Thursday, October 04, 2007

October 2007

Dear Friends


As many of you will be aware, Bishop Thabo Makgoba (47) of Grahamstown has been elected to take over from Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane. He takes up his position from January of next year. His election marks a new era for the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, and we ask for your prayers for +Thabo and his family, the Diocese of Grahamstown as they seek new leadership, and our Anglican Province as we move forward into our future.

Mission & Evangelism: 5 Marks

As you may be becoming aware, one of my growing passions is the question, “How do we do mission & evangelism from an Anglican perspective?” In preparation for the Anglican Decade of Mission in the 1990’s the following five marks were noted:

To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom;
To teach, baptise and nurture new believers;
To respond to human need by loving service;
To seek to transform unjust structures of society;
To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth.

During 1996 these five marks were reviewed, with some pertinent insights noted: the focus of all Mission is announcing the Good News (From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” Matthew 4:17), and thus a call for Anglicans to be involved in personal and community Evangelism; Mission always happens in context, and is shaped by the great diversity of places, times and cultures in which we live, proclaim and embody it; worship is central to Mission and our common life, a sign that all of life is holy, that hope and meaning can be found in offering ourselves to God; Mission is central to the nature of being Church, and we are called not just to do mission but to be a people of mission; Mission is God-in-action in that Mission is God’s initiative, not ours— we are called simply to serve God's mission by living and proclaiming the Good News.

The Lambeth Conference of 1998 proclaimed: "Mission goes out from God. Mission is God's way of loving and saving the world… So mission is never our invention or choice." (Section II p121). Mission is our duty, and should inform all actions that we take as the people of God.

An Anglican Statement on Mission

In seeking to make a definitive statement on Mission, a statement of the Commission on Mission of the National Council of Churches in Australia was adapted: Mission is the creating, reconciling and transforming action of God, flowing from the community of love found in the Trinity, made known to all humanity in the person of Jesus, and entrusted to the faithful action and witness of the people of God who, in the power of the Spirit, are a sign, foretaste and instrument of the reign of God.

A Response

Much of what is expressed in the five marks, and the insights that came out of the review in 1996 reflect what is already happening within our life, ministry and worship as Anglicans. You will find our liturgy infused with these concepts; the ACSA Constitution and Canons, as well as our Diocesan Rules, reflect these commitments.

The challenge is for us at grassroots level in parish, family and community life, to internalise the understanding that “we are called not just to do mission but to be a people of mission” and that “mission is never our invention or choice”.

Some Questions

How does your life proclaim the message: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near!”?

At Corpus Christi we speak of our lives being a place where others meet Christ: who are you inviting into the community of our lives?


Stewardship of our Resources 2007/2008

Dear Friends

“Christian Stewardship is the way in which Christians exercise their duty to administer what God has entrusted to them and to serve him gladly in his Church” (from A Catechism in An Anglican Prayer Book 1989, pg 435).

Making ourselves available for Christian service is an essential part of Stewardship – a way we can all demonstrate commitment to our Church and our community. As we move steadily towards a new year, we urge you all to consider what you can do as members of Corpus Christi to exercise your Christian duty and serve with joy in the year that lies ahead:

Making your Time, Talents and Skills available is one of the greatest gifts you can give – especially in these days of trying to balance crowded diaries, fast-paced working lives and family commitments. We all, however, have something to offer: a skill or talent that can be utilised to the benefit of fellow parishioners and the Church’s Mission. It may be something as simple as offering your services as a driver to the Samaritans Group or as an extra pair of hands to the Catering Committee or helping with tea after services; perhaps you can see where your professional skills could be used to the benefit of the Corpus Christi community.

Please consider what you can do and how much time you can offer, and let us know by filling in the relevant section in the Stewardship Commitment Form. Tell us how you can help, when you can help and what activity you would like to be involved in. We will collate the information and you will be contacted.

The Generosity Giving Scheme is a vital part of the mission, growth and maintenance of parish life. We always appreciate the consideration and generosity of parishioners who support this area of “Tithing” and give steadily, constantly and regularly. It is an unfortunate fact, however, that inflation and rising interest rates impact as much on our mission, ministry and maintenance of parish life as they do on our individual pockets.

The Diocese has set a bench-mark increase of 7% for 2008. This does not take into account the need for us as a parish to increase expenditure in areas of mission and ministry – vital areas of our lives that require ongoing support. Although our budget for 2007 was balanced by a wonderful individual donation of R60,000, which enabled us to support our Missionary Deacon, we need to spread these costs more broadly next year.

Please prayerfully consider your financial commitment to the work of God through Corpus Christi. While “Generosity Giving” covers our general budget, there are many other opportunities open for you to make a substantial contribution to an aspect of growth in mission and ministry which you may find appealing. Please talk to our Rector if there is either an existing or potentially new area you would like to specifically support.

We are fortunate to have as a “home” one of the most attractive churches in Pretoria. Keeping it pristine requires that we continually maintain and develop our facilities. The Buildings and Grounds Improvements Fund is another vital area that can be supported with your “Tithe”. While we run a separate fund-raising effort for our Church Building extension and renovations (“Buy a Building Block”), contributions to the Building and Grounds Improvements Fund in 2007 have helped put new carpeting in the church, and will contribute to the renovation of the tiling around the altar, and the installation of a much needed sound system. This money in 2008 will help continue the ongoing improvement and maintenance needs of our facilities.

“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God through him” (Colossians 3:17; TNIV).

Yours in fellow-Stewardship

Mark R D Long - Rector
Peter Davies - Churchwarden
Lex Jackson - Stewardship Coordinator
Mary Verryn - Churchwarden