Pastoral Letter – Fish Hoek Methodist Church18 December 2020
Greetings to you all
“In his name the nations will put their hope” – Matthew 12:21
I admit that I imagined this Pastoral Letter to be very different from what it now contains for us. Covid-19 has certainly thrown us all into a new way of life and turned our lives completely upside down. Please can you read through this brief letter and pass on all relevant information to friends, family and our community at large. Thank you.
1. The breaking news this week that we need to suspend ALL our worship services for the next 6 weeks comes as a shock to a number of us, but considering the massive spike in infections, it is the safest option for now. This suspension also sadly includes our outdoor Carol service. Our sadness and grief at not having ‘normal’ Christmas Services is immense, but we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, the reason for our Hope, Peace and Joy.
Please understand that the Bishop’s decision was not taken lightly as this is the highlight of our ministry calendar too. To end up doing our Easter and Christmas Services differently this year has been tough, but I am thankful that God is still Lord of All. I am also thankful that we can make use of our technology and so please visit our website for our Church services, letters, worship songs and so on (www.fhmc.co.za).
2. 24th December 2020 – I have been granted special permission by the Bishop to keep our Thursday prayers open on the 24th December (Christmas Eve). We have also asked some of our musicians to play songs, hymns and carols during the course of this morning. We are opening the Church between 9am and 1pm on the 24th December. You will be able to come with your family or friends and spend time in the sanctuary, for as long as you like. Of course, it will not be the same as a ‘normal’ service, but it does give us a chance to pray and worship Christ in some way.
3. Look out for one another – we know that Christmas is a lonely time for many people, so let us not let Covid take away our kindness and generosity. We can still love one another and meet in small groups, Bible Studies and homes. Perhaps ask someone to join your Christmas meal and in this way we can share the love of Jesus with all around us.
4. Love Boxes – We would still like to pass these onto people in need, so please can you can bring them to office on Monday (21st) or Tuesday (22nd), between 8:30am and 2pm.
5. Our Christmas Day offering has always gone to support Children’s ministry in the District, with particular focus on Marsh Children’s Home. If you would still like to support these kids in need, please mark your electronic giving with the ‘Children’s Home’ as a reference. Thank you.
6. Our Church Office will be officially closed from the 24th December – 4 January. In the case of an emergency please contact one of the Society Stewards.
These are the dates we will post our Online Messages and Services:
– 20th December – Sunday service
– 21st December – Extended service on our website – 9 Lessons & Carols.
– 25th December – Christmas Day service
– 27th December – Sunday message
– 3rd January – Sunday message
Thank you for your understanding and prayers during these days of trial and uncertainty. We will get through this together, with the grace of God.
Hebrews 4:16 – Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
Living in Grace
Delme and Kim