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,

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,