Monthly archives for August, 2014

Youth Gala Dinner

 

Gala dinner invitation_new

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A couple of months ago Johannes Klingbeil, our German volunteer came up with the wild idea to have a Gala Dinner with song dance and testimonies about how “Faith in Jesus Changes lives”. We ended up having the dinner form 4pm -6pm on Sunday the 3rd August so we called it a Gala Sunch (a mix between supper and lunch. )

 

PRACTICE FOR THE GALA DINNER

 

There was a lot of blood sweat and tears that went into the rehearsal . We used the holiday time in June and July productively to prepare. We were able to practice for the Gala dinner after church and on Wednesdays and Fridays leading up to the dinner.

 

Johannes did a lot of work with the choir after church on Sundays with the  choir. They went from not believing they could sing to doing a great job at the dinner.

 

PREPARATIONS

 

The evening entailed  a three course meal prepared by the cooking team of Clementine, Jason, Eddie , Sledge and Michelle with a vegetable soup starter, a spaghetti bolognaise with salad and jelly and custard as pudding prepared and served by the youth. We spent the whole of the Saturday before shopping at Makro at month end to get the best prices and to get the food, crockery and cutlery.

 

As could be expected, we had a lot of hiccups along the way  but at the end of the day it all paid off and turned out well. Thanks to Edwin for keeping us on track and not letting us throw in the towel.

 

We sold 54 tickets mostly for R100 each and had R2600 costs which left us with R2800 profit which goes to the youth fund for Kailager.

 

We had 40 youth involved in the evening with setting the room up, waitering, cooking, cleaning, decorations, preparing the benches, dancing, singing, doing the testimonies or helping with ticket sales.

 

PERFORMANCE

 

The evening started with the youth band, Clementine, Portia, Busi, Thuli, Melissa, Johannes and Sledge doing three worship songs with their usual joy, love for  God  and exuberance.

There were three sections to the evening, before knowing Jesus, getting to know Jesus and after meeting Jesus . Each section comprised of a song, a testimony and a dance relevant to that section.

In the first section the soup starter was served and the  ‘before knowing Jesus ‘ section was performed . We had the Lion King song, ‘In the Jungle’ refering to life int the concrete Jungle. We then had a testimony by Solomon Ramafalo about his life in the urban jungle and then a Krump dance demonstrating the wildness of the BC days.

 

In the second section, the main course was served and the focus was on the meeting with Jesus. The song was ‘Halleluiah’ by Leonard Cohen ,a beautiful song, was sung by the choir with several solo performances, then a testimony by Catherine Monku about her childhood in a traditional church and then coming to St Peters where she found Jesus and life in the church.  The dance was a contemporary dance with a demonstration of Christ on the cross to a song by Mali Music. One of the dancers, Aamir even took a knock to the eye when he lifted Eric up but he got up and carried on, showing real determination.  The dance finished with some pantsula dancers strutting their stuff.

 

In the third section the dessert of jelly and custard was served and the final song ‘Siyahamaba-We are marching in the light of God’ was performed. There was a testimony by Tuchi Nxumalo and then the final dance , a contemporary dance to an upbeat song called “Ready, Set, Go’ was performed.

 

We ended off with a thank you song by the guys which was great.

 

FEEDBACK

 

The feedback has been very positive with various guests, old and young saying they loved it. The men from the German old age home also enjoyed it. The 40 youth who participated were also blessed by serving and said they really enjoyed participating.

We thank God for His blessing and look forward to doing something similar next year again.

 

The Voice – July 2014

 

The Voice

The Voice

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

June / July 2014
Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord
Almighty. Zech.4:6
Dear Readers!
On the second Sunday in June we celebrate Pentecost. Pentecost is where the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples and the church was born. The Holy Spirit draws people to God, fills them with His presence and works in our lives. In the last days a word from Romans 8:5 has become important to me. “Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit.”
Have you taken time to think about your thoughts and what dominates your thoughts. When we become quiet in the presence of the Lord our thoughts are what the Holy Spirit works on. When we are honest before God about our thoughts He can work in and through us. Thoughts that are dominated by our sinful nature are present. They are there and need to be dealt with. If we ignore them they often just bounce back. How do you deal with thoughts that are there because of our sinful nature? Living with the Holy Spirit in our lives means that He is the one who takes over, who we surrender to and whom we allow to heal our thoughts. Prayer for me is discussing everything with God and allowing Him to bring healing and His beautiful and pure thoughts into our lives.

 

The Holy Spirit is the one who changes us from within and works constantly in our lives.

 

When He came upon the disciples everything changed. Before they had been hiding in the room in Jerusalem. They were afraid of the people who had sentenced Jesus to death and did not know what to do and what to say. When the Holy Spirit comes upon the disciples everything changes. They suddenly do not worry about the dangers anymore, but go out and spread the word of God. They preach about Jesus and He even becomes more important to them than there own lives are. Their thoughts are controlled by the Holy Spirit and they do what pleases Him. When Peter and John are challenged by the people who had Jesus  crucified and are told not to preach about Jesus they answer courageously and continue to do what the Holy Spirit tells them to do.

 

This is the change that the Holy Spirit brings about in our lives. He leads us to focus on Jesus, on His word, on following Him and on living for Him.

 

Pentecost is about the Holy Spirit coming into peoples lives, about changing them, making them grow in faith and leading them in a life that is meaningful and deep. This life looks different for each one of us. Some people are called to leave everything while others are called to serve and bring the love of God where they are. But, the Holy Spirit calls all of us to concentrate on God and serve Him. He influences our thinking and changes our lives from within. Let the Holy Spirit fill you and change your thinking. It is the most exciting journey any one of us can go on. May He lead you and bless you with His presence.
Shalom
Edwin Dedekind
“They are shameful gluttons, serving their stomachs, who should rather be looking after pigs and dogs than being counsellors and pastors!”
Martin Luther writes these very harsh words in the preface to the large catechism, 1529. But he is not only worried about poorly trained pastors. The whole schooling system in Germany had collapsed with the closure of monasteries and the associated schools. Boys and girls were abandoned to their fate.

 

In quite a few of his writings Luther addresses this issue. He urges rulers and city councils to establish good schools and to make schooling compulsory.

 

Frankly, I am glad that I do not need to speak so harshly about our pastors. We are, however, in the process to reformulate guidelines for theological education. This has become necessary due to the drastic decline in the standard of schooling in our country.

Although 70% of matriculants pass their matric, only 13% achieve marks that are good enough to study at university. Even worse, 60% of all learners never make it beyond grade 9.

 

Can we as Church do anything about this? We are already, at least to some extent. The few Church – and congregation schools perform way above the average for the country. In fact, our Church School, Hermannsburg, regularly is amongst the top Schools in respect of Matric result.

 

We need to support these schools and ensure that they can continue to exist, and where possible to expand, or to start new school projects. And then we should really put a huge emphasis on the schooling of our own children and grandchildren.

 

We should take time to read to them, and instil in them a love for reading. Furthermore we should ensure that they receive good quality schooling (keeping in mind that more expensive does not necessarily mean better quality). We need to accompany them during their schooling, so that they have a solid foundation as they enter adulthood. But there is a bigger challenge. Thousands of young children grow up in poverty and are already lagging behind when they enter school. The deficit then just continues to grow. There are a few instances where members of our Church address this issue. Some farmers’ wives have started pre schools for the children on their farm. A city congregation is involved in a home work centre, where children receive help after school to develop their academic skills. One congregation has established a pre-school for underprivileged children of the community. Although all these are very small steps in view of the extent of the problem, for those Children who benefit, it is life-changing.

 

“Let the Children come to me”, Jesus said, “for to such as these belongs
the kingdom of God”

 

These words were spoken in a time and culture where little Children did not achieve much attention. Teachers saw them as nuisance and chased them away. But Jesus takes a different approach. These young children have their lives ahead of them. They are extremely impressionable and shapeable. If they are not shaped by us, by the gospel and the mindset of Jesus, they will be shaped by other influences – or lack thereof. That is why Luther places such a huge emphasis on good education. Let us too become involved or more involved in this!

 

News from the Church

 

On 29 March 2014 Prof. Dr Gunther Wittenberg passed away shortly before his 79th birthday. As a young pastor the United Ev.Luth. Church in Southern Africa commissioned him to plan and start our own theological training. This he managed to do well, and led the process till his retirement. Through this work he also had a significant impact on the theological faculty of the University in Pietermaritzburg. We thank God for his service, and pray for comfort and strength for his wife Monika and family.

 

Bethanien Congregation has elected dean Dirk Köstlin as their new pastor. Therefore Vryheid congregation has commenced the process of finding a successor for the beginning of 2015.

 

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Italy had invited UELCSA to be present at their Synod in Naples. Bishop Horst Müller attended. The ELKI is a predominantly German Church, but like ELCSA (NT) very much in the process of becoming indigenous, whilst being a minority Church. That then is the major reason for this interaction. We want to see what we can learn from and with each other, and whether there are topics that we can mutually deal with. There is a strong likelihood that young people from our Church could do a volunteer year in Italy. Another possibility is for congregations in similar situations to link up with each other.

 

Vicar Frank Schütte returned back from Germany (Saxony) with his wife Nina and son Lars at the end of May. He is now preparing for his final theological examination, planned for mid-August. After successful completion he will be ordained on 19 August in the Johannes congregation, Pretoria. From there he will then relocate as Pastor-coll to Augsburg. Please remember him in your prayers!

 

We thank retired pastor Helmut Dedekind and his wife Christa for helping out in Augsburg. They return to Germany early in June. The Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD) offered to co-fund a project in Gauteng, reaching out to Germans living in that area. The hope is to also integrate them into a congregation. The EKD funds 80% of the personnel costs, and Northrand, congregation, who will host the program, 20%.

 

Pastor Katrin Zürn-Steffens will be the pastor of the project on a full time basis. Let us pray to God to bless this work. Gala Dinner by the Youth of St. Peter’s to raise funds for
Kailager.

 

Alpha Course

alpha2

Do you want to grow spiritually and experience more of God then the Alpha Course is for you. It touches on many questions that people have and has helped many people grow closer to God.

The Alpha Course will take place on Wednesday evenings at 18h30 from the 30th July at St. Peter’s by the Lake. It is a course that many in our congregation would recommend because of what they experienced when they took part in it. It has changed many peoples lives in such a profound and wonderful way. Please consider investing this time to get closer to God.

 

What is the Alpha Course:

The Alpha course is an opportunity for anyone to explore the Christian faith. It’s relaxed, low key, friendly and fun. There is a meal together at the beginning of each session which gives you an opportunity to get to know each other. Listen, learn, discuss, discover and ask anything.

 

Baptisms and Confirmation

DSC_0160_newOn Sunday the 8th June Tina Assheton-Smith, Stephanie Gray, Khanyi Sithole, Keneilwe Makeke, Michelle Mangena, Nehemiah Muravha and Thuba Nxumalo will be baptised. They are part of the confirmation group that will be confirmed on the 27 July. Klaudia van Zyl will be confirmed in that service as she is leaving for Australia soon afterwards. On the 27th we will have the confirmation of the other confirmands.

Hoody_final_22_7_14

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  The design of the hoodies that were give to the confimants, 

 

Congregational Council

Sindi Koyana – Chairperson
Karsten Müller – Treasurer
Markus Heise – Evangelism
Innocentia Tjale – Young Adults
Eloise Knoetze – Counselling
Joseph Mainama – Property
Tutu Zwane – Organisation
Louis Thom – Social Ministries
Andrew Falkson – Youth Pastor
Edwin Dedekind – Pastor
Secretary: Shelley Styger
Secretaries Office Hours: 8 am to 1 pm

 

       

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