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
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,

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 (
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:


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.

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,