Methodist Manse, Chamberlain Street, Woodstock
On Tuesday evening we received the news that the Woodstock manse was on fire. A fire that seems to have started in the roof spread throughout the whole house and destroyed everything inside. We are very grateful that Rev. John Stewe and his family are safe, but they lost everything except the clothes that they were wearing at the time. We are not yet aware of the reason for the fire. The insurance company is being engaged. Thank you to everyone who have expressed generosity and care. Here are the account details for where you can make a donation to the Stewe family. Thank you.
MCSA Table Bay Circuit
First National Bank
Business Account 500 611 809 79
This past week we have been meeting as the Synod of the Cape of Good Hope District. In these COVID pandemic days Synod is a hybrid affair. We met both in person and in localised “hubs” online. I say it every year, but I will say it again, that it is always a gift to be reminded that we are part of a big beautiful diverse family that is spread across almost all urban and rural areas of the Western and Northern Cape. Each context embodies vastly different gifts and struggles. For example, Bishop Yvette Moses reminded us that at this time the region of Namaqualand is served by one clergy person who must travel a few hundred kilometres between the churches that she serves. From the close urban environment of Cape Town CBD it is difficult to comprehend this. Bishop Yvette invited all clergy to make ourselves available to travel to Namaqualand for one weekend of service before the end of the year to assist our colleague. As a result I will be going to Spoegrivier (Google it) in September.
It is our tradition on Synod Sunday to “exchange pulpits” and this morning I will be in Bellville.
For those of you at CMM today you have the wonderful privilege of getting to know
Rev. Vuyelwa Ntshinga from Durbanville Methodist Church.
Vuyelwa, I hope you enjoy the Heavenly Coffee.
Last week in our reflection on Acts 10 and 11, I said that it is easier to raise the dead than to resurrect people from their prejudice – especially prejudice that has been baptised by religion. I suggested this because the story of raising Dorcas in Acts 9 was stated rather matter of fact-like and without any explanation, but when it came to Peter facing up to his prejudice against “uncircumcised gentiles” a whole chapter is needed to get him to the truth that “I should not call anyone profane or unclean” and an understanding “that God shows no partiality”. And then a further 18 verses of Acts 11 are needed to explain and defend his gentile-loving-journey.
This past week we witnessed again the stubborn difficulty to be resurrected from prejudice. Theuns du Toit’s racist act of urinating on the desk and belongings of fellow student Babalo Ndwayana in the Huis Marais residence at Stellenbosch University, is shamefully sad, traumatising and enraging. This is yet another painful reminder that we still have a long walk to an anti-racist society. May the same Spirit that “told Peter to go with them and not to make a distinction between them and us” (Acts 11:12) disturb and move us to this end.