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,
Gus.