What strange times we find ourselves in. Whoever could have thought that we would find ourselves in times like these? Yet, despite of these times, God is still on the throne.

During these times I found such strength from the hymn:

In heavenly love abiding
No change my heart shall fear
And safe is such confiding,
For nothing changes here;
The storm may roar without me,
My heart may low be laid
But God is round about me,
And can I be dismayed

Due to the Covid restrictions we could not hold our Annual General Meeting last year. So this report covers last year as well.

We ran a very successful Alpha course with the NG Church and it was a real blessing to work together with them. The Holy Spirit weekend of the Alpha course was a highlight at Hartenbos.

Our new church building has been a great blessing as we have benefitted so much from it. It is a pity though that Covid has put real brakes on many of our plans. We are not allowed to have tea/coffee after the service, we have to keep our distance and leave after services. This “new normal” has been very difficult not to have fellowship.

Most of our fundraising like the surfers’ boerewors rolls, curry evening and pancake sales have all been put on hold. Our new kid on the block, our Women’s Group Craft Market in December also had to be put on hold. Thus our fundraising has grown to a halt.

We also had to move to YouTube Sunday services to reach those who felt unsafe to come to church and also because our numbers at services at the beginning were very strictly limited. But since February our numbers allowed at services were increased. With regards to the YouTube, I need to thank Benjy Kuun greatly for being so faithful each week, recording the services for us. The YouTube has reached lots of our people. We just need to be careful that this does not become an excuse for not coming to church as we know it is our Lord’s deepest desire that we meet together in worship and fellowship as Jesus calls us into a family, God’s family.

So far, our mission and outreach has been limited as we could not hold special programs or courses due to Covid restrictions. But, in the near future in June, we will be doing two courses. The first course on Contemplative Prayer and then after that a course from John Ortberg on “It all goes back into the box”.

Our Women’s Group has done outstanding work in knitting jerseys, beanies, baby clothes and also made lots of blankets. These have all gone to needy families. They have also made hampers for new born babies of disadvantaged parents to help them. They have made meals, which is kept in the church’s freezer for people who are going through difficult times. They also organized a craft market that had to be cancelled in December because of Covid.

Our Bible Study groups are still meeting even though for a time we had to stop but they are in full swing again. We also have our church open for prayer each Tuesday morning from 10h00 to 10h30. You are free to come and go as you want to.

It was also good this year to have had Holy Week services as well as Good Friday and Easter Sunday. We missed that in 2020. It was so good to have children at our Easter Sunday service. We really miss our children at services.

The one sad matter is that services have now been closed in Riversdale as many members moved away and some passed on and the people of Heidelberg, due to age could not travel to Riversdale any more.

Sadly we have lost two of our key leaders in the church – Christine Kroon, who served on the Church Council as our Catering Chairperson and then of course John Pote, who was one of our founder members and a real pillar of strength on the Council meetings.

We also need to thank our Garden Committee, under the Chairmanship of Johan Raaths, that has done outstanding work to make our church garden a special place.

We must commend our data projector team who made our services very special and meaningful. I would like to commend you all on your financial generosity during the year that enabled us to keep the doors of the church open and also we have helped lots of people financially this year. In our giving, we are always acknowledging our Lord’s goodness and faithfulness towards us.

Lastly but not least of all, I would like to commend those who have assisted with door duty on Sundays in these trying times. Also all the helpers who have helped with the handy man work around the church – a big thank you.

As we look to the future, we look with great expectation as we know our Lord holds our future in His hands and we trust Him. We as a church now face a new challenge of how to be the church in these new times and I know and trust God will open new doors and new opportunities to be His church. yes, despite all, these are exciting and challenge new times and I know God wants and will do a new thing among us. To God be the glory and honour now and forever more.

Once again thank you for allowing my wife and I the opportunity of ministering among you.

God bless you all.

Yours in Christ

Ronnie Cawood