Thursday, 21 August 2014

Admission to Communion before Confirmation 2014

Dear Friends

My sincere apologies for the lateness of this communication. If this has caught you a little off guard, the opportunity of a second date later in the year may be of help.

Admission to Communion before Confirmation has become a regular practise of the Anglican Church in Southern Africa. It is important to note that Admission to Communion is an opportunity for our children to take part fully in the worship life of the church, and helps prepare them more completely for the adult commitment to a life of faith that they will one day make at their Confirmation. The only two conditions that apply to receive Communion before Confirmation are:

- the individual is Baptised, and
- is officially admitted by the parish priest in their home Church.

There is no age limit, although I often find that around seven (7) years children begin to show a more focused interest in participating more fully at the altar rail.

The first opportunity this year for children to be admitted to receive Communion before Confirmation is at our 09:00 Family Service on Sunday 31 August 2014.  As this may be a bit soon for some families, there will be a second opportunity at our 09:00 Family Service on Sunday 30 November 2014.

I will run a preparation event on the Sundays prior to the Admission Service, being Sunday 24 August 2014, and on Sunday 23 November 2014, both at 17:00-18:00 in the Vestry. The preparation will include a focus on such topics as commitment, prayer, thanksgiving, the Passover and the Last Supper, Jesus’ death and resurrection, belonging and caring. It is helpful if parents (or a parent) is able to attend with the child.

Parents, please discuss this with your child, and if he/she is interested, please complete the attached form and let our Church Secretary, Bev Shaw (021 674 3851 / office@standrewsnewlands.org.za), know which event you will be attending. Should you wish to discuss this further please contact me on 082 600 6080.

Blessings
Mark

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Parish Vision Workshop

Dear Friends

I wrote quite extensively about our need to revisit our mission and to explore our vision in the most recent Church Magazine (see http://thelongviewza.blogspot.com/2014/06/winter-newsletter-2014-article.html) and in this regard wish to invite you to join us for:

The St Andrew's Parish Vision Workshop
Saturday 30 August 2014, 09:00-12:00
in the Church Hall
77 Kildare Road, Newlands, 7700

The morning will be divided into three parts:

We will begin with some input around mission and vision, what defines and differentiates these concepts, along with the role of core ministry practices in implementing our mission and helping us embrace our vision. This will be a plenary session.

We will then spend some time in groups reflecting on three questions:
- Who is God calling us to be?
- What is God calling us to do?
- Where is God calling us to go? 

Our final session will also be in groups, this time focusing on a revised SWOT (strengths/weaknesses/opportunities/threats) exercise where we will explore the following four questions:
- What is intrinsic to whom we are which we wish to maintain at all costs? 
- What would we like to add that is not presently part of who we are/what we do? 
- What do we need to stop doing/excise from Parish life?
- What do we never want to see at St Andrew's (under any circumstances)?

What is the outcome we are hoping for from the morning together? The plan is to gain sufficient input that with further consultation we will be able to elucidate a revised mission statement, give flesh to a Parish vision, and identify a number of priorities for our mission and ministry going forward. We would wish to finalise this process for acceptance at our next Annual Vestry meeting in February 2015.

So please make the effort to attend and participate in this process, and please feel free to already begin thinking and talking around the above questions.

There will be a sign-up sheet at the back of the Church, or you can register for the morning via Bev in the Church Office.

A reminder that our present mission statement says:

St Andrew's aims to be a loving, worshipping, Christian community which encourages everyone to follow Christ as disciples through being obedient to his Word and Spirit, and as a result taking God's love to the local community, to the poor, the needy and the world. 

Blessings
Mark

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Young People and Family Worship

Dear Friends

Family-focused Worship

A reminder that this sunday, 10 August 2014 at 18:30, we have our next Family-focused Service where we encourage families with teenagers and young adults to join us for worship together! Alison Gwynne-Evans and Debbie Coombe are planning an opportunity for fellowship afterwards and I've overheard comments about pizza...

I really hope you will make the effort to join us as we continue to explore this particular desire in our community, and your continued feedback (positive, negative and indifferent) is important, please!

Teen Church

We have recognised the need to differentiate our Teenagers from our younger Children's Church participation on Sunday mornings. William Tough has taken on responsibility for this, and the last two Sundays have proven very positive. Your teenagers participation is important, and again any feedback will be appreciated.

Youth

Raymond Quinlan continues to carry responsibility for our ad hoc Youth events, and we are planning something later in the term which Raymond will be in touch about. "Youth" in this context includes are older pre-teens as well. Any input in terms of ideas, and also willingness to help, will be appreciated! And again feedback is always valuable.

Archdeaconry Youth Service

There is an Archdeaconry Youth Service to which we are invited on Sunday 24 August 2014, 18:00, hosted at St Thomas' in Rondebosch. "Youth" in this context is Teenagers and young adults (students), and the Rev'd Allen Goliath (assistant Priest at St Saviour's, Claremont), is the Archdeaconry Youth Chaplain.Please speak to Raymond Quinlan in you would like greater detail. It will be great if we can have a good presence at the service.

Blessings
Mark