I am always struck by our sense of self sufficiency when it comes to life. The story of the person driving around in a crowded parking lot, desperate to find a place to park her car is a classic example. If you have heard it before, forgive me because I am going to repeat it. Well this person eventually in desperation cries out to the Lord, “Lord, please, I really need to find a parking space. Lord, if you find one for me I promise I will spend time in prayer with you every day and go to church this coming Sunday.” Just at that very moment, right in front of her car there was the one and only parking space she had seen. Without taking a breath she said, “Oh, don’t worry, Lord, I’ve just found one.”
Dear family of St Paul’s,
Christmas time is a frenetic rush for many people. We are busy wrapping up business so that we can close for the holiday season. There are presents to buy and trees to decorate. There are meals to organise and a wash of parties and end of year functions to attend. There is so much going on and so much money being spent that at the end of it all we feel like falling in a heap and just relaxing. Unfortunately with all the rush we often are unable to even reflect upon what the true message of Christmas is all about. There have been many campaigns about getting back to the real thing, so to speak, like “Put Christ back into Christmas” and “Jesus is the reason for the season.” These are good because they are reminders to us of the reason that there is a Christmas celebration after all. It is not, as the world would have it, the holiday season. It is all about the love of God who, through His Son Jesus, brings hope, peace and ultimately joy into our lives.
Christmas is coming;
the geese are getting fat,
who’ll put a penny
in the old man’s hat?
If you haven’t got a penny,
a ha’penny will do,
if you haven’t got a ha’penny
then God bless you.
I think I have it right! This little rhyme was part of my childhood and I wonder whether many of you remember it? We would sing it and, not for a moment, consider the meaning of the words.
It was with some hesitation that I received an instruction from Bishop Martin that I should spend some of my vacation time at St Paul’s United in Haenertsburg with Rev Jonathan Meintjes. As a second year theological student from the College of the Transfiguration I am required to spend some time in different parish churches to see how things are done there. Not knowing much about this church I turned to the internet to view the place which I would be going to, how big it was and how many churches were there.
We meet Youth at Stanford Lake College on Friday Evenings for a vibrant and fun Christian Youth Group. This is a great new venue as we were meeting in the Church Lapa, which was getting a bit tight! We are currently running Youth Alpha, an up to date series filmed in Canada. Alpha was first designed and led by Nicky Gumble and his team at Holy Trinity Brompton (London). Youth Alpha is fun and informative with lots of place for questions and discussion.
St Pauls United is currently proving funds for 23 food parcels for distribution to the most-needy families in the local Maribe-Thema/Segwashi/Spitzkop communities. The local Catholic church is also providing funding for 5 additional food parcels making a total of 28. The food parcels are purchased and delivered by Thusanang Trust on the second Thursday of each month.
Our annual St Paul’s Church Picnic will take place on Sunday 22 July at Cheerio Gardens starting at 12:30. Join us for a great day of fellowship and sharing.
Dear family of St Paul’s,
In his “To a mouse” Robert Burns wrote ‘The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry’ (slightly translated from the Scots dialect). In fact that is precisely what has happened in the last few months here at St Paul’s.
The joke of it of course is that “I” had such wonderful and best laid plans only to find that the Lord had other ideas for me. With the sudden onset of my illness and hospitalisation in May I found myself unable to follow through with the things that I was trying to do and initially that filled me with some dismay at letting you as a family down. However I believe that our Lord has other plans and perhaps part of His agenda was to get me into a different spiritual space from where I have been.
We recently held a celebration and award evening at Diepgelegen Farm. The group that received certificates have been involved in the Rooted in Jesus course over the past two years, so it was a long haul for them. Susan Elliott and John Wright assisted Rev. Jonathan Meintjes in the training and it has born much fruit. We are wanting to start other farm groups like this and are training the participants of this course to be part of the training team.