The hazards of longing for an ideal community?

Those who love their dream of a Christian community more than they love the Christian community itself become destroyers of that Christian community even though their personal intentions may be ever so honest, earnest and sacrificial.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

The book of Acts chapter 2 carries such a powerful picture a Christian community where the Spirit God is powerfully at work, the gospel preached and lives are transformed. I long and pray that the Christian community I am part would look more like this.

42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

Acts 2:42-47

Yet so often there seems a huge gap between this ideal and the reality of the hurts and frustrations of a diverse group of “sinners” each hindered by our own baggage, blindspots and hurts.

I know many believing friends who are now “post church”. They believe… but have stepped back from participation in a church community. The ideal of Christian community has been drowned out by the disappointments and hurts experienced within the church.

So often I find myself frustrated by the ways the community I am part of does not reflect Jesus or his kingdom. Often I find myself loving the ideal of Christian community more than the community I am part of.

So I have been greatly challenged by these wise and challenging words from the German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

Those who love their dream of a Christian community more than they love the Christian community itself become destroyers of that Christian community even though their personal intentions may be ever so honest, earnest and sacrificial.

God hates this wishful dreaming because it makes the dreamer proud and pretentious. Those who dream of this idolized community demand that it be fulfilled by God, by others and by themselves. They enter the community of Christians with their demands set up by their own law, and judge one another and God accordingly. It is not we who build. Christ builds the church.

Whoever is mindful to build the church is surely well on the way to destroying it, for he will build a temple to idols without wishing or knowing it. We must confess he builds. We must proclaim, he builds. We must pray to him, and he will build. We do not know his plan. We cannot see whether he is building or pulling down. It may be that the times which by human standards are the times of collapse are for him the great times of construction. It may be that the times which from a human point are great times for the church are times when it’s pulled down. It is a great comfort which Jesus gives to his church.

You confess, preach, bear witness to me, and I alone will build where it pleases me. Do not meddle in what is not your providence. Do what is given to you, and do it well, and you will have done enough…. Live together in the forgiveness of your sins. Forgive each other every day from the bottom of your hearts.”

― Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Brendan Fox

COVID Level 1 services

We are so encouraged by the continuing drop in COVID numbers and move to Level 1. We pray for wisdom for our countries leaders and trust for safety as the country begins to open up.

One of the changes for CHS is that we will soon be moving from prerecorded online services to lives streaming our 9am Sunday gathering on Youtube starting on 4 October.

Services can be viewed on our Youtube channel

The church has left the building

We are starting a new video interview series called … The Church has left the building.

Check out this week’s first episode with John Gilmour, Founder of LEAP Schools.

We have left our building but continue to be church in homes, workplaces and communities across our city. The lockdown has been very isolating and we hope to encourage and connect people to the experiences of others during this time. To share testimonies and stories of how members of the congregation are living out their faith during these challenging times.

Happy 21st Birthday CHS

31 May 2020

Today in the midst of change and uncertainty, we celebrate Pentecost, the gift of the Holy Spirit and CHS’s 21st Birthday! 

‘“In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.

I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.

And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Acts 2:17-21


Sadly during lockdown we can’t all celebrate ‘in style’ together!

I’m sure, like us, you’re all missing seeing our friends and familiar faces at our Sunday services, so our fantastic ‘tech wizard’ Zane, has put together a CHS 21st Birthday Celebration video clip, to mark the occasion and to share with you, our wonderful CHS family!

Remembering

As a part of CHS’s 21st Birthday celebration, we are remembering the God-led events that led to the planting of the church.We will be sharing 3 video interviews with those who were involved in responding to God’s call.

Rev Duncan Mclea, our Parish Rector, chats with Zane to share the story of how the parish responded to God’s call and established CHS in Kirstenhof.


Eleanor Lawrence who was amongst the first “plantees”, coming from St John’s, Wynberg to start the new church. Eleanor reminisces about the early vision, the reality of a very basic church building, and what God has been doing ever since to build his church community in and through CHS.

Simon Pearson shares about how he and Anne became involved in the planting of a new church.

CHS / Uturn Microsite

Dear neighbours,

We just wanted to let you know the exciting news, that we are setting up a temporary microsite in part of our building. CHS is partnering with homeless charity U-Turn, CAN Muizenberg, MID and other churches and NGOS to provide a home for 9 vulnerable women from the Muizenberg street community, from 4 June til 31 July.

A huge thank you to the many who have provided bedding and clothes for the microsite. We do still need help with food over the weekends. If you would like to support the women, you can drop off food supplies at Church of the Holy Spirit, 38 Raapkraal Road, Kirstenhof.

The team, led by U-Turn, will provide volunteers, medical support, food, psycho-social support, a development program and an exit strategy. They will be following comprehensive guidelines for how to run a Covid-19 compliant microsite for homeless people and will ensure compliance with all relevant regulations.

If you have any questions or would like to help please contact Judy at info@chscapetown.org