Once again it was time for the Church Councillors Meeting. It was during the weekend of the 2nd and 3rd of November and all the pastors and elders were once again invited to gather at the FELS-Retreat centre, for a wonderful opportunity to get to know one another and to learn more about one’s faith.
On Friday night it all started. The attendants arrived and sleeping places where allocated. This time pastor Kurt Schnackenberg took charge of the meeting and Bishop Reinstorf was allowed to sit amongst the spectators and enjoy the listening part of such a meeting. After a short greeting, Harald Niebuhr gave the synodical financial report. But that night they were gracious with us and we did not have to sit long and the formal part of the evening was soon closed with a devotion by Pastor Klaus Damaske and everyone was invited for a braai. Thank you once again Cape Town for the delicious meat and drinks. This time due to the cold, the wine was a special favourite.
But the next day started out warmer. After a delicious breakfast, we gathered in the chapel for morning devotion led by Pastor Martin Paul. After that, the theological part started. The theme for this retreat was: “Theological and pastoral aspects of the land and property law debate in South Africa.” A topic similar to the one at Synod, as this is still a prevalent topic.
Prof. Piet Meiring was the guest speaker at Synod in September, and had presented on the topic: “Constructive responses from the faith community to the present social and political challenges in South Africa.” Pastor Matthias Albers and Mr Wolfgang Böhmer had been asked to give short reports about these presentations, about what they had learned from those presentations. They ended their report by leaving us with some questions to think about. A few of those are: 1. How can we as employers support each other in this situation? 2. How does our faith play a role? 3. What responsibility does the Synod have in this situation?
After a short coffee break, it was Dr Karl Böhmer’s turn. He gave two presentations on the topic: “The Lie of the Land, Observations on the Land Issue in South Africa.” The focus of these presentations was: how is a confessional Lutheran able to approach this topic? These presentations brought forth positive lively discussions.
After the presentations, the DELC (Diepkloof Evangelical Lutheran Church) was welcomed as an associated member of the FELSISA, different announcements were made by the Bishop, and then it was already time for closing devotion, this one led by Pastor George Mabe. Delicious chicken pie for lunch – and then the meeting was finished, just in time for the pastors to return home for Sunday’s services, and also to catch the rugby!
Vicar Christian Straeuli, Wittenberg