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e-Letter

December 3, 2021

Dear West View family

Sadly we’re back in that zone where everybody knows somebody who is either in self-isolation or has tested positive for COVID-19. As we await further information on whether the omicron variant leads to serious disease, we need to err on the side of caution to ensure our own safety and that of the wider community. Please note the following:

CANCELLATION OF SUNDAY EVENING’S CAROL SERVICE

Heavy Rain is forecast for Sunday and in the light of rapidly increasing infection rates in our province, it is unsafe to hold the Carol Service indoors. We have therefore made the difficult decision to cancel this year’s Carol Service. Our priority is a safe Christmas for all. We encourage you to load your favourite Christmas Carol album, crank up the volume and enjoy singing your favourite Christmas Carols at home! 

WHAT ABOUT MORNING IN-PERSON WORSHIP?

This Sunday’s in-person 8h00 and 10h00 services will be our final in-person worship services until further notice. No refreshments will be served after the services. We encourage you to worship online for the remainder of Advent and Christmas.Be sure to visit our YouTube channel, click on the Subscribe button as well as the Bell button to receive notifications of our online services.

CHURCH OFFICE

Office and pastoral staff will be working from home and can be contacted via email or cellphone during their normal working hours.

VACCINATE!

The most effective way of ensuring each other’s safety is to be vaccinated. Large sectors of the population being unvaccinated creates fertile ground for the virus to mutate into new variants which require harsh lockdown measures to ensure that our health services are protected. I encourage those who are eligible who have not yet been vaccinated to do so.

CHRISTMAS DAY OFFERING

This years Christmas Day Offering will go to support Ditshego’s work amongst the children of Mooiplaas. Click the button for more information about how your contribution will be spent. The online worship service will include an offering moment. If you make a Christmas Day offering via EFT please ensure to use the reference “Christmas offering”.

FINANCIAL UPDATE

Tithes and Offerings for November totalled R478 000, R18 000 over budget. This reduces our year-to-date shortfall to R89 600. Thank you for your faithful and sacrificial giving to God’s work at West View.

PASTORAL CHANGES AT WEST VIEW

Most of you are aware that Methodist ministers are itinerant – during a lifetime of ministry we will serve several different congregations. This system ensures that congregations can benefit from the gifts and contributions of a range of clergy. It also ensures that the congregation’s life and identity is centred on Jesus Christ rather than on any one individual.

The process for finding a minister to replace me has already begun. The stationing committee, comprising our Superintendent Jim Ramage, the Circuit Stewards and several Society Stewards has been convened, and your Society Stewards are busy finalising the profile for a replacement minister. It is hoped that the appointment process will be completed within the first quarter of 2022 with the replacement minister taking up appointment next December.

In keeping with itinerancy, 2022 will be my 11th and last year at West View Methodist Church. I have accepted an invitation to serve in the Fourways Circuit starting next December. I have done so not because I am unhappy at West View. On the contrary, my love for the congregation and ministries of West View is stronger than ever. However, I have prayerfully discerned that God is calling me out of my comfort zone to a new challenge and a new context in which to serve God.

The same God that I have heard calling me to the Fourways Circuit has a plan for the person who will replace me at West View and I trust that as you seek God’s guidance in this process, God will lead you to the right person.  

West View is blessed both by having Siphiwe to provide continuity of ministry through this transition and to have a stable staff and executive team. We therefore anticipate a very smooth transition.

Now is not the time to start saying goodbyes and disengaging from each other. The time for saying goodbye will come in late 2022. Until then, let us continue to serve God and God’s world together with passion and compassion. Please pray for the Stationing Committee and the Invitation Process. Pray that God will lead them to the right person, that as they seek God’s will for your future, God will prove faithful.

Grace and Peace

Ian

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