For Immediate Release to all Societies, Circuits and Districts
4 April 2017
Some Prayerful Guidance at Such a Time as This
In the light of the present State of affairs in South Africa, civil society is called upon to stand for stability, justice, and better life for all. The church should not at any time be seen as aligning itself with any party regardless of what that party is.
The call for the nation to unite and express their disquiet is irrespective of political persuasion, socio-economic standing or racial difference. This is a call for us to collectively speak and act in the best interests of the country.
A call has been made by a coalition of civil society bodies led by SAVESA to express collective indignation about the present state of affairs which includes the country being downgraded to junk status. The MCSA calls on all to set aside the time leading up to The Resurrection as a period of lament and prayer for something new to be born out of the present crisis.
Therefore, we appeal to our members to exercise their conscience as they may choose to join protest initiatives around the country.
The MCO will not be open on Friday 7 April because of anticipated travel difficulties but also to use that time to join the nation in prayer and lament.
Statement released by Bishop Ziphozihle Siwa Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa For More Information: Contact : Bongie 011 615 1616 / 078 131 5137
The Simple Rules: ‘Stay in Love with God’
(Seven Questions HMC study for the week of 20th February 2017)
ICE-BREAKER: What does a deep meaningful relationship look like to you?
- It’s great to fall in love, it’s even better to stay in love, for this is a love that endures, shares, communicates, and helps… even in the things we don’t like to do. Staying in love is kept alive in the distinctly ordinary, non-ecstatic ways on a daily basis. Discuss this statement.
The focus passage for this week is 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24.
- Staying in love with God in the same way requires intentionally maintaining our relationship with God. What kinds of things are involved in our staying and keeping close to God, our Source of life?
- Many people express the sentiment that God is strangely silent in our modern world. Do you agree or disagree?
- In what ways can we tune or re-tune into the grace of God that is all around us?
- Read John 21:15-19. Love is a doing action (a decision). Jesus asks Peter three times to you love me? Peter, somewhat impatiently replies yes each time. Jesus says… Feed my lambs… Tend my sheep… and Follow me. How is this love in action?
- How is loving others, also loving God in a way that means we stay in love with God?
- Wesley’s simple rules may appear somewhat daunting, or we may have the mind-set that following such a disciplined approach is restrictive. However, I would counter that with the thought that we simply need to start right where we are… In what small way, right where we are, can we begin to attend more intentionally to ‘staying in love with Jesus’ this week?
PRAYER TOPIC: Please keep our nation in your prayers, pray for those on our pew leaflet who are struggling in one way or another. Pray for responsible use of our roads, and for the on-going issues within our education from early childhood development phase to tertiary phase. Pray for our children & youth ministry. Lord in your mercy hear our prayers.
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The Simple Rules: ‘Do No Harm’
(Seven Questions HMC study for the week of 6th February 2017)
ICE-BREAKER: Are you a ‘rules person’? Do you enjoy living by or enforcing rules in your own life? What are the positives and negatives of your approach?
- What kind of life principle or rule are you currently trying to live your life by?
Over the next three weeks we are looking at the 3 Simple Rules of John Wesley: Do No Harm, Do Good, and Attend to the Ordinances of God (or, Stay in Love with God).
- We look at Do No Harm. Why, if this rule is so simple, do we as humans struggle to follow it?
The focus passage for this week is Romans 14: 1-18 and so we draw some questions out of that text:
- What do you make of Paul’s opening sentiments in Romans 14: 1-3?
- What is the repeated phrase in Romans 14: 5-7?
- In Romans 14: 13 Paul speaks about being a stumbling block. How do we find ourselves, intentionally or unintentionally, a stumbling block to others?
- Romans 14: 14-15 are very interesting verses with intriguing ramifications for how we live our lives. What do you make of them? How would you apply these sentiments?
- In closing read Romans 14:17. How does this over-arching sentiment put the entire discussion into perspective?
PRAYER TOPIC: We have all been shocked this week at the plight of the mentally ill at the hands of government and certain clinics. Pray for those, regardless of illness, moving through our public health care system.
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