Connections at CMM

The primary purpose of Connections is to connect us to the way of Jesus.

Connections seeks to deepen our connection with God, with one another,  with ourselves and with creation around us and takes a fresh look at the Christian faith in the light of our present context. Connections will deepen our sense of belonging at CMM, and shape our life together in community. In so doing, Connections will connect us to the wounds of the world and equip us to compassionately care seeking healing and justice for all.

Join this 12 week journey – every Sunday evening from 7pm-9pm.

If you answer “YES” to any of the following questions please consider signing up for Connections …

  • Would you like to deepen your understanding of what it may mean to follow Jesus in the world today?
  • Would you like to be part of a weekly discussion group that is free of judgment and full of respect for everyone’s point of view?
  • Would you like to deepen your sense of  belonging at CMM?
  • Would you like to get to know new people at CMM and find out where you can serve?
  • Would you like to be baptized or have your child baptised?
  • Would you like to be equipped to change this world?

You would?  Then please contact the office on 021 422 2744 to sign up.

The weekly themes are as follows:

God’s Great Grace (30 January 2011)

God’s Liberating Dream for the World (6 February)

God’s Life-Giving Spirit (13 February)

God’s Contrast Community (20 February)

God’s Song Sung in a Foreign Land (27 February)

God’s Tears and our Suffering (6 March)

God’s Presence and our Prayer (13 March)

God’s Word as our Story (20 March)

God’s Table and God’s Stream (27 March)

God’s Generosity and our Gratitude (10 April)

God’s people called Methodists (17 April)

God’s Invitation to the World through Us (24 April)

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Wednesday Church

I believe the psalmist speaks for all of us when s/he prays, “As a deer longs for flowing streams so my life longs for you O God” [Psalm 42:1]. I also believe that the psalmist is speaking literally rather than metaphorically. Simply put, we thirst for God as we thirst for water.

Human beings can only go without water for about three days and even one day without water is tough! The same applies to our relationship with God — reminding us to drink daily from the multitude of means of grace given to us, not least the gifts of silence and prayer and reading of the Scriptures.

Equally it would be a health risk for us to think that we can last much past three days without connecting as Church. Church simply understood is Christ-centered Community.

For this reason I want to invite you to attend Wednesday Church.

The evenings will generally include a mixture of worship / teaching / discussion / coffee….from 7pm-9pm.

“What I Would Say to Osama bin Laden”

“What I Would Say to Osama bin Laden” A Zen monk Thich Nhat Hanh answers this question in an interview with Anne A. Simpkins on the 28th September 2001. During Wednesday Church we will be reflecting on his answer.

Thich Nhat Hanh is a Vietnamese monk in the Zen tradition, who worked tirelessly for peace during the Vietnam War, rebuilding villages destroyed by the hostilities. Following an anti-war lecture tour in the United States, he was not allowed back in his country and settled in France. In 1967, he was nominated by the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., for the Nobel Peace Prize. He is now internationally known for his teaching and writing on mindfulness, and for his work related to “socially engaged Buddhism,” a call to social action based on Buddhist principles. Thay, as he is affectionately called by his followers, shared his thoughts on how America should respond to the terrorist attacks.

John Wesley’s Three Simple rules

Join in the discussion of about these three simple rules that when taken seriously promise to turn our lives and world up-side-down.
Do No Harm
Do Good
Stay in Love with God

The starting point of our weekly discussions will be from Rueben Job’s book entitled: Three Simple Rules – A Wesleyan Way of Living.

16 March We reflect on Japan

Wednesday Church will be dedicated to prayer and reflection in response to the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. We will be looking at questions like “Why do these things happen if God is all-loving and all-powerful?” And “Why pray?” 7pm in the Sanctuary.

The First Wednesday Church (26 January) we will be reflecting on the covenant commitment.

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Mission Statement

Central Methodist Mission is a City Church committed to Jesus Christ. We have been called out of division into community and seek to bring wholeness to each other and the world.

Vision Statement

1.     We will be an authentic Christian community:

  • that reflects the values of the Kin-dom of God
  • that contradicts divisions within our society

2.     We will be a welcoming community where we can feel free to work through our struggles and issues without judgment or manipulation

3.     We will encourage people to become followers of Jesus Christ by providing:

  • space to ask questions and struggle for answers
  • opportunities to learn more about the Christian faith
  • a supportive environment in which to live out the Christian faith


4.     We will actively seek God’s call on our lives and equip each other to live out this call in the church and the world

5.     We will provide pastoral care for each other and particularly for those with special needs

6.     We will continue to challenge social structures and values which cause injustice and suffering and we will seek to bring healing through a commitment to servanthood in our daily lives

7.     We will actively reach out to the wider community in order to introduce people to a relationship with Jesus and the family of God

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People who connect with Jesus

This year during LENT we have listened to some of the most beautiful and meaningful stories of people connecting with Jesus. Nicodemus who realised God’s power was in Jesus, the renegade rabbi — the Samaritan Women who came to a thirsty “stranger” at a well — a blind guy who only found out who Jesus was after he was kicked out of church, and Lazarus who laughed at death all the way out of the tomb. Each of these recordings comes from John’s gospel.

For some reason John refers to the Judean religious authorities as “The Jews”, this is especially the case in the latter two stories. This title is confusing and less than helpful for a number of reasons.

First, it fails to make the distinction between the ordinary people and the religious leaders. Second, with today’s post-holocaust-ears it sounds very anti-Semitic. Third, this tempts us to say “it was them and not us who crucified Jesus.” Fourth, it almost suggests that Jesus himself was not a Jew!

Let us remember that every character from each segment of the Crucifixion story exists within each one of us. The deserting disciples, threatened leaders, betraying Judas, denying Peter, wailing women, steadfast women, obedient soldiers … we killed Jesus not them!  Paradoxically only when we can admit that we are guilty are we set free.

Sunday 17 April 2011

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Sermon archives

March 20, 2011 “The Night Reveals the Light” [John 3:1-17]

March 13, 2011
The Tempting of the Beloved [Matthew 4:1-11]

March 09, 2011 “Ecclesia de Lange – Ash Wednesday” [Support Ecclesia:]

March 06, 2011 “Dr. Gilbert Lawrence – Being Present to Jesus – Transfiguration” [Exodus 24:12-18; Ps. 99; 2 Peter 1:16-21; Matthew 17:1-9]

February 27, 2011 “Rev John vd Laar guest sermon – Do Not Worry” [Matthew 6:24-34]

February 20, 2011 “True Holiness is Neighbourliness” [Leviticus 19:1-2 9-18; 1 Cor 3:10-11,16-23; Matt. 5:38-48]

February 13, 2011 “Choose Life” [Deuteronomy 30:15-20]

January 30, 2011 “Jesus’ resistance strategy: The Beatitudes” [Micah 6:1-8; Matt 5: 1-12 reference in sermon to Mary Lou Kownacki from an article in Sojourners Oct 1989 p22-24]

January 23, 2011 “Fishers of People” [Isa 9:1-4; Matt. 4:12-23 – reference in sermon to Frank Honeycutt”]

January 16, 2011 “Sin is a hopeful word” [Isai 49: 1-7; John 1:29-42 Sermon based on Barbara Brown Taylor’s book “Speaking of Sin”]

January 09, 2011 “Dr Peter Storey – Jesus’ Baptism” [Isai 42: 1-9; Acts 10:34-43; Matt. 3:13-17]

January 02, 2011 “A Reminder of our Context and Identity” [Ephesians 1:3-14; Matt. 2]

December 25, 2010 “Christmas is Frightening yet Subversively Hopeful” [Exodus 1:8-2:10; Matt. 2]

December 12, 2010 “Third Week of Advent” [Isaiah 35:1-10; Ps. 146; Matt. 11:2-11]

December 05, 2010 “Second Week of Advent” [Isaiah 11:1-10; Ps. 72; Matt. 3:1-12]

November 28, 2010 “Rev John van der Laar” [Matt.24:36-44]

November 21, 2010 “Christ the Crucified King” [Jer. 23:1-6; Ps 46. Col. 1:11-20; Luke 23:33-43]

November 14, 2010 “Architects and Prophets” [Isaiah 65:17-25; Luke 21:5-19]

November 07, 2010 “To find Life – Experience Death” [Luke 20:27-38 and Thought Leader M&G Charlene Smith]

October 24, 2010 “The 2nd Good Samaritan Story” [Luke 17:11-19]

October 03, 2010 “Lamentations” [Psalm 137, Lamentations 1:1-6; 3:19-26]

September 26, 2010 “The Rich Man and Lazarus” [1 Tim. 6:6-19; Luke 16:19-31]

September 19, 2010 “The Puzzling Parable” [Psalm 79:1-9; 1 Tim. 2:1-7; Luke 16:1-13…reliant on William Herzog III and Paul Duke]

September 12, 2010 “The Good news is that Jesus keeps Bad Company” [Jeremiah 4:11-12, 22-28; Psalm 51; 1 Tim 1:12-17; Luke 15:1-10]

August 29, 2010 “Rev Debbie van der Laar” [Ruth 1:16-22]

August 22, 2010 “Re-shaped by Jesus” [Luke 13:10-17]

August 15, 2010 “Keep the Faith and Run the Race” [Hebrews 10:39 – 12:2 This sermon is inspired by Thomas Long’s Interpretation Commetary on Hebrews and Ronnell Braxton’s sermon: Finishing the Race.]

August 08, 2010 “Worry about your Worship” [Psalm 50; Isaiah 1:10-20 and Luke 12:32-40]

August 01, 2010 “Worry about your Wealth” [Colossians 3:1-11; Luke 12:1-34]

July 18, 2010 “Mary Martha and Jesus” [Luke 10:38-42]

July 11, 2010 Dr Gilbert Lawrence

July 4, 2010 Rev Ken Leverton

June 20, 2010 “Thirsting for God” – [Psalm 42; 1 Kings 19; Luke 8:26-39 With the help of Walter Brueggemann’s insights into the Kings passage].

June 13, 2010 “Grace, Grief and Gratitude” – [Luke 7:36-50].

June 06, 2010 “Compassionate Contours of God’s Heart” – [Ps. 146; 1 Kings 17:8-16; Luke 7:11-17. Thanks to Margaret Aymer for the contour path idea].

May 30, 2010 “Dr Gilbert Lawrence Trinity Sunday” – [John 16:12-15].

May 23, 2010 “Baptised by the Holy Spirit” – [Luke 3:21-22; Acts 2; Romans 8:14-17].

May 16, 2010 “Dr Peter Storey” – [Acts 16:16-34].

May 09, 2010 “Jesus Language of Love” – [John 5:1-9 and John 14: 23-29].

May 02, 2010 “Make the Circle Bigger” – [Acts 10 and 11:1-18; Rev. 21:1-6; John 13:31-35].

April 25, 2010 “The Lord is my President” – [Psalm 23; Ezekiel 34; John 10].

April 18, 2010 “The Resurrection of Saul and Ananias” – [Psalm 30; Acts 9:1-20].

April 11, 2010 “Resurrection Repeat” – [Psalm 150; 1 Cor. 15:12-20; Acts 10: 34-48; Isaiah 65:17-25; Luke 24:1-12].

April 04, 2010 “Living the Resurrection” – [Psalm 118; 1 Cor. 15:12-20; Acts 10: 34-48; Isaiah 65:17-25; Luke 24:1-12].

April 02, 2010 “St John’s Passion” – [John 18:1-12].

April 02, 2010 “Freely Forgiven For Free” – [Psalm 130 and Luke 23:34].

March 31, 2010 “The Way of Forgiveness – Part 3” – [Psalm 130 and Luke 23:34].

March 30, 2010 “The Way of Forgiveness – Part 2” – [Psalm 130 and Luke 23:34].

March 29, 2010 “The Way of Forgiveness – Part 1” – [Psalm 130 and Luke 23:34].

March 28, 2010 “Gun Free Palm Sunday” – [Luke 19:28-40. Partly reliant on M Borg and D Crossan: The Last Week. The sermon is cut short as it included a Gun Free advert on DVD which is not on the audio].

March 14, 2010 “Happy are those” – [Psalm 32 and Luke 15: 1-2, 11-32. Partly reliant on Lindsay Armstrong].

March 07, 2010 “Tell us why Jesus!” – [Luke 13:1-9].

February 28, 2010 “Two Tones of Truth” – [Psalm 27 and Luke 13:31-35].

February 21, 2010 “Dr. Gilbert Lawrence Lent 1” – [Luke 4:1-13].

February 17, 2010 “ASH Wednesday Silent Solidarity” – [Concerning Rev. Ecclesia de Lange’s discontinuement].

February 14, 2010 “Prayerful Friends of Jesus” – [Exodus 34:29-35; Ps. 99; 2 Cor. 3:12-4:2; Luke 9: 28-43a].

February 07, 2010 “Meeting Jesus on the Beach” – [Isaiah 6:1-8; Luke 5:1-11].

January 31, 2010 “Covenant Love” – [Jeremiah 1: 4-10; Psalm 71; 1 Cor 13:1-13].

January 24, 2010 “Jesus kicked out of Church” – [Luke 4:14-30 and 1 Cor 12:12-26].

January 18, 2010 “The State of the Nation” – [1 hour evening seminar].

January 17, 2010 “The Making of Miracles” – [Isaiah 62:1-5; Psalm 36; 1 Cor 12:1-11; John 2:1-11].

January 10, 2010 “But now” – [Isaiah 43:1-7; Psalm 29; Acts 8:14-17; Luke 3:15-22].

January 03, 2010 “Dr. Gilbert Lawrence preaching”

December 13, 2009 “Lovers fighting” – [Malachi 1-4].

December 06, 2009 “To repent is to change and to change is to confess” – [Luke 3:3].

November 29, 2009 “Begin with the end in mind but don’t forget the means” – [Luke 21:25-36].

November 22, 2009 “Christ the King of Truth” – [Rev. 1:4b-8; Col. 1:15-18, John 18:33-37].

November 15, 2009 “Anniversary Service Rev Tim Attwell”.

November 01, 2009 “Saints Alive” – [Mark 12: 28-34].

October 25, 2009

“In-sight-full Bartimaeus” – [Mark 10:46-52].

October 18, 2009 “Esther part 2” – [Esther 5-10].

October 11, 2009

“Baptismal Love” – [1 John 4:7-21].

October 04, 2009 “Esther part 1” – [Esther 1-4].

September 27, 2009

“When those for Jesus are against him” – [Mark 9:30-41].

September 06, 2009 “On the Precipice of Prejudice” – [Proverbs 22; James 2:1-17; Mark 7:24-37].

August 30, 2009 “A Warning to Good Religious Folk: God is Very Very BIG” – [Mark 6:53-7:1-23].

August 23, 2009 “Call to Armour” – [Ephesians 6:1-10].

August 16, 2009 “Offended by Jesus” – [John 6].

July 26, 2009 “Feeding the 5000 by Jennifer Manis” – [Mark 6:30-56].

July 19, 2009 “Feeding the 5000 by Dr Gilbert Lawrence” – [Mark 6:30-56].

July 12, 2009 “To Please God or self, that is the Question” – [Mark 6:14-29].

July 05, 2009 “Hometown Hostility and Mission Vulnerability” – [Mark 6:1-13].

June 28, 2009 “The Free and Equal Healthcare of Jesus” – [Mark 5:21-43].

June 21, 2009 “The Stormy Journey to the Other Side” – [Mark 4:35-41].

June 14, 2009 “The Transition of Power – Saul to David” – [1 Samuel 15:34-16:13].

June 07, 2009 “When Death Marks Time” – [Isaiah 6:1-8].

May 24, 2009 “Pulled into Prayer” – [John 17:1-19].

May 17, 2009 “Abide in this Text” – [John 15:1-17].

May 10, 2009 “Mother Mary and Money Matters” – [Luke 1:46-55].

April 26, 2009 “See my Hands and Feet” – [Luke 24: 36-48].

April 19, 2009 “The Dream of Unity” – Sermon by Dr. Gilbert Lawrence. [Ps.133, Acts 4:32-35, 1 John 1:2-2:2, John 20:19-31].

April 12, 2009 “The Silent Resurrection”. [Mark 16:1-8]. – with references to: Morton Kelsey, James L Mays, John B. Rogers Jr, John Masefield and Thomas Long.

April 10, 2009 “Good Friday – We are a Cross Manufacturing People”. [Mark 15].

Good Friday Sermon – A Cross Manaufacturing People. Click to download PDF version

April 08, 2009 “Holy Week – Jesus Betrayed”. [Mark 14:1-21].

April 07, 2009 “Holy Week – Jesus Annointed by an Unnamed Woman”. [Mark 14:1-9].

April 06, 2009 “Holy Week – Jesus at Simon the Leper’s House”. [Mark 14:1-3].

April 05, 2009 “Palm Sunday in an Election Year”. [Mark 11 and Phil. 2]. – strong reliance on Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan’s Book: The Last Week.

March 22, 2009 “Living Life in response to God’s Liberating Love”. [Numbers 21 and John3].

March 15, 2009 “Freedom Charter – The Ten Commandments”. [Exodus 20 and Psalm 19] – Sermon is strongly reliant on the Exodus commentaries by T Fretheim and W Brueggemann.

March 08, 2009 “Propelled by Promise into a Pilgrimage of Faith. [Genesis 17]”

March 01, 2009 “Noah’s Ark – The Disarmament of God. [Genesis 6-9]”

Feb 25, 2009 “Ash Wednesday Reflection”

Feb 15, 2009 “Naaman and Enemy Healing Love”

Feb 08, 2009 “A Day in the Life of Jesus”

Feb 01, 2009 “Covenant Committment”

Feb 01, 2009 “In Partnership with Father and Son Unlimited”

Jan 25, 2009 “Alan’s Induction Service by Rev. Yevette Moses”

Jan 18, 2009 “God is always up to something”

Jan 11, 2009 “The Voice of God and our Identity”

Jan 04, 2009 “A king’s King”

Dec 28, 2008 “Four Inspiring People”

Dec 28, 2008 (pdf 94kb) “Four Inspiring People”

Christmas Day (pdf 126kb) “Jesus is God’s Answer to a Bad Reputation” Alan Walker

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Holy Week 17 – 24 April 2011

Palm/Passion Sunday Movie (6pm 17 April)
Gran Torino (Clint Eastwood….please note this is age restricted 16LV)

Mon – Meet Pontius Pilate 7pm-8pm
Tue – Meet Mrs Pilate 7pm-8pm
Wed – Meet Joseph of Arimathea 7pm-8pm
Thu – Foot washing / Tenebrae 7pm-8pm

Fri – 10am and Three Hour Service from 12noon-3pm
Sun – 10am service of Resurrection and Baptism

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National Water Week 21 – 27 March

We live on the driest continent in the world. And South Africa is a “dry” land. All SA’s rivers flowing together only equal half of the Zambezi’s water or just less than 1/8th of the Mississippi river.

To show our reverence for this precious source of life we need to act with restraint in our use of water. All of us can do this starting today by reducing the amount of water we use to bath or shower. To collect rain runoff. To use “grey” water (recycling bath water into the garden etc.) this would be a life-giving Lenten commitment.

I read the other day that “most water returns to our oceans within 10 days as rainfall or run-off and is then returned to the clouds by evapourating within 3120 years. It is calculated that every drop of water on earth has been through the entire water cycle 1232 000 times. In other words we have certainly drunk water that has been through the kidneys of many dinosaurs.” Believe it or not?

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Manna and Mercy

I will be in the USA from the 22nd February to the 8th March. I will be at Luther Seminary in Minnesota / Rochester Minnesota / Gulfport Mississippi. For the most part I will be facilitating the wonderfully liberating story of Manna and Mercy – check out for more information.

These Manna and Mercy weekends do nothing less than equip us to change the world. The next one in South Africa will be in Cape Town on the 1st-3rd April 2011.

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Covenant Commitment

At the beginning of every year we renew our Covenant with God:

Beloved in Christ, let us once again claim for ourselves this Covenant which God has made with God’s people, and take upon us the yoke of Christ.

To take Jesus’ yoke upon us means that we are content for him to appoint us our place and work, and himself to be our reward. Christ has many services to be done: some are easy, others are difficult; some bring honour, others bring reproach; some are suitable to our natural inclinations and material interests, others are contrary to both; in some we may please Christ and please ourselves, in others we cannot please Christ except by denying ourselves. Yet the power to do all these things is given to us in Christ, who strengthens us.

We are no longer our own but yours O God.

I am no longer my own, but yours. Put me to what you will, rank me with whom you will; put me to doing, put me to suffering; let me be employed for you or laid aside for you, exalted for you or brought low for you; let me be full, let me be empty; let me have all things, let me have nothing; I fully and freely yield all things to your pleasure and disposal.

And now, glorious and blessed God, Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer, You are mine and I am yours. So be it. And the Covenant now made on earth, let it be ratified in heaven.


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