God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

pensée of a Catholic priest

06.06.2010 stampede in Jozi

Only some days to go until the opening of the Soccer World Cup 2010 and a friendly match in Johannesburg ends with a stampede and injuries.. Not well done and please get it right – and “thanks” for sending another signal of incompetency to the world. As if we have not enough bad press to fight every day…

Besides this horrible news, the day went by quiet – Sunday service at Brooklyn Catholic Church,  and as always the mixture of cultures and traditions in this community is for me a symbol for the rainbow nation. Later the day visit of some friends and a premature birthday party for Fr Wim at Lands End in Gordon’s Bay – a nice crowd of people, good food and good conversations. Thanks Wim for the great eve.

With some preperaton for tomorrows meetings and interview requests the day ends on a working note.

Filed under: Reflection, Uncategorized, , ,

15.05.2010 Third Day of the Ecumenical Church Day in Munich

Saturday and the last day of the Ecumenical Church Day in Munich. Together with Fr Wim we venture into the city of Munich – all over Munich, the churches are open during day and some during night to give chance for prayer and the experience of silence. On the “Marienplatz” we attend a prayer service – it is amazing to see, how the people join in into the singing even the temperatures are freezing cold today. Then we quickly pop into the “Virtualienmarkt” and later to buy some chocolates for the altar servers of Manenberg – German chocolate is different to their not so tasty South African counterparts… 🙂

The afternoon sees us heading again to the trade fair center – last meetings and an interview for the SWDR are scheduled. In Trier, there will be the nights of lights beginning of June – and the donations obtained at that occasion are partly for HOPE Cape Town. A good opportunity to speak about the work, HOPE Cape Town is doing as well as specific church related problems within the prevention work in our days.

At the OEKT Lounge, I bump into the Federal Minster of Interior –  a brief chat and hopefully we see each other again in South Africa during the Soccer World Cup or latest at the annual HOPE Gala in Dresden. A brief chat with one of  the auxiliary bishops of Trier and Martin, who happened to do an internship in Cape Town and is now a so-called “Gemeindereferent” in German parishes.

Then time to go back again to the inner city of Munich to attend a special service at the St. Lukas parish – a full church, beautiful hymns, a good and dynamic sermon – church as it should be. We leave with inner joy and walk back through the cold night to our hotel for some dinner. Another day full of experiences not to be missed and the reflection shows, that the networking was indeed working: we have many invitations and we had many meetings where a follow-up is needed still this year. All will benefit our work at home a great deal.

Filed under: General, HOPE Cape Town Association & Trust, Networking, Reflection, Society and living environment, , , , , , , ,

09.08.2009 Sunday blues…and toughts about the sermon…

Sunday morning – and the usual ritual. Going to the office, last preparation for the church service and then off we go. And as every Sunday the question before: Does my sermon meets what the people need to hear…? Need to hear to go home afterward more joyful, more thoughtful, with more sun and love and compassion in their hearts? Am I able to touch their hearts and minds – those of the adults, but also those of the kiddies, the young and the old ones?

When I do prepare for a sermon, I always have somebody in front of my mind, or a situation close to my heart. Theological lectures are for study purposes, a sermon should bear witness from my faith, my thoughts, my questions, my experience with the unconditional love. I strongly believe that I can only touch peoples lives when they sense that my words are matched by my life experience. Otherwise I only deliver bloodless words…

Getting feedback on my sermons is very important to me. When I hear that a family was still discussing the sermon on the way back home, or somebody after quite a while can still tell me what I said on that occasion.. it is amazing for me and I feel blessed being able to be a blessing for others. Or an encouragement. Or a stone to stumble and get into deeper thoughts about life and faith.

Whatever it is, a sermon, even if nobody is able or willing to respond directly, must be a dialogue of hearts, otherwise it is a waste of time. Lets hope for this dialogue this morning again.

Filed under: Reflection, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

13th HOPE Gala Dresden

HOPE Gala Dresden - the event to be in DresdenOctober 27th, 2018
11 months to go.

Ball of HOPE 2018

Join us @ The Westin in Cape TownMay 12th, 2018
5 months to go.

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© Rev Fr Stefan Hippler and HIV, AIDS and HOPE.
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