search instagram arrow-down

The Feast of the Conversion of St Paul

St Paul’s Anglican Church Rondebosch
When my little family and I returned from England in August of 1989, the country was burning. People were out on the streets everywhere in protest against the apartheid government. We were ready to endure whatever happened along with our many friends.

Within a few months of our arrival everything changed and the country was on a new Democratic journey.

I came back to take up the post as Rector of St Paul’s Rondebosch, one of the oldest Anglican Churches in South Africa. Those were exciting days as a new government came into being and Nelson Mandela led us with his charm and integrity.

My vision for St Paul’s was to combine the University Chaplaincy with the parish. I had always been impressed with the Kolbe House Catholic University Chaplaincy house, where a community of students lived with the chaplain. We were able to set up our house in Stanley Road, now called Ann House. The concept became a living reality when the Revd Wilmer Jacobsen joined the staff at St Pauls as chaplain and built up a very strong Anglican student community on Sunday evenings. We were there for 11 years – our children left school from there and went on to their tertiary education.

I was recently invited to give the address at the Feast of the Conversion of St Paul’s in January during the pandemic. As the church was not allowed to meet, I was asked to provide a video my address, to provide an audio, and as I subscribe to Zoom to host the gathering of St Paul’s church.

It was lovely to see so many really good friends.

This blog contains a video of my address, and meditation on the event of the Conversion of St Paul.



205px-Conversion_on_the_Way_to_Damascus-Caravaggio_(c.1600-1)

A Blessing
May the light which shone so blindingly
On the road to Damascus
Shine brightly on the road on which we journey
As pilgrims and citizens,
So that we may rise
From the present,
With God’s vision of the future.
Amen

Meditation on the Conversion of St Paul
Start with breathing, long in, longer out, gently

Lord, there are moments when I am on the road to Damascus,
all certain and self-confident, espousing a
cause.
When others are at the knife edge of my tongue.

Lord, there are moments when I have fallen, when all my certainty is lost.
When my values are threatened and
confidence is gone.
When I can hardly see through
swollen eyes.

Lord, there are moments of surrender,
when others must lead me.
Smaller people than myself,
a foot soldier, an office worker,
a messenger like Ananias.

And because of them, there are moments, Lord,
when things swell together in the refreshing waters of renewal, as my life is whole once again.
Moments when I am being led by you
– when the scales are lifted,
and the road to Damascus
becomes my road to freedom.

Woodstock Graffiti

Woodstock is a Suburb of Cape Town, South Africa. It runs down from the mountain of Devil’s Peake to the Atlantic Ocean. It is also part of the inner city, and a place of cosmopolitan life and vitality. Some of this vitality is expressed on the walls of homes and buildings in the form of …

Our House Group and the Resurrection – a celebration

Our local house group has recently completed a course on the resurrection and the resurrection appearances of Jesus. For our final session, a celebration of the resurrection, the group was invited to to share poetry, music, prayers or a quotation which they had written or loved or found. I share some of these with you. …

Two Love Poems

The Good-MorrowBY JOHN DONNEI wonder, by my troth, what thou and IDid, till we loved? Were we not weaned till then?But sucked on country pleasures, childishly?Or snorted we in the Seven Sleepers’ den?’Twas so; but this, all pleasures fancies be.If ever any beauty I did see,Which I desired, and got, ’twas but a dream of …

Meditation on Mary Magdalene and the Resurrection in John’s Gospel

Look very carefully at these two images and see how much of the story is revealed in this beautiful Illustration. Then read below how this wonderful work of art came about and search the project further. The Saint John’s Bible is the first completely handwritten and illuminated Bible which was commissioned by a Benedictine abbey …

Meditation on Mark 16

Mark 16 is a short account of the Resurrection of Jesus in which the women who had gone to the tomb to anoint his body on the third day, ( remember that they had been prevented from doing this because of the Sabbath) run away in fear. In fact the gospel ends on the preposition …

One comment on “The Feast of the Conversion of St Paul

  1. john Philogene says:

    Dear Bob,

    Thank you for your posts.

    I find them very helpful and meaningful.

    God bless,

    John.

    Like

Leave a Reply
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: