Grace and peace to you from God our Father and His Son Jesus Christ.
In our daily evening prayers at 7, on the 4th of July we prayed for revival of our Local Church.
In that reflection we acknowledged that a “God honouring local church is the key to spiritually healthy Christians and effective ministry.” then we prayed for God to:
• Pour out His Spirit on our church;
• Break down all barriers to revival;
• Fill our church family with His Spirit;
• Strengthen our church family’s burden for holiness;
• Increase joy in our fellowship;
• Strengthen our church’s commitment to its mission and
• Raise up more laborers for ministry.
As we respond to God in a new way of doing church, we need to change our actions and of course this is what we are trying to figure out how to do.
We need to design new ways of interaction, that must be based on your needs, and I as your Rector, will only know your needs if you speak up.
At present we are united in prayer around the Daily Offices and a morning and evening prayer theme. The Daily Office is made available on WhatsApp (Daily Office Group) every morning at 06h00 and every evening at 16h00, it includes the readings of the day. We also have a Zoom meeting at 08h00 and 17h30 (St Francis Chapel). If there is an interest expressed, we will consider including a WhatsApp broadcast of our Midweek Eucharist at 08h00. I will send out a MIDWEEK EUCHARIST GROUP invite. Participants provide their own bread and wine and join in the Liturgy – sound and video capability is required.
I do realize that a “text only” version of the Eucharist may be required for people that only have access to email. (PLEASE ASK if you wish us to develop an email service ministry).
Under these circumstances, much of the development of our relationship with God has to be done on our own. This could well leave us with lots of unanswered questions around the scriptures and our understanding of our faith. Our online church is not the same as the many bible verses and devotions that are available on social media, though these are very valuable, they are really just for personal motivation. Our Parish Online Ministry is an engagement, is a means to hold us together as the family of God. We are building a unity within our community by facilitating a discussion in our Corporate services and prayer pointers: A discussion with each other and with God. It is critical that we develop not just a personal spirituality but a community/communal/ corporate spirituality too. In the modern world it is all too easy to develop an individualistic approach to our “life in Christ.”
I cannot emphasize this enough, we need to be interactive to avoid simply walking alongside other Christians and being of a similar mindset and calling that ‘unity in Christ.’
We need to overcome our physical distancing and build a social cohesion, we need to overcome our individualistic approach to our spirituality, it starts with sharing our faith with others and I am pleased to see that happening, but we need to do more. We need to reach out to each other and build support groups amongst each other. In those support groups we need to discuss our fears and our challenges and our questions and seek direction for those.
We have two campaigns running at present – #itstartswithme and Revival. I encourage you to engage with these topics and to commit yourself to seeking life “In Christ.”
Together we can overcome the impacts of the Global pandemic. Together we can build a new life for us all, a life of purpose and meaning and hope.
Don’t be a passive bystander, in the words of Deuteronomy 7: 6,7 “These words I am commanding you today are to be upon your hearts. And you shall teach them diligently to your children and speak of them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”
This is a time to get your life with God right and the Church is there to help you do that. The Church is the people, life in Christ means being one with God and one with each other.
As St Paul said to Timothy so I say to you “Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given you through the prophecy spoken over you at the laying on of the hands of the elders. Be diligent in these matters and absorbed in them, so that your progress will be evident to all. Pay close attention to your life and to your teaching. Persevere in these things, for by so doing you will save both yourself and those who hear you.” (1Tim 4:14-16).
Let us commit to being a community of Christ!
Be assured of my love and prayers.
“If we are led by the Spirit let us walk by the Spirit! “(Galatians 5:25)