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Christmas Day 8 & 930am This Sunday I look forward to worshipping with you this Sunday at 8h45 and 11am.  Rev Trevor Ruthenb...

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Merry Christmas 2015

Christmas Day services at 8am and 930am on Friday 25 December. 

Sunday 27 December, one service at 930am. 

Merry Christmas!

Pastoral Letter - Advent, Christmas Play, Christmas Carols

!!!!Christmas Carols Date Change!!!!
Christmas Carols and Picnic now on 19th December.
The band 'Early Edition' has agreed to lead us.
Carols to Start around 7pm; but come and picnic before.
Bring some friends.

Hi Table View Methodists,

Advent Wreath

Last Sunday we lit the candle of Hope.  I've invited you to light candles at home - especially at your meal times to remember what we hope for in Christ.  The coming of his Kingdom, his justice, his reign.  This coming Sunday we light the candle of Love.  (Next week Joy then Peace and finally the Christ candle.)

As we light the second candle, a good verse for you and your family to memorize is John 3:16:

"For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life."
- John 3:16
Some things to think about:  Do you believe that God loves you?  Do you believe that God loves 'the world'?  How does that change the way we live?  Can you think of anyone who is difficult to love?
The Advent candles burn against the darkness - how is the light of Jesus a solution to the darkness of this moment?

As I watch the news I hear of two mass shootings in the US, decisions to bomb Syria from the UK; ongoing crime and violence in SA; the devastating fire in Masiphumelele.  I am tempted to give up.  Then I notice all the peacemakers and the light bringers.  I remember - "...the light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it!"
This Sunday
This Sunday is a communion Sunday, we will be sharing communion at our 8, 930 and 11am services and baptizing at the 930am service.
I will be talking about Saint Nicholas - a bit of the history of who this forth century bishop was - and what he teaches us about following Jesus; and asking the question:  Does he really have anything to do with Christmas?
Christmas Play
On Sunday the 13th December there will be a Christmas Play at the 930am service.  Thank you to the Sunday School for all your preparation!  The 8am service will be a regular service - with a focus on 'Joy'.
Last 11am Service for the Year This Sunday
Don't forget that the 11am service will close for the December holidays and resume when schools open in January.  This Sunday will be our closing communion service.
Youth this Friday 4 December
Junior and senior youth groups will be celebrating the end of the youth program this Friday at 530 for the juniors and 730 for the seniors.
God bless,
Gus

PS - The church office will be closed for the last two weeks of December and the first two weeks of January. 

Pastoral Note 26 November 2015 - Advent Hope

Hi Everybody,
Advent Hope

On the First Sunday of Advent we light the candle of hope; the first of four candles on the Advent Wreath:  On each of the Sundays of Advent we light one more candle - Hope, Love, Joy and Peace - then finally on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day we light the center candle; the Christ candle.

​ I want to encourage you to set up and advent wreath - in our house it is as simple as five candles on a little mirror with some flowers and leaves around them.  Our plan is that we will light one more candle each week until Christmas and when we light those candles we'll talk about and pray about the theme of the week.
What gives you hope?  What does God hope for?  Who do you know who has lost all hope?  How can you share hope?  What have you given up hoping for?
Too often our family conversations focus on the negative; how can we embrace Christian hope this week?  How can we have positive conversations about our faith.
See if you can memorize this verse: 

“But as for me, I watch in hope for the LORD, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me.”
- Micah 7:7 (I mistyped it as Micah 6:7 in the newsletter!)

Alpha Tonight 26 Nov

Tonight is the last Alpha Supper of our 2015 Alpha Course, thank you to all the participants, assistants, group leaders - and of course - the caterers.  Tonight's meal is a bring and share and a celebration of what God has done in our lives.

The Story
During the first term of next year we will begin a church wide journey through the Bible from Genesis to Revelation.  We will be using a book by Randy Frazee and Max Lucado entitled The Story - a summary version of the Bible in Chronological order.  The story is also available in children's editions and there is weekly small group and Sunday School material to help everyone in our church from young to old to enjoy a journey through the whole Bible.
For more information on The Story have a look at http://thestory.com/
Woman's Manyano

There will be a robing service for the Woman's Manyano this Sunday at the Witteklip Society in Vredenberg.  Please keep our Circuit Woman's Manyano in your prayers and especially at Table View as we found a new branch.  You'll find out more about who they Manyano are and what they do - but for now I'll share this picture - because I'm sure you'll recognize the uniform:


I pray that you will be filled with Advent Hopefulness,
I look forward to worshiping with you this Sunday at 8, 930 and 11am.
God bless,
Gus

Pastoral Note - 12 November 2015

Hi Table View Methodist Family,
This Sunday we continue talking about our purpose statement:  "We want to be more like Jesus, we need all the help we can get, we want to be all the help we can be." 

The scriptures set for this Sunday Mark 13:1-8 and Hebrews 10:11-25 might help us to understand what it means to be helpful.  In Mark Jesus warns about the coming destruction of the temple - a symbol of social, economic, political turmoil; Christians are counseled to hold firmly on to the faith and the gospel of Jesus.  Telling the good news.  Hebrews 10 ends with:

"And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching."
- Hebrews 10:24-25
Are we a community that helps people to hear the good news about Jesus?  Do we 'provoke one another to love and good deeds'?
I get the feeling churches are meant to be provocative communities - calling each other to be more helpful; and helping one another to good and be loving.
I look forward to worshiping with you at 8am, 930am and 11am this Sunday.
Annual Society Meeting
The annual society meeting is a chance for the society to engage with what we have achieved over the past year and begin planning, dreaming, listening for what we are called to do in the future.  Every member is welcome to be a part of the Annual Society Meeting.
How do you know if you are a member?
Do you want to be more like Jesus?
Do you need all the help you can get?
Will you be all the help you can be?
Are you committed to partnering with this community through the good times and the bad times?
Then I think you can count yourself a member; please chat to me if you would like to make it official (angus@tvmethodist.co.za).
Budget for 2016
The finance committee consisting of our treasurer Charmaine DuToit, and representatives from the 8am and 11am services, Vivienne Cameron and Basi May met to discuss our report for 2015 and our budget for 2016.  We think we will need about 6.5% more money next year to meet our minimum requirements.
There are things that we would love to be able to do if we had more money.  Advertise, build a bigger kitchen, buy / build / save up for a manse, employ a second minister (to help the society and the circuit), various pressing maintenance projects...  These things need to be prioritized.
Basic monthly priority budgets for 2015 and 2016:


20152016

91,880.0097,333.00
1 Circuit Assessment45,800.0046,900.00
2 Staff & Salaries26,700.0029,583.00
3 Housing Allowance11,280.0012,150.00
4 Water and Refuse2,300.001,800.00
5 Electricity1,600.001,900.00
6 Other Expenses4,200.005,000.00

Break down of 2016 essential expenses:

1 - Circuit Assessment: R46,900
2 - Staff Salaries, SARS, UIF and Bonus Allowance etc. R28,4003 - Minister's Housing & Cell Phone Allowance R12,1504 - Water and Refuse Expenses R1,8005 - Electricity R1,9006 - Other necessary running expenses about R5,000
If we had extra money we could dream of doing some of these things:

Per month - things to consider and prioritize...
R10,000 - Save to build / buy a manse
R55,000 - Employ a second minister (preferably Xhosa speaking)
R1,200 - Insulate ceiling above Office and Sunday School (R14,000)
R5,000 - Maintain Roof R60,000
R1,000 - Advertise our church on social media etc.
R5,000 - Improve Kitchen R60,000
R4,500 - Purchase chairs R54,000
R10,000 - Air conditioning R120,000

It is up to us to pray about these things, to think and listen to each other and the Holy Spirit and work out together what is best for the Kingdom of God.
On Tuesday night I went out to Paarl to chair the Manyano Center Board Meeting - the Manyano Centre is in its 30th year; if you've ever been there it is a retreat centre with room for about 400 visitors.  Established by a church with about 40 members.  A testimony to what people can do when they partner with God to realize Kingdom dreams.
Alpha Tonight

At the Alpha Course tonight (12 November) we will discuss 'How Can I Resist Evil?'  Two more sessions to go after that.
Prayer Points

Please remember to pray for rain!  And the economy of our country.  Pray for students who are writing exams; especially for those who distressed and threatened by some of the fees must fall protesters.
Memorial Garden
I'm glad to report that some of our members have been hard at work putting up a pergola over our memorial garden.  Thank you for the fund raising and the effort!
Eventually we will grow a vine over the pergola to shade the memorial garden as a reminder of our hope in Revelation 7:16 "The sun will not beat upon them, nor any scorching heat."
God bless,
I look forward to seeing you on Sunday.
Gus

Pastoral Note - 2015-11-05

Hi Table View Methodists,
I look forward to worshiping with you this Sunday.

Alpha Tonight
Tonight at Alpha we will discuss the question: "Why and how should I tell others?"  We had a great time discussing the Holy Spirit and how he works in us on Saturday morning.
Friday Braai Day
Junior youth runs from 530-7pm; some of us are going to meet at the church and make a braai.  Bring some meat (boerewors?) and have a picnic with us - especially those of you with children - even if they're too young for youth.  It will be a chance to chat and get to know the people you bump into in the baby room and run past on your way into and out of church on a Sunday.
This Sunday
Last Sunday, this Sunday and next Sunday we are discussing our vision / mission statement:  We want to be more like Jesus.  We need all the help we can get.  We want to be all the help we can be.  It really was an amazingly stormy, windy Sunday so many missed the message.
We want to be more like Jesus
Sunday was All Saints Day.  In the medieval church (since about the 8th century) churches put on 'mystery plays' in these plays they acted out the terrors of hell (largely founded on imagination mixed with a tiny bit of scripture) and the pleasures of heaven.  Hell was full of disfigured spirits, punishment and fear (see Dante's inferno).  Heaven was full of saints and of course - a feast.
The night before all saints was a night for examining your soul.  Hence the graves, spiderwebs, skeletons and scary costumes.  The threat was judgment; the contrast - the promise of heaven on All Saints Day was light and life.
1 John 4:17-18 tells us - in contrast to the fear of hell and judgment:
"This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment:  In this world we are like Jesus.  There is no fear in love.  But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment.  The one who fears is not made perfect in love." (TNIV)
When we put our faith in Jesus we ask him to forgive our sins; he does - but then his love transforms us - we learn to love as he loves; and care as he cares. On that final judgment day when God examines our hearts - he will find them pure - brought to perfection through the grace and love of Jesus.
This Sunday we say: We need all the help we can get...
How does God help us to become the loving people we were created to be?  He offers us the Holy Spirit, prayer, communion, the scriptures, each other - and through all of this we learn - bit by bit - to love.
To say that 'we want' and 'we need' is to say that we're not there yet - but we trust in God's grace to help us along.
Annual Society Meeting 21 November - 9-11am
Please make time to come to our annual society meeting on Saturday 21 November from 9-11am.  You might just be the help we need.  Things we need to talk about / discern with God's guidance:
1 - How are we going to grow spiritually next year?
+ Alpha Course
+ Bible Study / Cell Groups
+ The Story (a 30 week journey through the whole Bible?)
+ Lent, Easter, Pentecost, Ascension Day, Christmas Day?

2 - A plan for our property into the future (We've received suggestions)...
+ Develop a Vege Garden?
+ Build a small housing / retirement complex?
+ Build a manse?
+ Create an exercise park?
+ Build a bigger church one day?
+ When are we going to fix that leaking roof (When its raining its too wet to fix it and when its dry its just fine!)
+ Should we upgrade our seats in the sanctuary?

3 - Iain, our youth pastor is heading to seminary at the end of 2016, so for 2017 we need to ask:
+ Should we employ two part time youth workers, one for junior, one for senior youth?
+ Should we employ a full time youth pastor?
4 - Budget for 2016
+ What are our priorities?
+ If we had an extra R100,000 a month what would we spend it on?
+ What can we learn from our mistakes and successes in 2015?

As a congregation we can help each other by listening, by sharing our dreams; by asking what God is calling us to do.  With feedback the society leader's meeting will be able to make decisions during the year that reflect the mind of the congregation.
God bless,
Gus.

Pastoral Note - 2015-10-29

Hi Table View Methodist Family,
I look forward to seeing you for communion this Sunday - we will talk about the theme: "We want to be more like Jesus..."  Services are at 8, 930 and isiXhosa at 11am


Thank you so much for your tremendous generosity over the harvest festival.  Someone from Table View Angels collected a car load of produce to take to people in need in our community.  And I took a car load and a trailer load to Heatherdale and Marsh Methodist children's homes to help feed children in the care of our church.

The Harvest Festival Display

​Trailer and car loaded up to go to Marsh and Heatherdale Children's Homes

Alpha Course - Who is the Holy Spirit?
Tonight at Alpha we ask the question:  "Who is the Holy Spirit?" and on Saturday morning from 9-1pm we will reflect on the questions: "What does the Holy Spirit do?" and "How can I receive the Holy Spirit?"  This will be in the form of a retreat with chances to reflect in groups and individually - and a chance to ask for prayer.

All Saints Day, All Souls Day and Halloween
Around about this time of the year I get a lot of emails and questions about Halloween.  Children told my child at school that Halloween was "The Devil's Birthday."

The word Halloween is derived from the words "All Halos Evening" - it has been celebrated on the first of November since the ninth century; before that - from about the fourth century it was celebrated one week after Pentecost.  Holy Days were usually celebrated with a feast on the 'eve' of the holy day because days used to be counted from sunset to sunset.

The purpose of all saints day is to celebrate the lives of the 'saints' or the 'sanctified' and to remember that we have nothing to be afraid of as far as death is concerned.  Sanctification is a process which begins when we offer our lives to Christ and allow the Holy Spirit to begin transforming us into the people we were created to be; we are promised that because of Jesus - when we die - we will be transformed; perfected, sanctified.  Hebrews 11 and 12 remind Christians about the many who have gone before us - and encourage us to 'run with perseverance the race that is set before us' (Hebrews 12:1) as we follow Jesus. 

The tradition of dressing up in costumes originated in the pre-Christian fear of death and the spirits of the dead.  In Keltic countries people dressed up in costume in order to disguise themselves from spirits that might come to haunt them or curse them.  These days kids dress up in scary costumes as a way of reminding us that we have nothing to fear; instead we laugh at these childish games because of the confidence we have in the victory that Jesus has won.

So this Halloween if you get the opportunity - share the Christian joy that we have - hopeful that God will complete the work that he has begun in us.  Thankful for those who have gone before us - and set an example for us.  And unafraid - because of the victory of Jesus.  If kids in scary costumes knock at your door - use the opportunity to love your neighbours; get to know them - and maybe even invite them to church.

Family Bring and Braai - 6 November, 630pm
If you bring your kids to youth on a Friday evening - or even if your kids are too small for youth - join us on Friday 6 November from 630pm for a Bring and Braai in the memorial garden...  Pack as if you were going for a picnic in the park - our kitchen and crockery facilities are limited.  It will be a chance for folks in the congregation who have small children to get to know each other.

God bless,
See you Sunday,
Gus

Pastoral Note - 2015-10-15

Hi Table View Methodist Family,

Thank you for my time off last week - I managed to do some of the tasks at home that I have been putting off for nearly 2 years!  Some facebook wisdom:
"If you want a man to do something he will do it; there is no need to remind him every six months."
And I got to be a part of Iain and Kirstin's wedding - here is a picture of Iain, Kirstin, their ring bearers and their flower girl; but I'm sure they'll have more to show you when Iain gets back to work. 



Alpha - Why and how do I pray and read the Bible?

Tonight at Alpha we'll talk about how God guides us through scripture and through personal relationship - in prayer.  Please remember to set aside the morning of 31 October from 9-1pm for our Holy Spirit retreat; a chance for you to reconnect with God through the Holy Spirit.

Maybe you haven't come on Alpha but you would like to hear more about the Holy Spirit and how the Holy Spirit works in our lives, then you're welcome to join us for Thursday 29 Octboer for the talk: "Who is the Holy Spirit?" and then on Saturday: "What does the Holy Spirit Do?" and "How can I be filled with the Holy Spirit?"

For catering purposes, please let us know if you'll be coming.

Giving Thanks

This Sunday and next Sunday our focus will be on Thanksgiving.  In 1 Thessalonians 5:12-24 Paul shows us how an attitude of gratitude within a Christian community opens the way for the work of the Holy Spirit.  We will focus on 1 Thessalonians this Sunday.

Sunday 25 October - Harvest, Thanksgiving

Sunday 25 October will be a special harvest and thanksgiving service.  Bring offerings of food - and ideas of where we can distribute it; as we give thanks to God for his provision for us in every circumstance.  

I really want this service to be one of celebration - wear bright colours, bring balloons and streamers if you want; let us express our gratitude to God for his goodness and grace.

Also, I want to invite you to respond to God's generosity by tithing in the month of October (if you don't already); and considering how you will offer financial support to our church into the future.  I want to encourage every member to give as generously as they can - and as regularly as they can.
In Genesis Jacob responds to the promise of God's grace and blessing by making this promise:

“If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat and clothing to wear, so that I come again to my father’s house in peace, then the LORD shall be my God, and this stone, which I have set up for a pillar, shall be God’s house; and of all that you give me I will surely give one-tenth to you.”
- Genesis 28:20-22

Annual Society Meeting - Saturday 21 November - 9-11am
At our Annual Society Meeting we set goals for the future of our church and make some decisions about things like the budget, the leaders that we choose to lead small groups and Bible Studies and we receive reports from all of the groups at work in our church.  Please commit to coming along on Saturday 21 November.
In anticipation of that the themes for Sundays 1, 8 and 15 November will be: 1st We want to be more like Jesus; 8th We need all the help we can get and 15th We want to be all the help we can be.
God bless,
Gus

Pastoral Letter 23 September 2015

Hi Table View Methodist Family,
 
Food Fare - 1-5pm Saturday

I hope you get a long weekend!  But if you don't - enjoy heritage day.  This Saturday is our international food fare.  Come in traditional dress if you can (I'm not sure what that is for me.)  I think you'll be able to feed two people for about R50; but you're welcome to spend and eat more.  Please invite your friends to come:  Who wants to cook on a long weekend?
 
No Alpha this Thursday
 
Instead of Alpha - please come to the food fare; we'll meet again next week Thursday.
 
This Sunday

Our reading from James reminds us:  "If anyone is in trouble?  He should pray." - James 5:13  So I'll be speaking about how we pray.

March Against Corruption - 30 September
Please pray against corruption in our country; and if you can join in the protest - please do.  But if you can't - pray that it will be a peaceful demonstration and pray that those who have the power to do something about corruption - would have the courage to do it.

Christians, the Bible and Homo Naledi (Last Sunday)

The discovery of Homo Naledi in Maropeng raises the great creation debate; Can science and religion co-exist? 
 
In James 3:17 we learn that wisdom from above is 'willing to yield' or 'open to reason' - in Acts 15 we see how James applies this wisdom:  Some Christians insist that gentile converts must be circumcised and follow Jewish rules and customs. Peter and Paul argue otherwise.  James leads the church through resolution on this matter and delivers a judgment that says:
"...we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God." - Acts 15:19

Christian insistence on Genesis based science makes it very difficult for agnostics and atheists to come to faith.  It is interesting to note that just as Darwin was forming his understanding of the 'Evolution of Species'; archaeological exploration in ancient Nineveh (modern Iraq) uncovered the library of Ashurbanipal, the last great ruler of ancient Assyria.  Within this library clay tablets contained a record of ancient Babylonian creation myths.
The Babylonian creation myths told about gods who created human beings as slaves. The Hebrew stories speak of a God who created human beings in his own image (Genesis 1 & 2).  The Babylonians worshiped the moon, the stars and the sun - the Hebrew story told how One God created all of these.  The Babylonians told of a great flood to destroy all people because they made too much noise when the gods had a hangover.  The Hebrew story is about God's sadness at the pain people were causing each other and the hope he saw in Noah - the dream of redemption and the possibility of a new beginning (Genesis 9).
 
The discovery of Ashurbanipal's library and stories of creation from the Babylonians help Christians to interpret the Genesis accounts in a new light. They give us insight into the kind of relationship God wants with his people; about the nature and character of God and his purposes for creation.  They help us to realize that Genesis is not about the mysteries of science; it is about the nature of God, creation, his purpose, and our relationship with him.  Insights into science - and insights into the context of Genesis 1 and 2 helped us to understand more clearly what God is saying to us through these scriptures.
 
Can Christians believe in God and Evolution at the same time?  I know many who do and some who don't.  The thing is - we don't believe in something like evolution; we believe that evolution might just be the way in which God brought us here.  We believe in God; trusting that even though we don't fully understand all that we go through, we don't understand all of creation; God is still working his purpose out. As Paul says in 1 Corinthians 13:12 -
Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face.

If you want to learn more - please don't hesitate to start a conversation with me.
 
Iain and Kirstin Wedding
 
Iain and Kirstin will be getting married next Saturday (3 October); keep them in your prayers as they embark on this part of their journey together.
 
God bless,
Rev Angus Kelly
Minister at Table View Methodist
 
  --

Pastoral Letter - 2015-08-27

Hi Table View Methodist Family,
On Tuesday afternoon I joined a group of NGOs in their march to parliament demanding that government respond to the Khayelitsha commission of enquiry.  A year after the enquiry exposed deficiencies in policing in Khayelitsha it seems that nothing has been done.  I went in order to pray and to listen.  I probably would not have gone if I had not been reading James' letter in preparation for preaching over the next 6 weeks.
The Letter of James (30 August - 27 September)
Spiritual maturity, moving your faith from your head, to your heart, to your hands.
As I read through James and various commentaries and articles about the background to the letter I've tried to imagine what James would say to our church if we invited him to visit.  How would he encourage us?  How would he challenge us?  How would he challenge me?  Why don't you read the letter and ask yourself the same questions.
This Sunday I'll invite 'James' to tell us a bit about himself and how that will help us to understand his letter.

Alpha Course - 3 September
If you've done Alpha before and you'll be joining us from 3 September please come and join us for a training session this evening from 7pm.  Please pray for all of us going on Alpha - that we would grow in faith and understanding and that we'd increase fellowship in our church.
Its not too late to sign up - so please let us know if you'd like to come by registering via our website - or filling in the forms on Sunday.

Junior and Senior Youth 530-7 and 730-930
Last week the junior youth learned about the armor of God - and had a lot of fun playing various games.  Bring your kids, invite your friends to bring theirs - and support all of our youth leaders in your prayers.

Communion Stewards & Love Fund (Input and Ideas)
On Communion Sundays we take up an offering to help the poor / struggling in our community.  The stewards of the poor fund decide how that money should be spent; they also make arrangements for communion and assist the minister in offering pastoral care to the congregation.
This is a vital ministry - James 1:27 reminds us that 'Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress...'
The nominated communion stewards will meet on 8 September from 7-830 to begin forming some guidelines and procedures that should govern our use of this fund.  Perhaps we should pack grocery boxes?  How do we help most effectively when people go through times of financial distress?
If you have any ideas please mail them to admin@tvmethodist.co.za

Voluntary Help Wanted (Pray about it...)
People to count money after the service.
Musicians and trainee Musicians to join the worship team.
Singers for 11am service choir.
Help clean the church in December (caretaker on leave).
Be available to pray for people after Sunday services.
Help with admin tasks from time to time (Name tags, envelope stuffing etc.)
Operate the sound desk and slide show on Sundays.
General maintenance of our church buildings and gardens.
Welcome people at the door on Sundays.
Make contact with visitors who are interested in joining our church.

Anything else you think we need help with?
Food Fair Fun(d) Raiser
Please sign up to help at the food fair on 26 September; get to know the congregation, help us have fun and raise some funds.  Invite your friends and family.
Cape Welsh Choir
Don't forget the Cape Welsh Choir concert on 9 October.
God bless,
Rev Angus Kelly

Pastoral Letter 20 August 2015

Hi Table View Methodist Family,

New Members & Visitors 30 August

If you're new(ish) to Table View Methodist then please join us for coffee on Sunday 30 August from 4-530pm.  We will talk about what it means to be a Member of the Church, get to know some of the leaders and the minister and invite you to belong.  Children are welcome.

In 1 Kings 8 Solomon dedicates the temple in Jerusalem; he prays to God: "Even heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you, much less this house that I have built..." (Verse 27)  Acknowledging that God can not be contained in a building - he asks that the building would be a real symbol of God's presence to the world.  Our church building - and our people are a symbol of God's presence in the world.  

Our youth pastor Iain testifies to a miracle that took place when he prayed for a young man who popped in to the office for prayer:

A few months ago a guy came to the church office looking for prayer. He was living on the street, and was struggling with substance abuse. I prayed for him, and he asked to become a disciple of Jesus...

I went to the TLC Outreach Projects office today to drop off 25 gift bags that the youth at Live Out Loud had made as a Women's Day outreach for a breakfast that is being held for the SAPS ladies tomorrow.  I saw the same guy who came to church all those months ago.

...he told me how he had been in the TLC program for three months now, and was completely clean. What is more, he had moved from living on the street to living in an informal settlement with a group of other people, who could hold each other accountable. 

I am so encouraged. Thank God for answered prayers, and for people who live out His will in the world.

I pray that as much as our building represents God's presence to people passing by, you as a Christian would be a sure sign of God's presence in the world where you are.  I pray that you would know the difference you make because of Christ in you.

This Sunday


At the 8 and 930am services I will be preaching on Ephesians 6:10-20 - The Armor of God.  At the 930 service we share the privilege of baptizing Harper; she is nearly 1 year old.

Parents of baptized children commit to care for them in body, mind and spirit, to ensuring that they are raised in the faith and life of the Christian community, and to setting before them a Christian example that they would learn the way of Christ.  

We the church commit to maintaining a life of worship and service that would help them to do what they have committed to do.  Pray for them and for our church as we commit ourselves to the work of raising disciples.

We will be baptizing again on 6 September; Harper is just slipping in early because her family has come from far away to be with her at her Baptism.

Alpha Course

The Alpha Course will begin on Thursday 3 September; we have about 50 people signed up so far - please continue to sign up this Sunday.  Can I ask that those who have done Alpha before and will be joining us on this Alpha Course meet together on Thursday from 27 August from 7-9 for prayer and some preparation.

International Food Fair 26 September 1-4pm

Fun(d) raisers are not all about raising funds.  They are about working together as a team, having some fun - and helping our church.  Sign up to help at one of the tables; get to know new people in our church community - and invite friends to support us on 26 September.

March for Fair Policing

In places like Khayelitsha there is 1 police officer for every 1043 people; in more affluent areas - with less crime as few as 178 people per police officer.  As members of God's family we have brothers and sisters in Khayelitsha.  They invite us to join them in a march for safety, equality and justice.  If you can't join - please pray.

​Psalm 82:3-4 "Defend the rights of the poor and the orphans; be fair to the needy and the helpless. Rescue them from the power of the wicked."

God bless,
Gus

Pastoral Note - 6 Aug 2015

Hi Table View Methodist Family,
I'm looking forward to talking to you this week about the Widow's offering in Luke 21:1-4.  This passage might not be about giving generously.  This Sunday we will look at some of Jesus teaching around money and our relationship to it - we will look at a few examples from the Early Church as we try to work out what it means to be obedient to God in our giving and our use of money as a church.
I've been talking about money for the last two weeks - during the first week the feeding of the 5,000 reminded us that we serve a God who is concerned that everyone should have enough.  In the second week we learnt about Deuteronomy 14 - the tithe was to be enjoyed by the people who brought it - and every third year the tithe was to be stored for those in need.
Alpha Course
The Alpha Course will begin on the evening of Thursday 3 September at 7pm - the topic:  Is there more to life than this?  Please sign up through our website: www.tvmethodist.co.za or at church on Sunday.  If you can't make it for the supper time Alpha I'm thinking about running a teatime Alpha on Thursday mornings - let me know if you're interested.
Communion Stewards & Pastoral Care Team
We need two communion stewards to help at each of our Sunday Services.  Communion Stewards help to set out communion but that is not all they do - they also fulfill a pastoral role in helping to offer pastoral care to the community; one of the ways this is done is through administration of our church's poor fund.  So far I have received the following nominations:
8am: Maria Kabrinowski, Anne Stolk, Alf Fuller and Michelle Buyskes
930am: Hilton and Cheryl Madden
11am: None yet.
We would like to finalize these appointments by the end of August so please nominate if you haven't yet - and if you have nominated someone and their name does not appear above, please let the office know.

Thanks
Brad Smith and Pat asked me to say thank you to all of you for all your prayers and support.  As you know their workshop burnt down on the 25th of July.  Some of you helped them get back to work almost immediately; thank you for being a loving and caring community!

God bless,
Rev Angus Kelly

PS - the WA asked me to remind you that they will meet on Saturday 15 August at 930am.

Pastoral Note - 29 July 2015

Hi Table View Methodist Family,
Alpha Course, Weekly from 3 September at 7pm

Everyone is invited to join us for the Alpha Course starting 3 September.  The hardest thing about meeting people in crisis - as I often do - through death, disease, divorce, unemployment, disaster etc... is that they don't have the foundations in place to deal with what they are going through.
Alpha helps you to lay the foundations of your faith - figuring out for yourself what it means to you to answer questions like:  Who is Jesus?  Why did Jesus die?  How can we have faith?  Why and how do I pray? How does God guide us?  How can I resist evil?
If you are interested in joining us for the Alpha Course please sign up this Sunday.

Alpha will run on Thursday nights from 7pm to 9pm; supper will be served at 7 (for a reasonable donation), followed by a presentation on one of the topics and then some time in small groups to discuss the presentation. Baby sitting will be arranged.
Have a look at www.alpha.org for more information.

Shoe Project (You may have donated R60?)

The Circuit youth managed to collect 170 pairs of shoes for children in need.  Gilbert Khoza - one of the leaders at the Witteklip society shared with us about the joy that was given to children who received shoes.  What I am most pleased about is that the shoes were delivered to communities by members of those communities. What we gave went to the right people in need.

Lingelethu Church Building

Our circuit is currently building a new church in Lingelethu, just outside Malmesbury; the church is due to be opened on 24 October at 2pm.  On 14 March last year I sent you this picture of the progress there:



Today I'm happy to send you these:



As you can see there is a lot of work to be done, please continue to pray for God's continuing provision for the project and give thanks for what has been done so far.  What I love most about this project - besides the fact that a church will exist as symbol of God's presence and love in Lingelethu is that it is a combined project - the circuit has contributed; and we have received help from a United Methodist Church in Oklahoma (USA).  The body of Christ is at work in the world!
For more information about this project please chat to Gilbert Perez, our Circuit Steward.

Junior Youth Grade 1-6
Junior youth was a hit last week; thanks especially to JT, Tara-Anne and Gareth who initiated and ran it.  Junior youth will meet again this week from 6-7pm and senior youth from 7-730 to 9pm. 

This Sunday
I look forward to sharing communion with you this Sunday at 8, 930 and 11am.  At 8 and 930 am I'll share with you about the Biblical basis for spending your tithe on 'strong drink'.  See Deuteronomy 14:26.  Mbulelo Bikwani will preach at the 11am service, but I will be there to share communion with you.
God bless,
Rev Angus Kelly


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Rev Angus Kelly
Tableview Methodist
Day Off: Friday
www.readthinkpray.org
www.tvmethodist.co.za

Pastoral Note 23 August 2015

Hi Table View Methodists,

Hope you haven't forgotten me!

Thank you for your patience while I was on furlough; I missed you guys but had a great time with my family and feel rested and ready for new challenges.

Thank you to the stewards and to our youth pastor Iain for taking care of things while I was away.  I bumped into a few members in the shops and they all told me what a great job you guys were doing.  Well done - and thank you!

This Sunday I'll worship with you and preach at 8, 930am; Mr Bikwani will lead the 11am service.

There will be refreshments between the services this Sunday as it is the last Sunday of the month; next Sunday (the first Sunday of August) will be communion.

Junior Youth (Grade 1-4)

Our first Junior youth group meeting will take place tomorrow night from 6-7pm.  As I write this Iain is meeting with Tara-Anne and Gareth to plan the evening.


Parents are welcome to drop their kids off and pick them up promptly at 7pm; but you are also welcome to stay and keep an eye on them from the sidelines if you would like to.

Alpha Course

I had hoped to start the Alpha Course in August - but its almost August already - so I'd like it to begin on Thursday 3 September.  Every evening will begin with a light supper; then a presentation on topics like: Who is Jesus?  Why and how should I read the Bible?  Does God heal today?  After the presentation there is an opportunity to discuss the presentation in small groups.

About half way through the Alpha Course we will go on a one day spiritual retreat; a chance to focus on the Holy Spirit and the work of God in your life.

Even if you have done the Alpha Course before it will be worth joining us for this one.  We need people who will facilitate discussions; people who will help with catering; and people who will pray for all of us participating in the course.

Please sign up to get involved!  You won't regret investing this time into your spiritual growth and your community.

God bless,
See you on Sunday.
Gus

Pastoral Note 10 June 2015

Hi Table View Methodist Family,  
Last Thursday when I arrived at church I was greeted by a beautiful rainbow arching over our building:


 
Its quite easy to think that it was just over our  building because of where I was standing; but I know it stretched over the whole neighbourhood.

A reminder of hope - of God's optimistic belief in humanity. A reminder never to give up.  I look forward to reflecting on 1 Samuel 15:34-16:13 and Psalm 20; 2 Corinthians 5:6-17 and Mark 4:26-34 this Sunday.  Psalm 20 is a Psalm of blessing to be prayed over a King at his anointing: 
 
"The LORD answer you in the day of trouble!" and verse 7 "Some take pride in chariots, and some in horses, but our pride is in the name of the LORD our God."
 
Coming to church on a Sunday; taking a Sabbath day of rest, is a way of saying to yourself, to your body - and to God: "I trust in God more than all the other things of this world."  May you be blessed by God this week; may you know his love, his presence and his faith in you.
 
Communion Stewards
 
Please continue to pray about the nomination of communion stewards; we need two for each of our services on a Sunday.  Our Book of Order describes the work of communion stewards as follows:
 
Stewards of the Poor Fund – Communion Stewards
7.55  There shall be not more than 6 Stewards of the Poor Fund, who are also Communion Stewards.               
  • 7.56  The duties of the Stewards of the Poor Fund are: 
  • 7.56.1  to act as Communion Stewards by providing for the administration of the Lord’s Supper and Love Feasts, by preparing the elements.
  • 7.56.2  to arrange for the collection of funds for the needy;
  • 7.56.3  to inform the Minister of any who are ill or in distress and to collaborate with the Minister in caring for them and in making disbursements from the Poor Fund;
  • 7.56.4  to keep proper accounts of all receipts and payments from the Poor Fund, certify these as correct, and report them to the Leaders’ Meeting;
  • 7.56.5  to attend the Leaders’ Meeting.
Communion Stewards / Poor Fund stewards help with pastoral care; if there is a strong team of six of you plus others who volunteer to help you will be amazed to see how God can use you (even you!)
 
Local Preacher's Retreat
 
Thank you for your prayers last week - I hope the local preacher's retreat was a blessing to our preachers.  We met in Malmesbury on Friday and Saturday to reflect on 1 Timothy 1-5.

One of the verses that stood out for me was 1 Timothy 1:5, speaking of what Paul calls 'divine training that is known by faith': "The aim of such instruction is love that comes from a pure heart, a good conscience, and sincere faith."

Our aim as preachers and teachers should always be to produce - 'love that comes from a pure heart, a good conscience, and sincere faith.' Continue to pray for our local preachers.
 
And whoever is preaching - pray that you would receive from them a message that produces 'love that comes from a pure heart, a good conscience and sincere faith.'
 
Alpha Course
 
We will be running an Alpha Course from August; I would like all small groups to get involved and I would like everyone to consider joining us.  The Alpha course is a fantastic introduction to some of the basics of Christian Faith, for me - the best part of it - is discussing questions like: "Who is Jesus?" and "What does the Holy Spirit do?" with other people who help you to form answers for yourself.
 
If you're interested in attending the Alpha Course please let me know so that we can keep you informed.
 
Time out for Moms
 
This Thursday at 730pm the Time out For Moms group will meet at the church.  Please let Heather know if you're keen to come - 072 252 6070.  Maybe you can't come and you just want to connect with other moms of youngish children; send Heather your details so you can make plans to connect.

School Shoes
Don't forget, we are collecting money R60 (in an envelope marked 'shoes').  Or school shoes in excellent condition.  For children who go to school without shoes.  These will be distributed by our Wesley Guild in areas where this is necessary.
 
God bless,
Rev Angus Kelly
Table View Methodist Church

Pastoral Letter - Synod 2015

Hi Table View Methodist,
I'm on my way to Synod in Stellenbosch tomorrow. Synod comes from syn which means 'together' and odos which means 'way'.  At synod representatives from Methodist Churches throughout the Western Cape gather to work out our 'way' 'together' or 'synod.'  Finding the way together is not always easy - but (by the grace of God) we've managed to keep going here in the Cape since 1829.
Part of the synod celebration is an exchange of pulpits.  This Sunday I will be preaching and worshiping at the Methodist Church in Bishop Lavis and Rev Ross Southern who looks after Tokai and Muizenberg Methodist Churches will be preaching and worshiping with you.  This exchange is a reminder of the fact that we are in partnership for the sake of the Kingdom of God with brothers and sisters in diverse situations and neighbourhoods.  I'll be sure to pass your love on to the people of Bishop Lavis; I pray that we will feel a strong sense of unity and partnership this coming Sunday.
Beyond finding our way together Synod is how we keep accountable to one another; the synod will ask me if I "Believe and preach our doctrine."  And if I "Observe and enforce our discipline."  Last week I spoke about the danger of 'blaspheming the Holy Spirit' - Synod is one of the ways in which we ask each other if we have been responsible in our preaching and our behaviour.
At synod we also make proposals about the doctrine and discipline of the Methodist Church which are taken to our annual conference of delegates from each synod.  Conference then makes the final decision on what changes are accepted / rejected / what resolutions we uphold.  We also form a part of the discernment process for candidates for ordination into ministry.  Please uphold us in prayer this week as we seek to discern God's will for our church in all of these matters.
Fellowship Sunday 7 June 4-6pm
Sunday 7 June is a communion Sunday.  In order to increase friendship and fellowship in our congregation I would like to encourage you to come and share a picnic tea / supper from 4-6pm.  Bring board games, snacks and soccer balls and spend some time being a church family.  We'll open the youth room for those who would like to play pool / table tennis.  All are welcome!
Tired Mom's Bible Study
Maybe we should think of a more 'positive' name for this.  But I've met a few moms who might identify. 

Moms are invited to come and join this Bible Study starting on Thursday the 4th of June meeting at the church from 7:30-8:30.  Heather (my wife) will facilitate, she writes:
  
For any moms who feel like they need an hours peace during the week or seldom get a chance to hear anything in church or any mom needing support, this is for you!

We will be starting an eleven week Bible study called "Walking with God in the Season of Motherhood" by Melissa B. Kruger. The book is on special at the moment at Cum Books in Canal Walk for R150 but you don't have to purchase the book to join (although it has daily devotions for you during the week). If you are unable to leave kids at home they are welcome to play with the toys while we have fellowship.

If you are keen, please contact the church office for more information.


Last Sunday's Sermon
If you can access dropbox please click here to download a copy of my notes from last Sunday's sermon.  To me sermons are meant to be momentary - a proposal rather than a statement; I don't really like putting them in writing.  I hope the sermon helps.
Finance
Please have a look at our income / expense statements for the year so far.  We are not taking in enough money to make ends meet; I know you are giving generously and I want you to know that we are spending conservatively.  You can view the income statement generated by FNB instant accounting here.  Please chat to Vivienne, Charmaine or Basi if you want more information about our finances.



JanuaryFebruaryMarchAprilMay
Income403,47372,79972,97291,15688,33278,214
Expense-457,828-85,878-91,597-99,551-92,905-87,897

-54,355-13,079-18,625-8,395-4,573-9,683
God bless,
Rev Angus Kelly

Pastoral Note - Pentecost

Hi Table View Methodist Family,

This coming Sunday is Pentecost Sunday; 50 days after Jesus death and resurrection the believers (about 120) in Jerusalem received the promised gift of God the Holy Spirit. 

There is lots of confusion around the person and work of the Holy Spirit - so I hope I manage to answer some questions / start some new conversations.  

Jesus warns us against 'blaspheming' the Holy Spirit (Mark 3:29). Blasphemy is a bit like forging someone's signature on a document.  To blaspheme the Holy Spirit is to claim the Spirit's authority for that which is clearly not of the Holy Spirit.  On the other hand Paul tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:19 'do not quench the Spirit'  and calls us to 'test everything; hold fast to what is good.'

Because there is so much 'blasphemy' of the Spirit resulting in spiritual abuse many Christians have become afraid of the Holy Spirit and therefore 'quench' the Spirit.  I want to talk about how we practice Spiritual discernment - and how we can enjoy the truth, power, grace and love of the Holy Spirit.

I look forward to worshiping with you at 8, 930 and 11am.

Discipleship Meeting

On Monday night (despite load shedding) 14 of us met to discuss Discipleship at Table View Methodist Church.  We reviewed some of the tools available to us: Bible Study Groups, Ladies Groups, the Gnatty Knitters, Prayer meetings, Sunday services, daily Read Think Pray Devotions, Sunday School.  All of these are gifts that God gives us to help us grow.

We also recognised the need to help people get involved in these various ministries and to take hold of these opportunities.  One area in which we perceive a weakness is a lack of growth in Discipleship Groups.  Bible Study groups should constantly be inviting others to join them - when they become too big they should multiply and new groups should be established.

Alpha Course

In order to help develop new leaders and get new people involved we would like to host the Alpha Course, beginning in August.

The Alpha Course is a twelve week course that covers the basics of the Christian faith.  We meet on one night of the week for a simple meal; a presentation by Rev Angus Kelly on topics such as: "Who is Jesus?"  "What does the Holy Spirit do?" and "Why and how should I read the Bible?".  This is followed by an opportunity for open discussion in a small group.  About half way through the course there will also be a one day retreat.

Charmaine Du-Toit has offered to co-ordinate child care but we will need more helpers - people to lead the group discussions (training provided), people to help with logistics and catering etc., people to pray - please start considering your involvement in the Alpha Course starting in August.  We ask that all the cell groups participate.

Cake Sale

Vivienne thanks everyone for their generous support of the Cake Sale which turned a profit of R2,000!  The money raised will go to support catering for the Youth Alpha Course running on Friday nights.  Continue to pray for our young people as they gather together for fellowship - and to learn about relationship with Jesus.

Synod

The Cape of Good Hope District Synod meets in Stellenbosch from Wednesday 27 to Sunday 31 May.  I will officially be out of the office all week as I help to co-ordinate the various worship related aspects of the week; but I will probably be able to answer emails / phone calls if there are any emergencies.

The theme for our Synod this year is:  "Prophetic activism, a mark of a transforming discipleship movement."  It will be a chance for us to ask what are we doing to make a difference in our country - where is God calling us?

Fellowship - Sunday 7 June, 4-6pm

On 7 June I want to invite you to come and spend some time at the church.  Bring a light picnic for supper play some games (bring a board game if you like); we'll think of some fun things for kids to do in the garden and we'll open up the youth room for Pool and Table Tennis.  It'll be a great chance to get to know some of the people you worship with every Sunday.

God bless,
Rev Angus Kelly

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Rev Angus Kelly
Tableview Methodist
www.readthinkpray.org
www.tvmethodist.co.za