CCW AGM 2024: Chairperson’s Report

Presented by Martin Detering on the 3rd of Feb. `24

Dear CCW representatives, dear pastors and bishop, dear guests,

The task of the CCW in the year 2023 could be summarized under the banner: “promoting the interaction between the congregations of our Circuit”. This is the direct fulfilment of Romans 12,5: “so we….are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another “. The CCW fulfils the obligation to be the intermediate between congregations and act as a first port of call on matter of common interests. It is the promoting task of our committee to bring people of our circuit together and highlight the understanding that all of us will benefit from cooperation within the Western Cape circuit.

Let me focus on some of these matters of common interests during 2023:

  1. “Church in Motion” has been the brainchild of Schalk Treurnicht, the Pastor in our committee. With `Church in Motion` we try to get fellow Christians around a table to share experiences in faith and stories of their congregations. Schalk has been invited during last year for a crosspollination session with the CCE. The next session is due in May which will focus on spiritual upliftment.
  2. Funds: Our idea is, that money shouldn`t be the obstacle, (am Geld soll es nicht liegen) that certain projects and ideas could not be realized. Therefor our committee worked hard to spread the news, that funds are available for youth work, retreats, meetings and certain outreach programs. An improvement in number of applications during 2023 is an indication of an active circuit. A funding category has been added by us dealing with ` financing of communication tools` like web design. (we hope that all congregations will have an active website) The finance report will follow.
  3. In the run-up to last year`s Synod meeting, we tried to bring a solution to the communication challenges in our Cape Church. It wasn`t an easy task and my apologies, if I pushed it sometimes to hard. On the end we forwarded motions to the synod which were received with mixed successes. Our intention was to create a sort off readiness of our Church for the future (um richtig aufgestellt zu sein) in terms of today`s changing communication tools. (e.g. digital ministries)
  4. Youth camp. With great joy we learned about the action taken by mainly St. Martini`s leaders (others jumped immediately onto the bandwagon) to organize a youth camp in Dec. Their report we will hear later. Here I would like to express our appreciation towards the team. This was a very good exercise to proof that cooperation between congregations is possible and fruitful. This is a beautiful example to follow the call of the synod to get our youth activated. Funds for this were made available through the CCW.
  5. CCW Committee: During the synod meeting we could convince some very keen leaders to join our CCW committee. Through our motion, Sandra Botha joined the committee, fulfilling the task of our connection with the Church Council. Furthermore, Kabelo Mashile and Pastor Ingrid van Sittert joined as coopted members and hopefully they will be elected later today. Hereby again a hearty welcome and God`s blessings for your work in the kingdom of God. And hereby I would like to thank my companions and colleagues for the last four years, Schalk Treurnicht and Detlev Ahlert (as well as Raymond Kok). If it wasn`t for them, the CCW could easily be fallen in despair and stopped to exists.

Closing remarks: The composition of the CCW, its congregations and its diverse members is undergoing a change. We see, that the German immigration character of our Western Cape Church is slowly fading and changing into a multi-generational and cultural Church community. It will be the task of leaders to still accommodated and activate the “Germans” and by the same time get the whole Church community excited about being diverse. Growth, growth is important for having a future as Church community. Growth is enhanced by the efforts to build trust among the people from different backgrounds. By promoting our Lutheran Heritage and our Lutheran identity we will feel the benefits of a greater Lutheran Church Community and fulfil our task to the greater South African Community. “so we…. are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another “.

Thank you and “Gott befohlen”

Martin Detering (chair CCW)