The Franciscan

Easter 
April 2006 

St Francis of Assisi Parish Newsletter

 
Easter Morning

(more photo's)


St Francis of Assisi Anglican Church, 373 Milner Street, Waterkloof, 0181 Tel. 012-346 1106/7, Fax: 346 4226.
http://www.st-francis.co.za/       mail@st-francis.co.za
Clergy: Fr Timothy Lowes, Robin Heath, June de Klerk
Deacons: Martzi Eidelberg, Liz Horne (children's chaplain)


Foreword

I took over as editor of the newsletter a year ago, so this is my second time around. Now that I've learnt the ropes, I hope to do even better this year. Like all three editions last year, this one seemed to be rather meagre when I began putting it together. But slowly more contributions started arriving, ideas for layout took shape, and in the end we have a good mix of articles.

The final articles of the hard copy (Ministry at St Francis, House Groups and Calendar May to August) can be accessed from the home page. You can also visit the Gallery to view more photos of the Easter Sung Eucharist as well as pictures of the Youth Room mural.

I hope you will enjoy this edition and be inspired to send in a contribution for our next one, which should appear towards the middle of the year.

Jill Daugherty, Editor


Letter from the Rector

My dear Parishioners,

Last Friday, it seemed quite clear that this Jesus who hung on the Cross – though he had shown remarkable courage, though his message of love, peace and forgiveness was indeed a good one – had nevertheless failed in all he set out to do. That was the truth for all the world to see. There, on the Cross, in this pathetic dying figure, was the proof that the destructive powers of evil had won the day.

THEN  “on the third day” God acted and raised the crucified Christ, declaring a new Truth.  Declaring once for all His power over evil and death. The greatest act of transformation (ever recorded) had taken place and the world would, could never be the same again. And of course this is what our Easter Celebrations are all about. That is why we are a people “not without hope”. Life and death have been transformed forever.

Remarkably, that transforming process and power continues today – in us. I want us to stop and think about that for a while. Little old you and me – we are the conduits of this ongoing resurrection power in our society, country and world. If we truly understood this (and I suggest with all humility that we really don’t), imagine how we would transform our societies. Throughout history there have been those souls who have, people like Mother Teresa of Calcutta, our own Archbishop Desmond, and Nelson Mandela – and just look at what an effect they had on their societies. 

Of course, we don’t have to be. God will not (perhaps even cannot) do in us, and through us, what we refuse to allow. Hypothetically, we can choose to enjoy His Resurrection victory purely for our own purposes. We can, for example, adopt the following attitude:

His vicarious death atoned for my sins, so I’m okay now, my place is assured – and well, good luck to the rest of you.

Firstly, I’m not convinced that such an attitude is in any way “Christian” (or for that matter moral) and therefore not too convinced that any “assurance” is the order of the day, but secondly, and more pertinently, it is certainly NOT the attitude of the One who wrought our salvation and snatched us from the powers of ungodliness, as is clearly evident from his work on the Cross.

So then rather, let us be reminded that as we enjoy the fruits of His Resurrection victory this Easter, we need to hear (afresh) His clarion call to be agents of transformation of all that is evil around us.

And to this end, as part of the Pretoria East Archdeaconry Social Development Programme, I am committed to getting each parish to Build Bridges of Care. Hank Doeg has been in touch with the parishes in the Archdeaconry and is receiving information from them. In order to get this project off the ground, I also need information from my own parish.

In the box opposite is set out the information that is required.

During this Easter period, as we celebrate the Risen Christ and share in His victory over death and sin, let us also assess how we share in His transformation of society, so that we can consolidate our efforts and improve on them.

I wish you all a blessed and joyous Eastertide!

Alleluia! Christ is risen
He is risen indeed.  Alleluia

Fr Timothy


THE SOUP KITCHEN

April this year marks the fourth birthday of the soup kitchen. In those four years we have gone through several changes. It is with gratitude to St Francis Parish that we now appear to be running fairly smoothly and, with your encouragement and continual support, Heather Napier and I are happy to continue convening it.

The Soup Kitchen began when Christine Martin, a member of the Morning Glories, put the Group in touch with Jan van Jaarsveld, who works with street children. Through Christine’s motivation, generosity (she donated the first pots and food processor) and willingness to allow us to use her home, the Soup Kitchen got underway, with Pam Smith (now living in Polokwane) as our enthusiastic leader. However, it soon became apparent that, if we were to continue growing, we would have to look for larger premises.

Thanks to Father Timothy and the Parish Council, we were given permission to use the church kitchen. Jeannette kindly cooks the soup bones on a Monday in readiness for Tuesday. The bones are donated by Groenkloof Butchery, collected by Brenda Damp and stored in the freezer. Menlo Park Market Gardens have faithfully given us vegetables for the last few years. They are collected weekly by Christine Martin, who delivers them to the church. In the last few months, Woolworths in Garsfontein have been donating a large quantity of bread, fruit and other products. Many thanks to the manageress, Bernice.

From cooking soup, the Morning Glories got involved in refurbishing the Shelter that Jan manages at Salvokop. Plascon generously donated paint for our project and, through Colette Donkin and Jacqueline Cole (who has since moved to Franschhoek), painting and repairs got underway. Other members sewed roman blinds for the bedroom windows and June van der Merwe’s craft group came on board, generously providing the 17 boys who then lived at the shelter with matching duvet and pillow sets. We put new locks on the room doors to prevent internal theft and reinforced the storeroom, which was being regularly raided.

Meanwhile, back at the kitchen, we grew from strength to strength, acquiring new pots, a gas-stove to alleviate power failures, which regularly happened particularly in the winter, and essential materials like knives and potato peelers. One of our fund-raising mornings enabled us to buy our present food processor, which has made a huge difference to our efficiency. Until then we had been using regular domestic appliances, which were too small for our purposes. We were given a cupboard and two drawers in the church kitchen in which to store our ingredients and utensils.

Heather and I rotate our duties, so we work every second week. Some of our faithful assistants don’t belong to the Morning Glories Group, or even to St Francis parish. St Francis Presbyterian Church have expressed a desire to join us and we are at present investigating the possibility of involving them.

There is a wonderful rapport between the members of our teams, which makes the unpleasant task of dissecting half-rotten vegetables a far less onerous one. We have learnt to use some vegetables that normally would be relegated to the bin and it is amazing that every week we manage to provide anything from 85 to 122 litres of palatable food. I am convinced that God has a hand in it. This provides food for the shelter for a week. Any excess is used by Crossroads Coffee House, headquarters of Action Labourers for the Harvest, who co-ordinate the soup ministry to feed the homeless and some street children bi-weekly on a Wednesday and Friday.

We have a three weeks break over Christmas and New Year, but our group provide chicken casseroles for Christmas Dinner. We also try and cook extra in the last few weeks before we stop.

At present there are 41 boys at the Salvokop Shelter, although at times they have housed 52 occupants. Through our association with the Shelter, the Parish has adopted one of the children, Boy Magagula, as our contribution to the Komanani Project. We have undertaken to educate him at a good academic school, where we hope he will achieve his full potential. Boy started school at Berea Park on 2 March in Grade 8, fully equipped to meet the school requirements. So far he is very happy at school and working well. We will be monitoring his progress – and who knows what changes our involvement will bring to his life.

Thank you, St Francis parishioners, for your encouragement, generosity and support. Without these, the soup kitchen would not be the thriving ministry it has become. We really appreciate your help.

Linda Lewis


The Parish Retreat

 Twenty-four parishioners went on a retreat at the Good Shepherd Retreat Centre from Friday evening 10 February to Sunday afternoon 12 February. In the absence of Fr Timothy, who had the opportunity of visiting Australia, Fr Allan Kannemeyer, Archdeacon of Hennops River and Rector of St Michael’s, Sunnyside, led the retreat. He had the help of our assistant priests Robin and June, who each conducted a service, but he took all the other services (morning and evening prayer and Sunday communion) and did all the teaching sessions. In addition, he managed to attend the Diocesan Planning Committee meeting at the Cathedral on the Saturday!

 Teaching sessions on Friday night, Saturday morning and on Sunday were based on the I Kings, chapter 19. This chapter recounts the mountain experience of Elijah. The great prophet has just demonstrated (in chapter 18) the power of the God of Israel over Baal, calling down fire on the altar of the Lord and putting to death all the prophets of Baal. Yet when Queen Jezebel sends him a message threatening revenge, he flees. After walking forty days he reaches Sinai where the Lord speaks to him.

 The four teaching sessions were entitled:

  • What am I doing here?
  • God Called You
  • Our Spirituality
  • Go back the way you came

 The Saturday afternoon session, called Focus on Ministry, was different. It consisted of two parts:

  1. Leadership
  2. Modes of Ministry

 I requested fellow retreat goers to let me have their impressions of the retreat. Many thanks to those who responded:

Martzi Eidelberg, Michelle Palmer, Terry Brauer, Linda Lewis, and some one who chose to remain Anonymous

 This is a selection of their comments and mine on the various aspects of the retreat.

Accommodation and Meals

  • We each had our own room, which was sparsely but adequately equipped for a comfortable weekend.

  • The accommodation was superb, the food good,but it was the MESSAGE that was important.

  • The food was very tasty and we had large portions ‘plonked’ onto our waiting plates army style. Each meal was accompanied by tea, coffee, hot chocolate and water. We had our own hall, where we could help ourselves to all the above beverages at any time and all we were required to do was to wash our mugs. There was always a supply of biscuits or scones or cup cakes freshly baked, which were delicious. It was a real treat not to have to worry about mundane daily responsibilities.

  • Meals were served punctually and our sole responsibility was to improve our relationship with God.

 Silence

  • It turned out to be a silent retreat, but although we were on our own we weren’t lonely. Each time we passed one of our group, we would acknowledge each other and, in a strange way, it made me feel closer to the other members of the group.
  • After our first meeting with Fr Allan we went into silence. On Saturday morning, forgetting about the silence, I walked into the Chapel and greeted everyone with a hearty ‘Good morning’, only to be greeted with silence and smiles. Ooops!
  • The silences allowed for meditation and time with God. There were no expected niceties, no forced conversation.
  • Although it was a silent retreat, we were still able to get to know one another. Moreover, several members felt that they welcomed the silence as this gave them time to study their Bibles and to pray.
  • We were permitted to break silence from 16:00 to 20:00 on Saturday afternoon and evening. Some of us opted to maintain silence; others grabbed the opportunity to acquaint themselves with people with whom they were not familiar.
  • What was a big problem is that we didn’t know a third of the people even by name and, being a silent retreat, it meant that some of the group were rather isolated. And I certainly do not mean it should have been a chatty, social weekend, but we needed to at least introduce ourselves at some point.
  • The silence did give us the opportunity to deepen our relationship with God and to reflect on the teaching and our reading. I feel, however, that there should have been opportunities to communicate, as several of us did not know everybody. Mealtimes would have been the ideal time as the tables in the dining room had four place settings and we tended to sit at different tables at every meal.
  • It was strange to sit around a table and not speak to our companions, but was easier to do than I expected.
  • The fact that there was another group who were not in silence did make it difficult at times to reach that sense of shutting out the world.

Teaching and Organisation

  • The teaching was outstanding.

  • The lectures or semons that Fr Allan gave were thought provoking and interesting
  • Fr Allan was an inspiration to us all,   He was sincere, knowledgeable and compassionate, challenging us constantly, but readily available at all times except Saturday morning when he had to attend to professional duties.
  • When Fr Allan gently unfolded certain passages from Scripture, he made us realise that we all have a role to play in the life of the Church. He gave us hope and courage when he pointed out that the disciples, as depicted in Mark (the gospel set for this Church Year), were people whom the world would conventionally depict as ‘losers’. So many times did they not comprehend Jesus’ message, and yet they were the very people who later would proclaim this message.
  • Every bit of uninterrupted time we have to spend with God is to be treasured and I felt very blessed for having had this privilege. However, I felt the weekend was neither strictly a retreat nor a planning weekend. I am not sure that Fr Allan, or anyone else in all fairness, was able to combine the two things. I enjoyed his input very much, but his absence on Saturday detracted for me from the flow of the retreat, as Sunday was far too rushed and Saturday night felt like a void without any structure at all.
  • I felt that the Saturday lectures on the model of the Church were more suitable for a planning weekend and not really for a personal retreat. I also feel we should have postponed the date in order for Fr Timothy to be part of it.
  • The teaching about Elijah helped us to see that we all need to be alone with God sometimes, but that we cannot stay on Mt Sinai. After the mountain experience, God challenges us to return to our lives, to tackle old problems with fresh insight and to find new goals. The Saturday afternoon session on the role the laity should play in ministry – despite its seeming irrelevance – actually tied in with this.

 Final thoughts

  • It was strange to sit around a table and not speak to our companions, but was easier to do than I expected.
  • I feel it was fortunate that the Parish Retreat occurred so early in the new year. It helped me become more focused after the fragmentation caused by Christmas and the New Year.
  • Healing took place through reading and the spoken word, which led to prayer, meditation and comprehension. Unconsciously we were led to see past events in a different perspective. We were able to confess our hurts to God, who has given us the confidence and healing to move on. Greater healing came through God’s timing of events and shared experiences. May God’s words to Elijah bring healing to even more people who are able to trace their path back to find unconscious wounds, receive forgiveness and God’s love through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour.
  • Good Shepherd Retreat Centre has the most wonderful setting and what better place to gaze at the mountains and the dam and feel God’s hand in all of it. I could see how God can look from a different plane and not see the ugliness in us and the world, but look on what He had created as it was meant to be. I thought Fr Allan’s gentle sincerity was a blessing. His message of our not being able to stay hidden in a safe place, but that we need to be equipped for the real world, hit home hard. It was over all too soon.
  • We left for home feeling spiritually enriched and refreshed from a peaceful and meaningful weekend with a deep sense of wonder at the infinite variety of nature and the unfathomable skill of our eternal Father.
  • Hopefully there will be more such Parish Retreats in the future.
  • I will definitely be going on the next retreat.
  • Having attended this retreat, I will endeavour to repeat the experience annually.
  • Would I go again? – An unequivocal ‘Yes!’

Jill Daugherty


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Contents

Foreword

Letter from the Rector

The 'Building Bridges of Care' Project

Notes on Radio Talks

The Soup Kitchen

Hymnody, the Hymn Book and Prayer

The Parish Retreat

The Parish Retreat Photos

The Lighthouse

A New Version of the Creation Story



THE ‘BUILDING BRIDGES OF CARE’ PROJECT

This is what is required from you, the parishioners:

I would like to know from each of you if you belong to any group that involves the people from St Francis of Assisi, be it arranging flowers, choir, Bible Study, Community project, Sunday School, Youth Group, Community outreach by the youth, etc.

I wish to know the following:

  • The name of the Project

  • How long it has been running

  • What community is served

  • The result planned for the project

  • Measures to develop self-sustainability

  • The structure of the working group

  • The number of parishioners currently involved

  • Community involvement (numbers also)

  • The success of the project and specific needs at present to make it more effective

  • How you classify the project in terms of HEALTH, HUNGER, HUMANITY

Please also give these details for each project (on the same form):

  • The number of beneficiaries

  • The parish involvement

  • The degree to which persons who are not members of the parish are involved

This information will enable us to marshal resources and supplement those available from individual parishes. In this way we will be able to Build Bridges of Care.

I would also like to have a poster display on all these projects in the church and parish centre so that we can encourage those who are not involved in anything to become involved.


Radio Talks : 1

Lenten Activities:

  • Inspection

  • Communion

  • Decision

  • Action

Crowd out frivolous and non-essential activities
Give up criticism, judging, over-spending, the Sunday papers
Give money saved to a cause or person not normally supported

Give
time to visit
Give
self to God

Rev Dr Una Smuts, 3 March 1981

Radio Talks : 2

Oh thou Spirit Divine
All my nature refine
Till thy likeness is seen in me

Television was invented by John Baird in 1922 and first used by the BBC in 1929.

Jesus’ disciples are like TV cameras transmitting His likeness down the ages to us, especially John the Baptist (see John I:1ff).

‘This New Day’ by Capt Dalziel, 26 February 1981

 Notes by Joy Hopking


HYMNODY, THE HYMN BOOK AND PRAYER

William Shakespeare said: If music be the food of love, play on.
Perhaps there is another maxim that says: If music be the food of prayer, pray on.

Hymnody (the singing of hymns at Divine Service) has always been an essential part of our Anglican Service and the Rites attached thereto. The reason for this is that they were designed to be part of the Service, assisting us in all aspects of the Service, be it Praise or Prayer or simple Devotion. Hymnody is part of our heritage and should therefore be performed as well as possible, whether accompanied by a musical instrument or not. Perhaps there is another use for The Hymn Book as such, and that is in our daily devotions.

Hymns Ancient and Modern as well as modern hymnbooks are designed to fit into the Church Seasons and the words and the tunes take this into account. It is this aspect that I submit should be taken into account.

If anybody else is like me, then Prayer is important in your life. It is however not easy to pray at times when we have difficulties facing us, and we find it difficult to concentrate. This is one of the alternative uses of the hymnbook with its hymns for all seasons, special occasions, and other needs. The words laid down are often comforting when read as part of a prayer time, especially to start your prayer time if you are sitting in church or a peaceful place where you pray.

AMR 560 starts:  

Tis good Lord to be here,
Thy glory fills the night/day,
Thy face and garments, like the sun,
Shine with unborrowed light

The Hymn ends:

Tis good Lord to be here,
Yet we may not remain,
But since thou bidst us leave the mount,
Come with us to the plain

(A bidding for us to go out and asking God to accompany us.)

The main reason for this dissertation is to take you through Holy Week in the Hymn Book and the opportunities it provides us for assistance in our prayers and devotions.  

Holy Week begins with Passion /Palm Sunday and Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem, and continues through the week.

AMR   99 – Ride on, ride on in majesty
AMR   98 – All Glory Laud and Honour
AMR 102 – My song is love unknown (A good devotion)
AMR 106 – My God I love thee,
                 Not because I hope for heaven thereby  
AMR 108 – When I survey the Wondrous cross

We then progress to Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday and finally the triumphant Easter morning. The hymns in this area are not well known. Hymns No 109 to 127 will help you to focus on the Cross and the happenings during this time.

Easter Morning
The hymns are many and varied and go from AMR 128 to 143, where there are many glorious hymns for your consumption and use in devotions. First lines include:

No 128 – Ye choirs of new Jerusalem
No 131 – Christ the Lord is risen today
No 132 – The day of Resurrection
No 133 – Come ye faithful raise the strain of triumphant gladness
Nos 141 to 143 are Reflections on Easter:
- Love’s redeeming work is done
- The Lord is risen indeed 

This is meant to show you that there is another source of inspiration, in addition to your Bible and the Anglican Prayer Book, for your devotions. This does not mean that you should take the hymnbooks home for your personal use!

Yours in Christ
Robin Godfrey

The Parish Retreat Photos


Meditating in the Garden


View over Hartebeespoort Dam


Meeting Hall and Koppie we climbed


Good Shepherd Fauna: Giant Snail


THE LIGHTHOUSE

During the recent prayer walk I found it difficult, being a mere male, to pray AND follow a rocky path at the same time! So I asked God to show me what it was He wanted me to think and pray about during this time. This is the picture He gave me.

Consider the lighthouse:

  • It's a very simple structure, but majestic in many ways.

  • It is always positioned in places where all can see it.

  • It is often in places that are subject to hostile weather and sea conditions

  • Its purpose is entirely to assist those who need guidance.

  • Lighthouses are always identified on charts so that seafarers can chart their course in relation to the lighthouse, thereby ensuring that they do not run into difficulties.

  • Seafarers ignore the lighthouse signals at their peril.

  • To be effective, the lighthouse must ALWAYS be in good working order. (I am told that the first sign of a country in trouble is when the lighthouses are not maintained.)

  • The lighthouse needs a lighthouse-keeper to ensure that the windows are kept clean and the bulbs replaced regularly.

  • It has to be continually connected to a power supply.
  • As a charted beacon, it must alwas send out the SAME signal. If its signal changed from time to time seafarers would be confused and would not be able to pinpoint their positions accurately. Should this happen frequently, seafares would no longer trust these signals.

All of us, whether we are individuals, families, or church communities, should consider ourselves a lighthouse, portraying the characteristics listed above.

No one lights a lamp and hides it in a jar or puts it under the bed. Instead he puts it on a stand, so that those who come in can see it.   (Luke 8:16)

 L Each lighthouse needs a lighthouse keeper to change the light bulbs and keep the windows clean
 I Each lighthouse is clearly identified on all charts.
 G To be effective they must be kept in good working order.
 H Their sole purpose is to provide help for those who need it.
 T Every lighthouse is tall and can easily be seen by everyone.
 H Lighthouses are often placed in hostile weather and sea conditions.
 O They are out there for all to see and those who ignore them do so at their peril.
 U Lighthouses have an uncomplicated structure, but are majestic nevertheless.
 S As a charted beacon, a lighthouse must always send out the same signal. If its signal changed from time to time, seafarers would be confused and would not be able to pinpoint their positions accurately. Should this happen frequently, seafarers would no longer trust these signals.
 E It has to be connected to an uninterrupted energy source.

Rob Lewis


A NEW VERSION OF THE CREATION STORY

On the first day God created the dog. God said, "Sit all day by the door of your house and bark at anyone who comes in or walks past. I will give you a life span of twenty years." The dog said, "That's too long to be barking, give me ten years and I'll give you back the other ten."

So God agreed.

On the second day God created the Monkey. God said, "Entertain people, do monkey tricks and make them laugh. I will give you a twenty year life span."  The monkey said, "How boring, monkey tricks for twenty years? I don't think so. Dog gave you back ten, so that's what I'll do too, okay?"

So God agreed.

On the third day God created the cow. God said, "You must go to the field with the farmer all day long and suffer under the sun, have calves and give milk to support the farmer. I will give you a life span of sixty years."  The cow said, "That's kind of a tough life you want me to live for sixty years. Let me have twenty and I'll give back the other forty."

And God agreed again.

On the fourth day God created man. God said, "Eat, sleep, play, marry and enjoy your life. I'll give you twenty years."  Man said, "What? Only twenty years! I'll tell you what, I'll take my twenty, and the forty the cow gave back and the ten the monkey gave back and the ten the dog gave back, that makes eighty, Okay?"

"Okay," said God, "You've got a deal."

So that is why the first twenty years we eat, sleep, play and enjoy ourselves; for the next forty years we slave in the sun to support our family; for the next ten years we do monkey tricks to entertain the grandchildren; and for the last ten years we sit on the front porch and bark at everyone.

A recent e-mail message


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