Tuesday, December 05, 2006

December 2006

Dear Friends

Advent & Christmas

The Church Year begins afresh with Advent – a cycle of church seasons has been completed with our celebration of Christ the King, and a new journey begins. During Advent we prepare for the celebration of God’s incarnation through the birth of the Christ-child, a celebration of the inconceivable: God with us – Emmanuel!

The Bishop’s Gift

God willing, Vernon Foster will be made Deacon on Sunday 10 December 2006, 09:30 at St Alban’s Cathedral (we’ll see you all there!). The Bishop’s Christmas present to us is his intention to deploy Vernon to Corpus Christi for the post-ordination phase of Vernon’s ongoing formation, with the specific purpose of building a community of faith and planting a new church in the Willow Glen area – with our support! Parish Council has accepted this exciting challenge on our behalf, and we look forward to your support of this new mission.

Council Plans for 2007

The incoming 2007 Council met recently for a day of planning. The challenges that lie ahead are many and varied. We have tried to stream-line operations by creating clearer areas of accountability for the executive portfolios and council committees. Our focus for the year ahead is to build further on our value of broad-based parishioner involvement, and to continue to focus our personal lives and parish environment on increasingly being a place where others meet Christ. We will attempt to communicate our plans around the Annual Vestry Meeting in January – meanwhile, keep an eye on the notice boards in the hall!


At our recent Diocesan Clergy Day Mr Tom Hamilton, Head of St Alban’s College, addressed us on the issue of Ethical Organisations. I was struck by his comment that fundamental to the “success” of any organisation is relationship and community, and that community needs a foundation of stability and trust to be effective. At Corpus Christi, while we have the basics in place, there is still a definite journey to be walked in the area of social transformation and cultural integration - none of us has the right to demand that others conform to “my” cultural norms! My deep prayer for the New Year is that during 2007 the cultural diversity of our homes will move into our worship services, and our “togetherness” in worship services will move beyond the church-door and into our homes! This can only happen if we make a collective decision to make it happen! This is one of Council’s priorities for next year.


For those of you trying to make sense of where our country is going it may well be of value to pick up a copy of Thabo Mbeki and the Battle for the Soul of the ANC by William Mervin Gumede. Gumede describes his book as a “political biography of Mbeki and the ANC in power” and “not an official biography of Thabo Mbeki and the African National Congress” (page xi of the preface). Gumede is a columnist for the Sunday Independent, does work for the Economist Intelligence Unit and the BBC World Service, and was previously deputy editor of the Sowetan and senior editor at the Financial Mail.

The other book is Rabble-Rouser for Peace, the authorised biography of Desmond Tutu by John Allen. Sometimes it is useful to look back in order to get perspective on the present. This book is something of a reminder that God has not abdicated his/her responsibility for our wonderful country with all its potential – and neither should we!

A Christmas Blessing

I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you all a most blessed Christmas and a hope-filled New Year! Thank you for all you have done to help us be effective for God in Jesus Christ and His kingdom this past year. May He bless you abundantly to the full measure of your commitment and generosity demonstrated in our community life!