Monthly archives for September, 2015

The Voice – August/September

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August -September 2015

From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked. Luke 12:48

Dear Readers!
Soon it will be Spring and we will see nature in all its beauty and wonder. What makes Spring so wonderful is that everything grows and develops. When I cycle through the parks in the morning I see the beauty that God prepares for us and every day is different. I often think whether our spiritual life also grows and develops in seasons. Jesus often uses nature to compare it to spiritual truths and the question is whether you are in the Season of Spring in your spiritual life. The watchword for September is: From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked. Luke 12:48

I have a vision of it becoming Spring in the congregation and everyone going through a period of growth and exciting beauty because we use what we have been given and allow God to bring about something new through it. I thought of some important pointers in bringing about growth in our spiritual life. Perhaps they will help you to grow:

1. We should be willing to grow and growth means change. That means we need to ask God to bring about growth in our lives and be prepared to let Him do with us what he needs to do. Perhaps you need to be pruned and that can hurt, but things need to be cut away for new growth and beauty to come about. Are you willing to ask God to bring about growth in your life?

2. It is very important that we realize that all we have and are is God’s and entrusted to us by God. Do not look at what others have, but look at what you have. Commit what you have to God. He wants us to go about responsibly with what He has entrusted to us. That is our lives, our bodies, our abilities, our chances, our gifts, our material possessions and everything else that He has given to us. Often in the Bible we are challenged to hand over to God and allow Him to do with us what He wants to. We need to surrender and entrust everything to Him and ask Him to bring about growth and fruits.
3. For a plant to grow, even in the spring season, it needs certain things. It needs water, sunshine, soil etc. If we want to grow we also need certain ingredients in our spiritual life. We need to take time for God to hear his voice: we need to spend time in silence just listening and talking to God. We need His Word: we need to read it regularly and have a reading plan that carries us in our everyday lives. We need the family of God to guide us: at the least to come to church, but that is actually not enough, as we need a group where we can talk about our faith and be led by others. And, we need to find a place to serve. These are the soil, sun, water etc. that we need to grow.
4. If we place everything into God’s hands we can enjoy what He brings about. The beauty of growth, new insights, new knowledge and deep wisdom. May God bring about growth in your life and allow His Spirit to make you blossom and grow.
Edwin Dedekind
Chaos in Parliament.

The leaders are embarrassing the nation. That is what happens when people choose to ignore rules and procedures. Sadly it is happening on all levels. Even the president and cabinet ministers seem to take the liberty to ignore the constitution or a cour
ruling that they don’t like. The result is chaos.

Ironically, all too often such chaos can be found in the Church, where on all levels Christians work against each other, or congregants in a congregation create chaos and disruption. “Diversity in Unity” – this is the theme of our Synod in October. Not “Unity in Diversity” The foundation on which the Church is built is not diversity, which we try to unify, but the unity from which diversity grows. What is the basis of our Unity that binds us all together?

In John 15,16 we read Jesus saying: “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you may go and bear fruit!” The basis of our unity, the basis of the Church, is that Christ chose us, and not that I chose Christ! We are Christians by His choice, not by our own!

One of the recognised weaknesses of our parliamentary system is that the delegates are not accountable to the voters but to the party. To whom are we as Christians accountable? To the congregation? The Church? In the first instance we are accountable to the one who chose, elected us, Jesus Christ! The root of our Unity is not that I chose Christ, but that he chose me, and you, and him, and her, and …, and…. I need to respect His choice, and with that the constitution that HE gave us. We find it in John 15, 12: “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you”. We cannot and shall not choose to ignore this constitution when it does not suit us. For then we are just as much an embarrassment to His Church as some of our leaders are to our nation.

So, before we can speak about diversity, we need to remind ourselves where our unity lies! Then the diversity will not pull us apart, but can become a creative energy that helps the Church to grow and develop to the glory of the Lord!

Yours in Christ

Horst Muller

News from the Church:
1. On 20 May 2015 Margret Pape passed away aged 88. She was the widow of Pastor Hinrich Pape, the first dean of the Northern Circuit of ELCSA (NT). The couple came to South Africa in 1954, sent by the Hermannsburg Mission. Their first congregation was Edlomodlomo.

After that they served in Piet Retief, and then till retirement in Kroondal. In their retirement they lived in Pretoria. On 27 May 2015 Myriam Müller passed away, aged 91. She was the widow of Pastor Reinhard Müller. Reinhard Müller was ordained after studying for the ministry as he was approaching retirement age. This brave step into the ministry took the couple to Pietersburg/Polokwane, where they served the Northern Parish until the second retirement. We thank God for the lives of these women, and the role that they played in the ministry of the Church. May God bless their families and comfort them.

On 18 June Bishop em. Richard Schiele passed away, aged 84. Having grown up on a mission station in Swaziland, he too became a missionary, trained by the Berlin Mission society. They served various parishes, and he was the founder bishop of the ELCSA Eastern Diocese. After his retirement he was very active in Pietermaritzburg in both ELCSA and ELCSA (NT) congregations and was a real bridge builder between cultures and churches. The last years the couple were active members of the Kempton Park congregation, where he continued playing his violin in the “Bells&Whistles” worship team, until his health no longer allowed it.

We thank God for this humble, serving man – the bishop who helped carrying chairs and wiping tables.

May God comfort Leonore and the family.
2. The Cape Synod met from 29-31 May in King Williamstown. ELCSA (NT) the following motion was adopted by the synod: “We agree in principle to a merger based on a common underlying Christian calling and tradition. Synod tasks Church Council to draw up a  draftconstitution and orders to be agreed upon in 2016 by the Church Councils of the ELCSA Cape and ELCSA (NT). From 2016 to the 2017 synod, Church Council is to consult widely with the congregations on the principles and constitution. Synods of both Churches, in 2017 to vote on the principles. In 2019 the Churches are to agree on a final constitution and orders, leading to respective dissolution processes.” The same motion will be put forward at our synod in October. During the synod preparation meetings and via correspondence and input sessions the congregations will be informed about the details so far.
3. ELCSA (NT) Synod Preparation meetings serve the following purposes: for the delegates it is a crucial preparation session, where questions can be clarified, suggestions made, and detailed information is given. This process leads to a much more efficient synod meeting. For congregational councils and treasurers it offers the opportunity to interact with the treasurer of the Church and president of Synod, and also still to make suggestions for changes or adaptations to laws and proposals.

Other members of congregations are welcome, and even encouraged, to attend this meeting, to get an insight of what is going to happen and be discussed at synod. The invitations to these meetings will be sent out by the respective deans.

The dates are:
29 August: Eastern Circuit, Braunschweig
5 September: Southern Circuit, Hillcrest
19 September: Central and Northern Circuits, St Peters Pretoria
4. In May Bishop Müller attended the Lutheran Council of Africa
meeting in Moshi and Marangu, Tanzania. A detailed report can be found at https://www.lutheranworld.org/content/60th-anniversary-marangu-conference

 

Miriam

New Volunteer from Germany: Miriam Müller

Why did you want to spend a year abroad?

I like to travel and what I heard about South Africa was that it is very different. I heard that South Africans are very open, friendly and outgoing. I also want to experience a different culture and let it challenge me.
Are you happy that you landed in a congregation?
I could have imagined doing a year in another project. I did not specify but said I wanted to visit church services regularly. It is exciting fo me to see how God is worshipped at St..Peter’s.

What would be important for you during this year?
Meeting people and building relationships. But, I have not come with great expectations to not be disappointed, but rather with an open mind.

Tell me a bit about yourself:

I am 18 years of age. I love music. I started playing the trumpet at 12 years of age. I played in bands, like a big band, and other styles. I like jass. I love singing and this is my favourite way of expressing myself. I have two siblings, twins, four years younger. I also love dancing. We wish her a wonderful time in our midst and that she grows spiritually.

 

Congregational Council
Sindi Koyana Chairperson
Karsten Müller Treasurer
Markus Heise Evangelism
Joseph Mainama Property
Louis Thom Social Ministries
and Organisational support
Chris Mvungi Young Adults
Andrew Falkson Youth Pastor
Edwin Dedekind Pastor
Email: edwin@stpetersbythelake.org
Secretary: Shelley Styger
Secretaries Office Hours: 8 am to 1 pm
Address Physical Address
P.O. Box 72207
Parkview
2122
43 Lower Park Drive
Entrance in Ennis Road (2nd gate)
Parkview
Contact Details
Phone: 011 646 1308
Fax: 086 605 5617
Email: info@stpetersbythelake.org
Homepage: www.stpetersbythelake.org
Banking Details
Acc. Name: St. Peter’s by the Lake
Bank: Standard Bank
Branch: Rosebank
Acc. No.: 001948962
Branch Code: 004205

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    St Peter’s by the Lake Lutheran Community Church

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    Street Address: 43 Lower Park Drive, Parkview, Johannesburg

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    Entrance on Ennis Road (2nd gate if you are coming from Lower Park Drive)