The following seventeen ‘reflections’ have been written by members of Eltham Park Church congregation. They are personal accounts of individual’s relationships with God, the church and at times an expression of their journey of faith.
THE FIRST TIME I MET JESUS…
He was a man in a story told to me at Sunday school.
I heard about what he had done for me but I never learnt to believe in, rely on or need him.
My stepmother constantly spoke about her complete reliance, faith and trust in him. I listened to her but I was too young to grasp the essence of her words.
I met him again in my early teens and this time, he became a place of rest, refuge and a sanctuary from all the changes that went on following the death of my stepmother.
I look back and I see the presence of Jesus in every phase of my life. There were periods when I was not actively involved in church and yet he never left me.
He has been my friend, my source, my inspiration, my protector and my Lord. He gives me reason to smile everyday in spite of what life throws at me.
I believe the words my stepmother spoke, gave me the instinctive response of turning to Jesus at all times. I am grateful to have had such a person in my life who showed me the way to the man who would become everything to me in life.
Jesus always played the role I wanted him to play in my life.
When I wanted him to be like the book on my shelf that I read once a year, he was just that.
When I needed him to be a pillow, that I could rest on every night, he was that too.
He never intruded in my life, he waited patiently till I turned to him and said “Lord, I need you, I can’t figure my life out on my own” and then he came in and began to order my steps.
He is an ever present help.
He gives me the ability to explore my talents, gifts and abilities and helps me to recognise my shortfalls.
Sometimes, people say to me “How is it that you are able to do so many things”, I always respond “It is God” because I believe all talents and gifts come from God.
As I go on through life, I am learning to get to know Jesus better day by day.
There are times in life when the road ahead is not so clear, when impediments are in the way, when the mouths of many are speaking against the choices I make, when my way is not the most popular, it is at these times that I am most grateful that I met Jesus.
I cannot imagine my life without him.
I first came to Eltham Park in 1971 with our first new born baby boy. My intention was to come for a few weeks just to get him christened! Needless to say the warm welcome I received encouraged me to continue. At first it was for a time for me, an hour when I had the responsibility of parenthood. Florrie Mills would walk the streets with my precious baby during service.
He is now 31 years old, and I have grown as he has through the help and guidance of my family at Eltham Park.
On my visits from USA over the last few years I have attended this church with my mother – I would like to thank everyone for their kindness especially on the loss of father last September. The visits – flowers and words that mean so much – Forever grateful Lynn Stringham (Chicago IL. USA)
I have been coming to this church on and off since 1987 when we moved to the area. My children attended Sunday School, Brownies and Girls Guides. Now my granddaughter attends Brownies.
I think it’s important to give our children a strong foundation in Christ.
It is what sustains me and worship every Sunday together with others is a blessing.
I first came to Eltham Park in the Easter of 1981. I don’t and can’t remember why I wandered in to Westmount Rd., but I came past the church and saw a notice about one of the Easter cantatas. It could have been the Crucifixion, I can’t quite remember. But this was what brought me here.
I stayed away for a while but felt compelled to return. I’m glad I did. I fell ill a few years ago – it was announced in church. I could feel the strength and power of prayer reeling from the congregation – it strengthened my faith, it made me stop thinking “Why me?”
The church brings the community together and helps people go through bad times in forgiveness and struggles, it also helps people move closer to God.
1989 arrived. A return to my roots. I have been brought up in the Methodist church. A speech for peace and time for reflection in a busy frantic week of work and challenge. A source of strength found in the love and fellowship of the church and one’s conversations with God. A belief in the power of prayer in a troubled world.
I came 24 years ago. I came because my children wanted to come to junior church. I returned because Chris Hughes made me so welcome week by week. Now I come for me.
A warm welcome, the fellowship, the informal worship, making it easier to slot in.
A warm friendly atmosphere.
The church and its members offer warmth, caring & a sense of community so that I never need to feel alone.
Personal reflection of what the church means to me.
- Place of worship, praise, glorify and prayer
- worshippers we gather to fellowship, share and strengthen each other
- inherited redemption
- fishermen’s net for all
Faith to me
- comprehension of the fact that our mighty God is love
- devotion which gives me hope.
- Belief in me that our father is always with us and takes control of your lives
- My efforts to live a perfect life.
Personally, the most important thing in humanity is comfort. An atmosphere with warmth, joy and peace from the habitants. Where did I experience this? At Eltham Park Methodist Church. I can’t bear staying longer than a week without the feeling of love, care and kindness which is stretched further to my place of birth Zimbabwe.
On behalf of my family I am happy to be part of Eltham Park Methodist Church Family place where I can grow. God is Good – All the time. I love you all.
Mrs Annie Annah Mokgohloa
One Day in the future the big question will be revealed We/I live in expectation of that happening. We/I will be saved as an consequence. Praise be that it is in Methodists’ way.
We first came to the church regularly when our daughter was a Brownie and later a Guide. Things have changed but we welcome friendship that remained. Religion, we hope, helps us to become friendly and helpful to each other in times of troubles and sorrow.
Having been a church goer when young, I brought my children to Sunday School some 45 years ago. We were made welcome – and enlisted as a teacher almost immediately – and I have worshipped nearly regularly at Eltham Park since.
Why do I come to church? Because the church was offering a moral teaching and a warm welcome. It was a lively church – something seemed to be going on!
What effect faith has had on your life? Here are the thoughts that guide my Christian life:
– God is love
– Free will
What does your God expect of you? – To do just
– to love kindness
– to work humbly with your Lord
Trust and obey – God will not abandon you. God gives us all talents, gifts, graces which we must use to glorify His name.