From The Rector's Desk

From the Rector’s Desk – 12 September 2020

“I am  the LORD, and I have called you in righteousness, I have taken you by the  hand and kept you; I have given you as a covenant to the people, a light to the nations, to open the eyes that are blind.” (Isaiah 42)

In the words of Psalm 42: 4 ” These things I remember, as I pour out my soul: how I used to go to the house of God under the protection of the Mighty One with shouts of joy and praise among the festive throng.”

Another Sunday will come and go with physical gatherings not happening in our parish. I am so grateful that we have an online ministry that we can come together and worship even though we are physically apart. I really encourage people to join us on Zoom or WhatsApp.

It was a delight to see the team at work at St Mary’s this morning preparing food for “men” at our soup kitchen. 15 food parcels were cooked and distributed.  

I wish to express my sincere gratitude to the people of this parish for the vote of confidence in the church that is being expressed in the giving. Thank you for making a plan to switch to EFT, thank you for making a plan to put cash together and arrange collection, or for dropping your offerings off, thank you for remining committed to God and his work in this place. Our tithes and offerings were higher this month and that is good news. In the situation that we find ourselves in financial sustainability is a key factor in how the church will be structured going forward. 

There has been much turmoil in our society this week and I ask you to fervently pray for our country as we struggle with the heartache that leads to quarrelling and anger and destruction. Let us all in every way that we can seek reconciliation and peace.  

The lockdown has been extended again, as we expected, and I beg you to be careful and diligent. I cannot over emphasise the call to being diligent, sensible and consider others. DO not give into suspicion, rumour and conspiracy, consider others, we stand in solidarity with the poor, vulnerable and aged, and the families and loved ones of the 42,000 excess deaths.

Wear your mask, it is a sacrifice that we make for the benefit of others, sanitise regularly, it is a sacrifice that we make for others, social distance, it is sacrifice that we make for others.  

Do not tire of doing good. (2 Thessalonians 3:13)

Our Matric’s have commenced with their Trial Exams and I ask you to keep them in prayer and let us stand with this group of young people who have had an incredibly difficult year. We salute the parents and teachers who have worked tireless to assist them. This is your moment; it is not how you expected it to be, but may God give you the courage and strength to make the best of it.

Pastoral care: I had indicated that we were going to start having Pastoral visits, and then the risk factor increased, and I decided against it, we will rethink this when the weather turns.

Feedback: Please note that we have had very little feedback from parishioners about establishing physical worship. You are invited to comment.

Ministry to the world: On Saturday, the 19th September, at the International Coastal Clean-up, the Minister of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs will launch the Inkwazi Isu (Fisheagle Project). This is a big achievement for Amanzimtoti in our quest for environmental justice and reconciliation. Please keep me and the team in your prayers as we prepare for that.

You may well hear things about the Kingsburgh Child and Family Welfare, which sadly has run out of funds and is struggling. St Mary’s is very supportive of the organization but unless we get younger volunteers, I don’t know how to keep its doors open. Please pray that God will give me wisdom to do what needs to be done.

My beloved people, let us not turn back from the plough. Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, let us support each other and uplift each other and commit to our life together. I pray that the God of all wisdom and mercy will fill you with the desire to serve Him, and the strength to life the life that you are called to.

Your fellow pilgrim

Andrew.

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