This week’s theme is worship leaders. Can’t live with them, can’t sing without them.
All that said, if you’re in the Vaal Triangle area on February the 23rd, why not pop by? You won’t be harmed. I mean, we’re Methodists.
My thoughts and prayers are with former president Nelson Mandela’s family and friends. Very few people achieve legend status during their life times and few deserved it more. Tata, you were an inspiration in humility, humour, forgiveness, and strength, and we will miss you. May your final rest be peaceful.
Please spare our country, its citizens and its leaders a prayer today as we say goodbye to Madiba.
Technically this week’s edition of ‘Ruminations from the back pew’ should be titled ‘Ruminations from the middle section of the church because I arrived late and someone had taken my usual spot’. This, of course, is the dark side of the new-congregants-seat-shuffle I spoke of so lovingly before: it’s survival of the earliest out here.
As the Body of Christ, we always try to be accepting of the new folks we are so often blessed with, but you’ve got to admit that there are just some kinds of people you will never understand or sympathise with. For my last church it was black people. For my mother it’s vegetarians. For me it’s people who willingly sit in the front of church. And on their first visit? You better believe I’m listening for the telling jangle of their testes of steel.
Anyway, the service was pretty typical:
The sermon was enlightening, don’t let Dotty Lady’s slumber fool you. Another oldie but goodie about how we are saved by grace and not our works. It’s such a simple thing, faith, in the end. Maybe that’s why we always forget about it.
What did you learn this Sunday?
There were two messages about how the groups understood mission. First, mission meant an incarnational presence in the everyday life of the community. Second, mission meant engaging with residents to restore their capacity to act, to articulate needs and to seek to have those needs met.
Hospitality was the main means by which this presence and engagement was offered. Two groups ran cafes and three others had a house in which people could gather. Hospitality created the sense of belonging together which made it possible to raise questions of belief.
Maybe it’s because one of my subjects this semester deals specifically with the introduction of Christianity into seventeenth century Africa, but when I think about ‘mission’, the first thing that pops into my head is
I thought of mission as something ‘outside’, something far off…
So the concept of ‘mission’ as something as simple as hospitality…hello, blown mind of mine. This is becoming a habit.