Good morning People of God!
Gosh, to think that this year has flown past, and we stand at the end of yet another year. A year filled with so many blessings for all of us.
Thank you for being such an integral part of Frikkie and my life. You are all so special. And right at the start of this Pastoral letter, please allow me to say thank you to each and every one of you. Thank you for praying for me, especially for the knee replacement, and for my family. Thank you for the visits, the meals that you have so generously provided and the love that you have shown to me through this year. I really do appreciate all that you do and all that you are! Thank you! I pray that our Lord and Father bless you in abundance in all that you do.
As I reflect back on the year that has passed, there are so many highlights! Where do I begin?
It is in giving that we receive, and we have been able to give to so many folk in the past year. We have given freely to New Beginningz, Red Frogs, Feed-a-Friend, Mother Theresa packs for new born babies, Dove’s nest, Kairos, Irene Middle Farm School, blankets for the needy, second hand clothing to various organisations and others as the need arises. We have faithfully tithed to our outreach budget every month. Thank you to Lisa, Ingrid and Janet who have faithfully kept in touch with others to make sure that we can meet needs where the need arises.
We have visited the folk at Care@Midstream on a weekly basis. We go and visit with the folk in the Step Down Facility, have a chat and pray with them. Thank you to all who have gone so faithfully and regularly to visit with the sick. Thank you Des for arranging this for us so that we can reach out to those in need.
Our Fundraising efforts have been so blessed this year. We had a very successful golf day, and thank you to all who helped with the arrangements. Thank you Kim, Craig Campbell and Patrick for coming alongside Heinz and myself to make this day the success it was.
Our country market was a great success too. Thank you to all who worked so hard to make this possible. We look forward to an even greater event next year. Thank you Heinz for all the work that you put into these events. To Derek and May-Elaine, thank you.
Our Grill Shack has a new look gazebo! Thank you Grant for arranging this for us and making it look so good! Your effort is greatly appreciated! Thank you to all who have made the legendary burgers, prego rolls and pancakes this year. Your time and effort is so highly appreciated! Thank you Heinz and Thato and Moira!!
Thank you to Kumaren for all the work that you have done here at the church this year. For all the hours you have spent to make sure that everything is running smoothly and that all the work that needs to be done is done efficiently. May our Lord bless the work of your hands!
Our worship here at Midstream Methodist is the primary focus of the church, and I would like to thank Colin for leading us to a greater level of intimacy with the Lord. Thank you to Michelle, who has come on board with us this year, for the work that you have done with the worship team in the short while you have been here. Thank you Terence for all the work you do at the multi-media desk and all the other work you so quietly do.
Thank you too Michelle, for leading Alpha this year. For the magnificent meals, the Spirit led teaching at Alpha, and for a very successful Alpha ministry. We will have the next Alpha course starting on 22 January. We need participants, crew and leaders for this Alpha course. Please contact Michelle if you would like to be a part of this incredible course.
Fran, Shaun and Charine have worked tirelessly with the youth and Childrens’ Church this year. There have been so many highlights. The camp! The Christmas Play we experienced yesterday! The Easter Egg hunt and Christmas Carols at Retire@Midstream. Thank you to all the youth leaders and the children’s church teachers for all your dedication and love shown towards our children, our future church. Thank you Calvin for coming alongside Shaun and assisting with the Confirmation Classes. Joe and Alzera, you give so lovingly to our young people, and words cannot express my appreciation to you!
We held our ASM – Annual Society Meeting, yesterday in the 9:15 service. 150 folk were in church yesterday to attend the ASM and approve the budget. Thank you to Peter for preparing a really conservative budget for 2015. To the Trust and Property committee, thank you. There is a 4% increase in the budget, and this was approved by the people present
Thank you Craig, our Senior Society Steward, for your leadership, wisdom and encouragement. Thank you for conducting the ASM, and for all that you do here at the church.
Services in December
7 December 7:30am, 9:15am and 6pm Communion services
14 December – 9:15am
21 December – 9:15am
24 December – Crib service 6pm
25 December – Christmas day – 8am
28 December – 9:15am
31 December – New Years Eve 6pm
4 January – 7:30am and 9:15am
11 January – back to the normal 3 services per Sunday
I look forward to seeing you in the Sanctuary during December – Hebrews 10:25.
We have done the planning for 2015, and there many activities planned for the church. Joe Bekker will be starting a Men’s Fellowship group. This is a ministry that we really need here at the church. Joe will be communicating the plans to the church shortly.
Alpha – this starts on 22 January 2015. All young people who wish to be confirmed in 2015 are requested to attend Alpha as this forms part of the Confirmation teaching for the year. Please contact Shaun and/or Calvin in this regard.
Women’s Fellowship – this will continue in 2015, and the ladies get together once a month here at the church
Bible school – this will begin in April 2015. We will walk through the Bible in a year, learning as we go along. There will be assignments, two per quarter, and an exam. This is an accredited course, and Certificates will be presented at the graduation service at the end of the course. Please contact me if you are interested in joining this exciting new ministry. Hosea 4:6 says “my people perish for lack of knowledge” and this has been the driving force behind starting the Bible school.
Golf day - we will be hosting a golf day again next year, and if you would like to be a part this, please contact me. We will meet early in the new year to begin the planning.
Worship and Multi-media - in order for the corporate worship on Sunday to run smoothly, we need people to assist at the sound desk and in the worship team. Please could you avail yourself of this opportunity to be part of the worship service. We really need folk on the sound desk and the media desk. Please would you contact Colin if you can assist us in this ministry.
Welcome and tea – we need you! We need people to be at the door on Sunday to welcome folk to the service, hand out the bulletin and to make and pour tea after the services. This is an important part of our worship, and I encourage you all to get involved in this ministry. The more folk we have doing this ministry, the lighter the load. Please come and get involved.
Michelle Marlin has candidated for the Deacon ministry, and will be starting the process in the New Year. We pray for you, Michelle, that as you journey towards this important ministry, that the Lord will bless and keep you in the palm of His hand. Thank you for all the work you have done in the short time that you have been here, all the visiting, Bible study, cooking and baking that you have done for the church, your work is really valued!
Thank you to Jenni for so efficiently running the church office and for all the work you do so quietly behind the scenes. For taking all the photographs, updating the Facebook page, and all the other things that you have done for me personally.
Shaun, thank you for all that you do for the youth, for giving yourself so unselfishly to the work of our Lord! I really value you!
We bid Ken and Denise, Michael and Suzanne farewell as they re-locate to the Cape. Thank you for all you have done for Midstream Methodist. Ken, you have played such a great role in the managing of the finances of the church. Thank you for giving of your time and resources so generously to the church. Thank you Denise for the role you have played in the welcome ministry of the church. We really do appreciate you. We wish you well, and trust that you will settle in quickly. We look forward to seeing you every time you come to this part of the vineyard.
The church office will close on 19 December and open again 5 January 2015. If you have any needs during this time, please contact me at 083 709 3235. I will be away from the 14 – 21 December 2014, but will be at office for part of the day from 22 Dec to 4 Jan.
To all, thank you for all that you are and all that you have done for the church in this past year. Thank you for giving to the church so generously and freely. You are indeed a blessing. Thank you for tithing to the work of the Lord in this part of the vineyard. We are called to tithe, and to give generously to the work of the Lord, and indeed you have done that.
I take this opportunity to wish you a blessed Christmas, and a prosperous New Year. I pray that the Lord bless you and keep you. That the Lord make His face to shine upon you and give you His peace. I pray that the Lord hold you in the palm of His hand, and that all you do be blessed. I pray for travelling mercy for all who are going away for a well deserved rest. I pray that you have a blessed time, and that you return safely.
May the Lord bless and keep you all, now and always.
All people CAN be saved. We are all equally the objects of God’s love, and no one is beyond the reach of Christ’s saving grace.
‘For it is by his grace you are saved, through trusting him; it is not your own doing. It is God’s gift, not a reward for work done.’ (Eph. 2:8)