Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Pietermaritzburg Churches

My family and I have been to services at three different Methodist Churches so far this year. We seminarians are encouraged to visit different churches and later on we will be 'attached' to one of them. So far it has been easy because I have had 'connections' with the churches - people I knew before, or as in the case of Hilton, a blog buddy that I wanted to meet.
It might sound odd, but I have been so happy to see that all the churches seem to be 'happening' places. There is a vibe and a sense that they are places where God might well be found. There is an optimistic spirit. Without wanting to seem unduly negative about the Eastern Cape, it is a different spirit to what I found there. Churches had financial difficulties, they were short staffed and I was left with the impression that the Methodist Church was not in a good space outside of Jhb. This isn't by any means a scientific comparison, because I did not go, myself, to many churches outside of my own circuit. Also they probably do send phase 1's to churches that might not be in as good a space as others (otherwise they could afford an experienced minister), so the experiences of my colleagues may have been a little biased.
But, still, I am encouraged by the church in Petermaritzburg. It's not the same as Jhb, and I am reminded a little of the churches of my childhood, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

BTW I got through yesterday. God is gracious, as are his servants.


David Barbour said...


Great to meet you and family on Sunday. Strange thing meeting up with a blogger you have never actually met before.

Glad you got through Monday... My Tuesday (With LP meeting) was something to get through too.


Steve Hayes said...

Where is the seminary located physically? I'm trying to picture the places you mention, as i was at university in Pietermaritzburg, and visited the Metropolitan Methodist Church there a few times.

Jenny Hillebrand said...

Hi Steve - at the moment we are having lectures in a block of flats in Alexandra Road. The actual seminary is currently being built next to Epworth School. Both sites are reasonably close to UKZN.

Steve Hayes said...

Thanks -- those are bits I know and can picture!