Sunday, June 25, 2006

July 2006

Dear Friends

25th Anniversary Celebrations

A huge THANK YOU to everyone who made our Birthday Celebrations so special – this includes all those who worked hard (Trevor Wilson and his team for the Dinner; The Ministry Team for our Festival Eucharist) AND all who made the time to be present at these events. The turn-out for the Dinner was tremendous, and made the evening a very special occasion. I went to bed on a real “High”, and struggled to sleep – the “excitement bug” had bitten! Our Festival Eucharist on Sunday went off without a hitch, except for the unbelievably low turn-out (deeply embarrassing as I’ve been telling the Bishop how we regularly “fall out the windows”!). Our procession around the grounds and closing Episcopal blessing on the lawn brought closure to what was a deeply spiritual time together. The Bishop’s sermon was reassuring, yet challenging: he affirmed the direction our parish life is taking, but encouraged us to continually stretch ourselves as a Eucharistic Community in our service of the Risen Lord. I need to express my appreciation to Bishop Jo and to his wife, Timeya, for their gift to us of presence and time, both in preparation and in person. My thanks, too, to the Churchwardens, who set a strong example as to what commitment to the parish means at such times. Thank you, too, to all who demonstrated your commitment to God and to us by being present. It is my expectation that at such occasions, especially when the Bishop is among us, that we are ALL in attendance.

A Tribute to the late Mpho Banda

Mpho’s death, as sudden and unexpected as it was, and coming in the midst of our Anniversary Celebrations, has been a profound blow to us as a community. Mpho has played a quiet, but unmistakable role in helping us transform as a community. As a black person in what was predominantly a white community when she joined us, she changed attitudes and forged friendships despite often hurtful responses, by not allowing wrong attitudes to inhibit her service to God in our midst. The impact of her life is seen in the broad-based parishioner response to her death, and willingness by many to care for her family in their bereavement. I was privileged to take part in her funeral service in Mankweng (Polokawane), and was struck by how many spoke of her as selfless in her commitment to God, to her family, to her community. She lived out her faith in all aspects of life, her sacrificial commitment visible particularly in continuing her substantial financial giving (she was one of our top givers) despite being out of work for the last year. We have lost a special person who lived out her faith through action and example.

Diocesan Year of Teaching & “Heartlines”

It becomes ever more necessary in an increasingly pluralistic religious – yet also growingly secular – environment that we know who we are: as Christians, and as Anglicans. It is also important that we find ways to impact Godly values on our society. We are encouraged by Diocesan structures to address these issues, and our parish leadership is committed to this process. In addressing issues of Anglican Spirituality last year with the “Reaffirmation of Vows / Adult Confirmation” group, this need was affirmed. Elsewhere in this Magazine you will find an article (Part I) on Anglicanism, as well as information on the national initiative “Heartlines”, which we as a parish will support.

Birthday Bash

Dawn and I look forward to you joining us for an informal “Bring & Braai” on Sunday 9 July 2006 from 12:00 at the second annual (we did it once – now its tradition!) RECTOR’S BIRTHDAY BASH. You may remember we turned 40 last year. And, please, your presence will be presents enough!


Sunday, June 04, 2006

June 2006

Dear Friends


As many of you will be aware, I have recently been elected Canon of the Cathedral Chapter by the Clergy of the Diocese. Bishop Jo admitted myself and three other new Canons on Saturday 27 May 2006 at the Diocesan Standing Committee meeting. A number of parishioners have asked, “Exactly what is a Canon, and what do you do?” As a Canon I am a member of the Cathedral Chapter, which is a senior group of Clergy (including Archdeacons and the Dean) who advise the Bishop on various matters. Canons also carry various Diocesan ministry responsibilities: Bishop Jo has given me the duties of Canon Chancellor. This means I carry responsibility for ministry to Educational Institutions (both Diocesan and other) in the Diocese.


Dawn and I had a wonderful two weeks at the coast. I found it relaxing and energising. I read a particularly good book entitled Marriage: restoring our vision written by an Anglican Priest, David Robertson, which rather than being full of self-help ideas, helpfully examined various Biblical perspectives on marriage. It strikes me that if the Church is to be relevant to post-modern society, we need to address the issue of relationships, not judgementally, but with our rich Biblical heritage, to help society rediscover the value of long-term, faithful relationships. David outlines Biblical priorities for marriage, as well as examining the post-modern practice of cohabitation in light of Biblical principles.


This month we celebrate our 25th Birthday as a Parish. I sincerely hope to see you all at our Anniversary Dinner and/or our Festival Eucharist over the weekend of 10/11 June. Let us celebrate together the goodness of God over the past 25 years in bringing us as a community to the point where we now are!


May 2006

Dear Friends

Easter has come and gone, and Pentecost is not far off. I’m enjoying being able to “Alleluia” again! Our Easter services all went well, and we received a number of compliments from parishioners and visitors alike. I much appreciated our lay input during the Good Friday Service, and I’m sure you’ll agree that we have some budding preachers in our midst! I found that our Baptisms added to our Easter Celebrations, a reminder that we belong to Christ, both through his crucifixion and resurrection.

Welcome back to all who have been away over the Easter Holidays—I trust you had a good break, and hope you managed to find a Christian Community to celebrate the Easter events. It would be good to hear of your experiences. I look forward to my time away over the next two weeks as it is always good to draw apart for refreshment and recreation.

Please take note of the various happenings listed in the “Forthcoming Events” section—some of which is further detailed in other parts of this publication—as we face a busy time ahead. I encourage you to involve yourself wherever possible in the life of the parish, and to stand firm for Jesus in your other spheres of influence.

Thank you to all who contributed to my generous Easter gift. It is much appreciated, and will be enjoyed!