ConFab July 2017: Rev. Gary Rivas

There is no denying that making connections and building valuable relationships opens our eyes to a whole new world and knowledge of discovery. This is what CN&CO loves most about hosting ConFab sessions.

These encounters have led to personal growth, new discoveries, great business ventures and opened the door of serendipity.

On 10 July 2017, CN&CO was once again in the great company of superb individuals, making good conversation, sipping on good wine and craft beer – courtesy of one of the guests, Motseki Majake.

Carel believes that professional network should include all kinds of people from a cross-section of companies – big and small, public and private, and from diverse industries.

Take Motseki, Carel’s friend for example – He is the CEO of Union Life and the mastermind behind the Sharpeville Superior Lager – a craft beer he created with his brother.

The room was filled with friends and associates, some of whom were CN&CO’s family members, Josie’s dad, James Holley and Kurt’s brother, Dane.

As one of the few privileges Carel has at CN&CO, he gets to choose speakers from his network to come and address guests and share their world with them. Rev. Gary Rivas, a bishop at the Methodist Church of Southern Africa, an avid family man, passionate biker and much more besides, gave an engaging and insightful talk. He spoke with humour as he shared his story about family, his journey of faith and being ordained as a bishop and his love for bikes. With gentle challenges and a view of inclusive love, Bishop Gary’s message resonated with the guests – many of whom had been suspicious of a bishop at confab 🙂

The talk outlined some of the few points below:

Building relationships

Gary serves alongside his wife, Jacqui, at GracePoint Methodist Church. He spoke highly of the importance of having good relationships with family and friends, as well as with other people met along the way.

“My relationship with God is based on five characteristics: Grace, sacrificial love, humility, forgiveness and repentance. I also apply these characteristics to my relationships with family and friends,” he said.

GracePoint reaching communities via Social media:

Gary has always loved technology. He utilises social media at his church to post sermons and share the word on different platforms.

“I believe the church exists for those that do not come to church,” he commented.


The bishop is also a big advocate of the #FeesMustFall protest movement against the increase of fees in the South african universities.

This also affected some of the students at The Methodist church, therefore they all took to the streets to support the students in their cry against the rise of fees.

The love for motorbikes:

Gary started riding bikes when he was 13 years old and had his first bike when he was 15. Ever since then he has loved and grew a passion for motorbikes.

He makes it a point that when he takes his wife out on their regular date night, it is with his motorbike.

Balancing life:

“Life is about making decisions,” Gary said. “I make it a point that I take at least one day off to switch off – from work, social media – and spend time with my family.”

Gary also makes time, every morning to meditate and pray.

Guests also got a chance to ask Gary questions, which he addressed with much wisdom.

Guests at the ConFab session included some clients: