Welcome to Christadelphians of Tanzania
The Christadelphians (a word created from the Greek for "Brethren in Christ"; cp. Colossians 1:2 — "brethren in Christ") are a Christian group that developed in the United Kingdom and North America in the 19th century. The name was coined by John Thomas, who was the group's founder. Christadelphians hold a view of Biblical Unitarianism. The group has often been described as a form of Messianic Judaism, as they share many of their beliefs and hopes with Judaism; notably the promises made to Abraham, Isaac and Israel whilst they also believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is the promised Messiah.
Although no official membership figures are published, the Columbia Encyclopedia gives an estimated figure of 50,000 Christadelphians, who are spread across approximately 120 countries; there are established churches (or ecclesias, as they are often called) in many of those countries, along with isolated members. Census statistics are available for some countries. Estimates for the main centres of Christadelphian population are as follows: United Kingdom (18,000), Australia (9,987), Malawi (7,000), United States (6,500), Mozambique (7,500), Canada (3,375), New Zealand (1,785), Kenya (1,700), India (1,500) and Tanzania (100). This puts the figure at around 57,000.
Readings: I Samuel ch. 9; Isaiah ch. 53
If we look at our readings to find some profitable thoughts for exhortation we find some very diverse ideas, and yet, as usual, we find that they all weave together to bring a message to us to help us in these last days.
Perhaps we could take as our theme this morning faith: faith, that attribute that the disciples asked Jesus to help them to strengthen, that attribute that we are told we must have if we are to please God. Faith is something that we need when times are difficult. When things are going obviously right, when we can see God’s purpose working out, when we are feeling very much at home in the meeting with the brethren and sisters, when we feel that Christ is near at hand, and so on, then the need for a strong faith does not stand out quite so much. It is when things go wrong, when we are buffeted, when we cannot see why things are happening as they are and we feel upset and sore about it, that is the time when our faith is tried, and that is the time when we need faith, for faith is a confidence in God, in His ability to do what He has promised. Faith is a thing which we must cultivate in ourselves at all times.
Following this theme, we had in our readings from Samuel yesterday the very sad picture of a disappointed father, Samuel. He had put his sons into the places of rulership and they were not behaving properly. Samuel, a fai