The Sunday School Commission met at Dennekraal over the weekend of 22-24 April 2016 for its annual Bishop-area Sunday school co-ordinators conference.
The delegates arrived in the middle of one of the worst storms we had experienced in quite some time, but very quickly, everyone found shelter in the warmth of each other’s company. The theme for the conference was ‘Victory with Christ” and delegates were also given an envelope containing 14 Bible text messages which relate to “Victory with Christ”, as well as customised “survival” kits – something to reflect on, long after we have left Dennekraal.
Apostle Arendse opened the conference with a prayer and especially thanked those who had travelled long distances and had braved the stormy weather. He also conveyed the sincere thanks, love and greetings from District Apostle Barnes and Apostle Swartbooi.
The delegates then enjoyed a spit-braai followed by a wonderful team-building exercise, entitled “Fruit Salad” planned by Bishop Ravell. Not only was it a wonderful way to enjoy dessert but the delegates were reminded about the importance of team work.
Saturday 23 April - breakfast was served at 07h00 and immediately thereafter, delegates met at the Conference centre where Bishop Flores shared a message of spiritual guidance with them. The Bible word was taken from the Epistle of Apostle Paul to Philemon and teaches us the importance of being forgiving, gracious and kind even in adversity and to reach out and embrace one another. The message was clear – “Let us be Gracious”.
Delegates engaged in conversation around the growth and development of Sunday school, as well as the concerns and challenges faced in the different geographical areas.
The topics covered included the importance of “Partnering with Parents”. Delegates were reminded that Sunday School teachers play a supportive role, while parents essentially are their children’s primary faith mentor!
The Sunday School Commission had also identified the need to conduct Regional Support Workshops (RSWs) in the areas of Riversdale, East London and in Namibia.
The weekend culminated in a divine service at Sir Lowry’s Pass congregation on Sunday 24 April, conducted by Bishop Flores. The congregation’s Sunday School children and teachers welcomed the SSC ministers and delegates with hand-made thank you notes as a gesture of their gratitude for the “Santa” boxes they had received the previous year. They also presented each of the co-ordinators with a beautiful red rose. The delegates reciprocated by inviting the Rector, Sunday School teachers and children to share some refreshments with them.
What great fellowship was shared, and again, another weekend had passed too quickly.