Dear Church Family
Greetings in the Name of the One who is, who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.
As we eagerly await that Day, let us join our hearts in common cause and thanksgiving to our God.
We have a common cause…for there is always need within the local church. Many of you have asked how you can help others – who are more severely affected by the crisis – with donations, contributions, shopping etc. We have heard, and made these offers known – and some have benefitted from them. Thus far the needs brought to our attention have not outstripped the offers received, and the church body is being sustained. So we must be thankful, even as we continue to have our eyes & ears open to any further needs.
We have a common cause…for there is always need beyond our local church. Especially, we are in contact with our supported churches in the townships (the ‘household of the faith’). At this stage they are managing, though we recognize that a Macedonian appeal may yet come. If so, let us remember our kinship in Christ, and stand ready to give such help as we are able. Then, there are also always going to be opportunities to interact with the community. Many (perhaps most) of you are already assisting those outside the congregation. As elders, we would never ask that this be publicised or championed to satisfy the curiosity of others as to what ‘we’ are doing. Indeed, sound no trumpet, and do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret, and your Father reward you. However, as elders, we only ask that if you are not already doing this…remember the poor.
We have a ‘common cause’ in thanksgiving, because there have been some benefits to this time. Many of you have said how you have enjoyed prolonged time with your family; especially with your children. Others have expressed their renewed appreciation for the church family – a greater longing to see one another, coupled with much joy in the simplest of connections (a call, a message, a mail). And then, as some have said, the changed pace of life has also been welcome; with less ‘constant’ and ‘urgent’ demands laid upon our dwindling time. Thus the lockdown has had the effect of being a ‘sabbath rest’ of sorts, with the accompanying blessings that result (if indeed we treat it as such, and practice spiritual disciplines during this time). Keeping all this in mind, as elders we truly believe that the church and families will come out of this stronger – more fervent in love, more frequent in prayer, more zealous for heaven, more mindful of the need to call others to repentance.
Please be in prayer around the below updates:
- Tuesday Prayer: A reminder that Sola 5 provided us with prayer points around the present COVID-19 pandemic, and divided up the various churches into different days. As we fell under Tuesday, we would like to ask the congregation to pause from their routines throughout the day, and especially at 7pm, to spend time in approaching the throne of grace.
- Good Friday & Easter Sunday: There will be pre-recorded services available for both these days, as we continue in the study of Revelation. As with the past few weeks, please make every effort participate from your home.
- Sunday Services (general): We have been tweaking a few things in an effort to improve the recorded services. You will have noted the music/song-playlist available on the website, and perhaps some other small alterations to the service as a whole (my apologies for repeatedly giving the wrong Scripture reference for one of the readings last Sunday). We will continue work at these services, as far as time/technology allows.
- Other Ministries: Until we have greater clarity on both the length of the lockdown and the national situation thereafter, all other ministries must regrettably remain in recess.
- Macedonia Fund: Some of the newer members may not be aware of the nature of this fund. It exists to assist members of the church (and occasionally outsiders known to us), who may need some temporary/short-term financial assistance. It is administered by the elders, who alone are aware of who asks for & receives aid (Note: the fund as a whole still falls under the general audit of the church, maintaining accountability). Should anyone desire to make a donation, please deposit directly into the Macedonia Fund Account (FNB N1 City Branch Code 200410 Account No. 59230066259) (or the church bank account using the reference “Macedonia”). Alternatively, when we meet at the church premises, there is an earmarked collection box.
Brothers and sisters in Christ…Let us not indulge the disaster fantasies that would recommend themselves to our imaginations. Let us rather ask how we can, with faith and hope and love, continue to serve the Lord in these days. And then say with the Psalmist:
O Lord, my heart is not lifted up;
my eyes are not raised too high;
I do not occupy myself with things
too great and too marvellous for me.
2 But I have calmed and quieted my soul,
like a weaned child with its mother;
like a weaned child is my soul within me.
3 O Israel, hope in the Lord
from this time forth and forevermore.
May the God who quietens souls…be with you all.
Martin, Andrew, Winton, Shane