In the name of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I welcome you all to this Vestry of 2012. Since our
arrival at St Barnabas, ten months ago from Estcourt St Matthew’s we have been
made to feel welcome by the whole parish. This has enabled us to settle very
quickly and to get on with the business at hand and that is to evangelise and
mission. This is our core business as a church and as parishioners.
We are here to proclaim the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
For a day like today (Vestry), I chose the theme; Cast the Net, John 21:6. The sevendisciples were out fishing at the invitation of Peter. After fishing the whole night they caught nothing - no fish.
Then Jesus appears to them in the morning and he notices their
disappointment. He says to them, “Cast the net to the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” The
result is a net full of fish. John tells us that the net is not torn despite being full of fish. Jesus invites them
to breakfast where he further reveals himself as the risen Lord.
Casting the net says to us; that we should not only trust in own skills, expertise and efficiency, but
to trust in the sovereign Lord who has called us to this mission of evangelism.
Casting the net says to us this morning; take a risk with God. Trust Him. Yes we will have budget
lines to meet and to adhere to, but the budget lines are not and must not have
the final say, Jesus has the final say, not only in our lives but also in the
church. Jesus is the Alpha and Omega. That is why we tithe as believers because
we know that Jesus is the final word in all matters.
Casting the net says to us; be totally be depended on God’s will.
Cast the net says to us; Jesus is the Lord of heaven and earth and the net full
of fish demonstrates provision for us as individuals and as a parish. Our God is the God of all so we do not
fear the present or future we wait with an expectant faith. He
provides for us. As we go through vestry let us continue to remind ourselves of
this God that provides. I often recall the story of Elijah and the widow, the widow never ran out of food after
the encounter with Elijah . Psalm 121 says, “I lift my eyes to the mountains:
where our help comes from? Our help comes from God who made heaven and earth.”
The Psalm further says, Our God, does not sleep-he is constantly watching over us. So, as the church warden’s report and finance report are presented, including the budget let us remember that our
Lord is sovereign over all, he says to us cast the net. We need to look to the Lord always - in season and out of season. We are a faith community that is not journeying alone but with God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
So let us cast the net, and take a risk with God. Amen
This article marks the end of Growth of a Community.
A community cannot remain static. It has to remember that it is not an
end to itself. God has to remain at the centre of the community. For God, through the Holy Spirit, inspires the
community to go further. As God remains at the centre of the community, we take
risks with God, and in the process the ordinary becomes the extraordinary.
The community will continue to grow when young people are encouraged to discover
their gifts and to bring them forward.
A community that does not nurture its young is sure to die. St Barnabas
has many young people, and we need to pray for clarity from God on what youth
policy we need to have and to pursue.
If we fail to encourage our young people then they will leave the
community and find other communities that will allow them to thrive. On the
5th of February 12 young
people are being confirmed plus two young adults.
How are these going to be nurtured, encouraged and discipled post
confirmation classes? This has always been the Achilles heels for the Anglican
Church -continued discipleship after confirmation. These who have been confirmed
have been anointed by the Holy Spirit and equipped by the Holy Spirit to do the
work of God. Our task as a parish is to pray with them to discern the gifts that
have been bestowed on them at confirmation. It could be that our youth are being
called to go on a mission to the areas devastated by the recent floods in
Limpopo and Mpumalanga, and to offer support with the building of shelters! It
could be that among them one is being called to be a youth pastor or even to
become an ordained minister. The two adults could be called to be involved in parish council, youth ministry,
reading in church or side’s people duties. Our task as a congregation is to help
them not to be static, but to be on the move and to ultimately discover where
God is calling them. We must see this not as a burden but a joy. For to be confirmed is like experiencing the
birth of child in a home and what joy and possibilities it brings as we gaze
upon this new birth. In five years’time these 12 will be young adults, and what
an investment it would have been if we have nurtured them to remain in the
Anglican Church as participating members. Think of the possibilities that come
with this approach. That is called forward thinking and ultimately Growth.
Fr. Barnabas Nqindi
My name is Barnabas Sibusiso Nqindi, rector of St Barnabas-Bluff. I enjoy a good debate and I love to see people grow in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ