MOWBRAY BAPTIST CHURCH NEWS – April 2008 – No. 4/2008 MOWBRAY BAPTIST CHURCH A LOVING, CARING MULTINATIONAL CHURCH - WHERE PEOPLE MEET JESUS! 45 Main Road, Mowbray, 7700 Cape Town, South Africa Pastor Geoff Milligan (27) 021-686-8652 (church)/ (27) 021-686-3942 (manse) firstname.lastname@example.org; www.mowbraybaptist.za.org To my Friends at Mowbray Warm greetings from your “one-year-old” pastor! Can you believe that a full year has gone by since I commenced my time of ministry here last year? May I again say how much Gill and I really love being part of God's family here at Mowbray. We have had some good times together...and the Holy Week and Easter Weekend meetings were again a highlight on our Church calendar. We look forward to many more opportunities for worship, fellowship and witness, as we together serve the Lord in this part of our city. You all know how much emphasis I place on the importance and centrality of prayer, especially times of corporate prayer. In fact, as I was typing this letter, Paul Anzuluni (on behalf of our Young Adults group) dropped off the final copy of a flier promoting a new prayer meeting, to be held on Wednesday evenings. I trust that many of you will join us each week. Details will be advised at our Sunday services. Now, speaking of prayer...have you ever prayed (or heard others praying) that we could have a Christian Government that would uphold Biblical standards? Do you think it's a valid Biblical prayer? Could there be such a thing as a Christian state and would it work? Christians often say that if only we had a totally Christian society, all would be well. But, would all be well? In some recent reading I was doing on the subject I discovered that the following story of the English Commonwealth in the mid-seventeenth century suggests that it is not as easy as it sounds: “Oliver Cromwell's government was avowedly Christian. Puritan soldiers and MP's based their lives and their arguments squarely on the Bible. Prayer was a vital part of all decision-making. It seemed that heaven had come to earth at last. Yet that Christian power was held in place by the military. It felt compelled to execute the king, Charles I, who was himself a devout man- the only saint the Church of England ever canonized. Major generals were employed to enforce strict moral rules on the people and to prevent them from celebrating Christmas. Devout factions quarrelled and quoted Scripture at one another. Cromwell felt that he was 'a poor constable set to keep the peace of the parish'. But he could do that only by force of arms and his powerful personality. Within two years of his death England welcomed Charles II to the throne, and few would describe him as a saint!” All this tells us is that we need not just saints, but perfect men and women, to create a perfect society! Even Christian leaders are faced with impossible choices. Which is more Christian, to leave in place a ruthless dictator who terrorizes his people, or to invade his country contrary to UN resolutions? A Christian leader opting for justice, without considering the price of oil, might not be re-elected! So, realistically speaking, this side of heaven (which is the perfect society promised to us) there are no simple answers, but we are still called upon to do what we can to promote a relatively just society. And herein lies the challenge for the Christian church: not to rely on a government to set the standards, but for us to be the “salt of the earth” and the “light of the world”. Then, as Jesus continued to say (in Matt 5:13-16) “...let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” Now then, how can we be better equipped for what is both a vital role and a challenging task? The answer is found in growing in our knowledge of God's Word and our dependence on the Holy Spirit. In practical terms, I want to encourage you to join me in our new series of Sunday messages: Proverbs in the morning and Daniel in the evening...two books of the Bible which offer much wisdom and guidance for living in a very pagan world, under a very secular government. And please remember, I pray for you each day and remain available to be of any help I can. With love from your pastor and friend, Pastor Geoff the theme is Whatever it Takes, practical studies in New sermon series the exciting life of the young man, Daniel and his On the last Sunday of March, Pastor Geoff began two companions who were forced out of their own country, new series of sermons. In the mornings the theme is Israel, and made to live in the foreign land of Babylon. Timeless Truths to Live By, in which he will be They had to learn a foreign language, live among a leading us to discover the practical wisdom of God as people with different customs, and serve a king and recorded in the Book of Proverbs. He has also who practised a pagan religion. You will really miss a encouraged us to read a chapter of Proverbs a day blessing if you fail to attend both morning and during April (30 days for 31 chapters!) In the evenings evening in these coming weeks. CHURCH FAMILY NEWS from the Fish Hoek Baptist Church, have been appointed as caretaker couple and will take over from April Birthdays 1 May. 2 Apr. Phuti Mogase Denzil Parenzee, who has been worshipping with us 6 Apr. Mbali Nkosi for some time, is going off to South Korea to teach 7 Apr. Thelma Crighton English. We trust that the Lord will bless him richly as 12 Apr. Simeon Bartes he works cross-culturally so far from home. 14 Apr. Donald Martin; Hilton Henning 15 Apr. Alf Hartzenberg Unwell 21 Apr. Faith Beta Please continue to pray for elderly folk in our church, 22 Apr. Leslie Rix especially Japie and Freda Hardick, Joy Schoon, 23 Apr. Arnaud Samba Rita Holmes, Patrick O'Brien, Olive Tilleard, 24 Apr. Elizabeth Magewu Fransie Rossouw, Elvira Borges, Joan Russo and 25 Apr. Eric Hermanson; Reg Woodman Jean de Freitas. Continue to remember Yvonne 26 Apr. Sipho Hlatshwayo Williams, Cynthia Hermanson, Bohlokoa Mosala, Wedding Anniversaries and Stanley Abrahams, with their ongoing tests and treatment. It has been great to see SSS Nxumalo back 5 Apr. Mervyn & Wendy Chamberlain at church after a long absence. Please pray for the 10 Apr. Silas & Cheryl Loubser speedy and complete recovery of Witness Mwasinyanga, the wife of Issa, our Baptist Seminary Apologies student, who was involved in a motor accident in We have found to our embarassment that, due to a Tanzania, in which she fractured her pelvis – and also computer glitch, the database we are using has not for Issa who is so far away from home and obviously always given us the correct birthdays and wedding extremely concerned about her. Dora Tudor is also anniversaries for the month. One of the reasons for recovering at home from having a skin graft on her this is that, depending on how the computer has been leg. We pray that it will not be too long before she and set up, it may read a date as we would read it in South Owen are back in the accustomed pew. Africa, but sometimes as they read it in the USA. So, Greetings when America says 9/11, they think of the twin-tower disaster on the 11th of September, but we would read Greetings from Zanele and Mbali Nkosi, who have the date as the 9th of November! Then, in some cases, linked up with the Springs Baptist Church, where we simply do not have the information, or for some Zanele will be able to do her Seminary internship. unknown, it just did not appear on the list the Please continue to pray for them, that they will find computer generates. So, if your birthday or suitable accommodation and that Zanele will also be anniversary is missing, like Renee Kieswetter's was able to obtain employment. on the 15th of March, or incorrect, please let Pastor and Eric Hermanson know, so that it can be corrected. Music Ministry New Members It was great to see some new members like Ntsiki Ndzaba, Jumoke Ajibesin, Cecelia Osunmakinde At the morning Communion Service on 16 March, Dr and Gill Milligan in the combined Mowbray Baptist– Edward Ojuka, Dr Sabelo and Dr Nomtamsanqa Plumstead Methodist Choir that presented the Cantata Hlatshwayo, and Mrs Jumoke Ajibesin were Beyond the Cross under the direction of Leslie Rix on formally welcomed as full members of the Mowbray Easter Sunday evening. The Pastor is keen to develop Baptist Church. the music ministry, so if you can sing, or play a musical instrument, and you would like to use your Bereavement talents for the Lord, please speak to Pastor Geoff.. Our deepest sympathy to André and Aletta Pillay and Rooi Els or Somewhere Else family on the death of Aletta's mother on 26 March. May the Lord be very close and comfort them at this Our Church Elder, Eric Hermanson and his wife, time of sorrow. Cynthia, will be away on leave for the whole month of April. We trust that this break will be a refreshing time Farewell from the Lord for them both. We are grateful to Colin Muscat resigned as Church Caretaker as from Yvonne Williams' cousin, Ann Mulder, for agreeing the middle of April and has taken up a similar position to lead the Ladies' Bible Studies on the two Tuesday at the Friends First Church in Rondebosch. We are mornings during Cynthia's absence. grateful to the Lord for the time that he and Pat were Advanced Technology with us and trust that the Lord will bless them as they serve their new church family. The Pastor (not, as Worshippers will have noticed that we now have a new some may have thought, his twin brother!) has taken data-projector installed from the ceiling and operated over the caretaker's duties in the interim, and is from the desk at the back. Over the past months, Isaac grateful for the help of Henry Russell for being Osunmakinde has proved his skill and willingness to willing to take on the taxi drivers on Main Road in the serve the Lord in this ministry and is now fully in charge church kombi so that those who need a lift can still get to church. Alan and Flo Dominy, ex-Zimbabweans of putting the programs together and projecting them.