From The Rector's Desk

From The Rector’s Desk – 30.06.2019

Grace and Peace to you from God our Father and His Son Jesus Christ. The Lord be with you!

One upside about working with youth is that you get a glimpse of what the future has in store for us. One downside about working with youth is that you get a glimpse of what the future has in store for us. But that said, it is always a joy to be part of the development process of this generation and I am very aware of the challenges that we have to face and our need to assist them and to develop the skills and the attitudes and the mindsets required to deal with the changes and the challenges of our time.  Those who are chronologically advanced must remember that they have the ability to see things differently because they have the hindsight of having seen different things and that should bring hope. If we have been afforded the grace to survive our history, we can live in the hope of surviving our future, but only those with life experience know that and can provide a confidence in faith. So make sure that you are able to “give an account of the hope that you have within you;

(1 Peter 3:15).

I give thanks to God for the few days that lie ahead that I will spend with my family in my special quiet place, nothing like a few days in the saddle to restore a bit of tranquility. I assure you of my prayers for you, and ask for yours as we travel and as we rest.

On my return there is much to be done as we enter the “Season of Intentional Discipleship” and mush of this will be focusing on being a “Mission Shaped” church. A church that works for the good of the community it lives in and reaches out to the broken and the lost. I do hope you will take the time to listen to my Ordination Message – which is available on our Facebook page, I really mean it when I say that we must embrace the Diaconal Ministry of the Church, and “interpret the needs and the hope and the concerns of the world to the Church” and the only way to do so is to interact with the world. I continue to seek to put together a Parish task teams for the environment, for social development and for education. These three key areas of our “mission ” need constant input and there is plenty of scope for your contribution to these ministries.

Please continue to pray for our Diocese and for our Parish and support the work we do, in him and with him and through Him, who gave His all for us.

May our God who is faithful, lead you in all righteousness as you trust in him.

As one who serves as a Deacon among you.

Fr Andrew


From The Rector's Desk

From The Rector’s Desk – 21 June 2019

May the Lord our God lead us into all truth and guide us through the darkness of this world into His glorious light. The Lord be with you.

As clichéd as this sounds, it’s hard to believe that we are already halfway through the year. Reflecting on the time that has passed one notices all the things that haven’t been done, and all the things that God, has done.

Here at St Mary’s, we have put in all but one of the new Aluminum doors, a massive accomplishment. A better laptop has been donated to the office. I had a visit on Thursday Morning to tell us that one of our prayers has been answered and the Municipality will be fencing the property between us and the Library – God is faithful, this has been on our agenda for some time. I think that while we acknowledge that as a community, we have lots to do to grow us to a level of sustainability, we must thank God for what He is doing in our midst.

Membership and attendance are a concern, but we must remain positive and committed to our vision to be the Church and the community and the community in the church.

Please continue to prayer fervently for our Church (for its people) especially the ill (this flu is terrible this year) and for those traveling at this time.

Pray for family life and for opportunities to grow in love with one and other and in God. 

Be assured of my prayers.


In other news.

Faith seeking understanding – Confronting the ‘monarchy of fear’ with spiritual resistance

The following article is very insightful and worth sharing.

~Fr. Andrew Manning

Just about a year before the 2016 presidential elections, I wrote a column for America magazine titled “Fear is the fuel of demagoguery, but the enemy of Christian discipleship.” At the time, I was struck by the overt xenophobia, misogyny, racism and generally disparaging language of major political candidates at home and abroad. 

One of those candidates, Donald Trump, would go on to secure an Electoral College win and become the 45th president of the United States of America. Another, Marine Le Pen, of France, would lose her bid to become president. Nevertheless, her rival, President Emmanuel Macron, is now noticeably losing hold of power as French nationalists gain increasing political traction, revealing a divided France. As The New York Times podcast “The Daily” is reporting this week in a five-part series, similar trends are appearing across Europe today.

What was then and is now shared in common across the Atlantic is the use and abuse of fear. In the years since I published that column, I have had several opportunities to think more about and discuss publicly the role of fear in society and the church today, including this week in San Antonio, Texas, while speaking at the Oblate School of Theology’s annual Summer Spirituality Institute. Additionally, in these subsequent years a number of insightful resources have been published that help us think through the power and challenge of fear, including the renowned philosopher Martha Nussbaum’s excellent book The Monarchy of Fear: A Philosopher Looks at Our Political Crisis.

Nussbaum astutely diagnoses the signs of our times in the wake of the 2016 election season, wherein the rhetoric of fear and distrust reached an alarming level. Like many, she was troubled by what she witnessed and took to her craft of philosophical writing in an effort to make sense of the social and political dynamics. Nussbaum draws on the neuroscience research of Joseph LeDoux, who explains the physiological and psychological mechanisms behind, and relationship between, anxiety and fear. LeDoux explains: “Fear can, like anxiety, involve anticipation, but the nature of anticipation in each is different: in fear the anticipation concerns if and when a present threat will cause harm, whereas in anxiety the anticipation involves uncertainty about the consequences of a threat that is not present and may not occur.” In other words, anxiety is a more diffuse experience of concern and uncertainty than fear, which needs a particular target or object.

Nussbaum makes the case that the natural mechanisms of anxiety and fear, which have emerged over millennia of evolutionary history to protect us from predators and other immediate dangers, become dangerous when they are co-opted by those wishing to control others through their rhetoric. She writes:

Fear involves the thought of an imminent threat to our well-being. Aristotle tells political speakers that they will be able to whip up fear only if (a) they portray the impending event as highly significant for survival or well-being, if (b) they make people think it is close at hand, and if, further, (c) they make people feel that things are out of control — they can’t ward off the bad thing easily on their own.

In other words, nothing much has changed since Aristotle: political, social and religious leaders can instill or stoke fear by harnessing the need to sublimate the anxiety women and men might already have in a diffuse way (about job security, health, personal or familial well-being, and so on) and channel them in terms of a discrete, isolated, particular and impending threat. Nussbaum remarks: “Through our basic propensity to fear, democratic societies are highly vulnerable to manipulation.”

This assessment describes our context today, and it ought to be a major concern for Christians, as well as all women and men of good will. There are many who have legitimate anxiety about dire circumstances or precarious situations, but they are regularly fed lies about the causes and potential remedies for that anxiety in the form of fear of the other.

We witness this fear mongering in the way Trump and his supporters have talked about migrants and refugees, such as the way the so-called caravan was portrayed before the midterm elections in 2018 but hasn’t been mentioned as such since. Likewise, we see this in the way the Trump administration has stoked fear of transgender women and men and has sought to deny civil protections against discrimination against them. It has been some of the most poor and vulnerable persons who have regularly become the objects of fear and loathing. And sadly, it seems that as another national election cycle gets underway, the stoking of this unnatural fear is bound to increase again.

So what are we to do? How do we respond to the co-option of fear and the tendency to vilify, reject or destroy the “other” presented as the scapegoat?

As Paul Lakeland, a theology professor at Fairfield University, recently exhorted his theologian colleagues during his presidential address at the recent Catholic Theological Society of America convention in Pittsburgh, we must embrace “spiritual resistance.” Spiritual resistance, he explained, is not to be contrasted with physical or other forms of resistance. Rather, the “spiritual” in the term signals the motivation that shapes our outlook, intention, thought, praxis and protest; it is about living the Gospel.

To be a Christian is to be in relationship. Christianity is not merely an association of like-minded folks or an organization one is initiated into for recreational, professional or even personal purposes. Instead, Christianity is practiced in collaboration with others and makes no sense apart from others. The very marker of faith — baptism — is itself the means by which we believe we are united to one another and God in the Spirit. At every turn, Christ showed us that we are meant to be women and men for others. And yet fear shuts down the borders of relationship, as Nussbaum observes: “It is always relentlessly focused on the self and the safety of the self.”

One of the most immediate ways we can resist what Nussbaum calls this “monarchy of fear” is by prioritizing relationship when we are tempted to close in on ourselves. From her secular philosophical context, Nussbaum points to hope as the antidote to this dehumanizing unnatural fear. She writes that, “Hope expands and surges forward, fear shrinks back. Hope is vulnerable, fear self-protective.”

As Christians, we have all the more reason to focus our hearts, minds and rhetoric on hope. Christian hope is not naïve or romantic, “pie-in-the-sky” or Pollyannaish optimism. Christian hope is rooted in the truth that God hears the cries of the poor (Psalm 34), became human to enter into ever-greater relationship with all women and men, and calls us to love one another as God has and continues to love us (John 13:34).

As the rhetoric of fear continues to ramp up, Christians will again face a choice: to listen to those Pope Francis calls “false prophets who exploit fear and desperation, who sell magic formulas of hatred and cruelty or selfish well-being and illusory security” — or embrace “spiritual resistance.” Resisting the former by means of the latter provides us with an opportunity to work toward a more just and peaceable society, which bears the marks of authentic Christian hope.

~The Author of this article is Daniel P. Horan a Franciscan friar and assistant professor of systematic theology and spirituality at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago.

From The Rector's Desk

From The Rector’s Desk 19 May 2019

To the People of God in the Parish of St Mary, Kingsburgh. Grace and peace to you from God our Father and His Son Jesus Christ, our risen Lord. Alleluia. 

I thank you all for the prayers for my family over the last two weeks, during our time of illness.  Many people have suffered from this “flu” and bronchitis and the road to recovery seems slow, so I ask you to continue to pray for us and all those affected. 

I wish to thank you for your generosity to us and for the Easter offering that we received, it is much appreciated. I also wish to thank those that contributed towards Moses’ (our verger) flood relief fund. 

At present a few of our leaders are participating in a Mission and Ministry course, together with the Methodist Church, and I am delighted by what we are learning and what we can incorporate into our life together as the People of the God of Mission. On completion of the course we will roll out a revised Ministry Action Plan for the church, built on what we have learned.  

I’d like to address one or two issues, with you.  

I need to remind you that the church is governed and managed by a Parish Council. These are people that you have elected to run the affairs of the Church and that they now need your support and cooperation. You are accountable to them for the tasks that you fulfil as part of our ministry teams. It is critical that you keep them informed of your ability or inability to perform the said duties that you have signed up for and that you speak to them about things that you would like to do or have done around the church. I am a firm believer that we all have a contribution to make, but this must be made through the proper channels so that we have a cohesive effort. 

The Duty Roster for readers and Sides-men is put together by the office and the Wardens oversee its implementation. Therefore if you are unable to do a duty, or wish to change a duty , please inform Vanda ( 082 651 7339 or For the Tea Roster please contact Marjorie on 076 916 7456 or  

It is critical that we work together, ensuring that Council is able to fulfill its mandate. I thank you for your cooperation in this regard. 

We have ordered the first of the double doors for the hall and it should be installed by the end of the month.  Thank you to the dedicated team who do the rummage table at the Lions/St Mary Fair on the first Saturday of every month. This fundraiser has made this possible. Please continue to support it. 

The Diocese has given us an R84,000.00 remission on our dated Assessment arrears, which means that we are down to about R50,000.00 from the original R250,000 accumulated from 2013-2017. We must ensure that we continue to keep our assessment up to date, and we have cut costs wherever possible to make sure that we can do this.  

May God continue to pour out his abundant blessings upon you. 


From The Rector's Desk

From The Rector’s Desk, May 5 2019

Christ is risen!

This week is an important week in our country, as we go to the polls. We must remember though that we are ambassadors to this land and we are no more of this world than Jesus is. We are sent to bring the Kingdom of God into our communities and live according to His will. So let us pray for peace, let us pray for calm, let us pray for wisdom. But it is not the government that will change the fortunes of South Africa, it is its people. We must strive to live out God’s mandate of love of neighbour and enemy, of “ earth keeping” of justice and mercy. We must build the country, family by family community by community. As always I encourage you to be part of building the country that you want to live in right here in our parish. Participate in its life, know Jesus and make him known, be the community of Christ in the world in the church and in the streets and in the workplace. May God guide you and fill you with his love and may you know the length, depth, width and height of His love and may you show that love to the world.

We pray for our province which has suffered much these last few weeks. The devastating floods the  riots and strikes and damage to our community. We pray for those who have lost loved ones in this time.

We are doing a special collection

for Moses (our verger) , who lost his home in the floods. We are looking for kitchen utensils, household goods and clothing. We need to raise money too to buy building materials. Please assist in rebuilding his home.