In early August we bade farewell to Beetrice Margaret Beekman. Margaret, as she was known to all of us joined St Paul’s United just under two years ago and became a regular member at services. She also attended the Tuesday afternoon home group during this time. Margaret read lessons in church from time to time and will be remembered for her beautiful voice and excellent diction. She died somewhat suddenly from an embolism. Thank you, Margaret, for your contribution to our family; you will be missed.
Khumbulani Ngende, a member of our congregation and an employee of Ed Hillary is an athlete of note. Recently he took part in the Wolkberg Two Day Stage Race and came out the overall winner of the event.
It never ceases to amaze me how fast time goes and we find ourselves looking back and realising that much of the year has passed in a flash. The Christian year is very busy between March and June with the Lenten season followed by Easter, then Ascension and finally Pentecost. Each period has a very special meaning to us as we go through the final days of Jesus’ life on earth. Lent is a good time for self examination and it is often a time when we grow in our spirituality and our relationship with our Lord. The celebration of Easter with all its joy is the high point of the year as we come to the moment when Jesus died and rose again, paying the penalty of our own sinfulness and then going on to conquer death and, indeed, Satan. No longer does the devil have a hold over us. We are liberated into new life in Christ.
Vision! That is what I experience in St Paul’s United Church in Haenertsburg. In 2018 the leadership had a vision to attract more younger people to this beautiful church on the mountain. It was decided that a full-time pastor was needed to minister to the students of Stanford Lake College as well as the village of Haenertsburg. Mr Dirk Engelbrecht was recruited for this special ministry.
In 2016 Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby launched a programme called Thy Kingdom Come. It was intended to encourage people to spend the 11 days between Ascension day and the day of Pentecost in prayer.The movement grew from there and each year people around the world engage in this season of prayer. It is also an interdenominational event and churches from Methodist through to Pentecostal join in this programme of prayer.
Betty Ramaselela and Susan Elliott are running a project at Diepgelegen Farm Compound every Thursday night. We are very grateful to the Wolff’s for the venue – and especially for installing neon lights so we can thread needles far easier!
The patchwork process is simple, and ideal for a project like this as it doesn’t involve electricity (apart for lighting at night),no sewing machines, or expensive equipment and is relatively easy to do.
Our first community priest, Susan Elliott was ordained into the priesthood in early February this year at Christ Church Cathederal in Polokwane. We extend our congratulations to her, knowing that while it it is a high office in the church it is also a challenging one. We hope your own ministry grows and flourishes in the years to come and may our Lord bless you in your ministry.
What do we need to do to grow our church? When we talk of growth we often assume that it is all about numbers of people that come to church each Sunday. While that is an important aspect of church growth, there are several aspects that are important for us to look at. For instance, how do we fare with regard to our spirituality, or in plainer words, how is our personal relationship with God? When we look at that we are led to evaluate what we are doing as members of the church with regard to the community around us as well. We also need to consider our education in terms of Christian doctrine and the Bible as a whole.
After 19 years of leading the diocese of St Mark the Evangelist, Bishop Martin has retired. His very last function in the diocese was the Mountain Prayer to Heal SA, held here in Haenertsburg on 6th April.
Martin Breytenbach came to Limpopo from the diocese in Pretoria and succeeded Bishop Philip Le Feurve as the second bishop of this diocese. He married Colleen Thomas just a year before and has moved to Cape Town with her. There he will devote himself to his great love of music and hopes to get involved with pastoral ministry there.
On the 6th of April this year, St Paul’s church, in obedience to the nudging of our Lord, lead, together with the other churches in our area, a prayer event to include all peoples from the surrounding area.
We gathered together in the village hall, with farm labourers, locals and others from Polokwane to Phalaborwa , in a multicultural event to sing praises and lift our prayers for our country, our community and our selves. We repented before the Lord and sort His guidance and wisdom to bring reconciliation and a way forward for our country.