St Francis of
St Francis of Assisi Anglican Church, 373 Milner Street, Waterkloof, 0181 Tel. 012-346 1106/7, Fax: 346 4226.
Many thanks to all the contributors to this issue, who have once again ensured a wide variety of articles and photos.
Do visit two new websites that have gone on line recently:
More news about the diocese concerning the Archdeaconry of Pretoria East: a property has been bought in Willow Glen, where a new church will be built, and Vernon Foster has been appointed as a deacon at Corpus Christi Garsfontein to establish the Willow Glen congregation.
My dear Parishioners,
Perhaps talking about Ox braais and Stations of Service does not seem particularly ‘Christmassy’ – but bear with me, for this is what I would like to talk about in my Advent/Christmas Franciscan article.
You know, I think both ARE extremely Christmassy, because both are about giving and sharing.
The highlight of the year in terms of parish life surely was the Ox braai. Different, unusual and possibly a first for Waterkloof, this event was an enormous success. Incorporated into our glorious Patronal Festival (through the huge generosity of one of our parishioners), it enabled us to have a wonderful day of fellowship and fun (I am tempted to say ‘in the sun’) and, what made the day particularly special, we were able to share it with the congregation of St Mary’s Refilwe.
St Francis of
Another wonderful dimension of parish life at St Francis of
I’ve focused on these two events because they are indicative of the missionary-mindedness of this parish. While the vivid experience of the Patronal Festival is still fresh in our minds (who will forget our glorious procession with the front group on verse 11 and the back group on verse 2?), and especially over this season, we can and must take time to reflect on the message it gave.
Parish life in 2007 must continue in this generous vein – and I am not talking about money. A Church that is hung up on maintenance at the expense of mission is bound to implode as it focuses unhealthily on its own state of affairs. Having said this, we have some very exciting building projects in the pipe-line next year where, amongst others, we will be transforming our hall into something special. That is something for all of us to be excited about and get involved in. I personally cannot wait.
Lastly, the joy of having Megan Winn on board in terms of our youth knows no bounds and already, as she leads 11 of our young people to the December Leadership Camp, we look forward to an exciting 2007 as regards that most pertinent group of all: the young adults.
I seem to have lost my ‘Christmassy’ way a bit, but yes, St Francis of Assisi as ever, was and is a hive of glitter, light, generosity, promise, giftedness and, my goodness, so much more. And may that continue to be our calling in 2007.
May you all be richly blessed over this season. May the Christ Child fill your lives with peace and may the angels’ message ring in your hearts. For those who are travelling, we look forward to seeing you, refreshed, in the New Year.
The healing mission led by Ellel ministries was indeed a surprise to the very small group who attended. It was quite unlike any other experience (AND FOR SOME Anglicans I think it felt a little threatening!), but so many blessing did come from it, not least of all the gentleness evident in Derek and Beryl Puffet who led the weekend.
From my perspective there is no-one who does not need some kind of healing – we are so vulnerable in this world of disappointments, stress, poverty, crime, sickness and loss. However, most of us tend to bury our deepest hurts and put on the proverbial “stiff upper lip” to convince everyone that all is well. One simply needs to attend a small group fellowship to know that we are ALL broken in some way and Jesus offers us his healing touch whenever we risk reaching out to Him. I believe it is that risk that we were called to make at the weekend. This was the way I experienced the mission.
The teaching was based fully on scripture, which made me comfortable with it. My main reservation regarding this series was that we needed more ministry time, as I believe it is simply impossible to listen to teaching for 45 minutes or more without any kind of break or involvement from the listener. The teaching was captivating and there were a variety of speakers.
The following topics were dealt with in 5 sessions of teaching:
· The Picture Puzzle of our lives
· Conception to Birth
· Acceptance and Belonging
· Bitter Root Judgements
· Emotional Pain and Suffering
· Sexual Soul Ties
I felt sad that so few people availed themselves of the opportunity for ministry and hope that those who are in need of inner healing might follow up and do a personal retreat to Ellel who have a wonderful retreat centre at Shere. As their brochure states:
THIS WORK IS ABOUT A GOD WHO CHANGES LIVES.
… “The Soup Kitchen personnel and your Rector are cordially invited for a tea at the Elandspoort congregation.”
This was the invitation we
received from the Nederduitch Hervormde
The St. Francis Soup Kitchen has been
involved with donating food to
At the church, we met some of
the people involved in distributing this food to the needy, as well as some
of its recipients. We met Koos Conradie,
87 years young, who goes to the Pretoria Fresh Produce Market weekly to buy
supplies of fresh fruit and vegetables. These supplies are then sorted into
food parcels, along with bread and other items. The parcels are given out
each Wednesday morning at the church, to those families identified as being
in need. At present, between 30 and 40 families within the
Herman van den Berg of Elandspoort thanked both the
The morning ended with a wonderful tea and spread of eats. As members of the Soup Kitchen, we really appreciated getting to meet some of the people receiving food donations from us, and also appreciated the hard work done by members of their congregation in seeing to the needs of others. May Dominee van den Berg, Chris and Lettie Snyman and their team continue to be a blessing to that community!
My friends, Peter and Margaret Barton, have
spent their working lifetime in the service of the Anglican church and now
they are spending their ‘retirement’ doing locums in places as
far aprt as
Peter ‘retired’ as Canon of Malmesbury Abbey and settled in the market town of
The incumbent rector, Paul Kenchington, takes care of the
When exactly the St Mark’s chaplaincy
came into being isn’t quite clear, but the first available records
concern the funeral of a British soldier who died, most likely from wounds
received during the Battle of Waterloo. It was originally housed in a small
church, but with the growth of the congregation following the
The first thing that strikes one about St Marks’s is the number of children and young people in the congregation. Of the 80 or so people making up a typical Sunday congregation, more than a third are under the age of 20. Most church members are ‘long term’ residents of the area, but a substantial number are there on ‘a few years’ basis related to their work. There are also a good many visitors, particularly during the holiday season.
Coffee times after Sunday service are a
treat with a great cross-section of participants. I met a Nigerian ophthalmological surgeon (whose husband happened to be in
The chaplaincy’s activities are
numerous and varied. Area-based prayer groups meet once a week for prayer,
Bible study and other small-group activities in which, being in
Other church activities include walks (the surrounding countryside is super), treasure hunts, Alpha courses and courses on parenting, as well as a workshop for children at the end of summer.
Peter tackled the services with originality
and terrific enthusiasm. The feeding of the five thousand was illustrated
with, among other things, mackerel and bread rolls we brought with us from
Between Sundays we were free to explore the
I’ve been privileged to be the camp
following in both
Sunday 24 December :
08:30 – Sung Eucharist (with choir)
18:00 – Crib service
23:00 – Midnight Mass
Monday 25 December :
07:30 – Eucharist with Hymns
09:30 – Sung Eucharist (with choir)
Sunday 31 December :
08:30 – Eucharist with Hymns
By Denis Bratcher http://www.crivoice.org/cyadvent.html
The word Advent means "coming" or "arrival." The focus of the entire season is the celebration of the birth of Jesus the Christ in his First Advent, and the anticipation of the return of Christ the King in his Second Advent. Thus, Advent is far more than simply marking a 2,000 year old event in history. It is celebrating a truth about God, the revelation of God in Christ whereby all of creation might be reconciled to God. That is a process in which we now participate, and the consummation of which we anticipate. Scripture reading for Advent will reflect this emphasis on the Second Advent, including themes of accountability for faithfulness at His coming, judgment on sin, and the hope of eternal life.
In this double focus on past and future, Advent also symbolizes the spiritual journey of individuals and a congregation, as they affirm that Christ has come, that He is present in the world today, and that He will come again in power. That acknowledgment provides a basis for Kingdom ethics, for holy living arising from a profound sense that we live "between the times" and are called to be faithful stewards of what is entrusted to us as God’s people. So, as the church celebrates God’s inbreaking into history in the Incarnation, and anticipates a future consummation to that history for which "all creation is groaning awaiting its redemption," it also confesses its own responsibility as a people commissioned to "love the Lord your God with all your heart" and to "love your neighbor as yourself.
The Spirit of Advent
Advent is marked by a spirit of expectation, of
anticipation, of preparation, of longing. There is a yearning for deliverance
from the evils of the world, first expressed by Israelite slaves in
It is that hope, however faint at times, and that God, however distant He sometimes seems, which brings to the world the anticipation of a King who will rule with truth and justice and righteousness over His people and in His creation. It is that hope that once anticipated, and now anticipates anew, the reign of an Anointed One, a Messiah, who will bring peace and justice and righteousness to the world.
Part of the expectation also anticipates a judgment on sin and a calling of the world to accountability before God. We long for God to come and set the world right! Yet, as the prophet Amos warned, the expectation of a coming judgment at the "Day of the Lord" may not be the day of light that we might want, because the penetrating light of God’s judgment on sin will shine just as brightly on God’s people.
Because of this important truth, especially in the Eastern Orthodox Churches, the Season of Advent has been a time of fasting and penitence for sins similar to the Season of Lent. However, a different emphasis for the season of Advent has gradually unfolded in much of the rest of the church. The season of Advent has come to be celebrated more in terms of expectation or anticipation. Yet, the anticipation of the Coming of the Messiah throughout the Old Testament and Judaism was not in connection with remembrance of sins. Rather, it was in the context of oppression and injustice, the longing for redemption, not from personal guilt and sin but from the systemic evil of the world expressed in evil empires and tyrants. It is in that sense that all creation groans for its redemption as we witness the evil that so dominates our world (Rom 8:18-25).
Of course, there is the problem of longing for vindication from an evil world when we are contributors to that evil. This is the power of the images of Amos when he warns about longing for the "Day of the Lord" that will really be a day of darkness (Amos 5:18-20). Still, even with Amos’ warning the time of Advent is one of expectation and anticipation, a longing for God's actions to restore all things and vindicate the righteous. This is why during Advent we as Christians also anticipate the Second Coming as a twin theme of the season. So, while some church traditions focus on penitence during Advent, the spirit of that expectation from the Old Testament is better captured with a joyous sense of expectancy. […]
A CHURCH SERVICE IN
Extract from Travels with Charley by John
Steinbeck, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962. Author of novels
such as The Grapes of Wrath and Of Mice and Men, Steinbeck recounts in
this book his travels across
Sunday morning, in a
The service did my heart and I hope my soul some good. It had been long since I had heard such an approach. It is our practice now, at least in the large cities, to find from our psychiatric priesthood that our sins aren’t really sins at all but accidents that are set in motion by forces beyond our control. There was no such nonsense in this church. The minister, a man of iron with tool-steel eyes and a delivery like a pneumatic drill, opened up with prayer and reassured us that we were a pretty sorry lot. And he was right. We didn’t amount to much to start with, and due to our own tawdry efforts we had been slipping ever since. Then, having softened us up, he went into a glorious sermon, a fire-and-brimstone sermon. Having proved that we, or perhaps only I, were no damn good, he painted with cool certainty what was likely to happen to us if we didn’t make some basic reorganizations for which he didn’t hold out much hope. He spoke of hell as an expert, not the mush-mush hell of these soft days, but a well-stoked, white-hot hell served by technicians of the first order. This reverend brought it to a point where we could understand it, a good hard coal fire, plenty of draft, and a squad of open-hearth devils who put their hearts into their work, and their work was me. I began to feel good all over. For some years now God has been a pal to us, practicing togetherness, and that causes the same emptiness a father does playing softball with his son. But this Vermont God cared enough about me to go to a lot of trouble kicking the hell out of me. He put my sins in a new perspective. Whereas they had been small and mean and nasty and best forgotten, this minister gave them some size and bloom, and dignity. I hadn’t been thinking very well of myself for some years, but if my sins had this dimension there was some pride left. I wasn’t a naughty child but a first rate sinner, and I was going to catch it.
Submitted by Anton Gouverneur