Category Archives: Letter from Minister

Posts of Letters from the Ministers (they will determine the content) that are circulated to the Congregation (either via the weekly pewnotices or via email). These could be pdf attachments that visitors can download or can be blog type posts

A mid year update

Dear FriendsImage

We are almost at the end of the first half of the year.  Each day that passes, I am more conscious of grace (the unmerited love of God, given to those who do not deserve it), that our lives are undergirded by this grace. I have come to realise as well that St Mungo’s has been the recipients of that Grace – that God has been holding me, you and His Church by His grace.

Paul was always aware of how grace manifests itself in the lives of the people of God.  He writes to the Philippians 1:  3-11:

I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart; for whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.

We are having our Vision and Budget 2012/13 meeting on Monday 25 June to share with you the vision and how it will be resourced.  The vision contained in the 2004 Strategic Plan and the Making an Impact Programme remains the direction we are taking as the Lord leads us.  Please diarise the date – we would love all of you to come to the meeting.

The Church Council will present a budget reflecting a deficit of R575,400 for the year 2012/13.  We have discussed the following action points, that we want to share with you:

•An appeal to be made to any members who have not already made a pledge
•An appeal to those who are already pledging to increase their contribution
•Should this not fully cover the deficit then Council will look again to Portfolios to cut back on ministry and costs
•Should there still be a deficit then this will be offset against the accumulated reserves.

We believe that increasing the capacity of our ministerial team by calling a third minister as well as the building alterations will draw more people into the Kingdom which will lead to an increase in contributions.

In order to facilitate the smooth running of the meeting on Monday 25 June, any queries or concerns should be submitted to Iain Morrison on 011 465 1396 or iainfm@mweb.co.za ahead of time so that the necessary preparations can be made.

We give thanks to God for the many of you who give so generously to the life, ministry and mission of St Mungo’s “to know the Lord Jesus intimately, to share His love and truth passionately”.  We know that through the grace of God we will continue to contribute to the work of the Church.

I ask you to review any contributions you are already making to St Mungo’s to see whether God is leading you to increase your giving.  If you’re not already pledging please pray about making a commitment to regular financial giving to the ministry and mission of St Mungo’s.

Remember that your gifts to the work of the Kingdom are a

“fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, please to God, and my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.  To our God and Father, be glory forever and ever.  Amen. (Phil 4: 18b-20)

Mukondi and members of the Church Council join me in thanking you for your partnership in the work of the Kingdom.

Blessings

Can these bones live?

Dear Friends

In preparing for our Vision night & budget meeting the book of Ezekiel kept coming to my mind, particularly his experience walking with God in the valley of the dry bones (Read Ezekiel 37).  The question God asks him speaks to us today and challenges us as well “Can these bones lives?”

It is easy to lose hope, when it appears that we are overwhelmed by challenges that we face such as building, evangelism and the budget amongst others.  When we look around us we see what might appear to be a ‘valley of dry bones’ but we face the future, not in our own strength but that of Jesus Christ.

All around me I see how God is at work in the people of St Mungo’s and I find it so exciting.  We are entering an interesting phase in the life of St Mungo’s now and would love more of you to get involved in some way. There are some challenges that we must face – our primary mission : sharing the gospel with the many new people moving into the Bryanston and surrounding area; effectively managing our resources and getting on with the work our Lord has called us to do; the financial situation we found ourselves in – and not just here in St Mungo’s but within our country and finally the very desperate need we have to modernise our facilities.

But we do not need to be afraid or shaken.  We, like Ezekiel, can answer God’s question with “Oh Sovereign Lord, you alone know”.  As God took those dry bones and gave them ligaments and flesh and breathed life into them, He does the same to each of us.  Nothing is impossible for our God but He chooses to use us to accomplish His plans.  So I ask you to each prayerfully consider how you contribute to the life and work of St Mungo’s and take a step of faith and get involved.

Blessings

May/June Letter from Selaotswe

Dear Friends

I am always very aware of the grace that covers and goes with us as God’s people, that our loving and caring Father is holding His Church together in an amazing way.  Paul, in his letter to the Colossians (1: 15-20) reminds us of who Jesus is, what He came to do and what He has done for us. The key areas that Paul covers, among others, are: that He (Jesus) is the image of the invisible God; all things were created by Him and for Him and that in Him all things hold together.  I continue to be in awe of the One who has called us and redeemed us by His blood through which we are able to belong and to be called His own. It’s grace. All the way.

He has not disappointed us, nor can He ever disappoint us.  The Church belongs to Him, it is His own and He will continue to sustain it.  We are witnesses of His love and presence among us.   We need to remember this as we continue to serve Him.

I have been encouraged immensely by the impact of the Easter Experience in so many aspects, but in particular the evidence of the hunger of His people to learn more and to continue meeting post this experience in L.I.F.E (home) groups.

This Sunday, 27 May, it is Pentecost and we will have special Pentecost services at both the 8am and 9.30am service. I encourage you to join us.

On Monday, 28 May, we will have a congregation Meeting (a Members’ meeting) which will be a very special meeting in the life of St Mungo’s as it will be an opportunity for us to discuss the pastorate here.  I hope that you will make a special effort to attend.  We will start promptly at 7pm and there’ll be tea afterwards, which I hope you’ll stay for.

With love

Update about the Pastorate at St Mungo’s

The Church Council has committed itself to up date you on the progress we are making in regards to the calling of a minister to join the ministry team at St Mungo’s.

Following Kingsley’s death last year we had a service of memory conducted by the Rev Dr Leon Klein, it was helpful during the time of grief and mourning that we were able to reflect and share stories of Kingsley’s ministry impact on us and St Mungo’s.

We also started putting things in place for the formation of a Search Committee.  We are making progress: the Council has worked on the framework; identified and are now consulting people to serve on the Search Committee, which has not been an easy process; we have looked at areas of giftedness within the ministerial team to enable us to come to a well defined job description for the minister; we are also engaging the assistance of experienced human resources people to assist us in this area.

The Council is working around the clock to ensure that we are able to have all that we need to present to the congregation at a special meeting in May (date still to be determined) to consider the proposals as the Search Committee will not begin it’s work until it has your endorsement.

Both Mukondi and I had a meeting recently with the Moderators of the Presbytery of Egoli of the UPCSA and the Central Regional Council of the UCCSA, Reverends Christopher Judelsohn and Kelvin Harris and it was agreed in that meeting that once the Search Committee has been constituted a representative of the Liaison Committee  (a joint committee of the Presbytery and Regional Council) will serve as an Observer and will keep the Liaison Committee posted on the progress of our Search Committee.

The Council is approaching this matter will all the attention it needs; prayerfully seeking the guidance from our Father and allowing the Holy Spirit to direct us.  We pray that you will also continue to pray with us.  We give glory to God that He is amazing, holding us together, that His Church continues to function and that His presence is so visible in our lives.

One cannot underestimate the need to be prayerful at this time, considering the intricacies of preparing to extend a call to a minister to join an existing team, in a United Congregation setting.  We long that the Father will continue to give us the unity of the Spirit.  Paul captures this so well in his letter to the Ephesians:

As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.  Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called— one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.  But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. This is why it says: “When he ascended on high, he led captives in his train and gave gifts to men.”(What does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions? He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.) It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.  Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

Blessings

 

Update from Selaotswe

Dear Friends

The Church Council has committed itself to up date you on the progress we are making in regards to the calling of a minister to join the ministry team at St Mungo’s.

Following Kingsley’s death last year we had a service of memory conducted by the Rev Dr Leon Klein, it was helpful during the time of grief and mourning that we were able to reflect and share stories of Kingsley’s ministry impact on us and St Mungo’s.

We also started putting things in place for the formation of a Search Committee.  We are making progress: the Council has worked on the framework; identified and are now consulting people to serve on the Search Committee, which has not been an easy process; we have looked at areas of giftedness within the ministerial team to enable us to come to a well defined job description for the minister; we are also engaging the assistance of experienced human resources people to assist us in this area.

The Council is working around the clock to ensure that we are able to have all that we need to present to the congregation at a special meeting in May (date still to be determined) to consider the proposals as the Search Committee will not begin it’s work until it has your endorsement.

Both Mukondi and I had a meeting recently with the Moderators of the Presbytery of Egoli of the UPCSA and the Central Regional Council of the UCCSA, Reverends Christopher Judelsohn and Kelvin Harris and it was agreed in that meeting that once the Search Committee has been constituted a representative of the Liaison Committee  (a joint committee of the Presbytery and Regional Council) will serve as an Observer and will keep the Liaison Committee posted on the progress of our Search Committee.

The Council is approaching this matter will all the attention it needs; prayerfully seeking the guidance from our Father and allowing the Holy Spirit to direct us.  We pray that you will also continue to pray with us.  We give glory to God that He is amazing, holding us together, that His Church continues to function and that His presence is so visible in our lives.

One cannot underestimate the need to be prayerful at this time, considering the intricacies of preparing to extend a call to a minister to join an existing team, in a United Congregation setting.  We long that the Father will continue to give us the unity of the Spirit.  Paul captures this so well in his letter to the Ephesians: “As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.  Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called— one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.  But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. This is why it says: “When he ascended on high, he led captives in his train and gave gifts to men.”(What does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions? He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.) It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.  Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

Blessings

March/April Letter from Selaotswe

Dear Friends

It has been an overwhelming experience for me to see how God continues to manifest His Sovereignty in the lives of people and of St Mungo’s.  I am witness to His restoring power, renewal and strengthening of His people. I have been encouraged by the knowledge that whatever the circumstances this life can present us with God is in control and He does not cease to be the Lord of the Church.  When the Spirit is at work in the life of the Church one is reminded that it is a divine, not human, institution because God is working in and through it.

How I long for St Mungo’s that the prayer of Paul may be a reality for us:

“For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” (Col 1: 9-14).

Our love for the Lord Jesus Christ should exceed our love for anything else or anyone else.

I know that God longs to use us for His Kingdom purposes, He longs for the life of Jesus to be present in our lives. When we interface with others the reality that Jesus is alive should be written on our faces that others will be drawn to Jesus because they can see Him in us.

We face the future in confidence knowing that God has already gone before us, provided everything we need for the work that he has provided us to do.  As you read the articles in this newsletter you will be reminded of those things God has placed on our hearts to do, that He is already at work there and is inviting us to join Him in what He is doing.

You have been a source of inspiration and encouragement and God will continue to honour that in you.

Blessings

Ash Wednesday, Lent and the Easter Experience

Dear Friends

I would like to take this opportunity to give you an update on where we are with the Search Committee.  The matter has not been concluded. The Council having been meeting weekly and will continue to do so praying and reflecting as we look ahead.  As soon as we are ready we will convene a special congregational meeting.

I also wish to remind you that the season of Lent is upon us and we usher it in with a special Ash Wednesday Service this week  (22/2) at 7pm here at St Mungo’s.

Please join us for this special time as we prepare for a greater and deeper understanding of the meaning of the life, death and resurrection of Christ. During this time of worship we will invite the congregation to come forward, as  led, to receive the imposition of ashes with  the sign of the cross. This serves as sign to us of our mortality and penitence, that we may remember that is only by God’s gracious gift that we are given everlasting life through Jesus Christ our Saviour.

You will have received a Lenten Devotional guide at church on Sunday, please set aside some time each day to read the scripture for that day and reflect on what the Lord is saying to you.  The acronym (Sins to confess, Promises to claim, Attitudes to adjust, Commands to obey and Examples to follow) will help you during this time. There are copies available from the church office if you didn’t get one.

If you haven’t yet signed up to participate in the Easter Experience Group study, I recommend you to do so soon as there are not a lot of spaces left.  I’m hugely encouraged by the support and enthusiasm we have received so far for this programme.  I can assure you that you will be enriched by the experience.  You will not go through these next 40 days and remain unchanged.

Thirdly the season of renewing our commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ is on us, it comes at a period when the Church Council is discussing the future of St Mungo’s United Church taking into consideration the strategic direction agreed upon in 2004 and the Making an Impact Campaign, and the five strategic themes established at the time. This Sunday 26 February we will be handing out the Annual Christian Giving material.  There’ll be tables at the Info Desk in the garden with the packs in alphabetical order (by surname) for you take home to pray and reflect on. Please help us by collecting your envelope on Sunday.

As you reflect on renewing your commitment remember: The purpose of tithing and our Christian Commitment is to teach us always to put God first in our lives.  Eat the tithe of your grain, new wine and oil, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks in the presence of the LORD your God at the place he will choose as a dwelling for his Name, so that you may learn to revere the LORD your God always. Deut 14: 23. We will then have an opportunity on Commitment Sunday,  18 March to recommit ourselves.

Please diarise the weekend of 12-14 May when we will be commemorating Pentecost with a weekend of teaching and worship.  We have arranged an international speaker David Catchpoole for the teaching session.  He’ll be speaking on the book of  Genesis and how the Gospels can be linked to it.  Plans for the rest of the weekend are still being finalised but it promises to a very blessed time of teaching, sharing and fellowship ,that you do not want to miss.

Blessings