From The Rector's Desk · Priest's Perspective

Rector’s Statement of NEEDS for St Mary, 2019

2018 was a challenging year for us in many respects.

The assault on our Church by a fellow group of Christians, was a particularly difficult time for me as Rector and yet it (as is God’s way) was used for good and our leadership really stepped up and saw us through a complex situation.

2018 saw me very involved in our community and I spent many hours working for the good of it, and to be honest there were not many visible results, but I have done what I have done, and may God use it for good.

As I have previously stated:

in the beginning of 2018 I was suffering fatigue and poor health and even medication was struggling to keep me going and by Easter I was in a very bad place. (Such that I was not able to do all the services planned) and so thankfully in December 2018 I was able to take 6 weeks leave and recuperate. I am deeply grateful to Rev Peta May and the Wardens for this opportunity.

But this report is about looking forward, to what I believe we need to do in 2019.

“Be strong and stand firm, for you are the one to give this people possession of the land that I swore to your forefathers I should give them. Only be strong and stand firm and be careful to keep all the laws which my servant Moses laid on you. Never swerve from this to right or left, and then you will be happy in all you do.” .

(Joshua 1:6&7 TJB)
  1. We need to strengthen our Lay leadership – I am so pleased that we have made positive steps in this regard already.
  2. We need to build stronger Lay Ministry – to this end we will be doing Lay Ministry Training every month (Second Saturday), which will include a
    • “School of Preachers,”
    • a “School of Contemplative Prayer “
    • and training for Eucharistic Assistants, Sides-people and Servers.
    • Everybody is welcome to come and learn and grow in their Discipleship.
  3. Teaching Ministry – which is my passion and has been neglected – We need to provide more opportunity for this, to this end I will do a Bible Teaching theme on Sunday Mornings and at Midweek service (alternate Thursday’s)– Equipping the Saints on Sunday evenings, and a Wednesday afternoon and Wednesday Night, Bible Study. I will be calling on the Lay Ministry team to assist in leading and facilitating these sessions with me.
    • WORSHIP ON WEDNESDAY – (WOW) hosted at St Mary’s from 17h30. The evening will begin with a fellowship (bring and share meal) followed by a time of prayer and worship and then small groups.
      • WOW will run during
      • LENT, 6 March – 10 April
      • Alpha 10 July to 18 September
      • and then Baptism Prep,
      • Marriage Prep
      • and the Marriage course will all be done at WOW.
      • This enables people to fellowship and worship together and be integrated into the Church, instead of having stand alone sessions.
    • Equipping the Saints – on Sunday Evenings we gather for a teaching session on Discipleship. It is a very informal but informative session, and all are welcome – COME AND SEE!
    • Intentional Discipleship – this mentorship programme is available to people who want to seek a deeper way to serve God – it is not meeting based and is a one on one Spiritual guidance platform. I am offering myself to you – are you bold enough to Walk with Jesus (I am just there to facilitate). Email me for more information.
  4. Parish Retreat – this will be a pre-Lent retreat from 3 to 5 March on our Diocesan Theme of Walking with Jesus.
  5. Alpha – we will run Alpha again this year as a Discipleship course 10 July to 18 September, and I pray that people will invite friends especially those who don’t go to church, to come and journey with us.
  6. Outreach – we need to find innovative ways of taking the Gospel to the world. I would love to use some of our Wednesday evenings at WOW (Worship on Wednesday) to do some training in Christian witness – how to have a witnessing conversation. I think that if people know how to share their faith with others – we will be more successful in drawing people into the church.

Every Baptized believer has a Ministry – in every Ministry I am looking to build a TEAM of people.

  1. Environmental Ministry – I remain committed to the Catchment Management Forum which is the Civil Society – Government Partnership tasked with managing water resources. As you are aware our rivers are terribly polluted and much work is required to address the problem. I have spent many years fighting the good fight (behind the scenes) to try and make progress in better management of our Municipal Infrastructure and better accountability of the Municipality in matters of water pollution. I would love to have more support from the Church. I also currently Chair the Toti Conservancy and am wanting to make some major changes here to better serve the community.
  2. Social Responsibility Ministry -we have forged a very strong relationship with Kingsburgh Child and Family Welfare Society. I as Chair, Judy Cuppan as Vice Chair and Kim as Administrator. My prayer is that through this partnership we will give much bigger emphasis to our Social Responsibility  – I will flesh out our partnership agreement and commitments with the new council and provide more information to the Church at large. I ask you to prayerfully consider what your role is in this ministry.
  3. Educator Support Programme – we have already commissioned our education missionaries and now need to have follow up support for them. Prayer meetings, Focus groups and intercession by the whole parish for these key witnesses to the world is required.
  4. The SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM – Diversifying our platform – in this age, Social Media is an essential mission field and means of witness. We have established a Web page  and a Facebook page and need to use it to the full. Please like us on Facebook and help spread the Good News.

The Community in the Church the Church in the Community.

I want to empower Ministry in 2019. If you have a project or an idea – come and see me and let’s make it happen. Ministry is vested in us, not in me as priest, but in us as the people of God.  I am here to support and encourage and grow the Churches ministry – not my own. Let’s make 2019 the year that St Mary’s hears the call of God and responds, and grows, and fulfills its God given mandate to “Go into all the world and submerse it in the Love of God.”

St Mary’s Anglican Church Kingsburgh a “Loving Community” of the Diocese of Natal, Anglican Church of Southern Africa.

Fr. Andrew Manning