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HCC October Newsletter
                                                                                                 6 October 2018

From Nick's desk

Greetings.

I hope this newsletter finds you well and in good health.

I can't believe we're one week into October already. As the team and I were planning our Carol Service (scheduled for Sunday 2 December), we realised with a shock that it's only 8 weeks away! It's 11 weeks to Christmas!! 
Last Saturday a few of the elders got together at my home to think and talk about HCC"s mission, vision and values (more about this in the months to come). One of the passages of scripture that came up during our discussion was Colossians 1. I have been pondering on this passage in the days since then. From verse 9 onwards, Paul expresses his prayer for the church at Colossi, and as such articulates what God wants for us, his people and his church. 
This is what God wants for every single one of us;
  • for us to be filled with the knowledge of his will (this comes from the Holy Spirit)
  • that we may live a life worthy of the Lord
  • that we please him in every way
  • that we bear fruit in every good work (work that he has prepared in advance for us to do, as per Ephesians 2:10)
  • that we grow in our knowledge of him
  • that we may be strengthened with all power in order that we may have endurance and patience
  • that we may give joyful thanks to the Father who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of his people.
This is what God wants for us. It is his desire and therefore he isn't holding anything back from us. I was just reminded again that if we are struggling in any of these areas, firstly, we cannot blame God, but we need to look within ourselves. Secondly, we cannot idly sit around and wait for things to improve. Rather, we need to very intentionally identify those things which are obstructing us and then take active steps to remove them so that we can experience all that God wants for us, as per Paul's prayer.  

On Heritage Day we invited family over for a meal. They declined because they were doing "spring cleaning", which I initially thought was odd, but then thought what better day to do spring cleaning. We need to regularly "spring clean" our spiritual lives, even if it means turning down a few things in order to create the space needed to seriously reflect and assess how we're doing spiritually. 

How are you doing in taking stock of your life and removing/cleaning the things that are obstructing your walk with the Lord?
RIP Josaya
Here are some September highlights;
  • We ran a Missions and Outreach focus with a series entitled "Love God, Love Others, Make Disciples". This included feedback from HTRC and Lesedi, two ministries that we are actively involved in as a church, which are making an impact locally. This is outreach. We also heard from Keegan and Justine about their plans for next year when they will spend a year in Thailand, ministering in a cross-cultural Buddhist context. This is missions.
  • We ended September and rounded off our Missions and Outreach focus by packing 10 000 meals. This was an amazing time and a great example of practical involvement in making Christ visible through good works that he has prepared in advance for us to do. 
  • Tomorrow (7 October) we have our "Invest and Invite" Sunday. Another practical opportunity to do outreach as we invest in the salvation of someone we know, work with or love, by inviting them to church. 
  • Our second Alpha course of the year kicked off on the 19th. We have a good turnout and I trust many are going to be challenged and moved in their faith as they grapple with some of the issues and questions raised by Alpha.
  • We had 6 Community Groups start in September. It is truly wonderful to see so many people actively engaged in church life beyond our Sunday services. At present more than half the church is meeting outside of a Sunday morning, either in a Community Group or as part of Alpha (#thisischurch!)
  • A many of you are aware, Trish and I run OMF Southern Africa, a mission agency focussed on the unreached peoples of East Asia. In September I had the privilege of attending a few days of strategy meetings in Singapore, followed by a short stay in Myanmar, where I had the opportunity to visit with and encourage a South African couple who are ministering to the Buddhists in that nation. It is always exciting to see what God is doing in other parts of the world!
  • On a sad and tragic note, we lost one of our young men, Josaya, to a senseless and pointless stabbing in Diepsloot. Our deepest condolences go out to Josaya's family and friends. My thanks to Ingo, Phiri and others who stepped in to make the necessary funeral arrangements in my absence. 
Looking ahead:
  • As part of our ongoing outreach into the communities around us, we will be going to Ilima School on Saturday 13 October to help with some very practical things. We will be painting and installing wooden shelving in the library and digging flower beds. If time allows, we will also possibly be putting up some shade netting. Please make an effort to be there to either help with one of these activities, or just to encourage, supervise and chivvy along those working. We meet at the Abraham's place (where Ilima is situated) at 9a.m. and will finish at 12:00-12:30p.m.
  • On the 21st we will have a Baby Dedication Sunday. I'm looking forward to the awesome privilege of dedicating these new little lives to God and standing, together with the rest of the church, behind these new parents who are asking God to help, strengthen and guide them as they raise their children. 
  • The Alpha weekend away will be from 26-28 October. This is a very important weekend and a fundamental aspect of the Alpha course. Please be in prayer for this weekend.
  • Coming up in November we will be starting a 4-week series on the Book of Ruth, called Radical Love - Lessons from the Book of Ruth. I have never preached from Ruth and am looking forward to delving deeper into this amazing book and teasing out the implications that this story has for us today.
  • Here is advance notice of a very important day! We will be hosting our Carols Evening on Sunday 2 December. We are inviting as many people as we possibly can, including HeronBridge College. We hope to see hundreds of people there. For this reason, we will be using the Boabab Hall (that is the College's main hall). We will start at 4p.m with picnics on the lawns next to the river and then move into hall to start at 6p.m. There will also be opportunity for members of the church to set up stalls and a mini-market to sell any products that they may have. This is going to be an awesome event and a great opportunity to invite your unchurched and unbelieving family, friends and colleagues.  
Please remember that I am available to meet with you to chat about anything that is on your heart, or even just to have a cuppa together. I am able to meet you wherever is convenient for you - a coffee shop on your way to work or during a lunch break. My email address is nick@heroncchurch.co.za

As you continue into the month of October  I pray that you would know the peace and the presence of the Lord in all that you do.

Warm regards,
Nick Bekker
OUR NEW SERIES STARTING ON 4 NOVEMBER
Please join us for prayer before the service every Sunday. We meet in the Staff Room at 8:30a.m.
If you need prayer, please join us in the back corner of the Acacia Hall after the service on Sunday - there is always someone ready to pray for you.

In Case You Missed It!


16 September 2018 - LOVE GOD, LOVE OTHERS, MAKE DISCIPLES - PART 3, LOCAL MISSIONS - Ingo v/d Merwe
http://heroncchurch.co.za/sermons/love-god-love-others-make-disciples-local-missions/

2 September 2018 - LOVE GOD, LOVE OTHERS, MAKE DISCIPLES - PART 1, THE GREAT COMMANDMENT AND THE GREAT COMMISSION - Nick Bekker 
http://heroncchurch.co.za/sermons/love-god-love-others-make-disciples-part-1-the-great-commandment-and-the-great-commission/
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