Sunday 27 November 2022, St Paul’s, Durban. sermon is by Revd Dr Andrew Warmback

Liturgy for Services: The full Service Slides, including the hymns, readings, prayers, other liturgy and notices may be found on our website.

NOTICES

Cell: 081 240 0964

031 305 4666

Monthly Church Men’s Society Walk: Saturday 3 December. All are welcome. The focus will be on Gender Based Violence. T-Shirts will be produced for the event. Please order through our parish office.

Diocesan Ordination: This will take place on 10 December. Please pray for the candidates to be ordained.

Advanced Notices: After a two year break, we will again hold a Christmas Eve service, starting at 10.30.p.m. Our New Year’s Eve service is at 6pm. Diocesan Office Closure: From 19 December to 2 January

Lectionaries for sale: These are available at services and from the parish office at R35 each.

Love Lights Service for CANSA: We are invited to this Service at St Cyprians on 1 December with the Durban Symphonic Choir.

Organ Concert: Dr AJ Bethke will perform in aid of Kerr House on Saturday 3 December at St Cyprians.

Vestry: This meeting will be held to approve the signed Annual Financial Statements and the appointment of a new auditor. The vestry will take place after the 9.15 service on 11 December.

Obituary: Joyce Kingham passed on peacefully on Wednesday 23 November after a well lived life of 99 years. May her soul rest in peace. The funeral will be at 13.00 on Wednesday 30 November.

Staff appreciation for December: any form of donation in cash or kind to our dedicated church workers.

Thanks and appreciation

Thanks for farewell: Alison and Revd Andrew express their grateful thanks for the farewell last Sunday, for the lunch, the gifts and the kind words offered. Siyabonga kakhulu

The Parish Council would like to thank everybody for the teamwork demonstrated last week arranging a very successful farewell for our Rector and his wife, Alison. God bless you all.

Clergy Leave: Revd Bruce is on leave from 27 November to 1 December

Birthdays – 27 Nov. to 3 Dec.

27 Noluthando Gugushe, Nokwanda Mtoboyi

29 Marthi Ras, Buyi Pukwana, Mimmie Madondo, Nqobani Manyathi

2 Zanoxolo Sontsele, Clifford Wilson

3 Sanelisile DotsheContacts

Wedding anniversary 27 Nov. to 3 Dec.

27 Gerald and June Powell

 

Sermon by Revd Dr Andrew Warmback

Introduction

It’s Advent again! A season that affords us a special opportunity for spiritual growth and the possibility of ourselves and the word being remade.

Preparation and waiting

It is in the preparation and waiting that we can be most open to God. Our waiting is a time to slow down, to reflect and listen.

Waiting is part of our Christian experience. At Advent we wait for the birth of Christ, then after Easter we wait for the coming of the Holy Spirit, and after the Ascension we wait for Jesus to come again.

Longing for change

Our waiting is not in vain. We are filled with expectations that things can change in our lives and in the world because we already experience signs of the new. We long for the fullness of life that Jesus comes to bring – for freedom and salvation for ourselves and for a world free of poverty, hunger, disease and conflict.

We partner with God

We prepare actively; we work at making what we hope for a reality. As in any pregnancy the waiting is active, preparing to receive the one to be born, creating a welcoming and safe environment.

We partner with God in bringing about something new. We share with God both in praying that God’s kingdom or reign may come on earth but also participate actively in making it a reality.

From war to peace

Both our Psalm and the Old Testament reading today pick up on the theme of peace, a central theme of Advent. For the coming of Jesus into the world is a promise of the coming of peace.

In Psalm 122 we have the words:

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:

 

“May they prosper who love you.

Peace be within your walls

and security within your towers.”

For the sake of my relatives and friends

I will say, “Peace be within you.”

 

Then from the Old Testament reading for today, Isaiah 2:

they shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks;

nation shall not lift up sword against nation; neither shall they learn war any more.

The Israelites turn their implements of violence and war into implements that bring development, fruitfulness and peace. They choose to move away from a path of destruction to one that leads to reconstruction.

We too are to choose the things that make for our thriving; and to turn from the things that deprive us and others of life.

Gender Based Violence

This past Friday was the beginning of the annual international campaign of 16 Days of Activism against Violence against Women and Children.

In an article in the Mail and Guardian on women’s day this year I read the following:

“Rape in South Africa is systemic and endemic. The country’s annual police crime statistics confirm this. … South Africa has one of the highest rape statistics in the world, even higher than some countries at war. [9 August 2022]

The article later confirms the research that understands rape as being about “power and an entitlement to women’s bodies”. Its effects are described as “an injury of the spirit”, destroying the persons “sense of self, her trust in others and her trust in the world.”

It has been said that in South Africa there is a silent war being waged against women and children. We are a country is at war with itself.

In the spirit of Isaiah’s words we heard above;

Let us change attitudes of superiority to those of equality and mutuality

Let us change behaviours that intimidate and lead to fear to those that affirm and support

Let us change the normalising of gender based violence to taking opportunities to speak against all domestic and sexual abuse.

Let us not lose hope. Advent offers a promise for the end of violence and the establishment of God’s healing and peace in our lives.

Conclusion

We continue to light candles each week on our advent wreath, symbolising the light of Christ coming into the word – the light brings us warmth and comfort but also exposes what is hidden and needs to change.

In the wake of Back Friday we enter a period of heightened commercialism and consumerism, that can intrude on our experience of Advent. We need to be focussed in our time and attention. Make time for prayer – it’s so rewarding. Be mindful. Jesus was a mindful person. He acted with purpose, seeking first God’s kingdom or reign.

In our parish we wait and prepare for the welcoming of a new rector. Let us also be open to the changes that are taking place.

So let us in all things wait with hope as we prepare to celebrate the joy of the birth of
the Prince of Peace.
Amen

Contacts

Rector

Revd Dr Andrew Warmback 083 693 6745

Asst. Priest

Rev Bruce Woolley 079 544 7566

Church Wardens

Dr. Egerton Hingston 073 080 4113

Mrs. Yolisa Mapasa 082 435 8170

Alternate Church Warden

Mr. Bheki Shabalala 082 086 9548

Church Treasurer

Mr. Lethu Mkhize 082 053 9004

 

E-mail: paulsdbn@mweb.co.za

Website: www.stpaulsdurban.org.za

Facebook: @stpdbn

Instagram: stpaulsdurban

Twitter:@StPaulsDbn

 

Giving: You are invited to make a contribution to the ministry and mission of our church by making a donation to the following account:    Account Name: St Paul’s Church        Account Number: 50854628623       Bank: First National Bank (FNB)       Branch Code: 221426