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!


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