Sunday 30 October 2022. Sermon 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

Fete 2022 –

We say thanks to Remona, Siyabonga and the Fete Team for organizing a successful Fete after two years of break. Thanks to all who donated items and participated in making this year’s fete a great success. God bless you all.

Planned Giving (PG) forms –

PG forms are available at the desk. We encourage everyone to be on the PG Scheme. Thanks to all those who have been faithful to their giving.

Receipts for PG are available for collection. Please check your details are correct. In future, we would like to email the receipts.

Employment in the Diocese:

The Diocese wants to recruit a Property Manager and a Finance and Compliance Officer. Please see the notice board for details.

All Saints/All Souls:

This will be marked on 6 November. On this Sunday, we especially invite those who have lost loved ones during the difficult Covid times to attend our services.

Parish Council:

Next meeting on 13 November.

Looking ahead:

Our Thanksgiving/Ukubonga focus will be on Sunday 27 November.

Rector’s farewell:

The farewell service for the Rector is on Sunday 20

There will only be one service that day at 8:30 am. Please keep this date in mind.

December Staff Appreciation:

The Parish would like to show appreciation to our 3 staff members (Sithembile, Freda and Sizwe) in December, who work tirelessly behind the scenes to keep the church going. Donations would be welcomed in cash or kind.

Thanks and appreciation

Rev. Bruce for organizing the hot chocolate and cappuccino last Sunday for the ‘Back to Church Sunday

Dudu Kumalo- printing paper

Mother’s Union- R1402.00 for the Sunday School

Devin & Natalie Damons- items for the Fete

Jabu – Items for Fete

Dolly Ndlovu – 2 boxes of bisucits

Egerton Hingston – R1,000 towards the December staff appreciation

Egerton Hingston – R600 towards flowers in thanksgiving for his birthday.

Birthdays – 30 Oct. – 5 Nov.

30 Isabelle Brooks, Lethu Mkhize

1 Bheki Shababla, Samantha Bitsoane, Mandla Hlatshwayo

2 Bulelwa Magudu

4 Aneska Royeppen

Wedding anniversary – 30 Oct. – 5 Nov.

30 Brain and Irene Pillay

5 Akhona and Bongiwe Mahlati

Sermon by Revd Dr Andrew Warmback (Luke 19:1-10)  Commitment Sunday

Introduction

“In God we live and move and have our being” so said St Paul, in Acts 17:28. This is the essence of commitment, of giving ourselves completely to God. This is to walk in God’s presence; being guided by God in all our thoughts and actions, living a life in which nothing is done or said outside of God who made us and is the purpose of our lives.

Zacchaeus

What can this mean in practice?  Let’s look at the story of Zacchaeus.

Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem and had reached Jericho. He already had a large crowd of people following him.

In Jericho we learn that Zacchaeus was in the crowd and wanted to see Jesus. As he was short he climbs up a sycamore tree to get a better view of Jesus when he walks by.

Now Zacchaeus is a wealthy person; he is a chief tax collector, or toll collector. As we may be aware tax collectors were not popular people in their society. They collected various taxes or tolls from the people on behalf of the oppressive Roman authorities and were notoriously corrupt. And so because they cheated people they were shunned and ostracised by the society. Zacchaeus would no doubt have been an isolated and lonely person in that crowd.

Jesus calls Zacchaeus

When Jesus get near he looks up and sees Zacchaeus in the tree. What does he say to him: repent? Pay back the money? No. He calls Zacchaeus by name and tells him he will be visiting him at his home.

Zacchaeus gladly offers Jesus hospitality. In Jesus visiting him we learn that Zacchaeus’ neighbours are scandalized that Jesus could visit him, one who is considered a sinner in their eyes.

Change of heart

But a remarkable thing happens in Zacchaeus’ home. With Jesus’ acceptance and affirmation of Zacchaeus, Zacchaeus has a change of heart. He realises that he has done wrong, that he has defrauded his neighbours in collecting their taxes. He wants to make amends, to offer restitution and says he will give half of his money to those who are poor and return four times what he has taken unfairly from people. What a turn-around for him – repentance we would call it!

God’s love for us

It is in the context of stewardship and commitment that this story carries some important lessons.

It is from our encounter with Jesus, or our experience of God’s love for us, or from the conviction of the Holy Spirit working in us that we respond. No one can force us to choose a life of love of God and neighbour. God is the God who loves us and calls us to love others. God is the one always reaching out to us; it is up to us to respond by offering all we are and all we have to God. After all we belong to God; our very lives come from God. Remember the prayer we say together in the taking up of the offering, “All things come from you and of your own do we give you.” (APB 1989, p116)

Generosity in Giving

Zacchaeus offers to give back much more than he actually took; he is very generous. In our Biblical tradition giving is always to be generous, given freely and cheerfully or joyfully. It is a privilege to give. As Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:35)

Stewardship Forms

While the giving of our time and talents and money is often spontaneous we encourage one another to be systematic, and plan what we can offer – filling in the stewardship forms helps us in making our commitments for the year ahead.

At the time of the offertory if you have not already handed in your stewardship forms please place them in the bowl provided next to the offertory box.

If you have not yet had a chance to fill in your forms, there are still more on the table.

Please return them as soon as you are able to.

Conclusion

Zacchaeus’ life is a challenge to us.

He is changed by his encounter with Jesus, by a loving and welcoming experience. This leads to a change in the course of his life. He gains a broader vision of reality and takes on new values – his life is no longer a quest for security, safety, and affluence. And he is no longer the outcast; as a sinner he is forgiven. No wonder Jesus says he has found salvation. Salvation comes in very practical ways.

So let us recommit ourselves to God today and every day; that in God we may live and move and have our being. And may we be faithful stewards of all that God has given us that we may build one another up and share God’s love and joy with others. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Contacts:

Rector

Rev. 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