|Welcome to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Southern Africa (N-T)||
The next retreat will take place from 1 - 5 January in Hermannsburg, KwaZulu-Natal.
More information will follow soon!
The sixth eQuip happened from 2-6 January 2019 and it was again a wow experience. Attended by old and young (10 to 83) from many of the ELCSA (N-T) congregations, it was a wonderful opportunity to breathe the eQuip air and get in touch with the fundamentals of our existence as the people of God.
The theme for this year was “Hope and a future!”. The program was largely led by Bishop Horst Müller, Rev. Dr. Gertrud Tönsing and Rev. Dr. Detlev Tönsing. But, it was a humbling experience when the learned took a back seat and gave the little ones an opportunity to be our teachers, certainly keeping us on our toes with their questions.
The topics were: the cause of our mess - an examination of the spiral of sin in which we are caught up, in our personal lives as well as in our Church and society; the importance of really understanding the mess in the light of the ten commandments; and then the message of hope or: Mess – Age of Hope.
If there’s a big mess, it takes an age (a lifetime, not only a generation) to mend it. The challenge is that if we want hope, things must be different - we can’t still play the same old game. We read Jeremiah 29 & 32 and understood just how Jeremiah speaks into our situation. What will come is not always so clear, but what is clear is that God will do God’s own thing in God’s own time. And right in the middle of the mess, we can plant and nurture signs of the new life that God brings.
But eQuip is not only about bible study and input, there are many creative activities. The gentle flame of hope was kindled by sharing what congregations are doing in our country and elsewhere in the world.
There was an installation in the chapel each afternoon centering on the elements of fire, water and earth. Here we were invited to become still before God and experience his presence.
On Friday evening we experienced, that the best way to explore and celebrate our diversity, is to tell our stories to each other, blending the serious and the light hearted. We laughed and laughed, and when we thought we couldn’t laugh anymore, we laughed some more. One of those that were nicknamed the V8s (because of their insistence on being accepted into congregations used to their monolingual ways), remarked, ‘This is the best eQuip ever!’
What are you waiting for? The invitation is out there. It’s better to get the message than to remain in the mess, so don’t miss the seventh eQuip - 1st to 5th January 2020.
Ann Mokhine, JP Hanekom, and Tessa Welch.