We live in Hope

Posted on Tue June 9, 2020.

Do's and don'ts for re-opening
Blessings never ending
‘We are loving it here. And such a stunningly beautiful day on top of everything else. What a gift and blessing.’

Dear Prayer Partners,

Winter has arrived and with it level 3 lockdown. This means that we can once again start welcoming individuals, couples or families to Volmoed. This will be in accordance with the protocol given by government. The accommodation will be sanitized before arrival and again once you leave. We will be providing sanitizer and cleaning material in your unit which will not be serviced during your stay. You will be required to wear a mask when walking around Volmoed , especially if more than one unit is occupied and other guests could be about as well.  All our houses except Grace and Boekenhout Down have fire places so  come and enjoy a cosy week/weekend away.  For more information regarding bookings and the do’s and don'ts please contact the office on 028 312 1282.  

We continue to give thanks for the many donations received which is enabling us to keep our staff employed on reduced hours during this time. It is a testimony of God’s faithfulness and grace towards us. As you bless us so we would like to bless you

 God bless you in this time with health

God make His face shine on you with peace

God bless you with abundance in all areas of your life

In accordance with the president’s call for a national day of prayer on the 31st May a prayer vigil was held  between 12:00 and 17:00 in the Chapel for the Volmoed community members to participate in.  There were set prayers available for those who chose to use it and candles were lit as we joined in the prayers for our nation and the world. (It was shared on our Facebook page)

 May babies seem to be part of the Volmoed history and many combined parties have been held over the years. The following birthdays were celebrated this year: Dorothy, Tariro, Brother Scott, Bernhard, Esther and Nomveliso.  As Bernhard’s birthday coincided with Ascension Day, the Volmoed community had tea and cake after the morning service in celebration of his 70th and Esther’s 60th two days later.


Though Volmoed is open to visitors and churches are allowed to have services under level 3, it has been decided that our Thursday morning services will not resume in June. It will be reviewed once protocols are in place. Watch this space.

 It's tempting to think that we are nearly at the end of the Covid-19 odyssey. But that would be beyond optimistic. We might be toward the middle... or we may still be at the beginning. The truth is we can’t really know is a frustrating and uncomfortable place to be – not knowing. In monastic circles this is referred to as “liminal space.” Things are not clear, not settled. The truth is that we were in liminal space before Covid-19 was ever heard of. Human life on planet earth is liminal. Most of the time we are comfortable in liminal space because it is familiar. This particular liminal space is unfamiliar and most of us are tired of it. We’re ready for something, anything, that seems like a return to more normal times. While we may long for a return to something that feels “normal”, the truth is we can do better. Normal is not the same as good. In our normal world, there is much that is simply not good. Our familiar world is about to produce its first trillionaire. How many zeros does that even have? This means that one person will have more personal wealth than the GDP of entire nations, including South Africa. This is “normal”, but it is not “good”. Sadly, the US and South Africa (the two countries I identify with) lead the world in economic inequality.

I came across a TED Talk on the Good Countries Index – an attempt to look at the world’s nations not by who has the most power, or the most money, or the best food, or most appealing tourist destinations. It seeks to sort countries by which does the most to promote the common good. What a good concept…. It is a non-competitive notion of good. We tend to have good as the entry level of “good/better/best” ratings, or good vs. bad. But this is not the right idea. Good doesn’t have the drama of “fantastic”, or the exclusivity of “best”. It is a big enough concept to hold us all – we can all be good. Nations, cities, churches, monastic communities can all choose to be as good as we can. As life begins to ramp up – which means that lockdown is ramping down – we can choose to try to get back our old life, which may have felt very good, but I don’t really think things can go “back” to normal. We have to go forward into this new, liminal space. As we do, perhaps we can let the notion of good be our guiding principal. What will it mean to be a “good” Priory? Or a good Volmoed? A good South Africa? A good church? We are brothers and sisters with all people and share our creator with all life. As Ecclesiastes tells us, all creatures breath the same breath – which is to say we are all of one Spirit, a notion all the more startling in this time of Covid-19 which travels on the breath. The concept of common good is not limited to our families and friends, our fellow Christians or those with whom we share nationality, or even our fellow human beings. The common good includes all the works of God’s hands – the birds of the air and fish of the sea and every living creature that creeps on the face of the earth. The common good is not something we achieve, it's something we work toward by loving God and by loving all of God’s creation.