The members were filled with joy when the announcement was made that the District Apostle would visit Heidelberg East congregation on 29 March 2015.
With great anticipation preparations for this Palm Sunday divine service began.
The inner preparations on heart and soul were reflected in outer preparations to the church building. The members decided to paint the interior of the church so that the venue would be clean and neat for this special divine service. This project had additional benefits as it created the opportunity for fostering fellowship when members brought soup and refreshments to the workers who painted after hours and on Saturdays.
Special sacrifices were made for choir and orchestra practises and with the unusual activity at the church every night one of the neighbours remarked: “Wat gaan aan by die kerk; dit is baie bedrywig”. (What is happening at the church? There is so much activity!) Priestly ministries were also active in visiting families in preparation for the visit.
The total membership in the area is over 2 000 and it was thus necessary to have the divine service audio-visually transmitted to another venue, namely, the adjacent Municipal hall.
On the Sunday morning the church was open very early and the excitement and joy could be felt as the congregants arrived. A well prepared congregation awaited the arrival of the District Apostle who was accompanied by the Apostle W Diedericks and Bishops Cronje and Cook.
As a basis for the sermon the District Apostle used the text word Mark 11:17, “Then He taught, saying to them, ‘Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations’?’ ”
In his sermon the District Apostle encouraged the members to continue fostering a strong relationship with Jesus. He called upon Bishop Cronje and the Apostle W Diedericks to share their thoughts with the congregation.
Then it was time for the celebration of Holy Communion and in particular the dispensing of the sacrament to the departed. This took place with solemn reflection as Bishop Cook and Shepherd Tities received the sacrament as proxies for the departed.
Before closing the divine service the District Apostle also appointed five priests as rector helpers. They are: G Jaftha (Albertinia), D le Roux (Albertinia), P de Lange (Heidelberg East), N September (Heidelberg East) and C Slimmert (Heidelberg East).
Like a dream the festive occasion seemed over in a few moments. The joy in Christ that it generated will however be portrayed by the members in the area for some considerable time to come.