Jacob's brother, Esau, wanted to kill him. Jacob's parents told him to flee - alone in the wilderness, afraid of his own family he lies down to sleep. He has a dream; a ladder set up between heaven and earth, angels ascending and descending.
A reminder - that wherever we go, God is always there. Are you mindful of God's presence? Do you pay attention to God's Holy Spirit? Do you see what God is doing?
I see that ladder in the work of our knitting group who shared blankets with babies in Tygerberg hospital, our care bears group who are making up disaster buckets to be distributed when houses are raised in fires. We see that ladder in a community that cares for one another. We see that ladder when we stop in our busyness to pray - to re-set our minds and hearts to God.
(Gnatty knitters sharing blankets at Tygerberg hospital)
If we know that God is with us through our most harrowing experiences we might find the strength, the power, the grace to get through them. Our scriptures for Sunday are:
Genesis 28:10-19a, Psalm 139:1-12, 23-24,
Romans 8:12-25 and
Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43.
Evening of Prayer and Praise 20 October
Our Men's group will be organising an evening of prayer and praise on 20 October. Speak to the men's group about the hymns and songs you would love to sing on the evening, it will be a chance to sing and pray together... pencil the date in.
Over the next few months I will be partnering with one of my colleagues, Rev Sean McGuigan from Durbanville Methodist to plan sermon series and share some resources. This is a sketch of our plans for August, September and October:
August - Wrestling With God - Life lessons from the stories of Jacob
September - Antidotes for the Out of Control life; finding balance and peace in a busy world.
October - Resisting Evil - What does it mean to clothe yourself with the armour of God?
By working together, and drawing on resources from other well resourced Methodist Churches all over the world we should be able to produce some helpful Bible Study / Discussion resources to help us with these series.
I always welcome your questions and suggestions.
Re-arranging the Church / Property Development Proposal
If you missed church last Sunday you will be surprised to find that your chair has been moved when you come this Sunday.
Instead of facing the stage the seats are now arranged in an arch and the altar is on the left hand side of the building.
There are quite a few reasons for the changes:
The Christian Church traditionally gathers around the Word and the table of the Sacrament. Our altar is our table of fellowship and communion - the place from which we remember Jesus body given for us and his blood that was shed. With the new arrangement all participants in the service, worship team included, gather around the table.
When it comes to music it is important that we as a community can hear each other sing. As much as we are singing to God, our songs are an opportunity to testify to each other of what God has done and is doing in our hearts and lives. To hear each other's voices in worship is very important. By arranging ourselves in a curve we should become more aware of each other's voices in worship.
As far as community and fellowship goes; I have noticed that when we all face the same way we only see the backs of each other's heads. With the new arrangement you should see at least 2/3rds of the congregation's faces from wherever you sit. You might be surprised to see these familiar faces in the mall, at school, at work - and know and recognize each other as a are part of Jesus' community.
For a long time our church has planned for the building in which we currently worship to become a hall when we build a 'proper sanctuary.'
To build a 'proper sanctuary' is a very expensive once off expense but to transform our current hall into a properly beautiful place of worship (a sanctuary) is not beyond our reach. It is possible to do the work in phases; ensuring that each step of the transformation is done properly and not 'on the cheap'. This is also easier to manage in terms of fund raising etc. because those who contribute to new windows, doors, AV equipment / lighting will see their contributions realised quickly and effectively.
If in the future we need more seating the youth room can be transformed into a gallery etc. Instead of building an entirely new sanctuary we can then focus on one day building a fellowship hall on the Cognac Road side of our current church building. This fellowship hall could incorporate a proper kitchen, Sunday School rooms etc and a cloistered garden linking it to the church via sliding doors installed where the stage currently stands.
Once we've developed a proper parking lot extending up to the cross in our field we still have property left over... please pray and offer your suggestions for what to do with that land.
Some suggest creating an attractive play park for our community.
Some suggest building modest retirement cottages.
Others have suggested we build a school.
We need to receive all the ideas that come our way and pray together to know how God would want us to steward our gifts. All of these ideas are suggestions. When in our hearts we feel God's Amen to these suggestions lets go where we are led.
Rev Angus Kelly