“If you keep on doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep on getting what you’ve always got!” – Anonymous
This quote was shared at our recent Diocesan Clergy School held at the Good Shepherd Retreat Centre in Meerhof during a presentation on “Growing the Church”, which is an initiative of the Synod of Bishops that desires to see the Anglican Church of Southern Africa become “a vibrant God-Centred Church which is clearly growing spiritually, numerically and holistically”. More information can be found at http://www.growingthechurch.org.za/.
My sense is that at Corpus Christi we have begun doing some things a little differently over the last few years, and in a number of areas are seeing the positive fruits of our willingness to “let go, and let God”. Isaiah 43:19 (TNIV) says, “I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?” This is a verse we have carried at Council level over the last couple of years as we continue to reflect on our parish vision. Sometimes we are a little scared of doing things in new ways, partly because the old ways are comforting and help us feel secure, but mainly because new ways disorientate us and the outcomes are often not what we expect. I’d love to know what your perception is of the “new thing” that God is doing in our midst. If you have the time and the courage, please let me have your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org or handwritten: I will value your input.
As you are hopefully aware of by now, our Diocesan Theme is presently “Equipping and Strengthening Families: Turning Houses into Homes”. This is a challenging theme in today’s world where the certainties of past decades are less obvious and most truth is understood to be relative. “Family” comes in many guises in the 21st Century, and we are not always comfortable with some of the variations, and not all permutations seem to fit easily with a more conservative Christian faith perspective. The Diocesan Lent Course has sought to get us thinking about family in a broader context, which many throughout the Diocese seem to have found useful. While breadth is good, we also need to think more specifically, and a question my wife, Dawn, has asked me is how are we as a Church specifically seeking to equip and strengthen families with the everyday practicalities of being family. If you are interested in being part of a conversation at this level, please let me know. You can access the Lent Course at http://bit.ly/9g9EYY or collect a hard copy from the office; and if you have not had the opportunity to be part of the Parish Lent Course I’d encourage you to work through the material with your family, or a friendship group.
Holy Week & Easter
There are various opportunities for you to participate in our Holy Week and Easter journey, which begins on Palm Sunday. This year our Good Friday focus is “Journeying with Jesus into the World” and will focus on sharing Jesus with others through humility, forgiveness, service, worship, wonder and surrender; while focused on Jesus journey to the cross, my prayer is that it will begin to help us focus beyond Easter on what both Jesus death and resurrection mean for our lives and our world. For those who may not have the Diocesan booklet of daily meditations for Lent, there is a copy of the Holy Week meditations at http://bit.ly/9YLNzL for your convenience.
My Easter prayer for us all is that Paul’s words in Philippians 3:10-11 (TNIV) may be true for us as we emerse ourselves in the Easter journey: “ I want to know Chrsit and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by becoming like him in his death, if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead.”