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?

Monday, 12 March 2018

Special moments at St Patricks

We were very blessed this Sunday to play host to little Klara and her parents, Jotham and Laulani Stone, who came all the way from Stutterheim to dedicate her to God at our little Chapel.

Grandparents and family from all over the country came to join in and little Klara clearly enjoyed the ceremony. Reverend Liz's message of shining God's light into her life was very apt.

Her dad presented us with a poignant dedication of her life to God and we were very privileged to be part of all of this!

Thursday, 8 March 2018

Celebrating the life of one of our worthy chapel woman

Yesterday we had a high tea in Hogsback to celebrate the value of woman, all woman, but especially one woman who has made an incredible difference in the lives of not just woman, but everyone on the mountain. Her name is Norma and she is a prayer warrior.

Norma stands for everything that is gentle, kind, generous, caring and worthy. She was the doctor here in Hogsback for many years, caring for the sick and running an AIDS outreach. Even after she finally retired (after her initial attempt at retirement to Hogsback), she still remains totally invested in our little village as part of the executive board for our local outreach, Jikani, and as part of our Chapel lay preachers and pianists, as a friend, a wife and a mother to all.

Silke's poem for Norma says it all:

For a text copy of Silke's poem, download it from here: goo.gl/KgChgf 

Norma read to us the story of when God created woman to remind us of our biggest flaw....


So, Norma, on your 70th celebration month, we can only say that you mean the world to us and that we appreciate you more than you can imagine! As you did not want to be honoured with presents and accolades, we would like to ask everybody to acknowledge you by making a donation to your hearts project, Jikani (www.jikani.com) at the following banking details:

Acc name: Jikani
Acc No: 62391132075
Branch: fort Beaufort / 210419
Reference: 70th

For all the photos from the event, see here: goo.gl/XQ6dts

Saturday, 17 February 2018

Profile on David and Gill Williams

The next family to be introduced to the St Patrick’s congregation is the Williams family. We are very familiar with David Williams travelling up from Fort Beaufort to take the third Sunday service of the month at St Patrick’s. We are acquainted with his oft-made comments about fixing his car, the reason why he’s wearing that particular tie, especially the Welsh one, and about Gill’s disapproval of something he’s done. The congregation appreciates his conscientious preparation and his compelling presentation. He normally brings with him an item to illustrate his children’s message which is much enjoyed. His sermons are always clearly explained and backed with sound theological thinking as one would expect of a Professor of Theology. David certainly enriches St Patrick’s in a deep way. His past sermons can be sourced on the St Patrick’s Blogpage – they make for informative reading.    

David and Gill grew up in England. David's father was in the permanent airforce and so he moved around whereas Gill lived in Bath.  David read engineering at Cambridge University with particular reference to aircraft. He worked for the Royal Aircraft Establishment before going to Bath University to do a Diploma in Education and, by correspondence, a Diploma in Theology. Gill did a Certificate in Education at Salisbury College as part of Bristol University. She taught before going to the London Bible College where she acquired a Dip LBC and a Diploma in Theology. After a Wycliffe Linguistics course, they were married in 1970. They spent a spell of working as assistants at their church in Bath and working mornings at the City of Bath Boys’ School to support themselves.  In July 1971 they moved to Swaziland with the Africa Evangelical Fellowship. They taught at the Mankayane High School, one of only two Swazi schools that were teaching to Matric level. Their son, Paul, was born in Swaziland.

The mission transferred them to Durban where they did hospital visitation and supported the Africa Evangelical Fellowship churches. That was where David began his ministry to schools. They had a sabbatical in the UK where David went to the London Bible College to complete his Bachelor of Divinity and their daughter, Ruth, was born in the UK. Back in Durban they opened a ministry which became the Umhlanga Baptist Church, as a daughter of Durban North Baptist Church where they put their children into Sunday School. At this stage, Luke and then, Sara, were born. They also started planning to open a degree-level Bible College which has become the Bible Seminary in Pietermaritzburg. 

Because of the rioting it became impossible to continue working in the townships. While they were praying about their future, Sandown Union Church contacted them and they moved to Sandton for David to become the minister of that church. He contacted UNISA and started on his doctorate as well as continuing to take school assemblies, this time in Alexandria. Gill also started studying with UNISA to obtain a Bachelor of Theology.

David was taken seriously ill with a heart problem and after being hospitalised twice they were advised to leave the high veldt. David was unable to fly so they could not go home to England. They had no idea how they could get off the high veldt. Once again God worked and they had a very unexpected call asking David if he would be interested in a post lecturing Theology at Fort Hare University. They had to look for a map as they had no idea where Fort Hare was! In 1983 they moved to the Eastern Cape. David started visiting High Schools for assemblies in this area.

After the children were all at school Gill was offered a post teaching music at the Fort Beaufort High School but when her qualifications were evaluated she was told she was totally unqualified! She therefore stopped teaching and helped for a short while at the Baptist Bible Institute, Debi Nek.

Gill then went to Fort Hare University for a year and upgraded her qualifications by taking a Bachelor of Education Honours degree! Following that she decided to take a Master’s degree in education and also started to teach at Davidson School in Alice where she later became Deputy Head and then Principal. Gill was also a leader in Brownies and then Girl Guides as well as Sunday School and later Bible Class for teenagers. She was involved with the Christian movements in Fort Beaufort School, Winterberg and Wings Academy. She also ran a ladies Bible Study group and started a feeding scheme for children in the Fort Beaufort Township which, after 14 years, was taken over by the government social services.

After Gill and David retired he was asked to be the temporary minister of St John's United Church in Fort Beaufort. Temporary has stretched to 8 years so far!

We thank Gill for this profile of her family, we are grateful for the considerable way St Patrick’s is enriched by David’s preaching – perhaps Gill will play the piano on occasions - and we express our deepest condolences to the family on the premature passing of their son, Luke. How wonderful that the Williams family has crossed our paths.

Saturday, 3 February 2018

St Patick’s Chapel Congregation Profiles 2018: The Keeses

This year, 2018, has started with trying to get to know one another a little better. We are aiming to do profile features of our Chapel's congregants and supporters, as well as the wonderful clergy and laymen (woman) who liven up our chapel life and inspire us to be better and be more loving members of our community! We will from time to time ask for input and photos, to make sure that we tell the whole story of our profiled community members. Trevor has enthusiastically volunteered to put the profiles together, elaborate thereon (in his role as historian and storyteller of note) and then pass it on to be featured here on our Chapel blog site.  Our  first St Patrick family to be featured is the Keese family, who has been outstanding as an example of family unity and support within our little Chapel community!!

The Keese family consists of Mark a farmer/entrepreneur, his wife,  Grace, more affectionately known as Tippie , and their three gorgeous daughters, Chane a third-year student in the Arts/Law Faculty at Rhodes University, Christean and Kathleen, pupils at Lillyfontein in East London. Tippie is also the esteemed principal of  Davidson School in Alice.

The Keese family plays an invaluable role at St Patrick’s. Tippie is a significant member of the Chapel Council and organised Xhosa services for many years with Harold Mrashula as preacher. The family takes sidesman duty for two months of the year when they host services and the girls bake goodies and make tea while the adults greet visitors – what a model arrangement!

Tippie grew up in Cradock as a loving member of the Moolman family and keeps in contact with her two sisters, on occasions going on holiday together. She became a teacher in Cathcart where she met the young Mark Keese, son of the Alice Magistrate (his mother stayed with them for many years).  They courted and got married in Jeffrey’s Bay where they have a house. They have been married for 24 years and live happily in Hogsback along with their many dogs, chickens, geese, pigs, goats, sheep and cows. The children have grown up looking after animals and being
close to nature. At one stage they ran a shop and have a self-catering cottage – so they are busy, or Tippie is! The family spend a lot of time bonding together and love outdoor activities.  For a birthday party you’ll find the family out in the veld braaing together.  They laugh a lot, are grateful for their many blessings, dream big, create memories, never give up and love one another. No wonder that the Keese family are a model family at St Patrick’s – they attend services when they can and always lower the age-level. They are faithful, sincere and outspoken.

Thank you Keeses for enriching St Patrick’s with your presence and your love for life. You are a blessing to us. 

Trevor Webster
Chapel Warden

Monday, 22 January 2018

Sermon Sunday 21st January: Hope for the New Year

Jer 17:5-14, Rom 8:18-39

People always start the new year with optimism – but it does not last long, and hope dissipates.  Every year we look for something better, every year we are disappointed!  Do you have hope for 2018?  Is there any reason for hope?  What reason do YOU have?  For the world, for you personally?

Decline is a NORMAL part of existence!  There is natural deterioration in all.  It is even a quantity in engineering – entropy, where a small increase is good. But it will increase!  This includes spiritual things, so these also deteriorate.  So hope is false, it is presumption … Unless God gives it!  He is the creator!

As Christians, we do have hope!  First because there is a resurrection (Acts 24:15).  Paul writes, “If for this life only …” (1 Cor 15:19).  We know that eventually things will be OK, but more than this, we have resurrection life NOW (cf Jn 6:40 etc)!  A foretaste only of what will come.

Secondly, we have hope!  Because God loves us (Rom 5:5).  This is because we know salvation.  So our hope comes out of suffering (Rom 5:3), both from His and our’s – what was experienced.  It is the Spirit who gives hope (Rom 5:4) - do you know the filling of God’s Spirit?

Having hope then affects us, because if we know we will meet God we must be pure (1 Jn 3:3), living a life worthy of our hope.  We shall be like Him (1 Jn 3:2).  Our life should reflect our hope.

Then we can GIVE hope to a generation that has lost it.  Hope gives a reason for our witness so be ready to explain your hope (1 Pet 3:15).  If we have hope, then we can be bold! (2 Cor 3:12).

This hope does not get lost, but abides (1 Cor 13:13, Heb 11:1), throughout 2018, and forever.  It stays as it is based on faith which gives eternal life.  It then results in a love which is also eternal.

Monday, 15 January 2018

Farewell to Harold and Irene Nicholls on Sunday 13 January 2018

The St Patrick’s Chapel congregation and friends said farewell to the much-loved couple of Harold and Irene on Sunday 13 January 2018 at Elangeni. The couple are moving to Howick to be closer to their family after 15 years of being been part of the social fabric of the village. They have contributed enormously to Hogsback and St Patrick’s.  At the chapel they have contributed as Chapel Warden, pianist, sidesmen, gardener and have supported in many other ways. At the Bring and Braai the Congregation gave them a painting of the chapel and Josef Steyn took these photos.