Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Profile on Terence Barber

Our next member of the St Patrick’s congregation to profile is Terence Barber. Terence is an East Londoner, having been born in the Mater Dei hospital in 1958, the son of Noel and Colleen Barber. His schooling was at Selborne, from Sub A to Matric where he showed great talent at gymnastics. Of interest, is the fact that Terence was taught by Ann in Std 1 and taught by Trevor in Matric in 1976.

As a 7-year old Terence imagined himself as a muscular lifesaver; today he has proved himself in many different ways

A major influence on his life was attending Hobbiton in Std 2. The nature and freedom of Hogsback made an impact on him which he hankered after throughout his life. He realized how much he disliked city water. Terence learnt many plumbing and mechanical skills from his Dad. After school he joined the Merchant Navy in Cape Town and went to sea. He had two trips across to Europe but became upset with the style of life  - too much drinking and, anyway, it was boring. His adventures continued on the sea in a different way. He did ship repair work and was the skipper for the flamenco boat in Simonstown, shown below. His adventurous spirit resulted in his sailing solo across the Atlantic in a flamenco, an 8m boat without an engine.  He then moved into long-distance trucking across the country.

 The flamenco boat he skippered across the Atlantic; the truck he drove in long-distance trucking parked in front of his old school, Selborne College

Terence’s daughter, Candice Cotterill, lived with him while he was at Hogsback. She now lives in East London and has a daughter, Katherine, who is 8 months old, making Terence a grandfather.

Terence was able to fulfil his dream of living at Hogsback in 2002. He spent seven years in a rented cottage with his daughter.  He was able to do jobs in plumbing and building and kept horses. He was devoted to the horses which multiplied to 13. Unfortunately, in 2008, they were stolen while grazing near the microwave tower.  He spent 6 months in 2015 in Mozambique where he planted fruit trees.

His present home is in the veld at Bold Point which was a farm and is now commonage. Sinjani and the Bold Point residents are happy for him to stay there and no one bothers him.  In fact, like a 19th century trekboer, he can’t see his neighbour’s fires!  Previously, he spent three years here. He loves the setting with the Elandsberg close by and the vista across Michell’s Pass and the Kat valley. The natural surroundings offer a spring close by where he is able to drink the pure, clear water.

The area Terence occupies is a km from the road in the open grassland where a pine forest has been cut down. As one travels on the tracks to his home one passes beautiful crowned cranes.  He has chosen a spot with an unused rondavel reservoir which he is repairing and roofing. He has two small boats to remind him of his sea cruising past. He lives in a tent close by under a tree. What a simple, natural and awesome home! 

A typical day starts when he wakes to the splendour of the magnificent sunrise.  He works on the rondavel to erect a roof and drives to the village to do odd jobs. He is happy, satisfied, his ‘own-man’. Is he lonely? No, he is content. He described the lot of the sailor who  has left his boat, he is ‘on the beach’, waiting for his ship to come in.

Terence’s temporary home is a tent in the veld where he is able to fulfill himself in the beauty of the Hogsback nature

 Terence’s future home which he is building in the rondavel where he will grow vegetables and enjoy God’s beauty uncluttered by human ‘progress’

I came away from my visit to Terence absolutely awed by his humility, courage and his acceptance of his lot.

Trevor Webster
April 2018

Sunday, 29 April 2018

Sunday sermon: The blessing of oil - Norma Fivaz

Blessings:   When you receive a blessing, it strengthens your faith and is an encouragement in your walk with God. However, if you pass on that blessing, it becomes a DOUBLE blessing.

A personal experience in the lead up to today's service:

I asked myself what I should give up for Lent. It is easy to give up something quantifiable, like chocolates, but I decided to give up time, half and hour each morning, meeting my Heavenly Father,  sitting with Him, being quiet and enjoying Him. Waiting for Him to give me my agenda for the day. Reading my Streams in the Desert daily reading. 

One morning, about 2 weeks ago, I started reading. The topic of Oil and it's uses in the Bible came up in a short reading. I pondered on this, being quiet, waiting for God to speak, and it was unbelievable how so much came to mind. I started reading wider than the Daily reading, finding cross references in my Study Bible, and it was just as if God was giving me a whole lesson in the significance and symbolism of OIL .

When Trevor asked me last week, whether Ann and I could take the service this morning, I thought again about that amazing early morning time that I had two weeks ago.

I said to God:  “If today's set reading have any reference to oil, I will have the assurance that this message comes directly from you, LORD, and I will listen carefully to what You want me to convey”.

I opened the Lectionary book at today's date, and the Morning prayer section was about the ceremony of being anointed with oil. I had goose bumps....

There are many references in the Bible to the use of oil.....think for a couple of minutes, if you can recall any one of these......

The meaning of Oil in the Bible     

Read OT       Lev 8: 1-13
         NT       Matt  25:1-13

If we take the first 5 letters of the alphabet, ABCDE, it can serve as a guideline for us. 

A:    1. Anointing
Anointing oil is mentioned 20 x in Scripture. It was an ancient ceremony, used in the OT for pouring oil on the head of the high priest, as well as sprinkling the tabernacle and it's furnishings to mark them as holy =  set apart.

The recipe for anointing oil is found in Ex 30: contained myrrh, fragrant cinnamon, cassia, fragrant cane which was then mixed with olive oil.

What was the significance of all these instructions? Was there special power in this oil mixture?

-      the strictness of guidelines to be followed in preparing the oil, was a test of obedience to God
-      also for them to realize that they were serving a holy God....a God who expects them to live a holy life.....a life set apart to the glory of God

2.     Atonement
A difficult word or concept, as it is not an every day word....if we break down the word in it's syllables, at-one-ment, … be made ONE with God, to remove what hinders us from being one with becomes more understandable.

In other words, the ceremony of anointing with oil, was the symbol of being make pure, holy, set apart, before you enter the house of God (tabernacle), or doing work for God.

We serve a holy God, and He expects His people (you and me, who want to serve and honor Him)
to be clean, pure, holy ….. no hindrances between you and God, when we take that step of serving Him. Whole-heartedly. Not only we have time, or when we feel like it....NO, ALL THE TIME.
B.   Be ready.......Have oil in your lamps     Matt 25    Oil in this instance, was olive oil, which had been used in the time of Jesus, for providing light.

In today's context, we may modernize the parable by saying.....we run out of fuel, even in this day and age, when modern technology warns us, when the fuel levels get low.....we still sometimes get caught out. A real situation.

What Jesus was referring to, was that we don't know the day and hour, of His return.
See this reading in context. Jesus speaks about the fig tree, (Matt 24:32)....lesson being: we should watch the times and circumstances, and get our house in order when there is still time of grace...

Matt 24: 36 --- Jesus tells about remaining watchful.

So three times in a row, Jesus emphasises the importance of utilizing the time of GRACE, while we still have an opportunity to:    - come to the Father
-      ask for forgiveness
-      live daily according to His will
The oil of being ready.

I also read into this parable another meaning of Being ready.
-      ready to serve
-      ready with your friendship when you become aware of a need
-      ready with a smile, an encouraging word

Do you have the capacity of being ready? Enough fuel, so to speak, of being ready?

C.    Oil of Compassion and Care              Mark 14:3-9
The woman that took fragrant oil to massage Jesus' feet......showing Him her compassion and care, for what He was about to go through in the following couple of days.....

D. Paying our debt.....oil of provision:    II Kings 4:1-7   The widow's Oil

Elisha was called to the home of a widow, whose husband had been a co-worker of Elisha. The husband had died, and his wife had been left with nothing except a little oil.

A wonderful account of how the oil did not run out, until all the jars were filled.
And Elisha told her....v 7 “Go, sell the oil and pay your debts. You and your sons can live on what is left”.

The oil of God's provision

Jesus has paid for our debts on the cross....but He also wants to provide daily in our every day needs....if we allow Him to guide us. If we live close to Him and listen each moment to His voice. We will never ever lack anything.

E. Life giving oil …...Everlasting Life   I Kings 7-24    The widow at Zarephath
 Elijah:  Elijah fed by the ravens - –  The Lord sent Elijah to the coastal town of Zarephath on the Mediterranean Sea. There Elijah went to this widow and asked for water first, and then as an after thought, Elijah added, “and a piece of bread”.  This poor widow was on her last handful of flour and a little bit of oil.

BUT …..she was obedient, and gave of the little that she had. …...Elijah responded to her by saying: “ the jar of flour will not be used up, and the jug of oil will not run dry.....” God's provision through the symbol of oil.

But it didn't end here.

The son of this widow, then became ill and died. The widow's first instinct was anger, and she blamed Elijah for what had come over her.

V 19: “Give me your son.....v 20 Elijah cried out to God....and begged that the boy's life return to him.

God was faithful and raised this son from the dead.

God gives life.... not only here on earth, but everlasting life!

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Vestry meeting and Reports

On Sunday 22 of April, we had our Vestry meeting after the morning service. Liz our beloved rector briefly presented her report during the service. During the meeting the following people were again been chosen to serve on the church council:
Trevor Webster (Warden), Quinton Dick (Treasurer), Norma Van Niekerk, Carol Neith, Maggie Verster, Helen Fox, Ann Webster, Mark Keasie and of course our rector, Liz Thomas.

To download the following documents, click on the given links:

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Notice of Vestry Meeting

Reminder Notice that the Vestry Meeting of St Patrick’s Chapel will be held on Sunday 22 April 2018 after the Service at 10am in the chapel. Vestry is the annual general meeting of the congregation and will be chaired by the Chapel Priest, Rev Liz Thomas.  

Council reports will be made by the Chapel Warden, Trevor Webster, and the Council Treasurer, Quinton Dick. An election of Councillors for the incoming year will be held for Chapel Warden, Alternate Chapel Warden, Treasurer and 6 Councillors.  An Auditor will be elected. All are welcome.

Sermon: Breakfast on the beach

Reading: John 21:1-14

What is your favourite meal of the day?  Ours is breakfast - we give it no thought!  It is so good to receive with no effort.  This was what happened on the beach when Jesus made the breakfast - he saves us in the same way, by grace and without our effort!  But I hope that we do seek to understand more? The other thing about breakfast is that I pray at that time - are you spiritually hungry?  We are invited to a meal with Jesus, the communion.  And regular provision.

Peter was! He was eager to get to Jesus, the RISEN LORD - what of us?  Jesus had become the centre of his life - he was saved, so called God's child (Jn 21:4). What a contrast with his call (Lk 5:8), when meeting with Jesus was terrifying - he knew that he was a sinner. If we are not saved, God is indeed terrifying (Heb 12:29). Do we run from Jesus because of our sin?

Peter had tried to go back to his previous life, which was fishing, but it could never satisfy again.  The miracle must have reminded him of the time when he was called, he was sent to fish people (Lk 5:10).  We likewise can be reminded of the time when we committed to God, and that will help us

When they got to the beach, they saw Jesus' provision.  What an abundant supply - 153 fish!  They had been made by God, brought to them by God, the creator and provider, but collected by people.  Does God have more blessing for us?  They were told to put their net on the RIGHT side - we will only be blessed if we are obedient.

The fish had to be cooked before they ate, using the coals and fire that God made.  And at the communion, people need to act; the bread and wine are created, but need to be prepared by people.  The fire must also have reminded of the coming Spirit, enabling their service.

Peter met Jesus
            He was SAD because he was confronted by the past, his failure, sin and denial. Likewise we disappoint God, but like him, we receive God's grace.
            He was SENT, commissioned for the future.  "Feed my sheep" (three times - John 21:15,16,17)
            But then he was promised SUFFERING, he would glorify God in giving his life (John 21:19).

Jesus invited them and us to "Come and have breakfast"
                        He provides for His children (Jn 21:5)
                        is it a long time since you knew blessing?
                        Enjoy the RISEN LORD!?

Prof David T Williams
Theology (retired)

Monday, 26 March 2018

Special Easter Services at St Patrick on the Hill Chapel

Easter is not about njammie chocolate  eggs, hot cross buns and bunnies, but about taking time out to celebrate and reflect on the sacrifice that Jesus made for us on the cross. This week there will be plenty of opportunity to do just that at our lovely little chapel up on the mountain.

WEDNESDAY  4.45 - 5.20 pm  
Time for reflection on the Psalms of Lament as part of  an informal Evening Prayer session.

THURSDAY  5-6 pm
Simple informal service with  'Breaking of Bread' - Jesus said 'Do this in memory of me'

FRIDAY  12 noon to 1.15 Good Friday 
Short reflections on the cross and nails  - with readings, prayers and lovely music

Quiet personal reflection in the chapel

SUNDAY  8am   
Celebration of Easter - the Risen Christ - with joyous music and Holy Communion

SUNDAY  10am 
Family Service of celebration in the Chapel with well-known hymns and ... a visit from the Easter Bunny ?

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Sunday Sermon Hallowed be your name

Psalm 24, 
Luke 18:1-14 

Are you happy with your name? Is it meaningful for you?  We carry the name of our FATHER; if you are called “Christian”, you should be known as such and reflect Jesus to everybody around. 

The name identifies the person and as a person- God is not a thing.  At the bush, Moses asked “what is your name?” (Ex 3:14).  In a polytheistic setting he needed to know, “Are you the same God who helped me?”  Then the name respects the nature – God called Himself “I AM”.  The Israelites wrote this as “Yahweh”, but did not pronounce it, but said it as LORD, which is how our Bibles print it. 

The Lord’s prayer starts with God, our Father.  Are we consciously addressing GOD?  Do we deliberately make contact when we pray?  Are we reverently addressing GOD?  Do not rush into His presence!  Or is your prayer just sounds? 

Remember who He is, the unique Lord!  Appreciate the king of the universe.  Make sure that you seek only the LORD, and not rely on anything else. 

So in our prayer we ask that God be hallowed; this is not a common word, we should   pray with understanding!  It does not mean “hollowed”, a God at all defective, but “Holy”, which means, among other things, “wholly”.  Remember that secret sins spoil prayer, lack of commitment spoils prayer – our prayer to be effective must be “whole”. 

Then we approach God in holiness - there is no other way, except through Jesus, for we must have our sins forgiven to stand before a holy God.

Then we approach God by holiness.  We need to make the connection! The only way to do this is to be filled by the HOLY Spirit to bond us to God. 

Then when we pray to make his name more holy, we want this to be done by many other people – we pray “thy kingdom come”.  This prayer means evangelism, and of course evangelism is effected through prayer. 

Finally, Listen!  Prayer is two-way.  It is communication.  So take time not just to enter prayer, but afterwards to hear him, perhaps through his Word. 

God has opened his side for us so we can pray - Have we?