Family Baptism at Evangelical Lutheran Immanuel Congregation Pietermaritzburg. 25 November 2018 was a special day in the Evangelical Lutheran Immanuel Congregation, Pietermaritzburg.
On this day eight children ranging from the ages of 4 months to 11 years were baptised. They all belong to the Mkhize family, who started attending church services in 2017. The first to join the congregation as official members, after attending membership classes with Bishop Reinstorf and Swazi Mbatha (church councillor since February 2018), were Pinky and Nonhlanhla Mkhize, sisters-in-law. Pinky (third from the left in the photo) is the breadwinner, a teacher by profession, and a true matriarch of the family.
Since coming to the congregation she has hardly missed a church service and helps in the congregation wherever she can, often bringing her whole family along. The baptised children belong to her daughters Zama, Andiswa and Ncane. With so many children of various age groups, it was difficult to get enough godparents. But the lack of godparents should not deter from the gift of baptism.
The pledges to ensure that the children will receive a Christian upbringing were made by the mothers and other family members with the Immanuel Congregation serving as “baptismal witnesses” pledging to support the parents in the Christian education of their children by means of Sunday school, confirmation classes and by leading with a good example, sharing God’s love in Christ with all. With so many children in the congregation, the congregation is in the process of converting a garage, often used as a youth room in the past, into an extra Sunday school classroom with the addition of two toilets. The challenges that invariably form part of a growing and indeed changing congregation are a true blessing. Every effort is made to cross-cultural divides and to promote a Christ-like attitude towards all.
Bishop Dr Dieter Reinstorf, Pietermaritzburg