Dear Beautiful saint planted by God’s grace in our community,
I wanted to take a moment, as we prepare for Christ Mass, to reach out to you with a festive message from myself and the team here at All Saints. I also want to highlight some of the exciting developments that are taking place at All Saints designed to improve what we offer our community and congregants.
The current year has been a very tough year for most of us emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually. Despite this God has remained faithful and His grace sufficient.
The suspension of church services for seven months of this year was a time of great opportunity for us in the leadership team and in the parish to experiment with new ideas and reflect deeply on our individual and collective relationship with God. I have heard similar experiences from others, that in many ways 2020 brought the opportunity for each of us to take personal responsibility for our prayer and worship life.
I am hopeful that for many of you this period of Advent will present an opportunity to return to in-person worship. As you know we are already coming up on the 3rd Sunday in Advent, our period of preparation to receive the Christ Child anew. Please join me for our annual Carols’ Service which will take place this Sunday the 13th December from 18h00. Like last year, it will be outdoors and with a wonderful live band. Covid-19 regulations still govern our services and meetings, so we ask that you bring your own mince pies and sherry this year as we are prohibited from providing these. Spare a thought for those not able to bring and be prepared to share in the spirit of Advent and community. You are also required to register your attendance for the Carol Service online. Details are available on our website at www.allsaints.co.za under church services.
Midnight Mass is scheduled for 24 December at 22h00 and we are confident that this important family occasion will finish in time for you to be home safely amid curfew regulations.
Our Christmas service is at 08h30. We do hope you bring family and friends and make this a joyous celebration together with us.
We held a Strategic Planning session in November and looked at how we continue to grow our presence in the community. We feel as a leadership team, that people are looking first for a place to BELONG, once they feel at home with us and experience the love of God in practice they begin to BELIEVE in the promises of God. Finally, together we begin to be transformed by the Holy Spirit into BECOMING Christ to the world. Mindful of this we head towards 2021 inspired to deliver on key focus areas:
Enhancing Worship will focus on musical themes and the importance of establishing a diverse preaching team. We will develop a youth band and draw a clear distinction between our services and what they offer our community.
Youth ministry will continue to be a mainstay of what is on offer at All Saints and the importance of a faith-based journey for our young as they journey towards adulthood. For too long our beautiful surrounding have offered great potential but little practical enjoyment. Our
Beautifying the Space initiatives will transform the grounds at All Saints into practical areas for gatherings, outdoor services, reflection and events. I humbly ask for your input in terms of time, talent and resources that you may be able to bring in helping us transform the beautiful location God has given us.
Sharing the Message
As we build a community of worship and enable better relationships with God, we are improving the way that we communicate with our community. We are bringing a fresh approach to in person preaching and upgrading and refreshing our digital platforms. We will use these tools to better communicate with you and keep you fully up to date with what is going on at All Saints. Our new website was launched this week (www.allsaints.co.za) and as part of our digital refresh we will be updating our parish roll. Keep a look out for a digital form for you to complete so that we have your most up to date details captured accurately.
All these initiatives can only be successful by you staying involved or becoming involved. Please contact us about getting involved in these exciting initiatives.
On behalf of the leadership team at All Saints, I would to thank every one of you for your faithful giving over what has been a very difficult year. Deep appreciation for those who participate in our Dedicated Giving program.
We genuinely would not be able to provide the services we do without you. If you would like to get involved at All Saints, either in the initiatives I have set out above or financially through our dedicated giving program, please contact us for more details.
May this Christ Mass season bring a fresh hope to each of us. And may God continue to show His great love to you and yours.
With blessings always,
Reverend Dr. Anastasia Huntly
All Saints Anglican Church, Fourways