2024 · Sermon

Sermon Notes April 2024

                                                            From Easter to Pentecost.

Theme: Healing of Jesus for our souls:

We will use the rhythm of The Lectionary readings to unpack this theme.

Settings: Following the Bible’s definition of “soul” as the seat of our emotions. We will broaden this to cover the centre and core of who we are as our mother board from where we are wired. Possibly capturing the Image of God within us.

So based on that loose definition. From the lectionary texts we will examine what causes our central core to become faulty, to malfunction and to disconnect.

And then within the text identify how Jesus offers us healing.

7th April 2024:

1. Possessed by possessions Acts 4:32-35
2. Fear and doubt John 20:19-31
3. ⁠Disunity Psalm 133
4. ⁠Deception 1 John 1:1-2:2

– be where the disciples are gathered John 20: 19-31
– ⁠be opened to hear and receive what Jesus is saying and doing John 20:19-31
– ⁠Blessings of Harmony Psalm 133
– ⁠Forgiveness 1 John 1:1-2:2

Suggested Practice:
Find a quiet place and be still so that you can use your senses for this,

Place yourself in the Gospel text of John 20:19-23

Acknowledge your Fear and allow yourself to see Jesus appear to you in the midst of your fear. Hear Jesus say to you,
“ Peace be with you “

See and look when Jesus shows you his wounds in his hands and his side

Feel the joy that fills you.

Listen and receive as Jesus commissions you.

“ Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you. “ Then he breathed on them and said. “ Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone sins, they are forgiven. If you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

Do this for as many times as you are able in this week. If doubt is your fault then do the same steps above with the text from John 20: 24-31

2023 · Priest's Perspective

From the Priest’s Perspective: (July)

Greetings in Jesus’ name,

It’s been a busy but wonderful 2 months with you all, lots of pushing and pulling, lots of

encouragement, and some good lessons learned. Two very different but exciting Parishes, twice the amount of work but also twice the amount of love and support. Thank you all…I am so grateful for you all, young and the not so old 🙂

If today I had to ask you to describe how you are or were feeling this week or in general, in 3 words, what would your response be?
My response would be Completely Overwhelmed but Grateful (4 I know)…

It’s consistently been a tough couple of months for me personally but that being said, I am also

extremely mindful of the fact that everyone, no matter who you are, or what you do, we are all taking immense strain and we are struggling, some silently and others not so silently.

We are struggling; some with illness, most people with the spiraling cost of food, petrol, the interest rate (thank God for a break at the last meeting), some with our children, some with our parents, and some with our mental health. That is the reality of life and so yes it is ok to not be ok for it is here that our Lord meets us.

As Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha (2 Kings 6:16-18). God not only saved Elisha and his servant that day; He saved the entire Aramean force too, the king of Israel, and sent them home without the loss of a single life.

We are sometimes like the servant, well that’s true for me most of the time, we don’t see the whole picture and we assume the worst. Today, I want to encourage us to pray the prayer that Elisha prayed for ourselves, just 3 words, “Open my eyes or open our eyes”, so that we to can see beyond our pain and our struggles, to see what it is that God is preparing us for. In order for us to be used by God we must first be refined, fashioned, and shaped so that when we get through them we can know with

absolute certainty that God never once left us, that He was not just carrying us through but more than likely dragging us through in His loving arms.

I pray that God will open our eyes to the truth, to the struggles that everyone faces around us, to God, for who He is to us and for us. That God will open our eyes to the corruption and power struggles not just in government but also in the church, He will open our eyes to the young people who are

struggling to cope, open our eyes to those who are being abused and have to be silent because they have nowhere to go, OPEN OUR EYES, LORD.

Open our eyes, Lord, so that we make the right decisions, for our families, our church families, and our communities. Open our eyes to move in the direction that God is calling us to and to acknowledge the paths we need to turn back from that are causing pain and suffering to us and others.

Lord, You who have set the trajectory of our lives, open our eyes so that we may allow Your plan and purpose to be fulfilled, open our eyes…Just three words, “open our eyes” If we allow God the chance, He will turn our fears into opportunities, our disappointments into blessings, our despair into hope, our defeats into victories, our sadness into joy, and our mourning into dancing.


Perhaps, as we move into August when we celebrate our Women, we could and should ask God to open our eyes to what it is He wants us to see and with His help be courageous enough to make the changes necessary.

Blessings upon blessings,
Rev Deborah

2023 · Priest's Perspective

From the Priest’s Perspective: (June)

Greetings in Jesus’ mighty name.

Hard to believe it’s been a month already and what an awesome privilege it has been to meet you all and to slowly start getting to know you all at Church of the Good Shepherd and St Mary’s.

To be absolutely honest I was, and still am a little terrified of having to lead not 1 but 2 churches,  I didn’t quite know if I wanted to run or thank Bishop Nkosinathi for the challenge, opportunity, and privilege he has given me but by God’s grace and mercy we have all survived thus far. I continue to hear the Holy Spirit saying I want you to be who I created you to be …. so with that in mind I have forged ahead…

There are some really great people who have come alongside me to help and guide me, to encourage me, and sometimes to challenge me but always God leading, guiding, and directing me. If I can continue to hold the church and my job in tandem it will be

because I have with God’s help, a great support system, and so I constantly rely on you all to work together with me to be who God has called us to be here in this part of His vineyard.

It can be tough and tiring but it is also gratifying, I am amazed at how much I had learned over the years and how it is all coming together as I lead you all … I had planned from the side for so long but now it is my turn to lead as God is directing and it is a humbling but amazing experience.

We have made it through a month, I have felt loved, welcomed, and appreciated and I am grateful to God that He led me to be placed here … I am grateful for the respect

afforded me, I stand in awe of how great God is but what amazes me even more is that He continues to use a sinner like me to be your SERVANT LEADER …

There will be some changes coming:

  • 1. The first and third Sunday of the month Rev Peta will start the services at St Mary’s, giving me an opportunity to spend some precious time with the people of Good Shepherd
  • 2. The last Sunday of the month at St Mary’s will be a child-centered service
  • 3. A “Breath a Prayer” WhatsApp group will be started soon and you will be invited to join, this will be explained further soon.

Watch this space for more Godly-inspired additions to our services and community. I look forward to hearing your ideas and comments as together we build on the platform that has already been created by God and the past Rectors.

Blessings upon blessings,

Rev Deborah

From The Rector's Desk

From the rector’s desk – St Mary’s

Rejoice in the Lord you righteous, for it benefits the just to praise Him (Ps 33:1)

As we all settle into the year and our new routines, with schools open again and the economy opening up and people returning to work, I hope that you are finding your rhythm and making time for daily prayer and scripture reading. To all of you who are still in lockdown and isolation and struggling to overcome the impact of this pandemic on your daily lives, I encourage you to wait upon the Lord, He will see you through this.

It is important that I share with you what is happening in my ministry, as I serve you and it affects you. Your love and support and dedication to the service of Christ is what makes this possible at all and I do so appreciate you all.

As you are aware, we are experiencing some financial challenges in the Diocese which has resulted in a short term shortage of clergy. Due to restructuring – I will be the Priest in Charge at Merebank – St Michael’s and All Angels and at Isipingo – St James for the foreseeable future. Added to that, due to illness of the Rector, I will be Priest in Charge of Ezimbokodweni for the next six months. While I have self-supporting clergy there, it is still a big additional workload. I continue at Wentworth but have an Assistant Priest and a Retired Priest hard at work there. My Ministry will be rather different this year as we focus on restructuring.

Thus, I will be busy with Vestries in 6 Parishes over the next two months and therefore am limited in my ability to be at St Mary’s. I am grateful to Vanda who will take the lead role in leading services during this time, supported by Viola. We need to raise up more Lay Ministers to assist. It does mean that some of the Services will need to be Morning Prayer services, and some will have Reserved Sacrament but either service is an adoration of our God, a means to seek His grace and a celebration of our life in Christ. Adjusting to have Morning Prayer as a Principal Sunday service is one of the outcomes of restructuring that is going to require adaptation from the churches. With three of the five Parishes that I oversee only having me as their priest, and the sixth having three churches and only two assistant priests, it is simply impossible to have Eucharist at every church every Sunday.

Vestry will be held on 6 February. A motion will be put to Vestry to change the time back to 07h45 (Earlier would be even better). Please prayerfully consider this, it was always our service time and COVID caused the change. If we stay at 09h00 it further reduces my ability to be here on Sunday.

A very big thank you to the outgoing Council who has worked hard at every aspect of Church life throughout this trying time. I am most grateful to you all.

I hope to see more people returning to physical worship and that we will grow this year.

Be assured of my prayers for you all.

Love and Peace