A significant event occurred in Port Elizabeth today (Thursday, July 31, 2014) when close to 100 Christian leaders and workers came together for a breakfast in one of the city’s oldest townships. This breakfast meeting which was held in Kwazakhele began in the 70s amongst ministry friends who saw a need to maintain a Kingdom based unity regardless of any differences that exist between them. Dave Pederson, who is the leading pastor at Fountain Vineyard Christian Fellowship and is one of the co-founders, says that the idea was always to focus on Jesus and not uniformity on doctrine and practices.
He says that when ministry leaders come together for these meetings it is important that anything that obstructs authenticity and vulnerability be cast off so that a real connection amongst them may occur. He says there should be “no sweeping under the carpet the awkward relational issues.” This recipe seems to be working because he and those who pioneered this city wide event over 25 years ago have maintained an enduring friendship spanning close to 30 years.
When Dave requested that I host this breakfast I was slightly hesitant because I suspected that our new venue will not be ready by the time the event would take place. However the fact that our building still resembles one that is under construction was hardly the focal point but it was the fellowship and coming together that won the day. I must admit I was a bit nervous in hosting so many people and especially that for some it was their first time in being in this part of the town.
I was concerned about whether the directions I had given to our venue would be easily understood but many opted to rely on their GPS’s which almost became a disastrous affair. I just kept getting calls about people getting lost while following the GPS and this is a reminder that this modern day tool does err at times. Eventually arrived and enjoyed a delicious meal that our wonderful ladies had prepared. I got relieved when everyone was seated down and having what seemed to be a good time.
This breakfast meeting is normally held five times a year in different congregations but it was the first time it was being held in any of Port Elizabeth’s townships. The church I pastor, Good News Community Church, was therefore privileged to be part of such a historic occasion. Church unity is something I personally take very seriously and Alastair Buchanan, who brought us a message during the breakfast, brought home the fact that as different parts of the Christ’s body, we need each other.
Another thing that occurs in these breakfast meetings is that different ministries are given a brief opportunity to share about the events they have planned and it is also a time we get to pray for another and support what God has put in each of our hearts. Thanks to Margie Gush of Fountain Vineyard for being the engine behind this important networking event.