Hi Table View Methodists,
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.)
"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."
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!"
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.
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 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."
|1 Circuit Assessment||45,800.00||46,900.00|
|2 Staff & Salaries||26,700.00||29,583.00|
|3 Housing Allowance||11,280.00||12,150.00|
|4 Water and Refuse||2,300.00||1,800.00|
|6 Other Expenses||4,200.00||5,000.00|
1 - Circuit Assessment: R46,900
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.
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.
Alpha Course - Who is the Holy Spirit?
All Saints Day, All Souls Day and Halloween
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 want a man to do something he will do it; there is no need to remind him every six months."
“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.”
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?
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?
"...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.
If you want to learn more - please don't hesitate to start a conversation with me.
Spiritual maturity, moving your faith from your head, to your heart, to your hands.
Junior and Senior Youth 530-7 and 730-930
Anything else you think we need help with?
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.
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.
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.
PS - the WA asked me to remind you that they will meet on Saturday 15 August at 930am.
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 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.
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:
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.'