Monday, November 19, 2007

Preparations for Advent

As the year winds down, we become more reflective. We think of our new year's resolutions our goals and plans and we wonder: where did it all go wrong? For some of us, its not that gloomy though. Things have worked out, growth has taken place and we are ready to celebrate and some downtime to recharge. In our community we have been blessed with some significant processes and experiences, but then also some challenges. This period is for us in the South, concurrent with the season of Advent, reminding us of the coming of Jesus Christ to the earth, becoming human, standing alongside us. This is a reminded of God's identification with us, as humans. It reminds us how serious he takes the earthly stuff, he is in the process of renewing, remolding a new heaven, but also a new earth

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

CHURCH BOARD MEETING

We had a wonderful church board meeting last night, amazingly so. Thanks to all the members for their participation. We deliberated on a few key issues and some visionary,if not daring decisions were taken. Fundamental to this is the realization that we need to review how we configure our community. We are looking at clustering, of 'wyke'/cells. It seems wise to think in terms of 'Extension' in terms of one such cluster/ ward. Our current wyk 2 & 3 could function as one unit, whilst Zone 1, the new Extension 3 and 'Horseshoe' could be clustered as another ward and then lastly the suburbs West & North up to Centurion as another cluster. Of course it is understood that these clusters work out their own internal organizing and focus areas, but also ministry strategies within the broader vision, but it seems as if we are going in the direction of allowing space for 'unity in diversity.
Another key direction is to affirm the clustering of our core ministries, namely community, congregational and (what we've now added) teaching and worship (we'll still look at these terms)The Finances and Admin Taskteam (FAT) remains as a supportive ministry.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Unification with NG Kerk Vergesig- a step towards reconcilation ?

On Tuesday, 30 Oct 2007, a small delegation from our community met (again) with sisters and brothers from the Vergesig NG church, to discuss and plan a possible coming together of the two. Vergesig, as you might know, is a predominantly white congregation, with a history of mergers of smaller congregations in the Johannesburg-West area. The historic Langlaagte church building, opposite the well-known, Abraham Kriel children's home, is also part of this community of communities. In the quest for reformation, we constantly need to ask the question... where is the imperatives of the time, but more importantly Scripture, leading us towards. One key challenge for our time is: how do we overcome the legacy of racism and separatism (apartheid), in faith communities, who claim to be the embodiment of Gods grace and love. To this question De Young and others in a book called, United by Faith, argue the case for the multiracial congregation as the answer to the problem of race (at least from their US context). Whilst the salience of race is described in our own story [Amazing (G)race]- we however need to explore for ourselves, from our rich faith tradition what it means for us. In the light of this, we are again looking at a pilgrimage of unity, including 'stations' where we get together in prayer, plotting and planning, but also joint worship, under the direction of a Joint order/covenant of unity. This is a pilgrimage of reforming ourselves, thus hopefully re- or transforming Gods world, hopefully in the quest for reconciliation and healing.