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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

-- 


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



Pastoral Note - 7 May 2015

Hi Table View Methodist Family,
Just when I thought I'd have a normal week (after all the holidays) I contracted the tummy bug that has been going around and spent the last two days at home.  Still got a chance to work on my sermon - we're talking about discipleship; following our presiding bishop's theme for the church: "Together, a transforming discipleship movement."
THIS SUNDAY

Last Sunday I spoke about what it means to be transformed; we were following Jesus in John 15:1-8 calling us to bear fruit - the fruit that we bear is Christlikeness; brought about the Holy Spirit which runs through us like sap through the vine.  We were reminded of his Spirit in us as we shared communion.
This Sunday I want to speak about what it means for us to be together.  The reading from Acts this Sunday describes Peter's journey to Caesarea to preach to the gentiles.  When they receive his message and Peter baptizes them - but when he gets home the church in Jerusalem is scandalized: "Why did you go to uncircumcised men and eat with them?" - Acts 11:2
The Spirit calls us into relationship with a diverse bunch of people.  Together we learn to be more faithful disciples of Jesus; are we devoted to fellowship - even when it is difficult?  Even when it means getting together with people who are very different to you?
Our readings for this Sunday are: Acts 10:44-48 Psalm 98 1 John 5:1-6John 15:9-17.  Remember you can subscribe to receive daily emails with devotions based on the scriptures for Sunday at www.readthinkpray.org.
Also, remember you are invited to a meeting on 18 May at 730pm to talk about:  What does God want from us?  What do we want? and What are we going to do about it?  This will help us to set some goals for our future as a church.

Please keep praying for guidance.

http://menofmind.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/too-busy-for-God-creative-commons-thatishouldagain.wordpress.com_.jpg

MOTHER'S DAY
This Sunday is Mother's Day.  During the service I want to share a brief video story about the history of mother's day - you can view it here if you like: https://youtu.be/4dAhaLNkSNQ.  We'll spend some extra time in prayer for mothers in our community and around the world.  Our group of Gnattering Knitters who meet on Friday mornings from 10am will be packing special mother's day gift packs for the ladies at Sonnekus Old Age home; you're welcome to come and help the ladies and enjoy fellowship with them.
As we celebrate mother's day - remember those who long to be mothers, those who have lost children and those who have lost mothers too.  For many, these days of special celebration are days of deep sadness.
I also want us to remember the origin of mother's day in the Methodist Church - a chance to empower women and mothers.  In trying to engage with the economic systems that sustain poverty in our world it seems one of the best solutions is the empowerment of women and mothers; unfortunately women are the most vulnerable to crime - especially in our most impoverished communities.  Lets pray for God's Kingdom to come, for justice to be done, and for God to use our church.
BAKE AND PARTAKE
Next Sunday 17 May there will be CAKE for sale.  A little bit of a fun(d) raiser for the congregation; and a chance for some fellowship.  Because we have so many services in quick succession on a Sunday we often rush off without greeting each other.  I'll try keep the services a bit shorter next Sunday so that we all get a chance to connect.  Please chat to Viv, call the church office - if you can help.

MY PRAYER REQUESTS
Our District Synod takes place in Stellenbosch from 28-31 May, start praying for us as we meet to work out God's way forward for our church; the theme for our synod this year is: Prophetic Activism - A Mark of a Transformed Discipleship Movement.  Its my job to lead the worship this year.
After Synod on Friday 5 - Saturday 6 June I'm leading our Circuit Local Preachers Retreat; pray that it would be an edifying, uniting time for us.
God bless,
I look forward to worshiping with you this Sunday at 8, 930 and 11am.
Angus Kelly
Minister at Table View Methodist

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--

Rev Angus Kelly
Table View Methodist