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Weekly reflection


All the believers agreed to hold everything in common: they began to sell their property and possessions and distribute to everyone according to his need. (Acts 2:44-47)

Over the weekend I found myself reading Mary-Ann Kirkby’s memoir of a childhood spent in a Hutterite community in Canada. I knew a little about the Amish and the Mennonites, but I had never heard of the Hutterites until I came across this book during a Kindle browsing session! Mary-Ann Kirkby spent the first happy ten years of her life on a Hutterite farm in Manitoba, Canada, before her parents decided to leave the community and forge a path for themselves. Her memoir was written partly as a response to much of the ignorant criticism that she read and heard about the Hutterites during her life as a journalist. It was also a way for her to acknowledge the beauty and value of her early childhood years. It is not that she advocates holding all things in common; nor did she herself return to membership of such a religious community – but she remained in contact with her roots and to this day loves the warmth of visits.

The Hutterites derive their name from an Austrian hat maker, Jacob Hutter, who, in the early 16th century, led a group of Anabaptists who were being persecuted by the church for their denial of the validity of infant baptism. Inspired by the Acts passage above, they pooled all their possessions and gave birth to a community that believed in adult baptism, pacifism and the common ownership of goods. Most contemporary communities are based in the north western parts of the USA and Canada. They are conservative in many ways (in dress, religious observance and the roles of men and women), but not anti-technology. Indeed they run large economically viable farms and factories, which form the heart of their economy.

Mary-Ann’s childhood memories portray a life full of warmth and love in a strictly structured community. Living on a successful farm, she was well nourished, and nurtured as much by the greater body as by her own family. When her parents chose to leave, she found life lonely, even though she was surrounded by her siblings. The memoir doesn’t engage directly with the Acts text. Instead it paints a picture of what such a life might imply. The author knows the pitfalls of the Hutterite way and in her father’s sufferings saw its dangers, but her book honours the good things which cradled her in her early years.

Ursula Reader

27 July 2014


Student Bible Study

The Bible Study takes place on Wednesdays, 17:30 at David's home in Die Boord. We are currently busy with the gospel of Mark. For more information navigate to the "Student Page" from the sidebar or chat to Hugo on whatsapp 071 218 8288.

The Website has been launched! Feel free to navigate through the site and make yourselves at home. Among the many features are the integration of Facebook & Twitter, weekly readings, events and an interesting history section.

Social Networks

Facebook Banner

Scroll down to see the 3 associated Facebook pages. "Like" these pages and get more involved within the congregation and see what your church has been up to lately. Here, you will also be kept up to date with the latest news and information about events and projects. TwitterThis is a great place for new ideas, bible study groups and to put names to those familiar faces. Photo's or videos of past projects and events can be viewed and do not hesitate to contact us if you would like to contribute any relavent media. Stellenbosch United Church has also made it's way onto Twitter. Follow @StellenboschUC or view the latest tweets directly from the website.


Die Straatlig Wintermark

Straatlig hou weer vanaf Woensdag, 30 Julie 2014-Vrydag, 1 Augustus 2014 hulle Wintermark in die Khaya by Kruiskerk. Tyd: 09h00-20h00. Dit is ‘n fondsinsamelingsprojek ter ondersteuning van die werk wat Straatlig doen met haweloses. Daar is heerlike eetgoed te koop sowel as ‘n verskeidenheid handgemaakte produkte. Ook ‘n boeketafel en wit olifante. Kom kuier heerlik by die kaggelvuur terwyl jy solank Kersinkopies doen of sommer net jouself met iets spesiaals bederf.

Prayer Group

The Prayer Group meets in the church on Tuesdays and Fridays at 11h30 – 12h00.

Charity Shop

EnviroVet Community Veterinary Clinics has opened a White Elephant Animal charity shop. We need GOOD quality white elephants, toys, books and linen. ALL proceeds go towards the sterilization of animals in the townships. Contact June Cilliers at 021-8872784.

Grade 11's

Grade 11 Confirmation Class resume this week and meetings take place at David's home in Die Boord. For more information contact Audrey or visit her at the church office. We are very excited to journey with you.

3 August 2014
4 August 2014 Parents at David and Celene’s home
10 August 2014
24 August 2014
31 August 2014
7 September 2014
21 September 2014
28 September 2014 Confirmation


June Tocknell creates attractive cards. They are sold at R5.00 each at the secretary's office and the money goes to the Stellenbosch United Church Benevolent Fund

Trauma Centre 2014

The total has risen to R1163.00. We will continue to support the Kayamandi Trauma Centre this year. Please collect a 'Coin Bottle' on the table in the porch and fill it with your 'spare coins', and hand it in at the secretary's office when it is full. Thank you for your faithful support.

New Bible Study

A New Bible study focusing on 2 Corinthians started only this year! If you would like to be part of this group please Contact Carol 021-8871781, 073 534 3738,

A message from Night Shelters in Stellenbosch

Stellenbosch Night ShelterThere are currently two shelters for the Homeless in Stellenbosch: the Stellenbosch Night Shelter and the Municipal Shelter. Both shelters are run by the Stellenbosch Night Shelter Committee. Please do not give money to beggars. Stellenbosch is a caring community and practical help is available.

What can I do to help?

Meals:   We welcome any supplements to our basic menu of soup and bread.

Clothes:   Clothing, especially men's clothing and shoes are in great demand.

Goods:   Donations of toiletries, blankets, coffee, sugar, cleaning materials and rubbish bags are welcome.

Job Creation:   You can make a valuable contribution by passing on possible employment opportunities. Many residents are gardeners or domestic workers.

Development Projects:   We welcome projects which improve the quality of life or skills of our residents. In the interests of residents' welfare, projects are selected very carefully.

Services:   We welcome volunteers who offer specialised services for free or at cost, e.g. maintenance, garden supervision etc.

Relief Supervising:   Relief supervisor work involves taking over the supervisor's duties for one night.

Funds:   The Stellenbosch Night Shelter needs financial support to cover it's running costs. (Bank: ABSA, Account: 1060131020, Branch: 632005)


Small Projects


We welcome your second hand books. For more information contact Audrey, the church secretary or come to her office between 08h15 and 13h00 to browse through our book shelves.


It's all in the name - Care Coins. This year we will be supporting the Trauma Centre and the Soup Kitchen. Please take an empty bottle from the entrance porch table and fill it with your loose change.

This Month

Monday 21 July 2014 | Schools and University re open | We look forward to the new term

Friday 01 August 2014 | Poitjie and Bingo Evening | The Table restaurant at De Meye wine farm at 19h00 to 22h30. First 50 persons to book as venue can only take 50 people. No children under 16 unfortunately. Cost will be R60 per head excluding drinks. Lifts will be arranged for those not wishing to travel at night. Book with Audrey at the church office.

Find us on facebook

Official | The Stellenbosch United Church official facebook page. We encourage all members and friends to share event photos and information.

Youth | All youth at Stellenbosch United Church are all welcome and this is a great place to get the latest information regarding small groups and programs.

Students | This group, led by David Hunter, meets each Wednesday from 17h30 at 3 Blenheim Rd, Die Boord. We also have a "Bucket list" for 2014