Pastoral Care Portfolio Newsletter March 2013
This being the first pastoral newsletter of 2013, it is fitting to tell everyone that not only are we still ‘committed to the love of Jesus’, but that this year, as a portfolio, we will also be committed to GROWING TRINITY, be it spiritually, in caring for young families, in caring for the members thus preserving our membership, in growing our giving and especially we will be seeking to grow Trinity’s sense of community.
Our portfolio will help Trinity to perceive, be aware of, understand, and have insight into what is happening in our community, both within our church and outside of our doors.
Community can be defined in two ways, one being, a group of people living in one district, i.e. Linden, and we at Trinity ascribe to this as we, the ministers & pastors of Trinity, belong to and are involved with the Linden Fraternity of Local Churches, who seek to care and to be aware of the community living in the Linden area.
Secondly, a community can be defined as a group of people with shared origins and interests. The Christian Community at Trinity Methodist Church fits this definition.
Pastoral Care at Trinity has a sense of caring for Trinity’s Christian Community i.e. members of Trinity. We seek to care through regular phone calls to those in need, with visits to hospitals and homes. Monetary help is given to members in need, from the Care Fund, which comes from our retiring collections after every Communion service held at Trinity.
Pastoral Care also remains aware of the wider community, ministering through our ‘Walk-in’ ministry. This ministry is being handled by the Pastoral Care office with the availability of generous monthly donations given by Trinity’s Reach Out Portfolio. I must add, although not widely known, that 3 people we have helped through the ‘Walk-in’ ministry have given their lives to the Lord and 2 of them now attend services at Trinity on a regular basis. We, as a portfolio, never underestimate the work of the Holy Spirit, be it within the Trinity Community or the wider Community. May we all at Trinity forever grow our sense of Community alongside growing our spirituality, young families, membership and giving.
Early in October Pastoral Care requested, through the weekly info bulletin, donations of flour, sugar & cooking oil for families in Zimbabwe. We received 8 large bags sugar, 9 bags flour & 6 bottles of cooking oil. These gifts were joyfully received by Dorcas, who delivered them to Zimbabwe. This was followed by a thank you letter when she had distributed the goodies among the families in her church. A BIG thank you to those who contributed.
We also asked for blanket & furniture donations to help a family who suffered a ‘dwelling’ fire. Sibusiso, along with Shirley Thompson were so grateful for the help & gifts received, The letter received from Shirley reads as follows:
“My sincere thanks for your support in assisting me to rebuild the dwelling in Zandspruit of Sibusiso & Bheki Dumakude. It’s taken a month to complete and they should be moving in next weekend. I know there are so many people in dire need and appreciate the help I have received from Trinity. Sincerely, Shirley” (letter dated 3rd November 2013)
The following quote came with this letter:
“God never keeps us at a post without assuring us of His presence and sending us daily supplies”
from Stream in the Desert by C.E. Cowan.
Since our last newsletter, our monthly donations from the Reach Out Portfolio have helped 53 people from the wider Community, including:
- Donations to Deloris, who runs a shelter for single mothers near Ellis Park. In the Link last week we highlighted the fact that four of her children were hospitalized with Yellow jaundice, and, unfortunately, two passed away. Deloris, single-handedly, does an amazing job (it really is an amazing story).
- We were able to help a family by buying coach tickets to allow them to return to Lusaka, the husband was desperately ill and needed to go home.
- We help with the rent, to pay for an office, to allow outreach ministry to continue from an impoverished church in North Riding.
- Have helped Dorcas with monetary gifts for her families in Zimbabwe
- Have helped to secure lost ID’s, work permits, exam fees for security jobs, children’s school clothes, food (a constant ask), medical supplies, rental money for shelters and accommodation and so it goes on. I count it a real privilege to be able to do this “walk-in ministry” on behalf of Trinity’s congregation.
We have also helped many Trinity members from the Care Fund, which has now run significantly low to the point that we are unable help those in real need, within our congregation, in the way we would like to. We hope that this fund will replenish over the next few months.
We have been abundantly blessed at the end of each month with generous gifts of monies for the freezer ministry. These funds allow us to prepare cooked meals for the freezer, which are handed out to those in need and to families with people in hospital.
Please tell us if you know of families who would benefit from a gift of ready prepared freezer meals. They are always available, so please ask.
A significant event in the life of Pastoral Care was the ‘Old Trinity Friends Spring Tea’ at the end of October, which was attended by 28 ladies. Vintage Affair came to the party with china tea settings & bunting and Tony Vink brought his group Unichord to sing barber shop songs. A full report with pics will be posted on the Trinity web site within the next few weeks. Watch out for that!
Every Christmas Pastoral Care gives small monetary gifts to pensioners or people in need, but this year there was a bonus. SAACI (South African Association for the Conference Industry) at their annual Christmas party collected together 35 Large Christmas hampers. This was organized by Heather Heskes (a member of Trinity), the NTB Branch Secretariat. We were able to pick up the parcels from her home, and we are so thankful for her concern & input. These parcels (plus monies) were personally delivered to people in Rose Village, Caro House, Montgomery Park, and to individual members of Trinity plus to Trinity domestic staff & to those who guard Trinity throughout the year. I received numerous letters of thanks for these gifts containing phrases like:
“Praise the Lord, thank you for the money and groceries”, “Thank you very much for the money and goodies, when I came to the packet of Turkish delight it made my day”, and, “Thank you for playing the role of Father Christmas”.
I was able to send a letter of thanks, with photographs of recipients, to Heather. What a difference the involvement of SAACI made to many this past Christmas.
Then there was the ‘Epiphany letter’, which I will place on Trinity’s web site. And so I could go on recounting joyous tales of help. It is a privilege for me to be part of Pastoral Caring at Trinity.
Blessings to all,
and to all who give so generously.