There have been times in the past when I have not been able to blog for some time, but this hiatus has been the longest one since the inception of the blog.
"So what is the lame excuse this time?" you may ask. Well, lots has happened - we've finished up at the seminary, moved house, and taken up a post as the minister of the Camperdown Methodist Church. Camperdown is a piece of heaven nestled in the picturesque Valley of 1000 Hills, about 25km south-east of Pietermaritzburg. I always tease my colleagues that while they preach about heaven, I actually live there! This may be an exaggeration of sorts, but this really is a gorgeous place to live in - the views are simply stunning.
As for the church itself, our congregation comprises about 55-60 regular worshippers on a Sunday, spread over two services. The morning service (09h00) is a mixture of contemporary and traditional, while the evening service (17h30) is somewhat unstructured, with time spent in prayer, worship, reflection, and sharing.
Ministry on Circuit has its challenges, of course - while there is much that seminary has taught me, there is also much that seminary didn't teach me - like how to mend leaking toilets in the manse, drive on roads that will provide good preparation for the Dakar Rally, harvest butternut and various other vegetables, repair computers, and be a human resources specialist. Yet there are also many joys - the warm welcome received from the people, the incredible goodwill from the leaders, the sense of being part of people's growth in Christ - in essence, the feeling of well-being that comes from knowing that I can finally do what God has called me to do. Certainly I'll need to draw on this joy in the months ahead; our Society and Circuit does indeed have many challenge.
Meanwhile, James has started his high school career at that most venerable of institutions, Maritzburg College. Ranked in the "Top 5" of schools in South Africa, it is steeed in tradition and has a proud sporting and academic heritage. It was the academic record that attracted us - last year the school has a 100% matric pass rate, with 91% of those being university entrance passes. And I'm glad to say that James has taken to College like a duck to water - he is thoroughly enjoying the experience.
As for the lame excuse for not blogging for a while? I've been working on getting our church website up and running, which includes some basic information about the church, links to resopurces, my weekly sermons, and a daily reflection based on a one-year Bible reading plan. Why not pop over to www.campermethchurch-za.blogspot.com and have a squizz?