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Coming Together as Parish

The Parish of St John the Evangelist is made up of six churches: St John's Wynberg, St Luke's Diep River, Christ Church Kenilworth, Emmanuel Wynberg, St Phillips Kenwyn and Church of the Holy Spirit Kirstenhof.

Two important parish events that brought us together in May, both hosted at St John’s Church:

Parish Praise and Prayer (Friday 17th May)

A bring-and-share supper, followed by praise and prayer was led by the parish prayer team. Jeremy welcomed us; a worship group of 13 members led the praise in song; Alison Bourne guided our prayers and Natalie Simons-Arendse led the communion – a blessed time for the 60 people who came, representing most of the churches in the parish. A few people share their impressions.

“We loved the whole evening, every part from the delicious bring and share to worship and prayers… thanks to all who organised. We left satisfied.” – T & J, St Luke’s

“I really enjoyed the praise and worship. I felt like the Holy Spirit was there and also when we had the chance to speak, I felt free and like it was a safe space to open up about what the Holy Spirit has done in my life and the thankfulness that I have for Jesus’ sacrifice. I also enjoyed praying together for the election and the parish churches.” – K, Youth Group, St John’s

“To gather as a Parish, share a meal, pray for ourselves, our churches, our leadership and our land and to worship together in the presence of Our Lord and Saviour, through His Holy Spirit was such a blessing! May we be New Wineskins receiving new wine. It's all about Jesus, we take nothing for ourselves.” – D, St Luke’s

“It was such a blessing to come together as a Parish to thank God for 30 years of Democracy in SA and, most importantly, to worship God together.” D, St John’s

“What I loved about last night was praying with people from the whole parish, and hearing God say: ‘Political parties, leaders, countries and organisations all bow before my name. Nothing is impossible for me to change!’ It was a lovely evening.” E, Christ Church

“GOD revealed the Presence of the HOLY SPIRIT at the Parish Praise and Prayer evening, the HOLY SPIRIT guided and took the lead, JESUS said in John 14vs17 ‘the Spirit of truth the world cannot accept HIM because it neither sees HIM nor knows HIM. But you know HIM, for HE lives with you and will be in you.’  We relied on the HOLY SPIRIT'S presence, we experienced the manifestation of the indwelling of the HOLY SPIRIT, some of us proclaimed a word from GOD. I had a sense that GOD revealed that HE is in control, guiding and empowering us by the HOLY SPIRIT as a Parish. The Spirit brings unity and we as a Parish preserve that unity.” Avril A, St Luke’s

“Being part of the worship team was a privilege. The intimacy of prayer in small groups of committed people from across the parish was special. Always saddened by the notable absence of people. We also noticed and felt tremendous humility in all who were there.” – C & T, Christ Church

“The parish prayer and praise was inspiring and edifying. It was good to pray for Pentecost, parish vestry and the elections. I loved the openness to the Holy Spirit. I loved Terence’s T-shirt, which spoke of leaking oil. We all leak and needs to be filled again” – Allan, Emmanuel Church

“I had a most wonderful evening enjoying the praise and worship. The prayers from our group featured those in need of prayer and secondly for the upcoming elections. I must say that I felt the influence of the Holy Spirit in the singing and the music chosen.” – R, St John’s

Parish Vestry Meeting (23rd May)

Every year, our parish has a vestry meeting. Reports from each church in the parish were circulated ahead of time and a brief summary was presented at the meeting by the Ministers or Wardens of Christ Church Kenilworth, Church of the Holy Spirit, Emmanuel Church, St John's Church, St Luke's Church and St Philip's Church, as well as other reports from SJLA, the Warehouse, Parish Council and the Parish Finances. If you did not receive those reports, the link is at the end of this article. All members of the constituent churches are welcome to attend and participate. Mostly, 'participation' meant listening to the various reports, though there were some decisions that needed to be presented, discussed and voted on. One 'big item' was a new Descriptive Document, (which basically identifies who and where we are as a parish). Vestry previously commissioned a team to re-write the existing document to something more concise. Progress on one part of the document has been made and was presented to vestry, to accept as an interim document. Vestry constitutes the highest authority in the Parish under God, so decisions that affect the whole parish are made there.

It was good to see so many people at the church using the opportunity to catch up with others over soup and rolls, and enjoy the wonderful worship led by the St Philip's group. Some endurance was required for those who don't find discussions on constitutions and governance very absorbing. However, being there helped us understand a little bit of how our parish 'works' and also to meet people from the other churches in our extended family. The minutes of the meeting will be sent out in due course and members are encouraged to engage with decisions made in these meetings.

You can download and read the Parish Vestry 2024 Reports at this link.


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