Pastoral Letter – Fish Hoek Methodist Church14 January 2021
Fish Hoek Methodist Church – 14th January 2021
Good morning everyone,
I pray that you had a restful New Year and that you are feeling peaceful, despite all the turmoil in the world around us. As we begin another year I wanted to take a few moments to share some thoughts with you and to keep us all connected as a Church community.
I had really hoped that we could be laying out some incredible plans and events for our Centenary Celebrations, but due to the uncertainty of Covid, we can only share tentative dates for now, and then fill in the ‘blanks’ as we go along. The two dates that we ask you to diarise now are these:
- Church Fete – 25th September
- Centenary Weekend – 22-24 October
The Easter weekend is from the 2-4 April and we will do all we can to prepare appropriately for this highlight in our Christian Calendar. Personally, I can’t imagine doing another Holy Week online, but if this is what needs to happen for the safety of our people, then we will just have to make it even better than 2020. The Lenten period begins with Ash Wednesday on the 17th February.
Lent Devotions – if you had planned to write a daily devotion for our Lent series this year please send it through to me ASAP. I want to try and get these sorted as soon as possible and I only have a few submissions so far. Please don’t be afraid to give it a try – just take a look at a copy of Faith For Daily Living and do something similar.
We have welcomed Michael Hardwick and Justine Tinker as new Society Stewards for 2021, but we are still in the process of appointing a few more leaders. Sadly, Lucille, Kayle, Aston and Jordan Oliver are going to be relocating soon – we will miss them and we thank Lucille for her loyalty as a steward over the last 2 years. We said farewell to Eliza, Tricia and Jenny in December and are looking forward to seeing them get involved in other ministries in the life of our church.
When President Cyril Ramaphosa addresses the nation he refers to the broadcast as a ‘family meeting’ and I would like to borrow his phrase for our church. As a family I want to urge us to remain vigilant and safe during this unprecedented time. The second wave in the Western Cape looks like it has begun to stabilise, but the rest of South Africa is still struggling and yet to reach their peaks.
We now all know people by name (family, friends, and colleagues) who have had the virus. This includes a fair number of us from our Church community, with some of us still in hospital. This is very real and we must prepare ourselves for a bumpy ride in 2021. Scientists and medical experts are suggesting we will encounter third/fourth waves this year until the vaccine has begun to change the impact of the virus.
As a Christian family we must continue to care for one another, help where we can and encourage those who are struggling. Prayer is our strongest weapon at a time like this. Let us pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17).
I realise that the very essence of our Christian experience is based on being ‘gathered together’ and worshipping in community. Obviously, it is not safe to do this like we used to (the old normal), but we are still able to be the ‘CHURCH.’ When the writer to the Hebrews was encouraging us to continue to meet together (Hebrews 10) the church was a lot smaller than it is now. There were fewer large gatherings and no church buildings. People met in homes, in small groups and out in the open. They didn’t cease to worship Jesus – they just carried on as they could. We must do the same. We will not cease to be the Church – we will just do it differently.
We will continue to offer as many aspects of ministry as we can, despite the limitations. I know that the Spirit of God will use every opportunity to nurture our faith and grow us. God has NOT changed, despite all the change we see around us.
Please connect with these ministry platforms as often as you can. They include:
- Sunday Sermons online – fhmc.co.za
- Weekly Bible Studies posted via Whatsapp (give us your Cell number if you aren’t getting these)
- Pastoral Letters – sent via email.
- Daily Devotions – these are uploaded via various social media platforms, but you can go to Livingingrace.co.za to access them.
- Care groups – most of our ministries, bible studies, groups in the church have connected via phone or whatsapp. Talk to your leaders if you aren’t on one of these groups as yet and we will make it happen.
Lastly, let us turn to Jesus to give us the strength we need in our times of suffering. Everyone around us is exhausted, fatigued and struggling. We need to be kind to one another and carry each other’s burdens. We just don’t know the weight of the trials our ‘neighbour’ may be carrying. God will help us get through this – I am convinced of that!
May God bless you and keep you.
May God make His face shine upon you and give you His peace!
Delme, Kim, Declan, Nathan and Joshua