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

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Resolutions from last night’s Special Congregation Meeting (28 May)

Dear Friends

At last night’s Special Meeting of the Congregation which was called to discuss the pastorate here at St Mungo’s, the Council after much prayer, reading of Scripture, reflection and research into the process required by our Constitution, put forward two recommendations  with which were discussed and then voted on by the Congregation.  The recommendations adopted at the meeting are:

Recommendation 1

The Church Council recommends that we begin the search and call a minister to join the existing ministerial team.

Recommendation 2

It is Council’s recommendation that St Mungo’s United Church approves the proposed Search Committee in order to proceed with the calling of the minister God wishes to join the ministry team here.

The Search Committee may co-opt members to their team for specific purposes.

These two recommendations now become the resolutions of St Mungo’s United Church.

The Search Committee Comprises of :

* John Ernstzen(chairperson)

* Jeremy Pollock

* Rod Eaton

* Trueman Goba

* Pasquin Julies

* Bob Eyre

* Sheila Hunt

* Mike Groch

* Christine Morris

* Selaotswe Tsintsing

* Mukondi Ramulondi

* Jackie Barker (Observer for Training)

* Liaison Committee Representative (Observer)

The Search Committee’s responsibilities include: formulating a job description, advertising the position within the 2 denominations, following the application process, reviewing applicants, conducting interviews.  Once they are at this stage, they’ll select candidate(s) to preach at both churches. They will bring a final recommendation to Council who will then call a special meeting of the Congregation.  Throughout this process they will maintain records and communicate to Congregation.

Council wishes to thank everyone for their prayers and attendance at last night’s meeting and that you will continue to pray for God’s guidance as we move forward.  2 Peter 1: 3-11 has meant a great deal to me lately:

“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins. Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

With love

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