Based on this information and the need to get all the safety protocols in place the decision has been taken to re-open St John’s on Transfiguration Sunday, 14th February, for the 7.30am and 9.30am divine services.
Holy Trinity Thornhill will re-open for their first service on Sunday, 21st February, or the first Sunday in Lent.
We will be having two services on Ash Wednesday, 17th February, namely 9.30am and 6pm.
There are still restrictions in place as the novel corona virus continues to spread unabated with Port Elizabeth recently declared a “hot spot”, which thankfully, by God’s grace, appears to be slowly abating again due to the stringent protocols and conditions of the December-January lockdown.
It is unsettling for those of us in the church leadership, as well as for yourselves, to open and shut (x repeat cycle). Please know that church has continued unabated during the lockdown with our feeding schemes, counselling services and weekly services being available. We thank all of you who have continued to pledge faithfully to these various aspects of our ministry, we are making a difference in Jesus’ name.
Now that we are again open we need to take cognisance of the following, as issued by Bishop Eddie this week:
- Gatherings remain subject to the prescribed protocols which includes social distancing, sanitising and NO LIVE CONGREGATIONAL SINGING. Solo singing or recorded music played over the sound system is permitted.
- No more than 50 people in attendance at a particular service and a maximum of 100 people outdoors. Bear in mind that no more than 50% of the capacity of a venue may be used. So, if a building can only accommodate 80 people, then there can be no more than 40 people present.
Of course, it is inconvenient but not as inconvenient as actually getting the virus.
Again, I need to reiterate, if you are feeling unwell in any way, please do not attend the services when they re-open. We will do everything, like we have done before, to make sure that our services are “safe” for those attending. We will continue to offer a blended church, meaning that although we are open for services, we will supply recorded sermons and the eucharistic services as we have been doing for the lockdown period.
So, in the words of the writer of Hebrews: Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith…
Although Divine Services are starting on 14 February, we are still “open” and available for spiritual counselling and funerals. All our feeding schemes are operational. Details below if you would like to contribute to the feeding scheme.
Your life matters
Since 26 March 2020 we have lost many wonderful friends and colleagues – from right around the Bay.
All their lives mattered.
Their lives mattered to their families and friends, but their lives also mattered to their communities.
They have left huge gaping holes in the fabric of the Nelson Mandela Bay society.
They were dedicated fathers and mothers, community leaders, sports people, medical staff and ministers of the Gospel.
We mourn with those that mourn and our heart breaks for the hurting families in the Bay. Their loved one’s lives really mattered to them.
They have suffered great loss.
Their loved one’s lives also mattered to the community of Nelson Mandela Bay.
These were people who made a positive difference in society.
The gaps that they have left behind need to be filled.
These people will never be replaced, because they were unique – as we all are – but each one of us needs to step forward to play our role and to make a significant positive difference in our metro.
This is not the time for us to rest on our laurels, but to arise to the tasks that await us.
Each one of us has the power to make a difference.
Whether we are aware of it or not, our lives influence others
We can either be a force for good or a force for evil.
The choice is ours.
Quite often this decision is made early in life, but we have the prerogative to change.
We can use even the twilight years of our lives, for the betterment of society.
But you say: “What can I do? I have no great talent; very little ability; and few resources!”
I believe it all begins with attitude and a desire to make your life count.
Instead of standing to one side and criticising, decide to put your prejudice aside and start by treating every individual that you encounter with courtesy and respect.
In every conversation, we can either add to the downward spiral of negative talk or we can highlight those things that edify and inspire.
You ask: “What can I do?”
The gaps in our society are huge at the moment!
There are families who have lost fathers, which need men of integrity to be male role models to their sons.
If you have your own sons, include a fatherless teenager in some of your outings.
Be a father to the fatherless.
And mothers likewise, if you have just lost a female friend to Covid, include her girls in some of the activities that you enjoy with your girls.
It is not the time to be selfish. It is the time to share.
It has been a great joy to my heart to observe congregations from many different denominations and the various areas of the Bay, responding – together and in unity with great enthusiasm, dedication and hard work – to the call to serve the sick, the needy, the unemployed and the hungry.
The churches were certainly not alone in this great work.
There were NGOs, other organizations and even numbers of individuals who sacrificially laboured and gave financial help to those in distress.
Through these kind actions, the community-minded people of NMB rose to the occasion and alleviated the suffering of others by their unselfish and tireless service.
They have made their lives matter!
Again, you ask: “What can I do!”
I would say to you the same as God our Heavenly Father said to Moses: “What is that in your hand?”
Use it for the benefit others! And make your life matter!
Pastor Joan Keeling; NMB: Citywide Prayer Intercessor Network
Lockdown prayers every Thursday @ 2:30pm. All welcome!
Please contact Andrew (083 546 2451) for the Zoom link.
We would appreciate it if you could deposit your dedicated giving contributions via EFT into our bank acount:
Branch Code: 050417
A/C Name: St John the Baptist Church
A/C Number: 080281206
(Please make sure your number & reference is included)
Contact Allan at firstname.lastname@example.org if you do not have a pledge number.
Please be aware that the recycling area is currently closed until further notice.