Klaus Schirmer, Durban
On the 4th and 5th of November over 50 church councillors and pastors gathered at the Fels Retreat in Paulpietersburg for the annual Synodical Church Councillors’ Retreat. With the theme being “How could we as a Church respond to poverty and unemployment in our communities?” there was great anticipation amongst the delegates considering the subject matter to be presented.
Proceedings got underway with a welcoming address by Bishop Dieter Reinstorf, followed by a presentation of the synodical finances by Harald Niebuhr. After the evening prayer, it was time for the delegates to enjoy a social evening and braai, kindly hosted by the Church Council of Panbult. Thank you, Panbult! – The food was excellent, as was the fellowship.
After a good night’s sleep proceedings continued the following morning with a devotion in the church, led by Bishop Dieter Reinstorf. It was then time for the main presentations. Pastor Kurt Schnackenberg opened with a presentation on “The origin of poverty according to the Scriptures and the church’s liturgy of life”, followed by a presentation on “Poverty and unemployment as a political problem and an appropriate response by the church” by Pastor Musawenkosi Nathan Mntambo.
The thought-provoking presentations made for a lively discussion amongst the delegates and it became clear that tackling the subject of poverty would not be a simple matter, yet something that would need to be confronted. We pray that with God’s guidance we may find the most suitable way forward in dealing with this challenge.
Pastor Kurt Böhmer then held the closing devotion, followed by lunch. It was then time to say goodbye to colleague councillors and friends and the delegates made their respective ways home. I am sure that all will agree that the retreat was a success!