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Pastoral Note - 29 April 2015

Hi Table View Methodist Family,

First, I look forward to worshipping with and sharing communion with you this Sunday at 8, 930 and 11am. 

Our Scripture readings for this Sunday are Acts 8:26-40Psalm 22:25-31, 1 John 4:7-21John 15:1-8.  I invite you to read them before the service – or follow up on them using the Read Think Pray, published in the notices or if you’d like daily devotions emailed to you subscribe at www.readthinkpray.org 

Thank you so much for the Sabbatical break that I enjoyed over the past few weeks. For those who don’t know this is my tenth year of ministry in the Methodist Church and in this year I get 90 days of leave.  The highlight of these leave days is the opportunity to go to church and not preach or lead for a change!  I will be taking more leave in July.

Mission

Over the next few months I would like us to intentionally explore God’s calling on us as a church in this place.  As a Methodist Church we have a framework within which we work; our Book of Order (7.38) suggests that every society should have the following ‘Mission Groups

Spiritual Formation (Discipleship)
Mission and Extension (Evangelism)
Youth
Justice and Service
Property
Finance

Of course there is more… the staff we employ, our hospitality ministry, (catering for events and funerals), music ministry; but for now let us focus on these things.

For the next few weeks we will focus on Discipleship.

Discipleship


Our presiding bishop Rev Zipho Siwa (pictured above) put forward the following theme for our Methodist Conference in 2013: 
Together a transforming discipleship movement.

Following this theme – and the scriptures set for the next three Sundays I will preach about ‘Discipleship.’

3 May - What is ‘transforming’ discipleship? John 15:1-8
10 May - What does it mean to do discipleship ‘together’? John 15:9-17
17 May - And what does it mean to be a ‘movement’? John 17:6-19

On Monday 18 May I would like to meet with class leaders, the stewards appointed, and all those interested in this aspect of our church’s life and put together what we discern is God’s vision for us as a church in terms of our Discipleship mission.  If you can't make the meeting put some brief thoughts down in an email or a note so that we can incorporate them.

In the mean time – pray about it, talk about it, think about it - also speak to the Discipleship Steward at your service, Discipleship Stewards are: 8am – Rodney, 930am – Jacques, 11am – Basi let us listen together as a church for God’s call on us toward deeper discipleship.



[No, I’m not talking about Twitter or Facebook, I literally want you to follow me.]

See you on Sunday,

God bless,
Rev Angus Kelly
(Minister, Table View Methodist Church)

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Easter Sunday Services

8, 930 and 11am (isiXhosa).

Good Friday and Easter Sunday 2015

Good Friday, Easter Sunday



Hi Table View Methodist Family,

Good Friday services take place from 8-9am and 930-1130am this coming Friday.  The 930 service will be based on the seven words that Jesus spoke from the cross:
  1. Luke 23:34: Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.
  2. Luke 23:43: Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.
  3. John 19:26–27: Woman, behold your son. Son Behold your mother.
  4. Matthew 27:46 & Mark 15:34 My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?
  5. John 19:28: I thirst.
  6. John 19:29-30: It is finished.
  7. Luke 23:46: Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.
I look forward to seeing you on Good Friday.

On Thursday night from 730pm we will prayerfully read through the final hours of Jesus life.  The service is a service of readings and silent prayer; for each reading we extinguish one of seven candles until all are extinguished and then we leave the church in silence.

On Easter Sunday we will meet at 8am, 930am and 11am to celebrate the resurrection.  Remember to bring a flower to celebrate the resurrection; Cathy is busy putting together an Oasis cross like last year.


I should also mention that our Holy Week services have been well attended; on Monday John reminded us of the 'Grace' of our Lord Jesus Christ, on Tuesday Iain reminded us of the 'Love' of God and today we look forward to Mbulelo Bikwani sharing about the 'Fellowship' of the Holy Spirit at 10am and 7pm today.

Outdoor Cross / Chapel


A few weeks ago I suggested we put up a life size cross on the field next to our parking lot.  One of our members, Basil Coetzer, responded to my email to say that he had exactly the right pieces of wood for our cross; and now at last he knew why he had been keeping them all this time. Basil made the cross in memory of his and Colleen's late daughter Disa (Candice).

The idea behind this cross on our field is to create a space in which people walking past our church can stop and pray; rest a while and think of what God has done for us in Jesus. I'm not sure what it will lead to.  But I'm looking forward to spending a few moments in prayer out there in our field.

Some people have expressed concern that the cross might be vandalized or desecrated in some way.  As I think about that I realize how much that teaches us about Jesus who was not crucified 'between two candle sticks on an altar but between two thieves outside a city wall' (J├╝rgen Moltmann, The Crucified God).  The risk of it being vandalized or damaged reminds us of the danger and vulnerability of Christian love; the love that Jesus offers us in his going to the cross.

Another aspect of the cross is Jesus identification with us in all of our personal pain and struggle.  The Romans crucified thousands of people in their conquest of the world; it was a punishment designed to humiliate, torture and kill.  The church that follows Jesus is here for people in all their pain - but sometimes their pain and struggle is so deep that they do not have the courage to come in through the doors; its our job to follow Jesus out to meet them.

I think the cross may be the beginning of some interesting conversations and I'm looking forward to having them.

Youth Alpha - 17 April

Youth next term starts on 17 April with the first session of Youth Alpha.  Perhaps you know of someone between grade 7 and 12 who would benefit from attending youth Alpha?  Also - pray for Iain our youth pastor and our youth leaders as they lead the youth to learn more about God.

See www.alpha.org for more information about this course.

Finance

From our treasurer: 

Our income so far for the year is R233,551 and expenditure stands at R275,509 (Click here for this week's statement).

The good news is that this month's income (so far) was R86,953; and our expenditure R98,034; which is better than January and February where we took in R71,699 and R74,917 respectively.

Please speak to Vivienne 8am, Charmaine 930am, or Basi 11am about how you can support the church.  We need about R100,000 a month to sustain the work at Table View Methodist and at the moment we are falling short of that goal.

Find our bank details in the notices or on our website.

From our minister:

This morning I read through Deuteronomy 14:22-15:18 (look it up); I am reminded how the Tithe was meant to be collected and used to celebrate God's grace and was shared with those in need. From week to week I am convinced of our need to have a well resourced church in this place - reaching out effectively to our neighbourhood, growing disciples (young and old) and establishing God's Kingdom.  I encourage every member of our church to prayerfully consider their investment in our work.

I am also reminded of the church's responsibility to use its resources in accordance with God's will.  Please continue to pray for wisdom and God's generous provision.


God bless,
And I look forward to worshiping with you this week.
Rev Angus Kelly

PS.  Our offering on Good Friday is to be given to the Ministerial Student's Fund of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa.  We need to train more ministers and a large part of the funding for that work comes through our Good Friday collections.

PPS :)  I will miss you all for the next few weeks as I take my next block of Sabbatical.  If you need a minister the other ministers from our circuit will be glad to help; and Iain is also available.  God bless, Gus.