UMC blog


  • Heart stirrings Mar 18, 2018

    Towards the end of last year, on the mornings when I would take the children to school, I would see a man out for his morning run. It was always at the same time, and he clearly ran far. But what struck me most about this man, was how serene he always looked. In the midst of the morning traffic madness and rush to get the day going, this man had a look about him as if he knew he was exactly where he was meant to be, and all was right in his world. From the chaos within my car, I would see that man and I would think: 'if that is was running does for you, then I want that.'

    Now I have always had...

  • Noticing People Mar 11, 2018

    I heard a young woman being interviewed on the radio this week. She is well educated and has held several high-powered positions, so the interviewer asked her to share a lesson learned that has helped her to be successful in her work. Her reply went something like this:

    “I know it sounds clichéd, but I have found that it is so important to treat everyone I meet as my equal. And when I sit in a room full of people in a meeting, I remind myself to be open to being surprised by who the most important person in the room is”.

    While it’s probably not helpful to fixate over who the most important pers...

  • Perspectives Mar 04, 2018

    Michael and I watched the movie Black Panther this week. When I first saw the trailer, it looked too much like an action movie for my tastes, so I wasn’t keen. But then I began to notice a number of comments, discussions and articles on the movie - why it was worth seeing and why it was so much more than just an action film. So we went. And it was a great movie. And it was also so much more. Within the plot (which definitely was action-packed) was some very thought-provoking commentary on the way things are and ‘what-ifs’ about the way things could be. In this movie, it is a third-world Afric...

  • Lent course Feb 25, 2018

    “Too much focus on knowledge about God, with not enough emphasis on knowledge of God – that is our problem”. Not the most likely words to hear from someone who makes a living teaching students about God, but I heard this comment from a theology professor in the Cape. He was suggesting that too often in the church when we want to help our people grow in their faith, we reach for a course that will fill their heads with knowledge.

    The problem with trying to grow purely by studying, reading, listening to talks is that it is not a balanced strategy. We run the risk of turning into tadpoles – all h...

  • Get Connected Feb 18, 2018

    This week, I had the joy of spending time with a number of different people looking to connect and get more involved in both the church and in the community. Some of the people I met with were new to the area and to the church, others were less new, but still looking to find out more. I really enjoyed being able to match up names and faces and hear a little of their stories. And I also really enjoyed chatting about some of the different ways people can connect and become involved in the life of the church and in some of the different community projects we have on the go. If you are new, or ...

  • Lost and found Feb 11, 2018

    You may not know this, but I am completely scatter-brained. I may look like I hold it all together, but actually I regularly lose things, forget things, confuse things, put things on the roof of my car and drive away, and go swimming with my car keys in my pocket (these last two are the most recent of my mis-adventures!)

    These past two weeks have been particularly bad for losing/forgetting/confusing things, and so I have found myself having to stop and ask why? What is happening that the scatter-brained-ness is getting the better of me? Perhaps it is just a matter of trying to find the rhyth...

  • Praying for rain Feb 11, 2018

    You may have seen comments attributed to evangelist Angus Buchan this last week regarding the drought in the Western Cape. Buchan apparently said that “God is not happy with Cape Town” - and this is why there has been no rain. I’ve only read the newspaper article, so I don’t know if there is a larger context to that quote, but that statement on its own surely needs to be interrogated.

    Is there a drought in Cape Town because God is angry with the city’s people? Is the line between cause and effect so clear in this case? Does the converse then apply that God is pleased with cities that have plent...

  • The power of habit Jan 21, 2018

    There’s a passage in Paul’s letter to the Romans that really speaks to the human condition – Paul complains that despite his best intentions, he ends up doing precisely what he was trying not to do (Rom 7:18ff). If you have attempted to form a new habit or break an old one, you’ll know exactly what he’s talking about!

    There has been plenty written about this subject from the perspective of spiritual formation, but I’ve just finished a brilliant, short book which comes at the topic from a completely different angle. The power of habit is written by journalist Charles Duhigg and he brings togethe...

  • An exciting year awaits Jan 14, 2018

    It feels like slowly but surely we are emerging from the holidays and re-entering familiar daily rhythms! It’s just a couple more sleeps until the children are back at school and ours are already raring to go :) And there are also signs of life on the property at UMC after the Christmas break:

    • We had our first society stewards meeting on Friday (and welcomed Marcia Moodie as a new steward).
    • We welcomed Ozzy Madlala onto our staff team this last week. He is stepping into the role of full-time youth and children’s pastor (and is leading worship at 08h30 this morning if you didn’t meet him last we...

  • Sea-kayaking around Marutitus Jan 07, 2018

    As many of you may know, I spent the first two weeks of December as part of a group that went sea-kayaking around Mauritius. Over the course of 12 days, we just-about paddled around the entire island (there were a few, welcome portage spots, and a wonderful half-way day off!). The experience was amazing, but also very tough - I soon realised that I was not nearly fit enough, but I got fit fast :)

    After each day’s paddle, we pitched our tent on a public beach and spent the night there before setting off early the next morning for the next stretch of the trip. We experienced incredible, blue oc...