Acres or one of her team desiring to know what particularly they can give thanks to God for on your behalf, or any specific need you may be encountering.


It is a highlight of my month to watch the office fill with “Fill-a-Bag’s”. This month Jenny and Isobel carted of thirty-nine bags in Jenny’s little car to Tumelong for distribution via the Hospice in the Winterveld. We are making a meaningful contribution to the lives of those in often desperate need – thank you for your generosity! I think we now have fifty parishioners signed up to help in this important way.

Hospital Visiting

Nan Muir has kindly taken on responsibility for coordinating the general visiting of people in the Pretoria East Hospital, as well as specific visiting of any of us who find ourselves confined to one of the many hospitals in the Pretoria environment. Please inform Nan either via the Parish Office or directly if you are planning a hospital stay (however brief) so that we can demonstrate God’s love to you through a visit. If you are interested in being part of this caring ministry, please speak to Nan.

The Housebound & Communion

Lex Jackson has kindly taken on responsibility for coordinating the administration of Holy Communion to those either hospitalised or housebound (temporarily or long-term). If you are in need of this ministry, or know of others who may be, please let Lex know – also either via the office or directly.

Diocesan Synod

Although I write this before our Diocesan Synod meeting this coming weekend, you will be reading it afterwards. This is our first Synod since Mpumalanga was split off as a new diocese of its own last year, and so is an important one for us as we are also essentially a “new diocese”. This Synod will give renewed direction to the diocese as representatives from the various parishes of the diocese, the clergy and bishops meet for consultation with each other and with God. I hope and pray, too, that you will have been able to join us for the Diocesan Family Day Service at St Alban’s College on Sunday, and will have enjoyed experiencing something of the wider culture of our Diocese in worship.

Yours in Christ


The following is a draft of the various statements coming out of our Parish Vision Afternoon held on Saturday 20 August 2005. Your prayerful consideration and wise comment will be much appreciated.

Our Vision Statement

Our vision is a Christ-centred, traditional Anglican community, offering spirit-filled leadership and inclusive, flexible worship opportunities

Our Mission Statement

Our mission is to build the Kingdom of God in our wider community through outreach and service, while offering opportunities for spiritual and relational growth, care and fellowship

Our Value Statement

Our lives: a place where others meet Christ

We Value

Reverent, dignified worship services
Youth participation
Broad-based parishioner involvement
Friendship development
Effective pastoral care and spiritual support
Effective community outreach & service

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