Friday, November 02, 2007

November 2007

Dear Friends

A passing Year

This has been a busy year in which we have accomplished a great deal as a parish. We have established a new—and growing—congregation in Willow Glen; extended and substantially renovated our church building; held a most successful mini-Fête. Around all this we have met socially to celebrate “Shrove Sunday” with the Louis Botha Homes children, celebrated our Patronal Festival with a most successful Cultural Evening and Dinner, celebrated my birthday with a Parish Braai, and we’ll end the year with a Christmas Luncheon. Intertwined with all this activity have been weddings, funerals, a baptism or two, our regular Sunday and Wednesday Worship, caring for those in need, visiting the sick, meeting in small groups of one sort or another. I think I blinked in March and found myself in October!


Its around this time of year that one begins to reflect on the past months and ponder on those that lie ahead, especially the New Year. We have successfully elected a new council for 2008, and so our minds are drawn forward: what of the future?

Life & Community

I’ve just returned from the leading our Diocesan delegation to the Diocese of Lebombo’s Family Day at their Cathedral in Maciene, Moçambique. Fifty-two of us attended this amazing event. The journey itself was epic, the experience life-sustaining: over 1,500 people, drawn from all over the Lebombo Diocese and the world (Lebombo, Pretoria, the USA, Sweden), attended the huge outdoor service. We celebrated relationship, community, togetherness.

I always find Moçambique challenging: there is a simplicity of life, of faith. It is discomforting, yet life-giving. I am left dissatisfied with the materialism that marks our South African lifestyle and the superficiality of relationship that wealth engenders. I find hope in Moçambique, in her people, in the church.

And I wonder if we find it here, in South Africa, in Pretoria, in Garsfontein? As others touch our lives, are they excited by prospects of wholeness and community, of belonging and abundance?

Our lives: a place where others meet Christ?

As you reflect …

One of the challenges of living in South Africa is the temptation to become disillusioned on various fronts: the crime, the violence, corruption, political uncertainty as we move towards the ANC presidential elections, all create an environment that leaves us anxious; our growing economy is a light in the seeming dark, but rising interest rates, unemployment, inflation, also add to our insecurity—or at least to mine!

How do we, as people of light, people of hope, overcome, and—in overcoming—help others to find firm ground? I believe it is the role of the Church as community to proclaim Good News. Our presence is Good News because God is present among us! It is the message of “Emmanuel!” (God with us!) that is the source of deep hope from which we as Christians draw.

We need to explore ways to make “Emmanuel!” real in the society in which we live.

At Corpus Christi we are already walking the “Emmanuel!” journey as we reach out to the children at Louis Botha Homes, as we contribute to the life of Irene Homes, as we participate in supporting Tumelong and the Winterveld Hospice and Havens.

I remain concerned as to how we are the presence of God in Garsfontein and our surrounding suburbs. Are we a source of hope, here?



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