This meditation was shared by Bishop Peter at the Renewal of Clergy Vows on Maundy Thursday.

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Inspired by the Stations of the Cross at La Verna Franciscan Retreat House on the Vaal River, Diocesan Clergy Retreat 2014
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People come to ordination with differing expectations.
 For some it is fulfilling an aspiration- to respond to God, to fulfil a calling, to change the world.
For others it is less elevated: rather a chance to be up front in the sanctuary, to gain a secure and respected role in society, to be called umfundisi, or to squeeze out a fat farewell at the end.
For others it is a sacrifice from the outset, something from which we recoil, and only embrace after a struggle. We know it will be costly, demanding, at times unpopular, the path unclear and the end unknown.
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For all of us along the way there will be crises, unknown to the wider world. Conspiracy will lurk in dark corners, people we have served turn to bite us, congregational leadership turn against us, our authorities either do not listen or wilfully discriminate against us. We are handed impossible assignments, asked to resolve intractable disputes, and offered poisoned chalices. At best these episodes leave scars; at worst they destroy ministries, marriages and the men and women who were caught in the crossfire.
Only those who have been there – who have lived in the clockwork of the institutional church- know how ugly it can be.
How then can we love being there?

1: Jesus is sentenced to death
The process is unfair, the outcome ridiculous. Sometimes – as Paul did - a person of God can appeal to higher courts, and should. That will carry its own cost.

Dear friends in the Diocese and beyond,
As you know I have been busy with my pastoral tours – ‘goon on pylgrymage’, as  Chaucer put it.
We inaugurated the Archdeaconry of St Mary in Vereeniging two weeks ago and the Archdeaconry of St Cyprian yesterday in Sharpeville on Human Rights Day.
The Archdeaconry of St Cyprian includes Orange Farm so it was great to visit St Monica’s today for a combined Baptism and Confirmation for their three congregations. When we first went there in 1989 we knocked on a nearby door to find Mrs Mbele holding a meeting of the Mothers’ Union in her home; that was the start of the congregation and of Lesedi la Kreste School because the ladies told us how badly the community needed schools. It was specially moving from that tiny beginning to meet today in that lovely building with at least 250 worshippers plus some 50 more in the Sunday School; to baptise 20 adults and to confirm about 45. Then to administer Communion to Mrs Mbele who is still there...
And today’s Gospel was about the seed falling into the ground and bearing much fruit. It certainly felt like that this morning.
This was my 20th pastoral visit since Ash Wednesday, in 33 days. It has been so joyful. From here life gets very busy with another 12 before Easter, and the inauguration of St Andrew’s next week in Boipatong, after the MU’s great service for Lady Day.
Please pray for your clergy as they attend the Eucharist of the Oils and the Renewal of Clergy Vows on Maundy Thursday at Eldorado Park, and as they bear the heavy ministry of these weeks. We have decided to make five more honorary canons as part of our thanksgiving, and four of these will be welcomed on that day – Horace MacBride, Israel Qwelane, Evelyn Keartland and Johannes Thulo. The Chapter were very kind in insisting that Gill Lee should be included, and I have licensed her already at the Walkerville service last week because she has duties as a school chaplain on that day. 
May the Lord bless you as we continue this journey of thanksgiving.


+Peter


Dates for 2015

Most detailed dates for this year can be found on the website in the Bishop's Diary.

HOWEVER PLEASE NOTE THE FOLLOWING:

In light of the rule that requires DIOCESAN COUNCIL to meet three times a year, Bishop’s Council recommends the following:

1: The celebration with the Archbishop should be seen as the first required meeting.

2: The second meeting should coincide with the Bishop’s Consecration Anniversary -

   Saturday 13 June at Ennerdale:  0900 Finance: annual financial statements and current

                                                           1030 Tea

                                                            1100 Eucharist and lunch

3: Saturday 5 December at 1400 will be the budget meeting

THIS IS LATER THAN USUAL BECAUSE THE SECOND ‘BIG EUCHARIST’ TO CLOSE THE ANNIVERSARY YEAR WILL BE ON 28 NOVEMBER AT THE ISAK STEYL STADIUM IN VANDERBIJLPARK

Advance notice:  We will probably need a brief session of Diocesan Synod next year, provisionally on 6 and 7 February 2016, subject to dates for a diocesan team visit to Virginia late in January. To be confirmed.

Many thanks

+Peter