From The Rector's Desk

From the Rector’s Desk – 8 October 2021

Grace and peace to you.

I write this as I prepare to meet with our new Bishop on the 8th and 13th at Trustees and Chapter. I ask for your prayers as we cross the Rubicon.

In my youth I rode a bicycle, and sometimes, probably because of a crash, the gear mechanism shifted and the chain would repeatedly come off the cogs. You’d be riding along full speed and suddenly there was nothing as the chain jumped the tracks. Well, I feel like I am riding that bike again. Uphill! But we continue to seek the goodness of God and His grace which is sufficient for us. 

We continue to give thanks for the Saints who went before us and showed us that life must be lived, and God will take glory in it. As we face our challenges may our God strengthen us and encourage us in all we do. Our life in Christ is not like climbing a ladder higher and higher, it is like diving, deeper and deeper, becoming more and more reliant on our oxygen tanks and the lights to see the way. (The breath of God, His Spirit and the word of God, the light of the world).  But there is a new beauty in the depths of the Ocean of life that cannot even be imagined on the surface of superficial living. Like in the depths of the sea, there are creatures of God’s creation, made majestic and beautiful though the average person will never see them. So in the depths of the darkness of our time, remember that we walk in darkness but we have seen the light and we journey on towards the full illumination of our Saviour Jesus the Christ the Saviour of the world.

Believe it or not, I opened the 2022 Calendar and starting some planning for next year. My prayer is that we will grow in fellowship, wisdom, grace, and peace as we continue to journey together. We have some interesting plans to help equip the people of God to live in and by the Spirit of God, so that each of us may be better disciples of Jesus.

I want to remind us of our commitment to Anglican Spirituality.  (Catechism 82 The duty of all Christians)

* Daily Prayer

* Daily reading of the Bible

* Frequent participation in the Eucharist

* Follow Jesus’s Example in daily life

* Speak openly about Jesus as the Lord whom you know

* work for justice and reconciliation

* uphold Christian standards in marriage

* Bring up children to love and serve the Lord

* give money for the work of the Church (tithe)

* give personal service to Church and neighbour

* let your life be marked by Simplicity.

Be assured of my prayers as you seek to live out your calling in community.

Fr. Andrew

From The Rector's Desk

From the Rector’s Desk – 1 October 2021

The Lord be with you!

With the announcement that our churches can basically run at 50% capacity, I hope to see a return of many people to worship. We continue to encourage vaccination.

This weekend I am attending my first Chapter of the Third Order of St Francis. A wonderful opportunity for me to grow in my journey with our Lord and to be strengthened in my faith. I thank you all for affording this opportunity to me and pray that the experience will strengthen my life and ministry.

I have spent two days this week fulfilling my duties as the Environmental Chaplain for the Diocese of Natal. On Wednesday I attended the Council of Anglican Provinces where the Anglican Environmental Network of Africa was inaugurated. I and was so impressed to see what we as the Anglican Church are doing throughout Africa. We committed to our 18-month plan, and I was proud to be able to table #MyRiverMysea2022. It was also wonderful to learn that The Anglican Consultative Council will be represented at the upcoming Climate Change Conference (COP 26) in Paris.

Bishop Nkosinathi starts work officially today and I ask you to pray for him as he takes up office.  We look forward to his ministry among us.

We continue to meet alternately at St Mary’s and Good Shepherd, and I hope to see the attendance continue to grow.  Bible study resumes at St Mary’s from Tuesday 5th at 15h00, and there is a study group and Eucharist at Good Shepherd on Wednesdays at 09h00. I really encourage you to join one of these groups and strengthen your faith.

We are hoping to resume youth ministry soon and I encourage our young people to engage with this opportunity. We are also looking for servers and media assistants – looking forward to seeing these ministries grow.

Be assured of my prayers for you all.

Fr Andrew.

Church Chatter

Installation of Bishop Ndwandwe

Let us pray fervently for our Bishop and this new season of his life together with us.
Here is the link to attend online. The service will start at 10:00am Saturday 11 September 2021.

We will also be sharing the Livestream at St Mary’s, starting at 9:45m. Please remember to wear your mask. – Vanda

Message from the Vicar General.

You are invited to join us online for a celebration of the Holy Eucharist & The Installation of The Right Reverend Doctor Hummingfield Charles Nkosinathi Ndwandwe as the 11th Bishop of the Diocese of Natal… We will livestream on Saturday 11th September 2021 at 10am; from The Cathedral of the Holy Nativity, Pietermaritzburg.

Do join us!+++TO NOTE / PRACTICALITIES OF WORSHIP UNDER RESTRICTION: We are limited to x100 people “in person” for the Installation service. To this end, there will be 50 in the Cathedral – largely role-players, honoured guests, ACSA reps. And another 50 in the hall – Chapter, plus booked guests. Please remember that bookings are venue-specific, and those who gather should as far as possible “maintain the bubble” so as to observe the regulatory 50-person maximum.

Finally, we have endeavoured to make this celebration accessible to as many of our people as possible by live-streaming. It is our hope that, all around the Diocese of Natal, will join in online. + INTRODUCTION TO THE THEOLOGY OF THIS LITURGY.

The team tasked with the construction of this liturgy – directed by Bishop Nkosinathi and guided by the theology of the Anglican Communion – chose to use the language of installation rather than enthronement. We think it is important to make a distinction between the power wielded by a monarch and the pastoral oversight exercised by a bishop.

Near the beginning of this liturgy we will renew our baptismal vows. This is appropriate because baptism is the foundation for all Christian ministry including those who are called to serve as bishops. This celebration of Bishop Nkosinathi’s installation is thus simultaneously an opportunity for all of us to renew our baptismal vocation in service of the world that God loves.

The service of installation rightly takes place in the context of the Eucharist. Though we come together to welcome Bishop Nkosinathi in this place, our primary purpose for both gathering and going out as the people of God remains – as always – to enter ever more fully into the life, death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.

This is a tender reminder, given that the Covid-19 restrictions of the past 18 months have meant that we did not worship in-person at all for half of that period. And, even now, we gather with very limited numbers. All of which means that we need to work much harder at re-membering our togetherness in and as the body of Christ (1Corinthians 10v16).

And so, as we gather today, we pause to look around… And we marvel at the variety of people together in this place – each one beloved of God. And, we remember that we who are the Body of Christ are united in our reception of the Eucharist. No matter how different we appear on the surface, or how physically separated we may be by a virus, this One Great Love gathers us into an unbroken unity. And it is good – very good!

From The Rector's Desk

From the Rector’s Desk – 10 September 2021

The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it!

Firstly, I wish to thank the Parish for the opportunity afforded to Micelle and I to have a weekend break. As you are aware this was to make up for our previous attempt, which was cut short, and was a celebration of our 25th Wedding Anniversary. Thank you all for your love and prayers. 

We have upgraded the Security at the Church of the Good Shepherd, which has come at a bit of a cost, but fortunately there was very little stolen, although there was a lot of damage done. A very big thank you to Norman who ran up and down and all around to deal with that. There are more security upgrades in the making to ensure that our church is secure.

September is a busy month, and this week I have been involved with the preparations for the Installation of our new Bishop. I do hope that you will join in at St Mary’s or online from home.

Facebook:  Youtube:

On the 18th September we have the Diocesan #MyriverMysea2021 clean-up campaign which is part of the International Coastal Clean-up. We are hoping that 5 clean-ups will take place and we have increased our Diocesan group and built a strong team through this process. Getting a greater awareness and ensuring increased youth involvement has been a major achievement for us.

I continue to work on ensuring that the Inkwazi Isu has an impact on the South Coast. While we have had to broaden the Scope of the Project and build a much bigger project than I think we originally intended, I am pleased to say that it is making great progress. The involvement of the Diocesan Creation Care Network in the project will reap great rewards. The investment that we are currently looking at is over R100,000,000.00 and will involve job creation and development of a Circular economy turning waste into product. My task has been to make sure that the role players remain committed to our area, as there are many other places that this project could have been moved to. I will remain in an oversight role and facilitate the steering committee to ensure that environmental justice becomes a reality in our area as we address Plastic Pollution.

I pray that the daily Gospel Reflections and Season of Creation meditations are of benefit and that you will, in this season take the time to re-evaluate the way that you live and build a home – God’s way. The prayers and thought pieces are meant to challenge and stimulate you to think about our common home and the way we live in it.  I am not sure if the Podcast format is suiting everyone and will look at giving you the option to choose between text and Podcast. Remember that you can get the text of most of my messages on the Website, under the ”Priest’s Perspective.”

I wish to express my thanks to the leadership team, Rev Peta, and Vanda for all the work that goes into our weekly services. From now until Advent we will alternate between the two Churches. 

On Tuesday, I will take up a new portfolio at St Monica’s home and ask for your prayers for our Diocesan Children’s home. More details about that will follow.

I remind you that I am available for counselling and pastoral support – please phone or WhatsApp me. I keep you all daily in my prayers and would love to know about what is happening in your lives.

Please pray for those who are suffering from the stress of the Pandemic and the long-lasting impact that the virus can have on people’s well-being. Pastoral care of each other is important and it is up to all of us to reach out to our neighbours.

Lastly – I continue to give thank to God for your faithful giving. We are still in the process of finalising our 2022 Financial plan and budget, and it is your commitment to God’s church that enables us to confidently plan for the mission and ministry of the church for 2022. We have two possible mission outreaches for 2022 that will involve supporting another parish to ensure their sustainability. Broadening our outlook as a Parish will increase our witness for God and enable us to share our gifts with others.

Despite the pressures we are a growing church and working together is essential to securing our future as an organisation but is also a Gospel imperative.

Be assured of my love and prayers and I ask you to continue to pray for God’s hand in our ministry to the world in this place, it is because of you that the ministry of Christ is effective in this place.

Love and Peace

Fr Andrew

From The Rector's Desk

From the Rector’s Desk – 27 August 2021

“Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, who has fulfilled with His own hand what He spoke with His mouth to my father David, saying, ‘Since the day I brought My people Israel out of Egypt, I have not chosen a city from any tribe of Israel in which to build a house so that My Name would be there. But I have chosen David to be over My people Israel.’

I encourage you to read 1 Kings 8: 1-51 and then read this meditation.

In the New Covenant we are the Temple and Jesus is the one who builds the Temple. David represents a covenant with God that we would be a nation (see 1Peter 2:9). David represents our faith in the Kingdom, our submission to the kingdom, and the authority (ability) given to humanity to walk with God in God’s ways through the righteousness that comes by faith.

Now consider –

 ‘Since it was in your heart to build a house for My Name, you have done well to have this in your heart.  Nevertheless, you are not the one to build it; but your son, your own offspring, will build the house for My Name.’ 

It is Jesus, not Solomon, who truly is Son the builder of the Temple. (1 Kings 8:17) It is good that we have it in our hearts to build this temple of our lives in Christ and with Christ and through Christ.

We are this temple in the church, in our family, in our community.

Now the LORD has fulfilled the word that He spoke. We have built the house for the Name of the LORD, (our house of faith) the God of Israel. (20)

Solomon prayed that God would achieve the following through the Temple, and we now pray that God will achieve that through us. “But will God indeed dwell upon the earth? Even heaven, the highest heaven, cannot contain God, much less this temple (me) that I have built.  Yet regard the prayer and plea of Your servant, O LORD my God, so that You may hear the cry and the prayer that Your servant is praying before You today. (28/29)

We may feel unworthy, but God has chosen to dwell in us and to reveal Himself to the world through us.   May our prayers be heard by God. When someone sins then may God hear from heaven and act. May God judge according to His righteousness. (31/32)

When we are defeated before an enemy because we have sinned may we return to God and confess, then may God hear from heaven and forgive our sin. (33/34)

When the skies are shut and there is no rain because we have sinned against God, and when we pray and confess God’s name, and when we turn from our sins; then may God hear from heaven and forgive our sin. Then may God send rain on the land. When famine or plague (pandemic) comes upon the land, or blight, or mildew, or locusts, or grasshoppers, or when our enemy besieges us in our cities (think of the civil unrest),  whatever plague or sickness may come, then may whatever prayer or petition we  make—each knowing our own afflictions and spreading out our hands toward this temple (our life in Christ) be heard by God and may God forgive and act, and repay each man according to all his ways, since God knows the heart. (37/38)

For we are God’s people and God’s inheritance; God has brought us out of sin, may God’s eyes be open to the pleas of His servants (us) and may God listen to us whenever we call to Him (51)

For You, O Lord GOD, as Your inheritance, have set us apart from all the peoples of the earth, as You spoke through Your servant Moses when You brought our fathers out of Egypt, so you have brought us out of our slavery to sin that we might be your temple. That people will look to our faith in you and know that there is a God who loves His creation and will save it.

My prayer for you is that you will mediate on this and seek God’s strength to be the TEMPLE of the Holy Spirit – carrying the Name, bearing the Name, and being a blessing to the Almighty Sovereign God.

And that your faith will be something that others can look to as a signpost that leads them to God.

Be assured of my prayers.

Fr. Andrew