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Archive for July, 2010

Hemelvaart as publieke dag op Burgersdorp gevier

2010/07/23 by Danie Mouton No Comments »

Die wyse waarop gemeentes toetree tot publieke bediening tel onder een van die mees opwindende ontwikkelinge in ons kerklike bediening.  Hierdie gemeentes is voorlopers, hulle is op die cutting edge.

Net so belangrik is die feit dat hulle dit ekumenies doen.  ‘n Publieke bediening kan nie alleen gedoen word nie.  die liggaam van Christus moet saamspan.  Daarom is dit so belangrik dat denominasionele skeidsmure – met die oog op die missie van God, wat die kerk navolg – verlaag moet word.

‘n Pragtige voorbeeld is oom Blaar Coetzee se vertelling tydens ‘n onlangse padberaad (2010) hoe die hele gemeenskap van Burgersdorp Hemelvaart op 13 Mei 2010 as publieke dag gaan vier. Besighede sluit, met die tema van die dag: Jesus leef, daar is hoop!  Dit is die tweede jaar waarop hulle dit só doen.

[vimeo 11548251]

Lees ook wat die gemeentes van Colesberg, Cradock, Willowmore en Port Alfred in hierdie verband doen.

Die onlangse biddag vir reën by die Kougadam is ook ‘n goeie voorbeeld.  Ons kan baie hieruit leer.

 

Ontwikkel ‘n publieke bediening

2010/07/15 by Danie Mouton 1 Comment »

Geloof is veel meer as ‘n private aangeleentheid.  Jesus is nie net die Koning van ons harte nie, maar die Koning van die heelal.  Die evangelie as woord en daad is goeie nuus vir die hele wêreld.

Ons troetel ‘n makgemaakte evangelie wanneer ons net van die Here verwag om ons innerlike beleweniswêreld en ons ervarings aan te raak.  Die onverdunde evangelie het te doen met die hele wêreld.  Dit is publiek. God se vrede, genesing, geregtigheid en die vreugde wat die Gees gee, is vir die hele lewe.

Daarom is dit so positief wanneer gemeentes begin om ‘n publieke bediening te ontwikkel waarin die Here se hart vir die samelewing sigbaar word.

Hier is ‘n paar voorbeelde hoe gemeentes reg oor die Oos-Kaap by publieke bedieninge betrokke raak:

Port Alfred dien munisipale dienste

Op Port Alfred span afgetrede lidmate, wat oor die nodige kundigheid beskik, kragte saam met die munisipaliteit om gespesialiseerde dienste soos watersuiwering en siviele werke meer effektief te lewer.  Die aanbod aan die munisipaliteit is gebore uit ’n ekumeniese Pinksterreeks waaraan verskeie gemeentes, waaronder die Volle Evangeliekerk, die Katolieke en ander verlede jaar deelgeneem het.  “Die Evangelie het die gelowiges so aangeraak, dat hulle besluit het om op te hou kla en iets te beteken, ” sê ds Riaan Steyn van Port Alfred.  “Verwyte, opposisie, wantroue en konflik is vervang met samewerking tot heil van die gemeenskap.”

[vimeo 11736818]

Gemeentes help die Willowmore-gemeenskap ontwikkel

Op Willowmore het die munisipaliteit die ekumeniese predikante-kring versoek om te help met opvoedkundige gemeenskapsprojekte.  Die gemeentes span nou saam om die gemeenskap te ontwikkel, en hou publieke voorbiddingsgeleenthede in verskillende dele van die gemeenskap.  “Hierdie samewerking verminder ook die verskeurdheid tussen die verskillende kerkgroepe, en gee aan kerke die ervaring dat hulle bruikbaar is in die ontwikkeling van die gemeenskap” vertel ds Aldo Liebenberg van Willowmore.

[vimeo 11737229]

Colesberg los verbruikersboikot op

In Colesberg het die kerke saamgespan om namens die besigheidsektor met die munisipaliteit in gesprek te tree oor ’n verbruikersboikot.  Hierdie gesprek was só vrugbaar, dat ander sake van publieke belang, soos munisipale dienste, ook deel van die gesprek geword het.  Die kerk se bemiddeling het daartoe gelei dat diensverskaffing betekenisvol verbeter het.  Ds Japie Taljaard vertel meer:

[vimeo 11561325]

Cradock voed die gemeenskap met Hollandse hulp

Op Cradock het verskeie gemeentes ekumenies saamgespan om die Vukasebenze-skuiling te skep waarin hulp aan die armstes van die armes verleen word.  Onwetend het hierdie skuiling hulp verleen aan ’n familielid van minister Charles Nqakula.  Op ’n goeie dag, tot almal se stomme verbasing, daag ’n stoet ampsmotors op, en klim die minister uit.  Sy kom bladskud met die skuiling se personeel om dankie te sê vir die hulp wat verleen is.

In hierdie video vertel ds Hansie Schutte hoe Hollanders nou hul gewig op Cradock kom ingooi om die gemeenskap te dien:

[vimeo 11736589]

‘n Kerk wat omgee vir gemarginaliseerde kinders

In Mthatha was die NG Kerk betrokke by die oprigting van die VGK se Sinethemba Kinderhuis.  Ds Willem Botes vertel die burgemeester van die Libode-munisipaliteit het by die opening van Sinethemba gesê sy het “die NG Kerk leer ken as die kerk wat omgee vir die mense.”  Sy het die aanwesiges aangemoedig om dié kerk te voorbeeld te volg.

Lees meer oor Sinethemba.

 

Sinethemba getuig die kerk gee om

by Danie Mouton 1 Comment »

Op ‘n dag sien Felecia Tywantywa ‘n ou vrou huil  omdat sy nie weet wat om met haar kleinkind te maak nie.  Hy is uit die skool gesit, en was nie vir ‘n spesiale skool aanvaarbaar nie.  Die rede: hy is verstandelik gestremd.  Felecia is so hierdeur aangegryp dat sy hierdie kinders bymekaar begin maak en versorg het.  Ander het haar daarmee gehelp.

Hierdie visie, waarop die VGK Decoligny in die Transkei sterk ingekoop het, het gelei tot die oprigting van die Sinethemba Kinderhuis vir verstandelik gestremde kinders.  Die kerk het die tehuis sonder staatshulp gevestig. Die bedryfskoste word ook nie gesubsidieer nie.  Daar word tans nog met die regering oor subsidie onderhandel.

Die kinderhuis huisves tans 72 kinders en beskik oor 8 personeellede.

Felecia se visie is om vir die kinders praktiese opleiding te gee, soos die maak van groentetuine, pottebakkery, naaldwerk en hoenderboerdery.  Houtwerk vir die seuns is nog ‘n ideaal.

Die uitdagings is legio.  Die dogters is meestal mishandel en deur familielede verkrag, en die kinders word nie altyd deur die families versorg nie.  Die regering wil nou ook hê die skool moet fisies-gestremde kinders inneem.  Moontlik sal daar dan subsidie kom.

Daar is ook nog nie lopende water beskikbaar nie.  Water word per vragmotor aangery, en ‘n dienlike pad moet nog gebou word.  Die gebou kort ook heelwat afrondingswerk.  Ordentlike hokke moet vir die varke en hoenders gebou word.

‘n Ander uitdaging is die maandelikse salarisse – al is dit baie min – van die personeel.  Daar moet ook kos, klere en medisyne gekoop word vir die kinders.

Sinethemba is ‘n wonderlike getuienis van die hart van die kerk vir mense.  Dit is bemoedigend dat die NG Kerk Mthatha die VGK Decoligny bystaan met die inrigting en bedryf van die kinderhuis.  Luister hoe ds Willem Botes, leraar van beide die VGK en NGK, vertel oor die werk wat hier gedoen word:

[vimeo 11737009]

 

Ons twee is drie: ‘n handleiding vir huweliksvoorbereiding

2010/07/02 by Danie Mouton 2 Comments »

Dr Kobus Prinsloo is ‘n ou bekende in kerklike kringe.  Hy was vir lank predikant by die NG Kerk Heideveld, het sy doktorale verhandeling in pastorale terapie voltooi, en is – onder andere – ‘n huweliksterapeut van formaat.

Uit Kobus se pen het pas ‘n handleiding met gespreksessies verskyn gerig op pare wat hullself voorberei op die huwelik.  Die werkboek is so opgestel dat pare deur ‘n begeleier ondersteun word op die pad van huweliksvoorbereiding.

Die basiese uitgangspunt is dat God die skepper van die liefdesverhouding van die paartjie is, en dat daar daarom drie persone in die huwelik is – die twee indiwidue en hul liefdesverhouding.

In gesprek met Kobus kon ek sy passie hoor om paartjies te help verstaan dat hulle liefde van God af kom, en hoe hulle kan bou aan die unieke en nuwe identiteit van hulle verhouding.  Mens hoor sy kennis en ervaring, en sien dit kom uit sy hart.

Begeleiers ontvang ook duidelike riglyne om hierdie proses effektief te fasiliteer.  Die werkboek is ‘n belangrike bydrae vir die werk van predikante wat paartjies met die oog op huweliksluiting voorberei.

Vir navrae kan Kobus gekontak word by 078 8032 877 of kobusprinsloo@aerosat.co.za

Klank: Luister gerus hoe Kobus tydens ‘n gesprek meer oor die werkboek en sy benadering vertel (11:36).

Video: In hierdie kort video sit hy die inhoud van die werkboek uiteen (4:57):

[vimeo 13008315 480 270]

Kobus is sedert Julie 2009 aangestel as streekbestuurder Modkats vir die Kaapse en OVS-streke, asook senior produkbestuurder vir die Lewenslange Geloofsvennote-Projek.  Hy het in 1999 sy doktorsgraad aan die Universiteit van die Vrystaat voltooi met ‘n proefskrif onder prof Dirk Kotze met die titel “‘n Diskoers in Narratiewe Pastorale Huweliksverryking”.  Hy het ‘n narratiewe metafoor ontwikkel wat vir huweliksvoorbereiding, huweliksverryking en vir huweliksterapie gebruik kan word.  Hy het binne die Algemene Sinodale verband heelwat werk gedoen op die gebied van predikante-begeleiding.

 

Gemeentes fokus op jongklomp tydens die skoolvakansie

2010/07/01 by Danie Mouton No Comments »

Terwyl gemeentes soos Ugie en PE-Lorraine die Sokker Wêreldbeker verbeeldingryk aangegryp het, was daar ook gemeentes wat spesifiek tydens die lang winterskoolvakansie op jongmense en kinders gefokus het.

‘n Baie suksesvolle Avontuurweek vir laerskoolkinders is in Port Elizabeth deur PE-Lorraine, PE-Hoogland en Somerstrand aangebied.  Meer as 400 kinders, 80 jong leiers en 30 volwassenes het die week bygewoon.  Dit het van 11 tot 15 Junie plaasgevind.

Meer as 400 kinders en jeugleiers sing geesdriftig saam aan geestelike liedere tydens die Avontuurweek by PE-Hoogland-Gemeente.

Word of Faith, ‘n pentakostalistiese gemeente in Port Elizabeth, het ‘n hele speelpark voor die kerkgebou opgerig waar jongmense kon kom ontspan.  Volgens pastoor Jimmy Crompton is die speelpark met behulp van borgskappe deur Christen-sakemanne ingerig, en het dit die gemeente nie ‘n sent gekos nie.  Hulle het bloot die inisiatief geneem.

Word of Faith Gemeente se speelterrein vir kinders - 'n manier om die lang skoolvakansie om te kry

Twee voorbeelde van die vrug wat gemeentes pluk deur op jongmense te fokus.

 

Transformative Community Partnerships

by Danie Mouton No Comments »

This is a summary of a speech given to an ecumenical group of Christian leaders in Port Elizabeth, on Thursday 1 July 2010.

1. What next?

As ecumenically representative group of church leaders we need to concern ourselves with the never-ending task of discerning the way forward. What do we do next as body of Christ?

(Note: By “we” I refer to a more or less undefined communitas of congregational leaders in the Nelson Mandela Metropole, a group of friends and like-minded visionaries who meet from time to time, e.g. to have breakfast together. The role of TCN (and Fountain Vineyard in another way) in keeping this band together is much appreciated.)

We have a commendable history of being enablers. We discern a common call, and work towards empowering churches and believers to take the necessary initiatives and further the common goals in a way fitting with their own particular identity, style, spirituality and gifting. The way the church cooperated with The Ultimate Goal-Project and with the National Prayer Day-Initiative are prime examples.

Whatever we promote, we need to do it in such a way that we empower the faithful at ground level to do God’s work. I propose that we continue to lead by focusing on an common vision and a common calling as church, and less on centralised management. That has been one of our habits, and a good one too. Jesus Christ as Head of his Church directs congregations and faith communities in such a way that a beautiful symphony of joint ministry evolves in a way that human effort cannot hope to organise. That is the promise given to those who seek God’s will and obey God’s calling: our efforts will be richly blessed beyond our wildest dreams.

In this short document I propose that we do more intentional what we have already been up to over a long period of time. We, at this point in time, need to promote transformative community partnerships at every possible level. Some may involve congregations directly, others will thrive in others spheres of society, e.g. Christian businesses, academics, teachers, the public, etc. Some will tend to be more formalised, others will be informal and may exist only for a short period. But all partnerships will have the common goal of doing God’s work in weaving healing, justice and joy into the very fabric of our society.

2. Theological framework

2.1 Identity of God

A proper perspective on God’s revealed identity and the coming of God’s kingdom in our world is necessary to develop a sense of evangelical social responsibility. We need to formulate – on the basis of the bible – what we dare to expect of God in our society. Our confession of who God is, and what God is up to, will influence our understanding of our calling in society.

The fundamental Christian confession is that God is a Trinitarian God. God is revealed as a holy Community of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. There is diversity and relationships of love in God. God is relational and social. God is Being in Communion.

The intention of early church was not to formulate a Trinitarian dogma, but to describe the fundamental reality or landscape that we find ourselves in. We may dare to say that God created the cosmos out of and for relational love. We may also say that God “participates” lovingly in God’s creation.

The Bible portrays an active God, a triune God on a mission. Since the fall into sin God works actively to restore relationships, and to bring healing to the cosmos.

2.2 God and salvation

What we confess about God influences our expectation of God’s salvation.

Example 1: For some Christians God is not interested in the world. God just wants to save us from the world, for his heavenly kingdom. We are not saved for the world, our salvation is that we are whisked away from it. Salvation is only to be freed from sin in order to gain access to heaven. The world is damned and will be damned, therefore we do not contemplate the world, we contemplate heaven. Salvation is to have your eternal destination sorted out.

Example 2: Others see Jesus as a revolutionary who is not interested in a life bigger than the life we have at the moment. Jesus is only interested in social transformation. Salvation is an improved socio-economic set of circumstances. We are captives of the here and now, that is all we have and all we need.

Example 3: For some God is the God of the individual. Whatever we may expect of God, it will be localised in the lives of individuals, be it our individual justification, healing, or prosperity. If salvation benefits the individual, then evil, disobedience, illness etc will be localised in the individual as well. We are then blind-sides regarding systemic evil and illness, to be healed by a system-wide response.

The Bible says, I propose, that we take the world seriously as God’s creation. That is simply why so much is said about creation – and our responsibility for it. Creation is to be understood inclusively, it also includes us as human beings. Even after sin damaged creation, God is concerned with his creation. God continues to create a trustworthy world, where it is safe and joyful to live.

Indeed, the triune God is actively involved in God’s creation, bringing healing, justice and joy through the coming of God’s kingdom in every sphere of creation. As holy and loving Community or Partnership of Father, Son and Holy Spirit, God brings restoration in relationships, and creates a trustworthy world through love and justice. He opposes brokenness, and brings restoration. God’s ministry is to weave peace into the life of God’s creation. This is a summary of the Christian Credo through the ages.

2.3 God’s call

God is up to something in every community, and invites Christians to join Him in pursuing God’s purposes. His calling is local and specific. Faith communities and individual Christians are therefore held accountable to – through spiritual discernment – identify God’s calling on their lives.

God’s calling cannot be reduced to involvement in a congregation’s programme or the maintenance of congregational interests only. It is broader.

God always call us in partnership with others. Through spiritual discernment we do not only discern our local and specific calling, but also the partners God gives us. Those partners are not only other congregations or Christians, but can involve any other person or agency, e.g. businesses, government institutions etc.

To be a disciple of Jesus, means to be called. To be a Christian faith community means to be called. And this call has – always – social and system-wide dimensions.

2.4 God’s kingdom

God’s kingdom and the church is not identical. The kingdom is bigger than the church. The church, as community of believers, is a sign, a foretaste and an instrument of the kingdom. The church is everywhere. It follows that the daily work believers do is also part of the kingdom, and serving the kingdom.

We therefore need to look at our daily work as sign, foretaste and instrument of the kingdom. The police officer, the veterinarian, the medical doctor, teacher, shop-owner, all of us are partners in the coming of God’s kingdom.

3. Transformative community partnerships

3.1 Conceptual

The concept of transformative community partnerships (TCP) is a way in which Christians and others join hands to weave trustworthiness, healing, justice, peace and joy into communities. We do it practically, with an eye on God’s future for us. The biblical expectation of a blissful future, energises us to change this world in the direction of God’s new world at the end of this age. We call this change biblical transformation.

A vital priority for Christian leaders is to strategise in order to bring Christians and agencies purposefully in contact with one another, in order to form transformative community partnerships as a way of taking hands to join God in God’s mission. These partnerships will include all role-players. The idea is to discover who the partners are that God gives us for our particular calling of mission.

3.2 The church’s collective role

What can the ecumenical or collective church in our metro pole do to further partnerships? A few ideas:

1. Promote the vision.

2. Train members to partner. Various agencies offer partnership training for specific purposes. We may also developed our own training.

3. Discover and introduce partners to one another. We need a strategy to help us see God’s call, to see various possible partners, and to meet them.

4. Workshop specific areas, let’s say education or the environment, and form partnerships to support the task of education.

5. Identify and communicate the stories of various partnerships that may already exist, although we do not see them for what they are.

6. Set believers free to do what God calls them to do – we do not claim their time and resources exclusively for the congregation’s program.

7. Prayer

8. Identify ways to represent, or invite, the community into the congregation’s life, e.g. during church services.

9. Promote an asset-based approach to community transformation. Those formed by Western cultural values often view so-called underdeveloped communities as empty jars in need of being filled with help from the outside. In this frame of mind the Western culture is superior and we need to bring those being left behind to the same standards by delivering a superior package of knowledge and skills. This approach disregards the resources God is providing in every community.

Note: What is asset-based community development?

ABCD is a methodology that seeks to uncover and utilize the strengths within communities as a means for sustainable development. The basic tenet is that a capacities focused approach is more likely to empower the community and therefore mobilize citizens to create positive and meaningful change from within. Instead of focusing on a community’s needs, deficiencies and problems, the ABCD approach helps them become stronger and more self-reliant by discovering, mapping and mobilizing all their local assets. Few people realize how many assets any community has, for example:

• Skills of its citizens, from youth to people with disabilities, from thriving professionals to starving artists

• Dedication of its citizens associations — churches, culture groups, clubs, neighbourhood associations

• Resources of its formal institutions — businesses, schools, libraries, community colleges, hospitals, parks, social service agencies

By the late 1990s, communities around the country were mapping and using these resources in imaginative ways, bringing them out of the closet and into creative synergy with each other, with dramatic results. Asset-based community development has provided leaders and institutions in all sectors with an approach that is relatively cheap, effective and empowering, that avoids paternalism and dependence — an approach that can be supported by all parts of the political spectrum and initiated at any level of civic life.

The first step in the process of community development is to assess the resources of a community through a capacity inventory or through another process of talking to the residents to determine what types of skills and experience are available to a community organization. The next step is to consult with the community and find out what improvements the residents would like to make. The final, and most challenging step, is to determine how the residents’ skills can be leveraged into achieving those goals.

4. The next step

This short presentation is intended to stimulate thought. We should workshop the idea of community partnerships as a possible way forward for the church collective in our metro pole to promote Christian change in society.