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Vol 20 No 4


The official gazette of the Diocese of Port Elizabeth:
The Anglican Church of Southern Africa


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 •  Challenged to grow
 •  Relay for Life a wonderful success
 •  Love the lost
 •  Pray for Synod 2009

Challenged to grow
[ David Stansbury ]

At the invitation of our local Growing the Church (GtC) committee, Michael Cassidy of African Enterprise visited our Diocese on Monday 23 to speak to the lay leaders and Tuesday 24 March for the clergy forum.

The GtC vision for the Province this year is: ‘to see spiritual leadership in the various parishes of our dioceses built up and expanded’. Michael was invited to speak to both lay and clerical leadership on the subject: ‘a conviction of the gospel’. It is very clear that without a conviction of the gospel that brought us salvation, we have no gospel to proclaim, and without the truth of the gospel we lose the foundation and the mandate for building the kingdom and growing the church.

Preach ‘didache’
Michael spoke passionately about the need for God the Holy Spirit to stir up the heart and spirit of every believer with fresh vision and passion for the lost (Ezra 1:1/ Hag 1:14). He said we cannot speak of a conviction of the gospel without first being stirred by the Holy Spirit of God. Without that inner stirring, we would remain apathetic and indifferent to those who will perish without the saving knowledge of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. He challenged us further, by saying that we as church give too much preaching time to the ‘didache’ of the gospel (ethics and practice of the gospel given to disciples) and not enough time on the ‘kerygma’ of the gospel (the actual content of the gospel given to unbelievers). The result is that many people become frustrated with the church and fall away… they do this because they are being told how to live as a believer without first coming to salvation and having the assurance of salvation. Another insight he gave us was that we often confuse mission and evangelism. Mission = everything to which the church is called; evangelism = sub department of mission, relating to the proclamation of the gospel. All evangelism is mission but not all mission is  evangelism. Another powerful statement he made was this: ‘every church gets the country it deserves’- what he meant  was that if we as a church are not a prophetic church, if we are not making the Gospel of Jesus known, the country we  deserve is one without morals etc. The Church cannot blame the government for moral decay… it is our responsibility.

Pics: Neville Cumming of St Francis of Assisi in Jeffreys Bay and David Stansbury the rector of the host parish Holy Trinity in Central, with Michael Cassidy after he had addressed lay leaders at the GtC evening.  Below - Lay leaders worship at the meeting.

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Relay for Life a wonderful success
[ Claire Phelps ]

The CANSA Relay for Life was a fantastic event that was very well supported and provided a wonderful time of fellowship for the St Saviour’s teams. There were a total of five teams that were associated with St Saviour’s, including the St Saviour’s Saints and the Youth Group team, FUEL.

The St Saviour’s Saints chose a Lap-Counting Competition as part of their fundraising for Relay for Life. As each team  completed a lap around the track the designated person in that team would collect a paperclip to mark the completion of the lap. At the end of the event “5am the next morning!” all the paperclips were weighed and the winner announced. It was amazing how determined everyone become to collect their paperclips!

Dylan Phelps (12yrs old), the youngest member of the St Saviour’s Saints, completed 100 laps of the 380m track, a total of 38km, over the 9 hour period! The aching legs and lack of sleep were well worth those 100 paperclips to the teams total!

The organizers kept everyone entertained throughout the night and had many fun laps included the Pyjama Race, Crazy Hat Lap and Best Recycled Outfit.

This event is definitely not to be missed next year “we’ll start training now and stock up on the Red Bull!”

Pics: Above - A happy group of the St Saviour’s Saints just before they took part in the CANSA Relay for Life. Below - Elroy Damons was among the Cansa survivors who walked the laps of honour.

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Love the lost

Speaking on John 3:16 to a fairly large number of lay leaders who attended the ‘Growing the Church’ evening, Michael Cassidy said we need to pray, “Baptise my heart afresh with love … so that I can love the lost.” He pointed out that Jesus  told three parables about the lost being found and the joy it brought to the Father.

He challenged the lay leaders who had gathered at Holy Trinity in Central on Monday evening 23 March to be 100% involved in evangelism. He went on to say that we also need to pray, “Stir us O Lord,” so that we will have the heart to  witness in the market-place.

Michael first spoke on the situation in South Africa, saying that God wants to do a new thing in SA at this time … but this depends on his people praying and being seen as the salt (preventing decay) and the light (bringing light into the  darkness).

Asking why we need to be concerned he went on to expound on John 3:16. He said, “Our love for God should be  expressed by our telling others … how far are we prepared to show our love for the lost … as far as God showed his love  for us?” He went on to say that when we are speaking to someone, we need to learn to work the conversation around so  that we can share the love of Christ. Michael next looked at ‘… whosoever believes in him shall not perish.’ “The thought  of people perishing was so horrific that the Son of God had to come to earth to die on the cross,” he said and asked if the  leaders were really convinced enough to take this seriously and go out and share the Gospel with the un-saved.

He then looked at the positive, ‘whosoever believes in him should have eternal life.’ Michael said this is a wonderful cure for ‘lostness’ … the eternal present of knowing Jesus and the Father. He asked the leaders, “Do you know Jesus … not about him … but know him? Have you surrendered your life so that you believe ‘into’ Jesus? Jesus said, “I came that you might have eternal life (zoe – abundant life).””

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Pray for Synod 2009

26 - 30 May

Pray for:

• Bishop Bethlehem as he chairs synod;
• those elected to attend;
• meaningful discussions during groups;
• prayerful debates;
• love to permeate the discussions and debates at all times.

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