Grace and peace to you from God our Father and His Son Jesus Christ!
I greet you in the Name of the Risen Christ.
I have come in order that you might have life–life in all its fullness. (Jesus – John 10:10b)
Today I’d like to look at the third Mark of Mission of Our Diocese.
The third Mark of Mission Diocese of Natal.
Community engagement and loving outreach.
“If I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.” (John 13:14)
* engaged in fostering peace, justice and reconciliation;
* nurturing godly leaders.
This is the one that has been most disrupted and where we have a lot of prayerful reordering to do in our lives. Rev Andre Du Plooy (Toti Methodist) shared last night about how we were already social distancing prior to this current pandemic. We had built walls between us and our neighbour and we had prejudices against one another. Now as Archbishop Thabo as reminded us, we are called to Physical Distancing but Social Solidarity (togetherness). We need to reorder our own lives and live out of the fullness of God’s love. Physical distancing enables us to move from the realm of physical solutions, physical remedies to addressing the real spiritual issues underneath.
This is such a huge mindset shift. We cannot go and deliver food to the hungry, thus this is a good time to deal with the spiritual reasons why they are hungry. Inequality, corruption, greed, politicking, indifference are the causes of hunger, our people were hungry before COVID 19 came on the scene. Our fight is not a physical one – Ephesians 6:12 “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (NIV).
If we are to truly address the hunger and the unemployment and the poverty in the world then we need to begin with a personal transformation a renewal of our own hearts. Therefore, if we want to truly address this Mark of Mission, we need to return to our re-ordering of our Life in the Spirit that we spoke of yesterday and grow in maturity. We must be at peace, to foster peace. We must be just to foster justice; we must be reconciled with ourselves and with God to be reconciled to others. We must lead our own lives in a godly fashion if we want our leaders to be godly.
Today let us not harden our hearts to the plight of others but let us reorder our lives so that we may live out of the fullness of life that Christ brings us.
A short note on what we are doing to serve the communities:
- We continue to pay our staff;
- we are actively involved in the COVID 19- Ward 97 Food Relief programme;
- we have identified Early childhood Development (ECD) centers to set up support centers in other Wards (109, 98, 96) where we have 526 Children plus the teachers and their families that we are looking to assist.
- We are supporting the S’nothando Creche (Ward 94) paying stipend to 3 teachers and giving food parcels to the families there.
We will investigate setting up these Creches as Relief Aid Centers. Our Partnership with Kingsburgh Family Welfare is being strengthened to achieve this. We currently have brought in a partner to assist with funding applications.
We also support St Monica’s Children’s home, we provide material support to 6 parishioners at present and have a DATA fund to assist the youth so that online schooling and online church can be made possible. This is what we are working on, while we face our own financial challenges and we seek to serve God, not out of our material abundance but out of our abundant love for Him.
- Step one: is for us to pray and have our hearts moved.
- Step two: is for us to give of our time and talents to support this ministry of loving outreach
- Step three: is to sustainably fund the work and ensure a long-term programme of community upliftment.
May God bless you abundantly, that you may be a blessing to others.