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Pic: Blessing procession - Bishop Bethlehem sprinkles Holy water on the walls of the centre as it is blessed.
The centre is the former rectory. When the rector, Zweli Tom, arrived, the church bought a new rectory in Algoa Park, and so released the old rectory to be used as the parish centre. Bishop Bethlehem said Zweli had come to him to beg for a loan from the Trusts Board to enable the parish to buy a new rectory. The Bishop then thanked St Peter’s for catching his vision, but warned that there was still much to be done. He said the intention of Jesus was not to have people confined to a church building once a week, but to be outgoing and taking his love to the needy in the community. Bishop Bethlehem went on to say that the church and the centre need to be a place of love. People must know one another by name, not just as a face.
The centre provides skills
training, such as sewing classes, as a form of empowerment. St
Cuthbert’s in Central link with St Peter’s to run
HIV/AIDS feeding project with 19 families being fed every month. Only
three of the families are members of the parish; the others are from
the community, and as far afield as Motherwell; a soup kitchen feeds
the poor and the sick (TB, HIV, etc) before they go for their
treatment. Nomalungelo Ntlokwana, the intern counselling psychologist
at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, provides free counselling at
the centre for individuals and couples experiencing problems; and from
the centre, groups go the Loyiso High School to teach gardening and to
run the tuck shop.
Pic: Plaque unveiled - Having unveiled the plaque on the wall of the new St Peter's Parish Centre, Bishop Bethlehem prays for the parish use of the centre.
Jika of the
Ethiopian Charismatic Church thanked St Peter’s for being
salt and light in their outreach to the community. He encouraged the
members to focus on God for their strength (and not on their rector)
and to watch out for the enemy who will try and attack.
Rod Greville, the rector of the parish, said that most of the new lay ministers have been attending a training course that began in October 2002. They have been trained in all aspects of lay ministry, and are able to visit the sick and run prayer groups, and some will preach.
Pics: Left) All ready to minister - Christopher Holmes congratulates Zinisile Jim, one of the 16 new lay ministers he had just licensed at the Parish of Sundays River Valley. Right) Just married - Two of the newly licensed lay ministers, Zolile Wyn and Alice Vena, became newlyweds when they were married the following weekend. They are seen with the rector, Rod Greville. Alice, who is HIV+, is also the parish AIDS co-ordinator.
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