TIM’S NEWSLETTER | FEBRUARY

I hope that this letter will find you and your family well and safe during these times? If you are in need of any assistance please do not hesitate to contact the church office at 044 5333430 or admin@plettmethodist.co.za or contact me directly at 0824639692. 

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued prayers, faithfulness and generous and committed support these past months, this has enabled the ministries of STMC to continue, and ensured that our commitments to the community based projects that we are partnered with can be honoured. We ended 2020 on a sound and stable financial footing and on behalf of the Leaders of our Church – thank you!

Getting back into our Church building:

This week President Ramaphosa announced a change to our lockdown regulations and so I have been able to make a few changes at STMC too! I have been very aware of how many of us have missed connecting with one another in person at church and therefore have made the following adjustments to help us explore ways to begin to “get together again”: 

  • Sunday 7 February – “Walk in, Walk through” Communion Service (8.30-10.30am). This invitation is extended to you to join me, for a brief moment, in church! Please feel free to arrive at any time between 8.30 and 10.30am; walk in to the church; find a quiet place to sit. Spend time in prayer and reflection, and then when you are ready please come forward and stand at the Communion Rail. I will serve you Communion. After that when you feel ready to do so, please feel free to leave. The various Online Services will still be available as per normal and I will send out those links on Saturday 6 February. 

  • Organisations and Groups that normally make use of the church buildings during the week, please contact Lesley at 0445333430, to make the necessary arrangements to start up again. 

  • The Youth and Young Adults Groups are preparing to get going for the year and I will confirm those start-up dates.  

  • The Well: Unfortunately, due to current restrictions The Well remains closed.

  • The church office is open Monday to Friday 9am-1pm. 

Please remember that all Covid Regulations and Protocols currently in place must be adhered to at all times.

STMC Online Ministry:

The Online Ministry of STMC is a crucial part of the life of our church and that will continue, and be developed further this year. The Leaders have made the decision that our Online Ministry will not come to an end when lockdown and Covid are over – we will continue with it and offer both in church and online services. With this principle in place please make use of our website www.plettmethodist.co.za as all the necessary links for Sermons, Bible Study Notes, and updates on all our programs and activities will be found there. The website is the space to go to whenever you need Bible Study material, or contact numbers, information about our programmes, or access to our online ministry, online Alpha courses etc… please practice making use of it!

We are in the process of developing a room for video recording our services and our Bible Study Teaching and our Children’s, Youth and Young Adults programmes in order to move our recording equipment out of the Church and Youth Chapel spaces and into a more permanent venue. This is a new and exciting chapter for the life of our church, and setting up our recording space will ensure that our recording schedule will not impact on our need to use the church and other venues during the week for in person meetings. The Worship Team is also working very hard with getting songs and hymns recorded for our online use. We need to record songs to ensure we do not commit copyright infringements. If you have any favourites that you would like them to try their voices at please let me know at tim@plettmethodist.co.za . Furthermore,  perhaps you have a good singing voice, or play an instrument well and would like to get practically involved – I would love to hear from you.

STMC Study Hub:

I have been made more and more aware in recent months of the difficulties that a number of our school students and young adults are experiencing when trying to study online from home. For some this pressure is increased in the following two areas: they do not have computer equipment at home, and the costs of data needed for studying at home is more than they can afford – the end result is they are unable to proceed with their studies. I approached the Leaders, and they unanimously agreed that we set up a Study Hub at STMC. In the Study Hub we will set-up a number of desktop computers and the equipment needed for studying online and provide the data needed through our church wifi to ensure that the children and young men and women of our STMC family can continue with their education. This will be managed and monitored very carefully and will be – at this stage – for STMC members only. 

Disaster Management Response and Storage:

The past few years have made it clear that our church campus is a valued and integral part of the Plett communities’ response to disaster and crisis. Our campus was used for disaster relief during the Great Fire and again in 2020 for the Covid response of food and clothing. It is clear that this is a ministry area that STMC is called to, and one in which we can through compassion and practical engagement help bring healing and hope during times of crisis. 

STMC will remain committed to this type of involvement and in fact it is an integral part of our mission as a church. A chief area of pressure we experience on our campus during crises is in terms of storage space, the Hall is the primary area that is used during these times – which  in turn impacts on our Children’s Ministry. To relieve this pressure I am in the process of getting quotes to purchase a storage container which will be installed discreetly and used to meet our ongoing needs both for storage and for crisis response and in this way make sure that our venues can be utilised for ministry.

Fellowship Groups:

The Covid lockdown has reinforced for STMC the value of our network of Fellowship Groups, and Care Groups. Thank you to all those who are involved in this very important outreach and ministry. The importance and need for this ministry cannot be emphasized enough and I am sure it will continue to go from strength to strength this year. Pastor Colleen approached me about making a change to our understanding of what our “Fellowship Groups” are. For example, traditionally our Fellowship Groups focussed on developing meaningful relationships between the group members – around some Bible study. The Bible Study groups on the other hand focussed on the Bible study aspect for meeting – with less focus on the developing of relationships. 

The change of focus now is this: our Fellowship Groups will now be called “Connect Groups”. The past year has shown us the deep and lasting value, and healing that comes, when people learn to connect with one another. In fact our church logo contains the words “Connecting to God and one another”. Pastor Colleen and I will meet with the Group Facilitators in the near future to discuss this new approach and focus with them. I also  encourage you to take the word “Connect” into your thinking about the life of our church, and in turn your participation in our worship and outreach ministries.

Congratulations!!!

You may not have heard – Pastor Troy and his wife Tayla are expecting their first child! This is very exciting news and I am sure you will join me to wish them all the very best and the richest blessings during this time of pregnancy and preparation for this new phase of parenthood, and strength for the sleepless nights and loaded nappies, that will soon arrive!

God bless,

Tim.

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