Friday, June 01, 2007

June 2007

Dear Friends

Mission, Ministry & Evangelism

Willow Glen has been our parish growth focus since January, and it is wonderful to see the growth that is happening. May saw the introduction of worship services for that community, and the initial service had great support – thank you! In terms of the Diocesan 3-year programme I have been disappointed by the lack of enthusiasm to visit, but understand the time pressures on many of us, along with genuine fears of travelling the roads at night. However, please consider being brave: Jeanne Jackson (012 348 3505) is coordinating the visiting programme and is looking for further support. Our “Friendship Meals” kicked off with Isobel Holden hosting a meal for some of the single women in the parish, and this was a great success.
The next phase begins in Trinity Tide (now!) and includes a Diocesan Convention on Ministry & Evangelism to be held on 10 June 2007 at 14:00 where we will tell our stories and hear from others. I encourage you to make the effort to attend as it is always encouraging to hear what is happening in other parts of God’s vineyard! As part of this next phase we are encouraged to examine issues of enculturation and liturgy, and our Patronal Festival’s “Cultural Dinner” begins this journey for us – I hope we will see many of you there!


A special parish Vestry meeting has agreed to our plans to do some major maintenance and minor extension to our Church building, as well as erect a bell tower to house the magnificent bell that was recently donated by one of our parish families. Parish Council is finalising our fundraising approach, and we await Diocesan approval, which we hope to have by mid-June. Concept plans are in the parish office, and you are welcome to come and view them.

Youth Fusion (13-18 year olds)

Kerry MacGregor and her team have been working hard to build up our youth, and we held a most successful camp just after Easter (see the April Magazine). After comments last year that our more ad hoc approach was not sufficient, Kerry has committed to holding two Youth events a month during school time. Sadly, attendance is erratic and apart from the first event, has not been well attended despite exciting programmes. We are aware that young people are somewhat fickle and change their minds at the last moment, but I suspect that parent commitment to getting their teenagers to the venue is also an issue. Unless numbers pick up substantially, we may need to review what we can offer our youth outside of Sundays – please, Friends, your support is required!
Please take note that Youth Fusion is for Teenagers (13-18 years) – younger children prove disruptive and are not catered for. There may be a need for a “Tweens” youth group, but we are not able to staff one at this stage.


On an irregularly regular basis I put a reminder in the Pewleaflet that I (and other clergy) are available to visit in your homes. It has been a recent pleasure to have been invited in to meet two families. I spend a lot of time meeting people on the Church property around various personal crises or preparation needs, but it is always a pleasure to build relationship in your homes. High walls, security arrangements, and an increasingly busy urban lifestyle make it very difficult to just “pop in” as one perhaps still can in more rural environments, and used to “in the old days”: an invitation – even for a cup of tea – is always welcome!

Information & the Office

I am aware that Church on Sunday is a good time to catch the Rector or Administrator to deal with various issues, and to float various ideas. Please be aware that any “Yes” obtained from me is agreement in principle, but that if any follow-up action is required it is wise to contact the office during the week to follow up on detail or any other action required: yours is not my only conversation, and by Monday morning has become a vague awareness of a mixture of memories from Sunday’s many interactions!

Please also respect our Administrator’s personal space – on Sundays she is just Gwen, a parishioner of the Parish. On Monday morning she reverts to Administrator! Again, please phone in during the week to deal with “Church Matters”. Please also note the office is closed for administrative purposes on Thursdays – the answering machine will direct you to members of the clergy if you have a crisis that needs urgent intervention.

Crime Prayer Summit

Sadly, it appears that while the crime situation is often part of our conversations, sacrificing a Sunday afternoon to join other Christians to reflect prayerfully on crime is not, and raises the question as to whether we are really serious about dealing with crime and corruption, or just concerned for our own skins. My personal thanks to Nan Muir, Gill Condy and Paul Pretorius for representing Corpus Christi and Willow Glen. As part of the proceedings, those gathered were called to make a commitment to refrain from the purchase of stolen goods as a personal contribution to fighting crime, which was overwhelmingly received. Paul Pretorius will be coordinating this in the parish, and I ask for your support for “Smack Attack”.