Daily Reflections

Weekly Reflection 15 July 2022

Grace and Peace!

In a week of uncertainty and anxiety about the future, I remember a friend of mine would always remind me that there is nothing more constant in life than change. However, I do not think that any of us can foresee that our lives would be changed, or that we would be faced with a time when so much is unknown.

Our foundation can begin to feel unstable when there are more questions than we have answers for.

Most of us like to know the answers to our questions and what the path ahead will look like; not knowing what is coming next makes us uncomfortable. But like most things, not knowing has two sides, and we can choose where we want to put our focus.

The gift in uncertainty is that there is room for the unexpected and miraculous to occur. Even though the conscious part of our brains wants to know the answer and have it all figured out, we can choose to focus ourselves. Just by being aware of our need to know, we can still choose something different.

Once we understand that we have control over what we think, this helps to release the need to control. When we can release the need to know the solution, it opens space for something spiritual and divine to happen. What we are doing is opening a space within our heart to something bigger than us, and trust that there are powers at work on our behalf and in our best interests.

On the flip side, we can give in to the fear that comes with these uncertain times. Fear has a bad reputation, as it is always made out to be a bad thing. That is simply not true, as fear has a purpose in our lives and that is to keep us safe; physically and emotionally.

There are times in our life when we are in immediate danger, such as when a car is coming toward us, or someone is threatening us. Those are the times that require immediate action on your part. However, more often, the fear we have is in our heads. I’m not saying that the fear is not real, but I am saying that we have ruminated about it so much that it is out of control and have lost perspective. This kind of fear is paralyzing us cold in our tracks.

If we can recognize that fear is like a warning system in our car, reminding us that something is trying to get our attention. That is our signal to determine if we are in immediate danger, or if we can pause a moment to determine the source of fear and give it perspective.

We can let go of our need to know what comes next and calm our fears by remembering who God created you to be and the gifts you have been given.

Remember you are resilient.

Call on your faith to guide you.

Call on what you know.

Trust that things are working in your favor.

Imagine the best path forward.

You are called to have faith in what you cannot see, trust in that which is bigger than you and believe in the divine nature of creation.

May you find peace in your worries and anxieties.


From The Rector's Desk

From the Rector’s Desk Friday 29th January 2021

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and His Son Jesus Christ.

The Elective Assembly has been suspended until physical meetings are possible, though some other options are under consideration. Please continue to pray that a way forward will be found.

Vestries have been suspended until physical meetings can be held, but we have been given the latitude to co-opt members to fill vacancies. Please submit your nominations to the office, vacancies will be filled earlier than our set Vestry dates if possible, as leadership is essential to the work of the church in these difficult times. I remind you that we are two separate Parishes administered separately although we share a common ministry.

The Finances are complete and are available on request from the office. They will be submitted to the Diocese by 15 March 2021 and ratified at the next Vestry.

I encourage you to send me a review of the last year with suggestions of how we can grow the ministry within the current situation as we will need to continue to develop ministry within the constraints of Social Distancing throughout this year.  It’s your parish and your input is critical to our ministry plan.

Remember that I am available for pastoral counselling and spiritual guidance. In these challenging times, we need to be addressing our doubts and uncertainty by deepening our relationship with God. While we aim to inspire and assist you through regular messages to the whole parish, only in a one and one can your specifics be dealt with. Please feel free to Whatsapp, Facebook messenger, Telegram, email or phone me. I am here for you.

Be assured of my prayers for you.

Choose Faith not fear.

Fr. Andrew Manning

From The Rector's Desk

From the Rectors Desk 22 January 2021

“I have not spoken in secret, from somewhere in a land of darkness; I have not said to Jacob’s descendants, ‘Seek me in vain.’ I, the Lord, speak the truth; I declare what is right.”

(Is 45:19)

Grace and Peace to you from God our Father and His Son Jesus Christ.

Each morning we pray: “As we rejoice in the gift of the new day, so may the light of your presence, O God, set our hearts on fire with love for you; now and for ever. Amen”

I hope and pray that we are all mindful that each day is a gift and that we are privileged to be able to live it. Our “todays” are filled with trial and tribulation, but these days are not lived in vain. God has made His presence known among us, God has revealed Himself to us through His holy word, through history, through creation, and through personal experiences. In the fleeting changes and the uncertainty of this life we can and should hold onto this one thing; God is here, His Spirit is with us. Therefore, we should seek the Lord with all our heart, all our soul and all our mind.

As part of a worshipping community, we need to ensure that we are more than a people who are simply linked by a name on the Parish roll or by the WhatsApp group. We need to be committed to community building and we do that through praying for each other, and with each other. We have a great tradition of the Daily Offices and they enable us to pray together, even now. We can do this by joining in the daily Zoom Chapel services or using the “Order” that is sent out each day (Daily Office group). By doing this we join a common journey through scripture and unite ourselves together in community. I remind you that prayer requests can be posted on the “Daily Office” group too.

We may not be able to physically gather, but we can spiritually gather! Be assured that those who already do, are praying for you!   Confidential prayer request can also be sent directly to the Rector, and a small intercessory group will attend to those.

I remind you of my earlier message about preparing for Vestry.

Be assured of my prayers.


Church Chatter

Ad Laos from Archbishop Thabo

This morning we share an article from Archbishop Thabo Makgoba.

Monday, 16 November 2020

Ad Laos – to the People of God – November 2020

Dear People of God 

As President Ramaphosa gave South Africans a timely warning last week to remain alert and prevent a resurgence of the coronavirus during the Christmas holiday season, I was at the same time reminded by the themes of hope and joy in Psalm 145 that we also need to look to the future beyond the pandemic. 

Yes, it is true that Covid-19 infections are increasing in a number of areas, especially the Eastern Cape. And as other issues reduce the dominance of reporting on the virus on our TV screens and radio channels, we need to remember it is real and in our communities. We must please keep up the distancing, we must maintain health protocols, wear our masks and pray for equitable access to vaccines once they become available. 

Yet I want to repeat what I said a couple of years ago – that social scientists caution us against too much focus on crisis, negativity and fear, since they can easily beget the very outcomes we seek to avoid. Both hope and joy are twinned in Psalm 145, and perhaps a good way to stare the pandemic in the face and ensure we flatten the curve is not to deny its impact, not to deny the science, but to look to a future promised by a God who has always, and will always, provide for our sustenance, even into that future. 

In remaining hopeful, we need not discount the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on the poor, who have in the main been those who have lost jobs and livelihoods. We must continue to intervene with relief measures even as we find ways of living joyfully and hopefully in the midst of the challenges we face: the emotional stress, the anxiety, the fatigue and the uncertainty. Looking back at the 234 days of lockdown, when last did you smile and laugh or talk about things such as care for others and for the environment? 

There have been some differences in the way dioceses are dealing with singing hymns during worship. Our legal experts tell us us that there is some uncertainty in the law, so our advice is either not to allow congregations to sing, or to allow them to sing only wearing masks, observing the 1.5 metre distance rule and keeping to the legal limits on the number of worshippers. My advice is: If in doubt err on the side of safety, especially if older congregants insist on coming to church. 

In recent weeks we have held innovative meetings on Microsoft Teams to take the steps required by Canon 4 to fill episcopal vacancies. I am happy to report that candidates have been nominated and I will make their names known soon. We are looking beyond the time of closed doors at how we can put episcopal leadership in the vacant dioceses to continue God’s mission in the world through God’s church. 

Also in recent weeks, 37 of the 41 Primates of the Anglican Communion – the heads of the churches across the world, including those in Africa –  [Communique – PDF] to reflect on the impact of coronavirus at the Communion level and to receive an update on the Lambeth Conference of Bishops and their spouses in 2022. We welcomed plans for an 18-month process leading up to Lambeth which will be an ongoing “virtual” Anglican Congress, drawing in bishops and their spouses, young and old, lay and ordained, ahead of the face-to-face conference. 

Discussing the work of the Communion’s Safe Church Commission, we re-committed ourselves to making the Church a safer place for all those who are vulnerable. We also heard stories of the impact of Covid-19 across the Communion and of new Provinces, the restructuring of the Anglican Communion Office in London and of the establishment of an Anglican Communion Science Commission, which will deal with matters of science and faith. We were addressed by senior World Health Organisation officials on Covid-19 and progress on a vaccine. The Archbishop of York, Dr Stephen Cottrell, briefed us on Living in Love and Faith, a new teaching resource from the Church of England designed to help discuss issues of identity, sexuality, relationships and marriage in a biblical context. 

Turning back to our own Province, we have declared the youth and Theological Education Sunday as priorities of our church, but declarations alone – important as they are – are no substitute for action. The parish is the basic unit of any diocese and of the Province, and as such we rely on you in the parishes to take such broad and general declarations and translate them into concrete action applicable to your own circumstances. 

Please pray for our sisters and brothers in northern Mozambique, where more than 50 people have been reported beheaded in a vicious attack by militants on a village in Cabo Delgado province. We urge Mozambique’s government to act firmly to root out this form of terrorism, and for the international community to devote as much attention to this conflict as to others in the world. On a more positive note for ACSA, Bishop Carlos Matsinhe of Lebombo reports good progress in setting up working committees to plan for new dioceses in Tete and the Púngue River area. 

Lastly, following a decision of the Provincial Standing Committee, I am declaring through this Ad Laos that Lent 2021 will focus on combatting gender-based violence (GBV). The liaison bishop on GBV, Bishop Margaret Vertue, Hope Africa, the Provincial Liturgical Committee, the Southern African Anglican Theological Commission and their teams will provide us with more details and the necessary liturgies and study materials. A guide to some resources follows to help you devise contextually relevant material for your parishes and dioceses, and I commend to you the full PSC resolution on GBV for your prayers and action. 

God bless you. 

† Thabo Cape Town

Guide to resources: https://anglicanchurchsa.org/16-days-of-activism-resources/

Originally Posted by Anglican Media Office, Bishopscourt at 06:00