Pastoral Letter - 5 August 2021
Please read through this latest pastoral letter as there are some really important events unfolding in our community that I would like us all to be aware of. Thank you.
Returning to Worship services (in person) – we will make another slow start to corporate worship services on the 15th August at both morning services. We are all aware of the impact of the virus in our local communities at the moment and especially with the new Delta Variant. We also know that some family, friends and church members have contracted the virus and sadly some have passed away. So we need to be very vigilant as we gather together and abide by the regulations set for us by the Government and also via the Methodist Church Leadership. These include (amongst others):
- We are limited to 50 people per service.
- Masks are to be worn throughout the service.
- Social distancing to remain at 1.5m – only family members from the same household can sit together in the pews.
- Responsible singing is allowed, under strict guidelines.
- Registers are important for contact tracing purposes
- Pre-registration is vital for admin purposes
I appeal to each of us as we re-gather for worship to be sensitive to one another and to follow all protocols please. Unlike previous occasions, the reopening of any public space now comes with a greater degree of responsibility on the Minister of each local Church. It has been made clear to us that any breach of protocol carries the burden of a fine or imprisonment for the Minister in charge. So, unless you want me to start up a new Prison Ministry soon, please help me in this regard J Thank you.
Alternative Worship – If you feel that you are still not sure of coming to public gatherings, then we invite you to continue to worship online with us. These sermons will continue as usual for now. The weekly Bible studies will also be sent out. We are also going to open the Church on Thursdays again – this is for prayer and reflection and will be between 10:00 – 11:30am (starting Thursday 12th August).
Changes in Ministerial oversight for 2022
Not only has Covid-19 impacted our gathering as a Church over the past 16 months, but it has also now impacted our Circuit financial situation. This has had a ripple effect on the proposed invitation of a Minister to replace Rev. Olivia Le Roux, who is retiring at the end of this year. As it stands there will be no new minister arriving in her place for 2022, but we hope to have a replacement for 2023, depending on the financial situation of the Circuit.
Consequently, this will change the shape of the ministerial oversight of our Circuit, as we will be operating with only 3 Ordained Ministers. The potential changes will mean that each minister will pick up an extra society for next year.
Rev. Linscott will have oversight over Fish Hoek and Simons Town.
Rev. Mokuena – oversight over Masiphumelele and Ocean View.
Rev. Makubalo – oversight over Tokai and Muizenberg (West Lake will meet in the Tokai Church for the year).
I urge us to continue to pray into these proposals, as well as discerning where God is calling you to serve in the Body of Christ. It is clear that we will need to rely on the greater gifts of each of us if we are to continue God’s work in our communities. We know that God has a plan for us and we must just remain faithful to his call to be the Church.
Centenary Celebrations (100 years) – I know that the celebrations for our Centenary may not be shaping up as we may have hoped, but we are still going to make a huge effort to do what we can. A reminder that these are the upcoming events we have in mind:
- October – Centenary Challenge – signing up to complete a 100km in October, either by walking, running, cycling, swimming or hiking. This includes the Elsie’s Peak challenge, where we are hoping to make 100 combined ascents up to the beacon in a single day.
- 24th October – Celebration Service (and picnic) at Bay Primary School.
- Release of a special commemorative Booklet celebrating the last 100 years.
- Cents for Centenary – a financial contribution to leave a Legacy for the next part of our journey as a Church.
- One or two other events are also on the cards, but will depend on the Covid situation.
Thank you once again for your loyal support and prayers during these interesting times. I remain confident that God is good and that He will guide us through these tough times. I am convinced that Jesus is faithful and He will never us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).
Living in Grace
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference. Amen.