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Following Jesus Pastoral Letter: 2020 Vision & Plan

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Hello fellow travellers on the journey of Following Jesus! I invite you to take time to prayerfully read this very important letter summarising our decisions regarding the 2020 Vision & Planning process.

The journey: Alexander was inducted as team leader/Senior Pastor of Following Jesus on 20 January 2013. His vision was to ‘replant’ the church by a) re-gathering and healing people, and b) re-laying a foundation of what it means to truly follow Jesus – how we do life, church, leadership, ministry and mission – represented in the circled triangle of our core values: Following God, Forming (in) Community, Fishing the World.

Alexander came with a clear conviction of his life MISSION and that of the church he would lead – this church! The OT (Oversight Team/eldership) accepted and adopted it as our church mission. A Mission Statement is one’s reason for existence, of being; answers ‘who are you?’; giving a sense of identity and calling under God. What is your personal life mission? Our church is committed to this stated mission: Following Jesus and making followers of him, learning to live a life of love just as Jesus loved us. Continue reading Following Jesus Pastoral Letter: 2020 Vision & Plan

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Tribute to Dallas Willard (1935-2013)

Personal Tribute to Dallas Willard (1935-2013)
By Alexander Venter, Ascension Day 2013

A great man of God – in the truest sense of the words – has passed into the kingdom of the heavens. After a protracted struggle with cancer Dallas Albert Willard entered the fullness of God’s presence yesterday, 8 May. He is now at home in the arms of the Father, Son and Spirit – and that of his extended family and friends, in the communion of saints. Our prayers are with his wife, Jane, and their children, John and Becky (and her husband Bill and child Karissa).

Like many others, I was honored to have Dallas as a most influential mentor and friend. I first met him through a colleague Trevor Hudson, at a pastor’s retreat in South Africa in 1987 (if I remember correctly Dallas came to South Africa on five ministry visits, leaving a rich legacy of spiritual formation in our nation). He taught on the “The Spirit of the Disciplines”, and then gave me a copy of his typed manuscript of the yet unpublished book. It was just before my marriage to Gill, so the manuscript became our reading on honeymoon – not as in appropriate as you may think! I mention this story to say that it was the new start of an intentional journey of spiritual formation toward Christlikeness – because we were so inspired by Dallas’ soft heart, gentle character, profoundly insightful mind, and diligent apprenticeship to Jesus. Continue reading Tribute to Dallas Willard (1935-2013)

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Pastoral Letter: Novena & Pentecost

Hi Family and Friends,

I am soooo thrilled at what’s happening in our church. God is working among us. Faith and energy is rising. Father, pour out your Holy Spirit with great power!

What is a Novena? It’s nine days of prayer for the outpouring of God’s Spirit. Continue reading Pastoral Letter: Novena & Pentecost