Letters to Congregation

January Epistle – 27 January 2021

Good morning, friends,
This is my last epistle for January 2021! We are now on the cusp of starting the second month of the year. Time marches on, as Shakespeare said. My prayer is that this last day of January 2021 finds you in good health and mind.

We remember that much of Holy Scripture is beautiful poetry:
Psalm 111:
Great are the works of the Lord;
they are pondered by all who delight in them.
3 Glorious and majestic are his deeds,
and his righteousness endures forever.
4 He has caused his wonders to be remembered;
the Lord is gracious and compassionate.
5 He provides food for those who fear him;
he remembers his covenant forever.

So much has happened this month. An attempted coup de’tat in the US Capitol; vaccine approvals, a new US administration sworn in; a change in US exceptionalism and a switch towards multilateralism; a reaffirmation of the UN, the WHO, NATO, and a renewed commitment to the Paris COP Climate Change Accord, a roll out of new COVID-10 vaccines arriving on our shores on Monday, good rains across the north of SA, and a victory for the Zondo Commission.

A breath of fresh air and a new wave of optimism sweeps across the globe.

Still, harsh realities stare many people in the face. Hunger, closed schools, a pillaged and battered economy, unemployment. Churches are literally shutting their doors being unable to meet expenses.

I thank each of you for your personal commitment to the ministry and mission of St. Columba’s Presbyterian, Hatfield, despite many dire circumstances. Your gifts sustain the crucial mission of the church.

Please let us know if we can assist you in any way. I am visiting folks, especially by request. My protocol is to go directly there, don’t stop, and go straight back to the manse and sanitise. I am also on the phone 012 430 2917.

Both my sister’s immediate family and my brother’s have had COVID in their respective houses (in Cape Town) so this virus has come very close. Stay safe, friends, do your best. It is a pandemic! It should be taken seriously.
Hopefully we get an immunisation roll out over the next 6 months. There’s no silver bullet to this pandemic; but at least with the vaccine there is the possibility that the situation is turning the corner.

We welcome brother Geoff Jooste to the pulpit this Sunday. The Psalm is #111. Enjoy the online Service or audio. Geoff is a real Saint with Wisdom in his years, and his sermon is a blessing. The Scripture is Mark 1: 21-28, on the Authority of Christ: Positional vs Relational Authority.

I am taking some leave time this week since I was supposed to be on a guided retreat, and felt I needed the time anyway. Going away is not financially possible so having “mind-space” is still important.

And now I leave you with the inspiring words of that great young poet, Amanda Gorman, who delivered poetic words at the Biden inauguration:
“We will rebuild, reconcile, and recover. And every known nook of our nation and every corner called our country, our people diverse and beautiful, will emerge battered and beautiful”. – Amanda Gorman, Poet

Blessings to Thee and Thine!
Craig – January 2021

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