AWF Hands Over Conference Centre at
The Diocese is making steady progress at the Jane Furse Memorial Village in Jane Furse - this is the name of the resurrected old Jane Furse Memorial Hospital and Farm which has been returned to the Diocese as part of the land restitution process.
In the latest development, the Diocesan Anglican Women's Fellowship (AWF) handed over the Conference Centre that they have been developing in part of the old hospital.
This took place at the end of their conference on Sunday 8th September 2013. †Martin joined them by presiding at the Eucharist and preaching in St Mary's Chapel, where daily prayers and worship are now taking place.
In his sermon, †Martin preached on the gospel reading set for the day: Luke 14:25-33. It includes this difficult saying of Jesus, "Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even life itself, cannot be my disciple."
He asked, "Is this really Jesus, the Lord of love, speaking? What does he mean by hate?" †Martin continued to explain that Jesus is talking about our priorities as disciples of Jesus. He referred to three non-negotiable commandments. They are all essential, but Jesus seems to grade them according to importance:
- The first commandment - Love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. Compared to this love, all the others look like hate!
- The new commandment - Love one another as Jesus has loved us, with sacrificial, serving love. This is how God calls us to love our Christian family and our natural families too.
- The second commandment - Love your neighbour as you love yourself. God calls us to love and care for those in need with this kind of love - we all know the parable of the "Good Samaritan".
After communion the congregation, which included about 100 AWF members, processed to the renovated buildings which will form the heart of the Conference Centre. There they handed the facility over as a gift to the Diocese.
The AWF has created a large dormitory, with 10 cubicles of 2 beds each, out of one of the hospital wards. Several smaller rooms with 3 or 4 beds have also been restored. They have renovated the dining room, re-wired the section and built bathrooms - with hot water! The challenge is now to other Diocesan organisations and parishes to expand the conference centre by renovating more rooms and refurbishing the kitchen.