We live in times of uncertainty and with many disruptions, mainly due to the Covid-19 cri- sis and its consequences. We can no longer be church as we have been used to. But it is still possible to be church with and for one another. The watchword for this year is an invi- tation to do so. Jesus says: “Be merciful as your father is merciful!” (Luke 6:36).
To be merciful is to see the other through the eyes of God. When I see my neighbours from God’s perspective, I act with my heart and become merciful. Seeing them with God’s eyes empowers to forgive and love again.
Being merciful means being with the poor wholeheartedly. Being merciful describes a love that goes so deep that it is no longer possible to stop at just being compassionate over the misery of others. To be merciful cannot help but to act. This is why Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu once said to a group of young people, “Go out and make life beautiful for the poor”.
May the Lord give us the strength, wisdom and joy to see his children through his eyes and to be with them with the heart.
Don’t allow the pandemic to restrict you in being church.
I wish everyone a happy new year 2021.
It is more than a year ago that it was made public that a person in China had died of the Covid-19 virus. Now the whole world is gripped by the pandemic which in many ways has devastating consequences. It impacts all spheres of life, also our church life. It is tough in- deed to not be able to gather as church, being there with and for the people.
It is because of this that we need to adhere to stringent measures such as wearing a mask, washing hands and keeping social distance, not gathering in large groups, and many other rules and guidelines. We do these to take care of one another. The trauma of losing a loved one hurts deeply. To see someone in anguish when they struggle to breathe is traumatic.
Ecumenical bodies are engaging with both local and national government and the Human Rights Commission (SAHRC), urging government to lift some restrictions so that we can gather in safe spaces as the Body of Christ. Fellowship is core to who we are, yet we know that the virus spreads where people gather. Many examples exist where local churches gathered and did not uphold Covid-19 protocol, which resulted in a super-spreader event, with the consequence that harsher measures are implemented by government.
I thank you for adhering to protocol when you meet with others and hopefully we will be able to meet as local church again soon.
Synod will take place from 13-15 August 2021 at St Martini Lutheran Church, 240 Long Street, Cape Town. Church Council is currently busy with the planning and preparations.
Pastor Frank Schütte and his family have arrived in Beacon Bay.
Frank, Nina, Lars, Nils and Mara, may you feel at home in our midst.
The service to induct Pastor Frank had to be postponed. A new date will be set as soon as possible.
We wish him and the congregation a fruitful journey of living and serving to the glory of God.
The St Paulus Congregation in Bloemfontein has elected Dr Gideon van der Watt, a retired dominee of the Dutch Reformed Church, as their pastor at a meeting on 6 December 2020. Pastor Gideon will serve the congregation for three years. We wish them a fruitful journey as they seek ways in being church with and for the people in their area.
We thank Pastor emeritus Nils Rohwer for serving the congregation as locum tenens over a number of years. May you now enjoy the freedom of finally being on fulltime retirement.