Winter T I D I N G S 1999

Our Rector Writes
Archbishop Sets The Tone For Synod
Churches Hail Girl’s Millennium PrayerMoments of Healing
“Lessons from a Sheepdog” Preacher’s Dilemma  A Story to Remember
A Flood of Evidence
Genuine Newspaper Headlines



Welcome to the winter edition of Tidings. When searching for a graphic for the front cover, scenes of tobogganing, snowmen (I'm sorry, snow people) and Christmas bonhomie jumped out at me. Oddly enough, this made me think that it would be much easier to eat large amounts of turkey and Christmas pudding around this time of year than it normally is in the heat of mid-summer. There should surely be some winter feast invented for the southern hemisphere for this purpose?
Putting such musings aside, I would like, if I may, to use this space to mentions a few things about contributions to Tidings. I am always amazed how, at the last minute, each edition of Tidings falls into place with the many, high quality inputs that are sent in. Despite not managing to send personal notes of thanks to each of the people who contribute, I am constantly grateful to those who do spend the time to search out or to write material for the newsletter. I do try to attribute each piece to the person who sent it, unless a name is not supplied (anonymous contributions are also quite acceptable). Material is rarely rejected, and usually only because it has been included in previous editions, or because it may be more appropriate in a later edition. You are always welcome to contact me if you have sent something in and it hasn't appeared for some time (my filing system not being what it should be). Comments on content and presentation are also much appreciated, and can help to improve the newsletter over time.
My thanks again for all your support. Ed.

Editor: Mark Napier. Tel. 012-9987992 (home), Email:
Typing: Christine Lawrie. Production: Anne Allison. Collation: Amy Macnamara
St Francis of Assisi Anglican Church, 373 Milner Street, Waterkloof, 0181
Tel. 012-346 1106/7, Fax: 346 4226. Rector: Ven. Martin Breytenbach

 Our Rector Writes...
Dear Friends in Christ,
St Francis School of Discipleship
If you have already attended an Alpha Course, you can probably picture this scene. At about 6.45 on a Wednesday evening, people begin to arrive for supper and an enjoyable social time together. After supper, the group gathers for a short time of worship, and then goes to different parts of the Church complex for different programmes:
· Some stay in the hall for Alpha;
· Some go into the church for SWord (Study the Word) - and are joined by participants who could not come for the supper;
· Others go to different rooms for various courses that are taking place.
That, in essence, is the vision for the St Francis School of Discipleship. We plan to start expanding from the existing Alpha course to something bigger in the second half of this year, by running a SWord course at the same time: from 25th August to 27th November. Over time, our dream is for whole number of “classes” to take place simultaneously on Wednesday evenings at St Francis.At this stage we will run the two courses:
· Alpha
For those who would like to investigate a deeper relationship with God, or explore the basics of the Christian faith.
· SWord
For those who want to get to know the Bible better, and learn skills to study God’s Word more effectively. 
There will soon be pamphlets in church, giving details of both these courses. I hope you will come on one of them! You may also want to bring a friend or two - Alpha and SWord are not only for members of St Francis church.
If you would like to know more about the theoretical background to these courses, read on!
Some Theory
The overall goal of discipleship is to help people to grow at every stage in their relationship with God, themselves, the church and the world. The vision for this process is explained in the “Vision 2000” newsletter produced in November 1998 (pp 1-2, 3).The planned St Francis School of Discipleship will be a formal teaching programme that is part of the process of making disciples at St Francis church. A great deal of discipling already takes place in other ways, or is in the process of being planned, for example:
· House Churches
· OASIS Youth Group
· Women’s Forum· TEE Studies
· Diocesan Courses
· In Ministry Groups
· Quiet Days
· Sunday Sermons
· Men’s Breakfast· Training and participation in Diocesan and SOMA missions
· Mentoring of trainee Worship Leaders by those who are more experienced
Much of our Christian growth and discipleship takes place through socialisation, as we influence and are influenced by others in our community life together.
True Christian education addresses the whole person - failure to do that leads to dissonance and confusion. Therefore, all of our programmes need to include:
· imparting knowledge so that participants grow in understanding of the faith;
· working on skills so that our behaviour is increasingly conformed to Christ; and
· challenging attitudes so that our will is to serve the Kingdom of God.
It has been proved that the most effective learning takes place when the learning cycle is deliberately applied:
è Experience è Reflection è Information è Experience è Reflection è Information è etc.
This is harder work for leaders and participants alike, but is essential for true discipleship to take place.
Jesus used all of these concepts as he turned his followers into disciples, and we plan to do the same in our School of Discipleship. I believe that it will be one of the most exciting developments at St Francis for many years - and will provide a wonderful framework to build on the good work that is already being done by Alpha.
The Future?
As far as the future (2000 and beyond) is concerned, the possibilities are almost endless. We already have a number of ideas, and some of our clergy and leaders are working on them. Here are some of the possible courses that could become part of the School of Discipleship next year:
Step 1: Knowing Christ
· Goal: Committed to Membership
Questions Group
For people who would like to discuss and wrestle with difficult questions of doubt and faith.
Step 2: Growing in Christ
· Goal: Committed to Maturity
Personal Enrichment
Similar to the “Life Line” course, but with a more Christian contentParenting
“STEP” and “STEP Teen” are excellent and well proven coursesCelebration of Discipline
Christian Spirituality, based on Richard Foster’s excellent bookPeople of the Spirit
Study Guide by Jack Hayford - a good follow-up to Alpha
MBTI (Myers Briggs Type Indicator)
Helpful for self understanding, personal and relational growth
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
Bible Study Guide based on the best selling book by Stephen Covey
Open Door Retreat
Training and growth in prayer and personal spirituality
Step 3: Serving Christ
· Goal: Committed to Ministry
God’s Way to WholenessStudy Guide by Jack Hayford on the Healing Ministry
Appointed to Leadership
Study Guide by Jack Hayford for those called to Christian leadership
Listening Skills
Establishing a group of trained people for a ministry of Christian Listening - to complement that of the prayer team
Every Member Ministry
Equipping and encouraging one another to see our daily occupations as ministry
Step 4: Sharing Christ
· Goal: Committed to Missions
Training and taking people SOMA missions to other countries.
Diocesan Missions
Being part of Diocesan teams to parishes and congregations that request missions
All of this will take time! But what an exciting, motivating vision for us to get working on. As we implement it, we will find that all of us begin to grow as disciples of Jesus Christ in many ways.
Nominated Again!
You have probably heard by now that I have been nominated for Bishop again - this time in the Diocese of St Mark the Evangelist, which covers most of the vast Northern Province and is based in Pietersburg. Bishop Philip Le Feuvre, who has been there for 11 years, retires at the end of January 2000.
Please pray for Sarah, the children and me - it is a very unsettling, exposing and vulnerable experience. But it is also one in which we are growing in faith, learning to hold firmly to Jesus as our only security. The Elective Assembly takes place from 5th to 7th August (fortunately I don’t have to be present), so we should know the result before Sunday 8th August. The newly elected Bishop will take up office early next year.Please also pray for the Diocese of St Mark the Evangelist (its area includes the largest number of unevangelised people in South Africa), that they may discern the will of God, and elect the person whom he has chosen and anointed for the task. And remember the other candidates, who are going through the same upheaval as we are: George Mashwama (Diocese of Swaziland), Sitembele Mzimane (Diocese of St John in the Eastern Cape) and Joe Tsubella (Diocese of the Highveld).
In this midst of this, God has spoken very clearly to me:
· First, he challenged me to seek first his kingdom, and to trust him to look after me and my family;
· Then, he began to challenge me to be ready to step out beyond by comfort zone (St Francis and the Diocese of Pretoria?) in order to follow him;
· Finally, be began to show me how the call I have felt to mission could be fulfilled if I were to be elected.
All we can do now is wait and see what God and his church decides! We are also praying for you - because we know that every time something like this happens it creates insecurity for the parish too.
To God be the glory - and may his Kingdom come in all our lives!
Martin Breytenbach
Archbishop's Charge Sets The Tone For Synod
Each day, the proceedings of the Synod were reported on the CPSA web site. Here is a report from the Media Office. See for more.

The Archbishop of Cape Town, The Most Revd Njongonkulu Ndungane, presiding over his first Provincial Synod, delivered a thought provoking and challenging charge to the 29th Session of Provincial Synod.
The Archbishop adopted the concept of "Journey to Wholeness" as the overarching theme for this session of Synod. The theme is deeply rooted in the Biblical tradition and the pastoral experience of the Christian community. It arises from God's invitation to all creation to discover its unity and wholeness.
The Archbishop said: "We have not lived well with our differences. We have allowed them to form the basis for exclusion, prejudice and intolerance." The Archbishop challenged the Church to live with 'Difference and Otherness' and to start to learn how to celebrate the wealth of difference that God has created".
The Archbishop sketched a journey down memory lane drawing attention to some significant milestones in the history of the CPSA. Memory is deeply rooted in our Church Tradition and skillfully the Archbishop wove into his text the rich tapestry of diversity of the leadership that has helped to shape the profile of the CPSA.
Our founder Robert Gray has been firmly placed in the memory of the Anglicans in Southern Africa and the Charge reminded Synod of its origin. Former Archbishops were acknowledged for the rich contributions they made. Njongonkulu said of Desmond Tutu: "The courageous leadership of Desmond Tutu during the standing for the Truth Campaign in the latter part of the 80's which saw the collapsing of the granite wall of apartheid is to be singled out for praise."
The Welfare Of Clergy
The Archbishop also acknowledged the work of the clergy in the parishes of the dioceses in the Province. The Archbishop expressed particular concern for the welfare of Clergy and their families. He said: "There have been two commissions in the Province looking at the welfare of the clergy. It is one thing to accept recommendations at a Provincial meeting. However it is another thing to see that these recommendations are implemented."
In a wide-ranging section of his Charge the Archbishop analysed several factors which he saw as challenges to wholeness. He began by referring to the ecumenical climate and the various attempts being made to foster unity amongst the Churches. The Archbishop referred to the work of the Church Unity Commission and the WCC. In a special section he applauded the work of ARCIC and the African Anglican Lutheran Dialogue.
In the final section the Archbishop drew attention to the needs of children and young people. He said: "Young people are the constituency of our church who will be the leadership of tomorrow. Their presence in our parishes often goes unacknowledged and their needs are ignored. The resources we offer to equip them fafor faith and life are woefully inadequate."
The Archbishop concluded his reflection on "The Journey to Wholeness" by pointing to some route markers on this journey. These included, he said, the place of education and training for ministry in our church.
In conclusion, the Archbishop said: "We have reflected on that diversity within the wholeness that is the Trinity. We have considered some of the challenges and threats to our wholeness; threats posed by poverty, violence and prejudice. We have reminded ourselves of the value of education. This week in our bible studies on the letter to the Ephesians we will again look at the journey to wholeness.
In our debates and our socialising in our worship and leisure, during the course of this session of Synod, may we look for ways to allow our diversity to mirror the divine diversity, rather than allow our diversity to divide us from ourselves and one another."

There is great beauty in old trees,
Old streets and ruins old.
Why should not I, as well as these,
Grow lovely, growing old?
(engraved on a pathside rock at the beautiful little church
of St Just-in-Roseland, Cornwall, UK)
From Joy Hopking
The weaving of peace be thine
Peace around thy soul entwine
Peace of the Father flowing free
Peace of the Son sitting over thee
Peace of the Spirit for thee and me
Peace of the one
Peace of the Three
A weaving of peace be upon thee.
Around thee twine the Three
The One the Trinity
The Father bind his love
The Son tie his salvation
The Spirit wrap his power
Make you a new creation
Around thee twine the Three
The encircling of the Trinity
Churches Hail Girl’s Millennium PrayerBy Anthea Lawson, The Times
From Susan Smith
A 14-year-old girl has beaten hundreds of entries in a competition to write a prayer for the millennium. It will be read in churches across [Britain] on January 1.
Anna Crompton, from Ipswich, yesterday read her winning entry in the Open Churches Trust Competition to a VIP Audience at Lambeth Palace hosted by the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Dr George Carey said: “Anna’s prayer won because to our minds it captured both the sadness in the world today and the hope that through God’s help we can make it a better place. It is a true new millennium prayer.”Anna, who attends Ipswich High School, said “ I wrote the prayer because I hoped it would help us all to recognise ways we could improve our lives and the world around us.” She said she had been watching East Enders when the idea came to her. “My religious education teacher had set it as homework. Once I had the idea it took only about half and hour to write.”The judges, many of whom were present for her reading included Dr Carey, the late Cardinal Basil Hume, Archbishop Gregorios, head of the Orthodox Church in Britain, the Reverend Anthony Burnham, Moderator of the Free Church Council, and represent-atives of the Churches of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. They were unanimous in their praise. “It’s very mature and world conscious, and it’s got a great rhythm.” said Dr Joel Edwards, general director of the Evangelical Alliance UK.“For me it was very clearly the winner.” Archbishop Gregorios said. “It is very simple, but very exact, with all the expectations of people for the next millennium. It is an inspiration.”Anna’s prayer will be included in a 15-minute service offered to churches of all denominations in Britain and abroad for use at noon on the first day of next year. It will also be set to music and sung by Charlotte Church for the Millennium edition of BBC1’s Songs of Praise.The service is part of Celebration 2000, an Open Churches Trust initiative to celebrate the anniversary of the birth of Jesus Christ on the third millennium, which has the support of Christian leaders throughout Britain. Dr Carey thanked Lord Lloyd-Webber, also one of the competition judges and founder of the Open Churches Trust.
“It was under his inspiration and guidance that the Open Churches Trust seized the opportunity to link a short service at 12 noon on January 1, 2000, to the bell-ringing that will be taking place all over the country at that time. It should make a joyful sound and well deserves the name Celebration 2000.The Open Churches Trust was founded six years ago by Lord Lloyd-Webber to open Britain’s locked churches to the public. Lord Bragg, who was also present at the reception, is a trustee.In its plans for Celebration 2000, the Trust decided that the prayer should be written by a young person to reflect their hopes for the future. Head teachers of secondary schools were contacted to invite them to enter a prayer.
Lord Lloyd-Webber said: “It’s a very direct prayer and contains some similar sentiments to the Sermon on the Mount.”Anna’s father Peter, director of music at the Royal Hospital School in Ipswich, was at the reading with his wife Angela and their Son Sam, 10.Praising his daughter’s achievement he said: “We’re extremely proud. One of the things that comes through from Anna’s message, as with a lot of young people, is that things are not just about the past. It’s about looking to the future as well. 
The Winning Entry
Dear Lord our heavenly Father,
At the dawn of a new Millennium:
In a world of darkness,
give us your light;
In lands of war and prejudice,
grant us peace;
In a world of despair,
give us hope;
In a world of sadness and tears,
show us your joy;
In a world of hatred,
show us your love;
In a world of arrogance,
give us humility;
In a world of disbelief,
give us faith.
Give us the courage to face the challenges of
feeding the hungry;
clothing the naked;
housing the homeless;
and healing the sick.
Give us the power to make a difference in your world, and to protect your creation.
Through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
by Ed Smith
In reading for an assignment on healing later this year I have been struck by the amazing variety of views, practices and sheer all-embracing nature of the human experience of healing. A recent, excruciatingly painful, experience with a kidney stone showed me a side to healing that I did not realize existed. I experienced what I will call moments of healing which brought more than mere physical healing. Here are some glimpses.
The reassuring knowledge that Archie would be there to take me to the doctor because it was still too cold for Gloria to go out. The graciousness of the admission clerk at the Pretoria Urological Hospital in urging Gloria to see me settled in a ward (sun-filled and with a view of trees) first before returning to provide the necessary details. Efficient, sympathetic staff installed a drip which provided relief from pain. A quick shave followed by a shower, in spite of having to cope with a drip, made me feel more human. A considerate Radiologist explained where the kidney stone was located and what were the possible procedures I could expect. During my wait for a turn in the theatre a smiling nurse came up to my bed and asked whether I was meditating or praying. She then requested prayer for the theatre staff. I remember being helped onto the operating table and the next thing I knew my daughter, Susan, was asking me whether I was all right. I thought, This is strange! What was she doing in the theatre and why had I not been operated on yet? This reminds me of the time when Trix Edwards, after an operation, asked her surgeon whether he was sure that he had operated on her! During visiting hours a shy little girl presented me with a liquorice date! The Urologist was able to use a simple procedure to remove the kidney stone. Just over a day after admission I was home again - another moment in the ongoing healing chain!        

Book Review: “Lessons from a Sheepdog” by Phillip Keller 
Through the captivating story of his experience with “Lass”, his beloved Border Collie, the writer shows that only as Christians submit to the loving discipline of the Shepherd do they become responsive to His love and discover fulfillment.Keller writes that he found a piece of neglected ranch property on a peninsula of land at the southern tip of Vancouver Island. He had insufficient funds left to purchase cattle so was obliged to start out with sheep. The property was named “Fairwinds”. He soon realised he simply had to find a good sheep dog. One day there was a short advertisement in the city newspaper - “Wanted - a good country home for pure bred Border Collie - chases cars and bicycles.” A lady, the owner of the dog, confessed to being unable to do anything with the dog and had it chained up and shackled by one back leg. Her name was “Lassie” and she was two years old. It was only after months of loving care that “Lass” became at all manageable but then showed great potential as a sheepdog and became her master’s shadow.Lass had to have her old habits broken, her energies redirected and her remarkable instincts channeled into the precise purposes for which she had been bred. The same principle holds true for us people. We have been created in the generous sovereignty of God to achieve great things with Him. He endows us with the inherent capacity to carry out His will and do His work in the world as we work together under His care. He is eager to see us share with Him in the sublime out-working of His purposes upon the planet.  Together it is His intention that we should touch many lives, enrich many spirits and bring many souls into His special care.
Lass discovered to her delight that what she had found was not new chains, or abuse or bondage. What she had come home to was warmth, understanding, affection, and the thrilling freedom to fulfil the purposes for which she had been bred. The lesson is so clear, so powerful, so profound it needs no further elaboration. The choice is ours whether or not we will come to Christ our Good Shepherd. The decision is ours whether or not we will decide to follow Him. For the person who does, it is to discover His boundless love, His enormous good will, His generous care.
When we truly know His touch upon our lives and sense the sweetness of His Spirit at work in our souls we are aware of being liberated into joyous experiences and adventurous undertakings of enormous enthusiasm.
Maud Charles

If his address is a few minutes longer than usual:
“He sends us to sleep.”If it’s short: “He hasn’t bothered.”If he raises his voice: “He’s shouting.”If he speaks normally: “You can’t understand a thing.”If he’s away: “He’s always on the road.”If he stays at home: “He's a stick-in-the-mud.”If he’s out visiting: “He’s never at home.”If he’s in the vicarage: “He never visits his parishioners.”If he talks finance: “He’s too fond of money.”If he doesn’t: “Nobody knows what he’s up to.”If he organizes a bazaar: “He wears everybody out.”If he doesn’t: “The parish is ....”If he takes time with people: “He goes on and on.”If he is brief: “He never listens.”If he redecorates the Church: “He’s spending too much money.”If he doesn’t: “He’s letting everything go.”If he is young: “He lacks experience.”If he’s old: “He ought to retire.”And if he dies .... Well, of course: “Nobody could ever take his place.” From Christine

His name was Fleming, and he was a poor Scottish farmer. One day, while trying to make a living for his family, he heard a cry for help coming from a nearby bog. He dropped his tools and ran to the bog. There, mired to his waist in black muck, was a terrified boy, screaming and struggling to free himself. Farmer Fleming saved the lad from what could have been a slow and terrifying death. The next day, a fancy carriage pulled up to the Scotsman's sparse surroundings. An elegantly dressed nobleman stepped out and introduced himself as the father of the boy Farmer Fleming had saved. "I want to repay you," said the nobleman. "You saved my son's life." "No, I can't accept payment for what I did," the Scottish farmer replied, waving off the offer. At that moment, the farmer's own son came to the door of the family hovel. "Is that your son?" the nobleman asked. "Yes," the farmer replied proudly. "I'll make you a deal. Let me take him and give him a good education. If the lad is anything like his father, he'll grow to a man you can be proud of." And that he did. In time, Farmer Fleming's son graduated from St. Mary's Hospital Medical School in London, and went on to become known throughout the world as the noted Sir Alexander Fleming, the discoverer of Penicillin. Years afterward, the nobleman's son was stricken with pneumonia. What saved him? Penicillin. The name of the nobleman? Lord Randolph Churchill. His son's name? Sir Winston Churchill.
From Martin

A Flood of Evidence
Two Scientists attempt to show that the story of Noah was based on a real event in history. Time, March 1, 1999. By Kate Noble.

The enjoyment of detective stories comes not so much from discovering who done it, but in following the layers of events, accidents and coincidences that lead up to a satisfying conclusion. At best the story will not be a straightforward narrative, but will interweave disparate, sometimes apparently unconnected, strands into a pleasing multi-textured piece.
Such a detective story is Noah's Flood (Simon and Schuster, 319 pages). The authors, marine geologists William Ryan and Walter Pitman, plot the events, ideas and discoveries that lead them to conclude that Noah's biblical flood was a real event in comparatively recent history. They believe that it took place not in the Middle East, as might be assumed from reading the Bible, but in the area around the Black Sea.
Scholars have long remarked on the striking similarities of the accounts of a great flood that appear both in the Old Testament and the Akkadian tale of Gilgamesh, the semi-mythical king who ruled southern Mesopotamia in the first half of the third millennium B.C. There are parallels between a chosen survivor- Noah in Genesis and Utnapishtim in the Akkadian version - the ark, the representative animals, and sending out three birds to find land. In both versions divine remorse is expressed- in Gilgamesh when a goddess's jewelled necklace is flung into the sky, and in Genesis when God sends a rainbow, both as a token of a covenant never to drown the world again. 
Starting from the assumption that the Flood must have been an event within the span of human memory, Ryan and Pitman began looking at geological events in the area around the Mediterranean that could have given rise to the story. They discounted the moment that the land bridge between Africa and Europe at Gibraltar collapsed, letting the Atlantic burst into what was then the virtually dry Mediterranean basin. That had happened about 5 million years ago, long before man appeared on earth.
The two scientists accumulated evidence from a number of experts in a range of scientific disciplines to support their idea that another massive inundation was a real possibility. From geological surveys of the Mediterranean and the Black Sea, Ryan and Pitman began to see a pattern in the types of tiny creatures found in core samples from both sea beds. Where alien salt water creatures had appeared suddenly in the Mediterranean at about the period of the Gibraltar dam burst, the same sorts of creatures appeared in the Black Sea around 7,600 years ago. 
Ryan and Pitman looked at the history of ice ages and their consequent effects on sea levels. From the strata on coral reefs off Barbados they found that the melting of the Eurasian ice sheet that peaked around 12,500 B.C. had occurred in pulses, the last being around the same time as the alien creatures appeared in the Black Sea. At the same time the inland, freshwater sea was about 107m below its present level, separated from the Mediterranean by an unbreached Bosporus. If the wall of rock at the Bosporus had collapsed in the same was as the Gibraltar dam, the two scientists speculate that around 42 cu km of water a day would have poured into the Black Sea, raising its level by 15cm each day and inundating more than 155,000 sq km within a few months.
The authors then turned to archaeology. It seems that from around 5,600 B.C. new peoples suddenly appeared all across southern Europe and the Middle East. The Vinca, a people who built post-and-beam houses and made gold and copper jewelry, made their way up the valley of the Danube from the Black Sea. Another farming people, the Linearbandkeramik, so called for their distinctive incised pottery, followed the Dniester across northern Europe as far as Paris. Other groups of farmers apparently migrated from the areas around the Black Sea and replaced traditional hunter-gatherer communities to the south as far as Egypt, across the Taurus mountains into the Middle East and north across the Caucasus to the Urals. Ryan and Pitman speculate that it was the catastrophic inundation of their homelands around the Black Sea that forced those people to begin their migration. 
When the authors turned their attention to the study of language they found that philologists assume that the proto-Indo-European language, the origin of most of the Eurasian tongues, must have emerged among the migrant populations. Those peoples probably took shared stories as well as language as they made their way across the continent, passing legends down through oral traditions- perhaps including the story of a great flood.
In the presentation of their ideas Ryan and Pitman sometimes slide into unnecessary embellishment, but when they stick to science their evidence is persuasive. If the case is not decisively proved, it is nevertheless a provocative and far ranging presentation of circumstantial evidence that helps to explain one of the formative myths of Western civilization. 


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