1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30.
Page No. Letter from the Rector 2 From the Magazine Team 3 Silent Night 4 More of our Sunday School Helpers 5 The Green Corner 6 That Green Thing 7 The Blue Christmas Service 8 The Great Meeting—at the Well 9 Trip to Israel 10 Learning to Love 11 Andrew and Angie ………. asap 12 Learning to Hate 13 The Pope and the Rabbi 14 More of our Helpers at St Agnes 15 Autumn Leaf 16 Skogheim 17 The Building Fund 18 Brian and Rosemary 19 Where is Your Heart? 20 St Agnes Community Market 21 Stock-Taking! 22 Born to Create 23 The Younger Gavens 24 Carol 25 If It‘s Saturday…it must be at St Agnes 26 Find me in the River 27 Tea Party ………………...Healing Testimony 28 Our Trip to Italy—September 2011 29 From Betty Addison ……..Bill‘s 80th 30 Christmas Day in the Morning 31
ear St Agnes Family
YEAR OF MISSION As I write this, we are almost one third of the way through our Year of Mission. You may remember that we have 2 goals for this year. The first is that no one in the wider community will be unaware of us. The second is that we would become more missional, that St Agnes will be changed forever. No longer will we just think about ourselves but we would begin to see the mission field all around us. The two are interconnected. More people will be aware of us because more of us have reached out! As Paul reminds us the church as a body is made up of many members. Until each one of us begins to look outwards, we will not yet have changed as a church. Each time we reach out – we change. I was so heartened by some of the responses to the Back to Church Sunday. This was a chance for you to become a player. People invited ‗lost‘ children. People invited neighbours. One couple invited neighbours who had fallen away from church – they were actually Methodists but came to us on 25 September. But the missionary heart of our people led them to undertake to go with their guests to the Methodist Church on the following Sunday! God is longing for us to catch his heart for those who are away from him, those who have never known him and his love and are destined for eternal death beyond this life. There is no lack of things to invite people to come to. In fact, the pace of life has definitely taken a step up with more things happening than we can even accommodate on site. I hope that some of you have been enlisted to hand out the superb St Agnes pamphlet which has been produced to ‗market‘ our life to each home and family. Just praying for our neighbours as we took them out will have reminded us that God has put us where we are for his purposes. We carry his presence into our street. Before Christmas we will be handing out invitations at the shops. As we do that we are reminding the world of Jesus whose feast is what Christmas is about. But we 2
are also telling them that we have a place where grieving over loss at the festive season is taken care of at the Blue Christmas; where children are welcome, especially at the Crib service; and where they can find the heart of it all as they are given a chance to encounter the One who came that we might live. As you risk doing something new to reach out for God may you get the thrill of being a missionary – and get hooked for life! With love to you all Nigel
ear Fellow Parishioners It‘s six months since you last received the magazine as, sadly, we were unable to bring out the September issue due to lack of funds. Because of the long gap we have received a lot of contributions and are not able to include all of them, but please do keep sending in items of interest, amusement or inspiration—bearing in mind that the deadline for articles for the March magazine is the end of January 2012, and that you need to keep within the word limit of 350 words. Contributions may be emailed, as usual, to Sarah at: email@example.com, or placed in the Chronicle drawer at the back of the Auditorium. We wish all of you a blessed and joyful Christmas, and safe travelling to those who will be on the roads. Yours in Christ Sarah Burns (031-7671531) Celia Wright (083 6764574) Anne Misselhorn (031-7642657) 3
hundred and eighty years ago the carol "Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht" was heard for the first time in a village church in Oberndorf, Austria. The congregation at that Midnight Mass in St. Nicholas Church listened as the voices of the assistant pastor, Fr. Joseph Mohr, and the choir director, Franz Xaver Gruber, rang through the church to the accompaniment of Fr. Mohr's guitar. On that Christmas Eve, a song was born that would be translated into hundreds of languages and wing its way into the hearts of people throughout the world. The German words for the original six stanzas of the carol we know as "Silent Night" were written by Joseph Mohr in 1816, when he was a young priest at a pilgrimage church in Austria. His grandfather lived nearby, and it is easy to imagine that he could have come up with the words while walking thorough the countryside on a visit to his elderly relative. We have no idea if any particular event inspired Joseph Mohr to pen his poetic version of the birth of the Christ-child. On December 24th 1818, Joseph Mohr journeyed to the home of musician-schoolteacher Franz Gruber, who lived in an apartment over the schoolhouse in nearby Arnsdorf. He showed his friend the poem and asked him to add a melody and guitar accompaniment, so that it could be sung at Midnight Mass. Later that evening, as the two men, backed by the choir, stood in front of the main altar in St. Nicholas Church and sang "Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht!" for the first time, they could hardly have imagined the impact their composition would have on the world. By the time the song had become famous throughout Europe, Joseph Mohr had died and the composer was unknown. Perhaps this is part of the miracle of "Silent Night." The words flowed from the imagination of a modest curate. The music was composed by a musician who was not known outside his village. There was no celebrity to sing it at its world premiere. Yet its powerful message of heavenly peace has crossed all borders and language barriers, conquering the hearts of people everywhere. by Bill Egan, Christmas Historian (shortened) 4
PATSY SHEWELL Grd 2 – 5th yr Married to Doug, who also does the Praise and Worship with the Children. They have 2 children, Emma and Daniel. Patsy is a lecturer at UKZN in Management Accounting and Finance, and Doug is Treasurer for St. Agnes EMMA JUCKES A2J and Teeny Weenies – 3rd and 1st year Emma is in Matric at St. Mary‘s this year. She loves Music, and wants to study medicine next year. BOIPELO MAKATHINI Teeny Weenies – 3rd yr Married with 3 kids- 2 daughters and a son. Came to St Agnes in 2007 and joined children‘s church in 2009 with her friend Zuke, who has now left and is in Johannesburg.
ANDREW CANNING Grd 4 –3rd yr Married to Marie, father of twins Megan and Ellie. Born and bred in KZN and avid Sharks fan. Makes petrol for a living (―don‘t blame me for the price!‖). For relaxation either a weekend getaway, or a bad game of golf, or braai with mates.
Never worry about the size of your Christmas tree. In the eyes of children, they are all 30 feet tall! Larry Wilde, The Merry Book of Christmas
Biblical Principles for Creation Care
any people today yearn to restore the integrity of creation. It might therefore be helpful to read the Scriptures afresh, searching for their ecological insights on how rightly to live on the earth. The following eight biblical principles will help disclose the Bible‘s powerful environmental message 1. The Earthkeeping Principle:- As the Lord keeps and sustains us, so we must keep and sustain our Lord‟s creation. God expected Adam and his descendents to meet the needs of the garden of creation so that it would persist and flourish. 2. The Fruitfulness Principle:- We should enjoy but not destroy creation‟s fruitfulness. God‘s blessing of fruitfulness is for the whole of creation. 3. The Sabbath Principle:- We must provide for creation‟s Sabbath rests. God commands us to set aside one day in seven as a day of rest for people and for animals. 4. The Discipleship Principle:- We must be disciples of Jesus Christ – the Creator, Sustainer, and Reconciler of all things. All who follow Jesus follow the example of the one who makes things new, who makes things right again 5. The Kingdom Priority Principle:- We must seek first the kingdom of God. Our culture today proclaims ‗Seek first a job (money, success) and all other things will follow‘. Do not be tempted. 6. The Contentment Principle:- We must seek true contentment. Contentment means aiming to have the things that will sustain us while not passing beyond that. 7. The Praxis Principle:- We must practice what we believe. Scripture admonishes us to act on what we know is right. Merely knowing God‘s requirements for stewardship is not enough. Merely believing in God is not enough. 8. The Conservation Principle:- We must return creation‟s service to us with service of our own. Our love of our Creator God, God‘s love of creation, and our imaging this love of God – all join together to commission us as con -servers of creation. As conservers, we follow the example of the second Adam – Jesus Christ. (Adapted from “Reading the Bible through a Green Lens” by Calvin B. DeWitt” from the Green Bible) Peter Spence 6
n the queue, the cashier told the older woman that she should bring her own bags because plastic bags weren't good for the environment. The woman apologized and explained, "We didn't have the green thing back in my day." The cashier responded, "That's our problem today. Your generation didnâ€˜t care about saving the environment." He was right, they didn't have the green thing back then. In her day they returned their bottles to be refilled and re-used - i.e. recycled. They walked up stairs, because there wasnâ€˜t a lift in every building. They walked to the shop instead of using a 300-horsepower machine to go two blocks. But she was right. They didn't have the green thing back then. Back then they washed the baby's nappies because they didn't have the throw-away kind. They dried clothes on a line, not in an energy-gobbling machine - wind and solar power really did their work. Kids got hand-medowns from siblings instead of brand-new clothing. But that old lady is right - they didn't have the green thing back in her day. Back then, they had one TV in the house, not one in every room, and the screen was the size of a pocket-handkerchief, not a soccer field. In the kitchen they blended and stirred by hand because they didn't have electric machines to do everything. For packaging fragile items they used wadded newspaper, not styrofoam or bubble wrap. But she's right, they didn't have the green thing back then. Back then they didn't burn petrol to cut the lawn - they used a push mower that ran on human power. They exercised by working, so they didn't need to go to health clubs to run on treadmills that use electricity. They had one electrical outlet per room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. Kids rode their bikes or went to school by bus instead of turning their mums into a 24-hour taxi service . They refilled their writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and they replaced razor blades instead of discarding the whole razor. But they didn't have the green thing back then. Isn't it sad how wasteful the old folks were, just because they didn't have the green thing back in their day?
19th December 2011 at 6pm
n December 2002, a wonderful ―gift‖ came our way from Canada in the form of The Blue Christmas Service. In the ensuing years, this quiet and gentle service has blessed so many of us in and outside our church community as we experienced losses in our own lives. Our vision remains the same: to reach out in the love of Christ, to all those who are struggling with grief and loss as they approach the festive season: the pain of broken relationships, separation from loved ones, financial struggles, the losses that ill health brings and the anguish of losing a loved one in death. No grief or loss is considered trivial or too small! Our 10th Blue Christmas service is around the corner. Perhaps this year, you are one of those people who are facing this Christmas season with a heavy heart. We encourage you to make a space for yourself to acknowledge your sorrow, isolation or even anxiety about the future. You are therefore warmly invited to come along to this year‘s service and to draw near to the One who can help you in your time of need. In the service, songs are sung, prayers are said, candles are lit, followed by a time for light refreshments, fellowship and optional, individual prayer should you so desire. No need to RSVP - our doors will be open from 5.30pm. Please feel free to invite others to come with you, either as your support or if you know that they too are facing this Christmas with heavy hearts. All are welcome. Enquiries: Pat Bartley 031 7642328; Des Mitchell 031 7622317 Hi there Some advance notice of a wonderful chance to do some early Christmas shopping. Bring the family: there will be live music, a fashion show and a jumping castle for the littlies. And that is in addition to lots of refreshments! Linda Cottrell 8
Last night Before falling off to sleep... In my mind I stumbled upon a well At midday, Where I fell On my knees to pray.
â€—I yearn, I long For you to Pray to me More often Than once a day. After all it is to Me that you BELONG."
Dehydrated I bent To quench my thirst But was first Struck with awe... I stopped to taste-take in the view Of a man I thought I knew.
At once I was assured This was indeed A man - JESUS Who died for me Nailed, lonesome On a tree. A man, our Father's Son, Christ, My Saviour King I have grown to love More deeply on with time; A man Who called me by my name, A man Who pronounced: "I AM HE!"
Simply dressed In drab-worn robes And thongs upon blistered feet, He sat cross-legged On a crumbling wall. As if He knew At that prized moment won I had wished He'd greet me That sweltering day Only in souls the Christ is brought to birth, And there He lives and dies. He looked, waved and smiled My way."I am the stream Of living waters, I am the quencher of All your thirst," He said. "I am the bread of life. I am the Truth, the way.
Celia Wright (31 July 2011)
Only in souls the Christ is brought to birth And there He lives and dies. Alfred Noyes 9
rom the moment I saw the words ―Wanted one lady to share room on Tom‘s tour to Israel‖ I knew it was for me, and a carpet of blessing seemed to unroll before me. Practical details fell into place like an appointment with a Sea of Galilee dream. I enjoyed every minute—friends, fun, food, swimming in the Med Sea and the Red Sea and bobbing round in the Dead Sea. The heat and barren surroundings, seeing the tree Zacchaeus climbed, and the distances walked, made me feel as if I was climbing through the pages of the Bible. There were so many highlights. One that stands out in my memory and heart was the boat ride on the Sea of Galilee. The Captain of the boat ―Faith‖ gave his most moving testimony—how after five years of taking Christians on trips he realized that Jesus was his Messiah. He sang in Hebrew and English and led us in worship, and the presence of the Lord was almost tangible. I didn‘t want it to end, ever! Then there was Jerusalem. It was so appropriate to hear the song ―Jerusalem‖ sung as we came nearer to our first sight of that unforgettable city. The next morning we walked through the Lion Gate and I repeated to myself, ―Our feet are standing within thy gates, O Jerusalem‖ (Ps 122:2). I wanted to shout it out Tom‘s tour, Jerusalem in background loud! There I was, seeing it with my own eyes, and hearing Naomi (our wonderful guide) explaining how history and archeology fitted together and proved each other. She shared so generously from her rich Judaic heritage and passionate messianic faith. I struggle to describe the special moments in the Garden of Gethsemane and taking communion at the Garden Tomb. Seeing the replica of the Tabernacle in the Wilderness and hearing how every detail was significant and prophetic, gave the Old Testament a whole new perspective. The richness and diversity of the beautiful stained glass windows in some of the churches we saw expressed something of the thrill and involuntary gratitude 10
I felt to God. I have definitely left a part of my heart in Jerusalem. Thank you Lord, and Tom, for planning such a memorable trip! Heather Schneeman
o one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite. Nelson Mandela – Long Walk to Freedom
… the angel said to (the shepherds), “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace to men On whom his favour rests.” Luke 2:10-14 11
The wedding of Andrew (Morris) and Angie (Steyn) took place at St Agnes on Saturday 3rd September. Antonio (Coppola) was best man, and the bridesmaids were Katherine Dodsworth, Sarah Swart and Jennifer Steyn. We wish them Godâ€™s guidance and blessings on their mar riage and every joy in their future together.
ver wondered about the abbreviation A.S.A.P.? Generally we think of it in terms of even more hurry and stress in our lives. Maybe if we think of this abbreviation in a different manner, we will begin to find a new way to deal with those rough days along the way. There's work to do, deadlines to meet; you've got no time to spare, But as you hurry and scurryASAP - ALWAYS SAY A PRAYER In the midst of family chaos, "Quality time" is rare. Do your best; let God do the restASAP - ALWAYS SAY A PRAYER. It may seem like your worries are more than you can bear. Slow down and take a breatherASAP - ALWAYS SAY A PRAYER God knows how stressful life is; he wants to ease our cares, And He'll respond to all your needs ASAP - ALWAYS SAY A PRAYER Courage is fear that has said its Prayers
But you have this in your favour: You hate the practices of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. Revelation 2:6 (NIV) hristians are taught to love, but there are also things they must hate. This biblical hatred is not petty dislike or a retaliatory impulse; it is passionate antipathy towards an idea and its outworking. It means enmity with the prevailing heresies and degeneracies which plague particular cultures. The identity of the Nicolaitans is one of history‘s great mysteries. … (They) are mentioned next to ―the teaching of Balaam‖ in the letter to Pergamum (Rev. 2:14-15). If that is the link, then they were likely enthusiasts for ―eating food sacrificed to idols‖ and ―committing sexual immorality‖ (v. 14). Because of the mystery, ―Nicolaitan,‖ became a generic word for ―heretic‖ in following centuries. Christians who read these letters in Revelation are invited to ―fill in the blank,‖ as it were, with the sub-Christian and anti-Christian movements of their own day. Christians must not love what God hates and hate what God loves. The Church distinguishes itself in the world by what it loves and by what it hates. The Lord Jesus Himself hates the idolatrous and immoral practices of any people. His Church, therefore, must join Him in active opposition to the cultural tides of sin. Rather than confront the idolatrous and immoral practices of its surrounding culture, the Church has often sought ways to conform to it. Christian character inevitably brings a clash of convictions requiring visible and vocal hatred of the deeds of darkness. Failure to do so contradicts the very words of Jesus Christ. Though the Ephesians were praised for their discriminating hatred, they were faulted for their lovelessness (v. 4). In the words of Southern Baptist preacher, Vance Havner, ―They were as straight as a gun barrel and just as empty.‖ But ―hatelessness‖ was not God‘s prescription for their lovelessness. Christians, and their pastors, should be fervent in both love and hate, so long as the quality and objects of these passions are divinely informed and ordered. David MacGregor From the Kairos Journal – sent in by Nigel (Article shortened)
everal centuries ago, the Pope decreed that all the Jews had to convert to Catholicism or leave Italy. There was a huge outcry from the Jewish community, so the Pope offered a deal. He‘d have a religious debate with the leader of the Jewish community. If the Jews won, they could stay in Italy, and if the Pope won, they‘d have to convert or leave. The Jewish people met and picked an aged and wise rabbi to represent them in the debate. However, as the rabbi spoke no Italian, and the Pope spoke no Yiddish, they agreed that it would be a ―silent‖ debate. On the chosen day the Pope and the rabbi sat opposite each other. The Pope raised his hand and showed three fingers. The rabbi looked back and raised one finger. Next, the Pope waved his finger around his head. The rabbi pointed to the ground where he sat. The Pope brought out a communion wafer and a chalice of wine. The rabbi pulled out an apple. With that, the Pope stood up and declared himself beaten and said that the rabbi was too clever. The Jews could stay in Italy. Later the cardinals met with the Pope and asked him what had happened. The Pope said, ―First I held up three fingers to represent the Trinity. He responded by holding up a single finger to remind me that there is still only one God common to both our beliefs.‖ ―Then I waved my finger around my head to show him that God was all around us. He responded by pointing to the ground to show that God was also right here with us.‖ ―I pulled out the wine and wafer to show that God absolves us of all our sins. He pulled out an apple to remind me of the original sin.‖ ―He beat me at every move and I could not continue.‖ Meanwhile the Jewish community gathered to ask the rabbi how he‘d won. ―I haven‘t a clue,‖ the rabbi said. 14
―First, he told me that we had three days to get out of Italy, so I gave him the finger. ―Then he tells me that the whole country would be cleared of Jews, and I told him that we were staying right here.‖ ―And then what?‖ asked a woman. ―Who knows?‖ said the rabbi. ―He took out his lunch so I took out mine.‖ Sent in by Thea Terrington
f you visit St Agnes on a Saturday you may be greeted with a friendly smile by either Nelson or Mbongeni. These friendly men help as car guards, and also cleaning, painting and generally assisting with setting out of chairs etc. for functions. Nelson Zuma is from Hammarsdale. He is married and has two girls and a boy plus an adopted orphan child. Having worked as a gardener for thirty years, he has been at St Agnes for three years. Mbongeni Mjwara was born in Nelson Zuma Umlazi. He is not married, but has his eye on a special lady. They both say they enjoy country music, gospel and Mbongeni Mjwara RNB. Celia Wright
I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. Charles Dickens 15
am a creation of God. Like the beautiful Autumn leaf my life is moving towards its end time. God created me in my mother‘s womb – a miracle. When I was born I was frail, tender, needing nurture and sustenance. But I grew into a toddler, a child, a teenager and started maturing. My life had its hardships like wind and drought but there was also gentle rain and beautiful sunlight. I thrived, was educated, fell in love and had a family. I was placed on a strong tree in fertile ground but there were hardships. Children died, parents died, siblings died. My foundations were firm but eroding with time. The leaf had hardships but was restored each year, getting stronger and bigger. We are in the autumn of our lives, still strong but getting spots and blemishes. The beautiful bloom of youth is gone, but is replaced with the beautiful colour of the Creator‘s hand. Our edges will get battered. We may lose our strength. Our bodies will become frail – but like the leaf falling off the tree, we will be regenerated to a new life. God will have been with us every step of our journey, and if we love Him we will be with Him forever. Pat Lund (This) was the last entry in Pat's journal - about 2 yrs before she died. As you know she lost a child (2 actually - her first died soon after birth) and a grandchild, and both parents and beloved sister to cancer . She kept her faith to the end - the last time she spoke to me, about a week before she died. she said, “Moira we have a Great God”. Love, Moira. Sent in by Moira Kidd
Good news from heaven the angels bring, Glad tidings to the earth they sing: To us this day a child is given, To crown us with the joy of heaven. Martin Luther 16
hese were the words on the brochure that we were handed on arrival at Skogheim. We were there for the New Wine Weekend Away and were very excited and full of anticipation. Our meetings started with the most wonderful Worship, Music and Singing, led by either the St Martin‘s or the St Agnes‘ Worship Groups. These youngsters were full of the Holy Spirit and just glowing with God‘s warmth and love. What a wonderful start! We all just left our own little worlds and entered into the Praise and Worship of our Mighty God. We heard that God was sowing ‗Faith‘ that week-end and that we needed to be obedient. We heard that we might need to change our shape, to receive the anointing of the Holy Spirit We heard that God was bringing a remarriage of the Spirit AND the Word in this new revival, and that this was going to be unlike the previous revival started by the Toronto Blessing, which was not particularly deep in the Word and concentrated more on the Spirit. We learned many new things and were blessed by each revelation. It would no doubt encourage everyone to go next year if I mentioned that all the rooms had private bathrooms! One could book single, double or dormitory rooms, or even camp. The meals were substantial, so we came home full as ticks! To recommend the next New Wine week-end away, for me, would be easy. I LOVED EVERY MINUTE of that refreshing time with our Lord and felt thoroughly topped up by the end of it ! For me it was real time of renewing my relationship with God and worshipping Him in the Spirit, AND committing myself for the future. For anyone who didn‘t go this year, do yourselves a favour and be blessed by booking for next year. Barbara Martin (St Elizabeth‘s, Westville) August 2011
…the spirit of Christmas fulfils the greatest hunger of mankind. Loring A. Schuler 17
INCOME & EXPENDITURE 2011 / INCOME 2010 600000
300000 Actual Income 2011
435801 336448.8 371009
375832.1 311960.8 381467.3 372746.2 401134.9 358565
Income 2010 Actual Expenditure 2011
361266 415628.6 332951.2 357101.3 548353 400895.2 398519
WORSHIP CENTRE OUTSTANDING BALANCE AT 31 AUGUST 2011 18000000 16000000 14000000
12000000 10000000 8000000 6000000 4000000 2000000 16296582.88 6058131.2 5606564.15 5435887.75 3628090.25 3621387.8 3588368.25 3585317.54 3553972.98 3549162.6 3547185.15
0 TOTAL SPENT
n 1980 the Gavens arrived in Kloof from Johannesburg. Rosemary was lonely at first, but Mary Davidge persuaded her to attend an AWF meeting – and she has remained a member (at times treasurer) throughout her ―thirty wonderful years‖ at St Agnes. When Margaret Arbuthnot retired 1986, Ken Gregory and Brian both received the same ―word‖ about her successor – and Rosemary duly became Parish Secretary. For the next sixteen years she remained at the hub of everything that happened in the parish. If anyone wanted information, Rosemary would know! As she says, ―It‘s not a job, it‘s a ministry; you don‘t count the cost!‖ She has also enjoyed lay ministry, healing ministry with Brian, administering sick communion and, for about twenty years running her home group. After Charles Parry arrived Brian began to notice a ―change‖ in Rosemary who, unbeknown to him, had responded to one of Charles‘s altar calls and been anointed by the Holy Spirit. Brian joined her and, after another altar call, ―found himself (he doesn‘t quite know how!) at the altar rail‖. He also received the Holy Spirit and, in his words, became ―church crazy‖. Brian became church warden in about 1985. He says he ―hadn‘t a clue what to do‖, but a proposal to double the then budget (Alan Page was treasurer) was not only approved, but increased by Vestry. Subsequently Annette Troughton suggested tithing the budget – and that year there was a 150% increase in income! The budget never failed to break even, and the parish even managed to support a struggling church in Angola. When the Parrys left, Brian was part of discussions which resulted in the appointment of Nigel to St Agnes. He has also been very involved with the Thursday Men‘s Breakfasts at Thomas More College Brian‘s recent illness persuaded them to consider migrating to the U.K., where they will be near Peter and Alison and grandchildren Nicholas and Catherine in Yorkshire (see article p.24). They will be sad to leave Nicky and her family and their many good friends, including home group and other co-workers at St Agnes, and will be sorely missed by many. We wish them God‘s richest blessing on this adventure into a new future. Brian feels that God healed him for a purpose - which He will reveal! (interviewed by Anne Misselhorn) 19
ear friends, I find it sad that so much of our culture today is obsessed with image and outward appearance. Models on magazine covers determine what it is to be beautiful, successful and fashionable. In the midst of all this, I believe there are a lot of us yearning for authenticity. Relationship that is more than just surface. Beauty and happiness that are more than just how the media defines them for us. We want something real. I love the part in the Bible where Samuel is looking to anoint Israel‘s next king. God has told him to go to Jesse‘s house, where He will reveal to him the next king. Samuel goes through all Jesse‘s sons, and seeing how strong, handsome and tall many of them were, thinks in turn that each one will be king. God then suddenly rebukes Samuel by saying, ―Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.‖ (I Samuel 16: 7). In the end God shows Samuel that it is the youngest son, the shepherd boy David, who will be king. Jesus too goes out of His way to expose the hypocrisy, religiosity and hard-heartedness of people who claimed to follow God. His words constantly peel away facades and cut to what is really going on in our hearts. He says things like, what we treasure will reveal the state of our hearts (Mt 6: 21), how we speak is a reflection of what is really going on inside (Mt 12: 34), and that there are many who honour Him with their lips, but their hearts are really far from Him (Mt 15: 8). ―And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and will give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statues and be careful to obey my rules. You shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers…‖ (Ezek 36: 26-28a) Antonio
From home to home, and heart to heart, from one place to another The warmth and joy of Christmas, brings us closer to each other. 20
This is the year of Mission for St Agnes, and during the first half of the year our Home Group completed a course on personal evangelism. God seemed to be using the course to stimulate discussion around how, individually and collectively, we could work to impact people's lives to bring them closer to knowing God. God then laid a vision upon the hearts of a few of us to provide a sales outlet for the sew-ers and beaders in our community who do not have regular access to the general public. Holding this vision in one hand, and the imperative to bring people closer to knowing God in the other hand, the concept of regularly holding a community craft market was born. The Cottrell home group has taken it on as our social outreach project for the Mission to Kloof this year. Many creative and challenging ideas were raised and debated, but the overriding need to draw people onto the St Agnes grounds in a friendly, relaxing way while displaying locally produced products, remained our firm focus. We decided to call it the Make a Difference market, as we wanted it to make a difference in the lives of the people making the products as well as the people visiting St Agnes, some of them for the first time. We have had two very successful Make a Difference Community Market days, selling solely homemade goods as well enjoying as the talents of local schools and musicians. A special thank you to St Mary's and HCA, as well as our own talented worship leaders who do so much to create the peaceful, relaxing vibe at the market.. At our September market we were lucky enough to have local designer Karen Monk-Klinjstra provide a fashion show for us. A feature of the Market Days has been the friendly tea garden, which has been run very efficiently and effectively by the AWF. Visitors seem to enjoy browsing the 21
various stands and enjoying some tea and friendly chats. Various other members from St Agnes have also volunteered to help on the day, whether it is baking, watching children on the jumping castle, or greeting people as car guards. We thank God for them and the ministry that they perform on the day. Our next market is on the 19th November from 08:30 to 12:00. We appeal to all to get involved and come along and enjoy another wonderful day - this time with a festive flair. Christmas shopping for all! Anne Baylis
I heard the bells on Christmas Day Their old familiar carols play, And wild and sweet the words repeat Of peace on Earth, good will to men! Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
God said in His word that every hair on your head is counted... So if your hair is “deurmekaar” today... Don’t worry; it’s just stock-taking time!
Michele Higginson 22
eth Freeman-Kane was born to create tiny sculptures, beginning her creative adventure when she was only six years old. ―I have always been creative, and have enjoyed painting, drawing and sculpting for most of my life. I began making miniature animals from plasticine at the age of six,‖ she added. Beth, a selftaught artist said she loves the constant pursuit of beauty, and the special quality that art has to lift people‘s spirits. She describes her art as miniaturist. ―My husband coined the phrase ‘wildlife miniaturist‘, which I think pretty accurately describes what I do‖. She sculpts birds and small animals in miniature and then paints them as true-to -life as possible. ―This is not as easy as it sounds, as the sculpting process includes mould-making, casting and many other processes, drawing it out. Following that, I create a natural environment for each one using a variety of materials. Each of these little scenes is box framed and presented as a jewel-like piece of artwork,‖ Beth adds. She won the viewer‘s choice award at the World Exhibition of Miniatures in Tasmania in 2008 and has also won eighteen other awards at international shows. ―This year I was elected as a signature member of Miniature Artists of America, an invitational organization dedicated to promoting miniatures as fine art and recognizing excellence among artists exhibiting in (not necessarily living in) the USA. I have also qualified for artisan status with the International Guild of Miniature Artisans,‖ she said. She says she draws inspiration from the natural world. ―While driving through a game park, I‘m the kind who will stop to admire lichen growing on a tree, or an interesting dead leaf. Animals and birds are thrilling too.‖ Visit www.bethfreeman-kane.co.za. She also has work displayed at Durban‘s Natural Science Museum.
Christmas, children, is not a date. It is a state of mind. Mary Ellen Chase 23
t was great to see Peter and Alison Gaven and their daughter Catherine during their recent visit to Kloof. When they left us in 1997 to settle in Yorkshire, Peter‘s lovely voice and leadership of the music group (which Alison later joined) were missed by many. Peter also led the Youth Group with the Stokoes and Cawoods, while Alison ran the play school with Bernice. During Peter‘s national service they began to exchange 30-page letters, so no surprises that engagement and marriage followed in 1988! Nicholas arrived in 1991 and Catherine in 1995. Finding it difficult to raise a family on a teacher‘s salary, Peter prayerfully signed up with a teaching agency in the U.K. after a visit there in 1997. As the deadline for notice at Hillcrest High approached, they fervently prayed for news by the Friday of that week. On the Thursday the agency notified them of a possible job in Yorkshire, and the headmaster actually phoned to say he ―just wanted to get in before the week-end‖ – he had ―happened‖ to be in the supply office when Peter‘s C.V. came through! With the consent of the Hillcrest principal, Peter was in the Aysgarth head‘s office on Monday morning …. God‘s hand or coincidence?! Aysgarth is a rural co-ed Christian boarding school a few miles from York – an area ―perfect for raising children‖. Dorian Stafford‘s vision of a red brick house with pink roses over the entrance was an exact description of their house! A young ferret has joined them, which sleeps on the beds and comes and goes at will during the day. Its vices? - chocolate and breaking cups and glasses! Among his many duties, Peter heads up I.T. and teaches Biology and Science, coaches various sports and takes chapel services. Alison teaches pre-primary, and has other responsibilities in both school and sport. It is a small school, so everyone does a bit of everything - ―It‘s more a way of life than a job‖, says Peter. Nicholas has just completed his first year at university, and Cathy has three years to go at school. Peter‘s closing comments … ―we have been blessed … have made the right choices … enjoy good friends … and the kids are happy.‖ Brian and Rosemary will be joining them in November, and Alison‘s mother, Jill Elliott, is already living nearby. – abundant witness to the grace of God! (Interviewed by Anne Misselhorn) 24
( Sung by the field-mice to Ratty and Mole)
n the fore-court, lit by the dim rays of a horn lantern, some eight or ten little field-mice stood in a semi-circle … their fore-paws thrust deep into their pockets, their feet jigging for warmth. … ‗Now then, one, two, three!‘ and forthwith their shrill little voices uprose on the air, singing one of the oldtime carols … Villagers all, this frosty tide, Let your doors swing open wide, Though wind may follow, and snow beside, Yet draw us in by your fire to bide; Joy shall be yours in the morning! Here we stand in the cold and the sleet, Blowing fingers and stamping feet, Come from far away you to greet – You by the fire and we in the street – Bidding you joy in the morning! For ere one half of the night was gone, Sudden a star has led us on, Raining bliss and benison – Bliss to-morrow and more anon, Joy for every morning! Goodman Joseph toiled through the snow – Saw the star o'er a stable low; Mary she might not further go – Wecome thatch, and litter below! Joy was hers in the morning! And then they heard the angels tell „Who were the first to cry Nowell? Animals all, as it befell, In the stable where they did dwell! Joy shall be theirs in the morning!‟ ‗Very well sung, boys!‘ cried Ratty heartily. ‗And now come along in, all of you, and warm yourselves by the fire, and have something hot!" from Kenneth Grahame’s “Wind in the Willows” Contributed by Sarah Burns 25
Saturday 27 August 2011 A tea party – no – an act of worship!
his event certainly achieved its objective through the lovingly prepared and presented eats by the AWF, and the young St Mary‘s musicians who chose beautifully uplifting items, and Forgiven Free worship dancers who gracefully led us into the very throne room of God in their interpretation of ―Worthy Is The Lamb‖ Tables were adorned with fine china, polished silver and fresh flowers. The crown of all was the guests - those beloved of God, whose circumstances and very lives we hold before the Lord in faithful prayer, ever believing, for His hand in intervention and healing. Everywhere, everyone and everything spoke of extravagance - such is the expression of the Agape love of St Agnes. ………And then again on Saturday 17 September 2011 Another initiative of the Pastoral Care Team. How very thoughtful to dedicate a whole day for ―carers‖ to rest in the presence of God, to receive prayer, teaching and encouragement in the many aspects of caring for the needs of their ―significant others‖. We were encouraged by talks on Pastoral Counselling, Listening Skills, understanding Alzheimer‘s Disease and the benefits of Occupational and Physiotherapy, with breakaway sessions to mingle, share, network and enjoy again the catering of the AWF. We were humbled by the personal experiences of the speakers, ending with a powerful testimony from Brian Gaven. We remember that ― in all things we are more than conquerors through Christ who strengthens us‖ Let‘s lift the name of Jesus, trust Him for all our needs and give thanks in all situations. Thank you St Agnes for your strong leadership, your faithful 26
obedience and your serving hearts, as you reach out to those within the body and those in the community. Carol Brebner
he ―Meet me at the River‖ Ladies‘ Camp, birthed in months of prayer, was a time of deep ministry, and God answered prayer. FRIDAY – Up front a wooden cross, draped with shining blue material, formed a ―river‖. In stark contrast, there was a black stone with white chalk on our chairs. We listened, riveted, as the speaker, Cary, shared her testimony of her unexpected stillborn baby! As we closed the evening the leader, Amanda, asked us to contemplate to see if there was something we needed to write on the rock and hand back to God and place in the ―river‖. SATURDAY – We were awed by the little things. The music team had picked songs that coincided with Cary‘s message. There were rocks in the ―river‖, some placed there boldly, others secretly. Afterwards we were randomly sorted into small groups where we spent time outside in discussion, and after lunch people were free, or could avail themselves of personal ministry. SATURDAY NIGHT was breath-taking. We arrived to soft light and music. Beautiful glistening white stones filled the river – the black ones all removed! Jackie explained, then drew people to dance with ribbons and flags during worship. People dared to step out and tread into that river of God and meet Him! Cary‘s message was about us being warrior princesses. We each picked a rock which had a word written underneath, a fruit -of-the-Spirit promise for us. SUNDAY – We enjoyed our Zulu ladies leading the worship in English and Zulu and had a closely huddled agape feast for communion - especially on a five-degree wintry morning. The ―river‖ was filled with tiaras and wooden cross-shaped swords, and underneath the chairs was a leaf with a verse on it! We wept with Cary as her unusual vision for the camp, given 27
ages ago, was confirmed with MANY details by an intercessor who had arrived ONLY THAT MORNING! People shared deep, sacred, vulnerable testimonies, and we knew ―GOD HAD MET EACH OF US IN THE RIVER‖! Faye Annandale
30 August 2011 ear Nina, Gail and Team, Thank you for a most delightful tea party on Saturday afternoon. One felt truly honoured seated there amidst attractively set out tables, sipping tea out of dainty tea cups, nibbling on delicious eats whilst enjoying the first class entertainment. And, chatting and getting to know folk better. Both the St Mary’s Choir and Orchestra and the Dance group were excellent. Most of all a real sense of love and grace was so evident. To God be all the glory! Many many thanks. Sincerely
n my early forties I had painful arthritis. I was unable to hold the steering wheel and drive as far as Pietermaritzburg, and never slept through the night. At times I had to walk with the aid of a stick. When one of the children was ill, I read in the ―Mercury‖ of a new health product for arthritis. In the doctor‘s waiting room I came upon another article about the same product while browsing through a magazine. While I was at the Chemist with the script, one of the ladies working there said, ―We have been waiting to see you; you must read this leaflet‖. Yes, it was about the same product – three times in one day! I thought the Lord must be sending me a message. I took the product three times a day for six months – getting worse every day. I persisted however, and after one year I had no pain, and have not had pain since. The name of the product is ―Green Lipped Mussel Extract‖. I still take one capsule every day, and will never stop praising our Lord for the miracle healing. Anne Hickman 28
he 31st August found us flying out from Durban and finally arriving at Rome Airport thirty two hours later. In our sleep deprived state we were taken on a shuttle which, we were told, would drop us at the door of our Hotel. After various vain attempts by the driver to find the place for our weary bodies, he stopped the car and ordered us out muttering ―impossibile impossibile‖ ... and after considerable difficulty with navigation and directions in Italian from a couple of kindly souls, we eventually stumbled into our place of rest. It is difficult to describe the beauty and atmosphere of Rome. The remarkable history of the city and the Forum Romanum and the Colosseum were mind blowing. We were grateful to have booked tickets in advance to go into the Sistine Chapel, and reading ―The Agony and the Ecstasy‖ while there made it all the more extraordinary. Words cannot explain our awe at the magnificence of Michelangelo‘s Forum Romanum work and his reverence to God while he was completing the masterpiece. We left Rome, driving along the west coast and then inland to our cottage at Poreta. Watching our son Graeme negotiate the narrow village streets in a humungous hired vehicle not much shorter than a hearse, with frustrated Italian drivers in front and behind, was pure comedy. He decided that the reason he was given that car was that no-one else in Italy wanted it! The tiny village of Poreta, has a ―business centre‖ consisting of one tiny shop! Communicating with the shopkeeper was somewhat difficult as she understood no English, but gesticulations, the odd bit of Latin and bad Italian can work wonders when buying prosciutto, cheeses, fresh bread and fruit. The owners of our beautiful cottage went out of their way to make us feel welcome and happy. The fridge was stocked when we arrived, they entertained us for drinks, and took us on a moonlit walk in the olive groves. We were able to make day visits to little villages and sample delicious Italian food including wild boar, truffles, risotto, and of course, plenty pasta. After a sad departure from Poreta we spent two nights in Siena. The 29
Duomo was breathtaking and the city interesting and quite beautiful. We spent a marvellous day in Florence and nearly wore out our legs and shoes walking up to the Piazza Michelangelo so as to see a magnificent view of the city. We left Italy poorer in purse but richer in memories. Some of these will fade but we will View from Piazza Michelangelo always remember the wonderful hospitality in Poreta, the kindness of the Italian people when we needed directions or assistance, the magnificent art, sculptures and architecture, the smell of leather in the market in Florence, and all the fun and laughs we had together. Jill Storrar
ear Friends I want to thank you all for your many kind wishes, gifts, messages and visits at the time of my 90th birthday in June. I appreciated them all so much and they made my birthday a very happy one. With love Betty
Congratulations to Bill Cromhout who celebrated his 80th birthday on the 21st October! It was a privilege to join Bill and Ivy and their family in the Hall on Saturday 22nd October for get-together and refreshments. Best gift was the presence of the whole family—two sons from Sydney and the UK. as well as two daughters, plus all the in-laws (and ―out-laws‖!) and friends. We wish you God‘s richest blessings, Bill, and may you enjoy many more years of fishing! 30
By Pearl Buck
e woke suddenly and completely. It was three fifteen a.m. and his father would call him at four to get up and help with the milking. This morning it was Christmas. He was fifteen years old and living on his father's farm. How he wished he had a better present for his father than a tie from the ten-cent store. It had seemed nice enough until he lay thinking the night before Christmas. He got up, stumbling blindly in his sleep, and pulled on his clothes with his eyes shut. "Dad", he had once asked when he was a little boy, "what is a stable?" ―Its just a barn,‖ his father had replied, ―just like ours". Then Jesus had been born in a barn, and to the barn the shepherds had come. The thought had hit him like a silver dagger. Why should he not give his father a special gift too, out there in the barn. He could get up earlier than four o‘clock and he could creep into the barn and get all the milking done. He'd do it alone and the clearing up too, and then, when his father went in to start the milking he would see it all done. He crept downstairs, careful of the creaky boards, and let himself out. The cows looked at him, sleepy and surprised; it was early for them too. He had never milked all alone before, but it seemed almost easy. He kept thinking of his father's surprise. He would go to the barn, open the door and then he would go to get the two big empty milk cans. But they would not be waiting or empty, they'd be standing in the milk-house, filled. He smiled and milked steadily. The task for once was not a chore, it was something else, a gift to his father who loved him. He finished, covered the two full cans and closed the milk-house door carefully. Back in his room he had only a minute to jump back into bed before the door opened and his father came in. "Rob," his father called, "we have to get up even if it is Christmas." 31
―Aw-right‖ he answered sleepily. The door closed and he lay still, laughing to himself. His dancing heart was ready to jump from his body. The minutes were endless, ten, fifteen, and the door opened and he lay still. ―Rob." "Yes, Dad.". His father was laughing, a queer sobbing sort of laugh. "It's for Christmas, Dad". He found his father and clutched him in a big hug. He felt his father's arms go round him. ―Son, I thank you. Nobody ever did a nicer thing" He got up again and they went down to the Christmas tree. Oh, what a Christmas! And how his heart nearly burst with shyness and pride as his father told his mother and the younger children how he, Rob, had got up by himself and done all the milking. "The best Christmas gift I ever had, and I will remember it, son, every year on Christmas morning as long as I live". They both remembered it, that blessed Christmas dawn when, alone with the cows in the barn, he had made his first gift of true love. contributed by Sarah Burns (shortened)
It is Christmas in the heart that puts Christmas in the air. W.T. Ellis
NOTE: OPINIONS EXPRESSED IN THIS MAGAZINE DO NOT NECESSARILY REFLECT THOSE OF THE
MAGAZINE TEAM OR ST AGNES CHURCH 32