Sunday 4 September 2022, St Paul’s, Durban. Sermon is by Revd 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

Date of Fete 29 October

There is a large box near the pulpit to receive items. Please make your donations there or to the church office.
We will again appeal for parishioners to make donations for the fete through envelopes provided.

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.

Home Communion

If you know of any parishioners who are no longer able to attend church services but would like communion at home please inform one of the clergy or the parish office.

Name Tags: A reminder to wear your name tags and to return them to the pigeonholes after the service. If you do not have one please write your name on the sheet provided and one will be made up for you.

Heritage Day Concert

We are planning a fundraising concert on Saturday 24 September. More details to follow.

Heritage Celebration on Sunday 25th: We invite parishioners to bring food to church representing their particular culture for us all to enjoy after the 9.15 service.

Please indicate to Mrs Doreen Senogue or Mrs Jabu Soni what food you intend to bring. The entrance cost to the hall will be R20 per person. You are invited to wear “traditional dress” that day.

Church Men’s Society (CMS) Walk

Postponed from last week this walk will take place on Saturday 10 September at 6.00am from Blue Lagoon. Both men and women are welcome.

Youth Service

The Youth will arrange and lead the service on Sunday 11September 2022

September. Diocesan Servers’ Conference:

This will take place on Saturday on 1 October at 9.00 at the Cathedral. All servers are invited to attend.

Notices each week: If you miss the notices on any week, they may be found on our
church website, together with a copy of the slides for the service and the sermon.

The notices are also posted on our notice board each week.

Rector on Leave: The rector will be on leave from 6-9 September

Thanks and appreciation

Anonymous 5 litres of cleaning product
Kamal Moodley Light fittings for the outside of the church premises
Dolly Ndlovu 2 boxes of biscuits
Siviwe Tymre Vegetables for soup kitchen.
Raylene, Mervyn Williams and family Vegetables for the soup kitchen and cleaning
products.
Greta Ellis R400 for flowers in memory of her mother, A. Ellis
Anonymous Payment for installation of TVs

Needs of the church

A4 Papers, cleaning products (toilet paper, garbage bags, dishing washing liquid,
handy andy, bleach, jik, furniture polish, window cleaner, wax polish for floor)

Items for soup kitchen

Birthdays 4 to 10 September

4 Linda Dludlu
6 Melvin Royappen
9 Bomi Nomlala, Raymond Shamba, Kyle Somasundram, Patrick Reddy, Azokwanda
Ssekitoleko, Tina Tiya
10 Siboniso Dlamini, Berny Houston

Sermon by Revd Andrew Warmback – Land Justice Introduction

This is God’s earth, the land belongs to God. In Psalm 24, the writer puts it this way: “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof.” This means that all human life, and all living things including the earth and its bounty are gifts from God to be cherished and respected.

There is a real sense in which the land does not belong to us as people; instead we belong to the land. We come from the earth and to the earth we shall return. By the way, we use “land” and “earth” interchangeably, the biblical languages do not make a distinction in the use of these two words.

Season of Creation

These themes I have introduced are our starting point for this first Sunday in the Season of Creation; we will explore them a little further. The Green Anglicans’ guide to the Season of Creation this year has as its focus for today “Land Justice.”

People and the land

The relationship people have to the land, and to all that live on the land, is significant. In the creation story in Genesis we read that the earth was formed first and later human beings were made from the dust of the earth. While we could say that people are just one among many of the earth community, we are entrusted by God with a special responsibility, that of caring for the land: to be earthkeepers. There is a reciprocal relationship we care for the land that the land may care for us. The Genesis reading makes it clear that we are to be nourished and sustained by the bounty of the earth.

The land is God’s gift

It sometimes feels that the land, as God’s gift, belongs to the international institutions and corporations that shape our global economy; for we know that the affluent 20% of the world’s population owns 80% of the earth’s resources. This seems a far cry from Jesus who said, in the Beatitudes that the meek shall inherit the earth (Matthew 5).

While we do have private ownership of property we should still recognise God’s fundamental ownership of all things; that property should be stewarded for the good not just of the owner but for the good of others too. And land, like life, should never be treated as a mere commodity.

The Land in South Africa

A consideration of land in the South African context evokes strong feelings. The skewed land ownership patterns are rooted in our history of colonialism and apartheid. The Land Acts of 1913 and 1936 dispossessed many black people of their land and entrenched people’s unequal access to the resources of the natural environment. Loss of land equals loss of livelihood. Forced removals lead to overgrazing, soil erosion and the exhaustion and depletion of water supplies

Apartheid not only separated people from one another but it also viewed human beings as distinctly separate from their natural surroundings. People were not seen to be related to or dependent on their environment and therefore could be easily uprooted and so became further alienated from the land.

Women, especially black women, have suffered disproportionately being the group that has traditionally, at least in rural areas, had the most contact with the natural resources of the environment, in the farming of crops, the collection of water and firewood, the provision of food and the maintenance of the health of their families.

In our crowed urban environments and informal settlements many people experience air pollution, polluted water and inadequate sanitation.

Implications

  • Returning to our biblical affirmation of “The Earth is the Lord’s”, that the land itself deserves justice, what are the implications of this? What actions can be done? I mention a few things:
  • We should encourage an appreciation and enjoyment of creation;
  • Make every effort to conserve water and ensure that water as a basic human right is affordable;
  • Promote the recycling of resources we have a plastics recycling project at the church which we invite you to support;
  • Resist all forms of deforestation and support tree planting. Following our World Day of Prayer for Creation service on Thursday this past week we
    blessed a tree that had been donated to us we still need to decide where to plant it.
  • We should discuss local environmental issues and collaborate with other churches and local environmental organisations in tackling them;
  • Let us speak out against industrial pollution which is a significant factor in causing climate change;
  • Use renewable forms of energy whenever possible;
  • Promote gender justice in the light of the important role of women in ensuring sustainability in communities;
  • And finally, work towards a more just economic order, free from greed, domination, exploitation and manipulation.

Conclusion

So, the earth in all its beauty, splendour and fragility has an intrinsic worth as part of God’s creation.

Our Christian faith does not just look backward to creation, or to a once golden period in the past, but rather looks forward in hope to the coming of God’s reign. The scriptures speak of this hope in many ways but the dominant vision is that of “shalom”, a time of well-being, right relationships, justice and peace. God who sustains the earth and will finally restore it, along with humanity.

Let us pray for and take actions that contribute toward this vision, the healing of the land that is crying out for justice or “groaning” – as St Pauls describes it in Romans. And let us never underestimate the impact God can make through us. May the Holy Spirit strengthen and guide us this Season of Creation. 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