Prayer, Mission and Transition

A lot is happening at All Souls as we enter February.

The Prayer Workshop on Saturday was well attended and was appreciated by the participants. There were constructive ideas (and energy) for how we move forward in this area.  A very healthy sign!

In line with our focus for 2015 – “A Year of Mission” – Bill Houston has agreed to lead a workshop on Saturday, 21 February 2015 helping us to understand the Church in relation to the mission of God.  Don’t miss this teaching… He will preach at both services on the same theme (for those that really can’t give up a Saturday morning).

If you weren’t at church on Sunday or haven’t heard the news since then, our church warden, Bill van Dongen, read out a letter from Bishop Rubin about my appointment to St Agnes Kloof from the 1 December 2015.  Bishop Rubin wrote:

‘Peter has served the Parish of Umhlali well and will have been at the helm as rector of your parish for the best part of five years when he leaves.  At the consecration of the new All Souls on the 13th March 2011 we laid down the challenge for you to focus on building people not buildings for the next five years.  We exhorted you to focus on being “living stones that God is building into a spiritual temple” (1 Peter 2:5).  Peter has been a faithful servant and leader of this vision.  You have grown to appreciate that your church is more that its four walls and that your church has a mission and ministry to the wider world.  But we feel that he is now being called by God to embark on a new chapter of leadership and ministry.’ [END]

It is natural to feel a whole range of emotions with an announcement like this.  With any sense of loss can come shock, anger, denial, but also, down the line, acceptance.

The challenge is to entrust ourselves to Jesus who says he will build his church (Matthew 16v18).  The church must never become dependent on one person.  Rather we are called to remain inter-dependant as the body of Christ in our various gifts (1 Corinthians 12v4-31), with Christ as the head of the body, the church (Colossians 1v18).

I appreciate how graciously the news has been handled so far and also your commitment to pray for our parish and my family in this transition.