Dear RUC family,
Yesterday we kicked off our ‘Rule of Life’ series talking about a Christian view on personal finances, part of which includes supporting the ministry of a local Church.
As with most churches, RUC relies completely on the contributions of its members for its ministry. This means the finances of the Church closely linked to the finances of our Church community.
As such we are experiencing as a Church what most of our members are experiencing: difficult financial times. Our income as a Church dropped at the start of the pandemic, and through the course of 2020 never fully recovered.
We cut back immediately on expenses, and tried to limit our monthly losses. However, due to a particularly low last quarter, we had to make the difficult decision to reduce our fixed costs, which includes the salaries of staff, as well as contributions to missions, the counselling centre etc. More information on this decision can be found in this message from our treasurer:
We are very aware that this is primarily due to the fact that our Church members are experiencing this very difficulty: loss of income! The preliminary results of our survey show that more than half of our members have lost income in 2020. These are difficult times for us all.
However the news from 2020 was not all bad! Despite the difficult financial circumstances we can celebrate:
- Raising support to send Christine Kleinhaus to Japan. It is nothing short of remarkable that we have sent a new missionary to the field in the most challenging of times! A huge thanks to all of Christine’s supporters.
- Achieving our ‘kickstarter’ goal for Campus Outreach. At the General Meeting in November we spoke about our partnership with Campus Outreach for WITS University, which would require additional funding of approximately R400k. We had hoped to raise half of that in our November thanksgiving offering, and budgeted for the other half out of ministry costs. We are happy to report that we have received just over R250k thus far!
- Receiving large designated gifts towards our online ministry. This has been all the more welcomed with extended lockdown!
I also mentioned to the Church at our January communion service that we had paid over R350k out of our care fund, directly to members of our Church community who have struggled financially over 2020.
It seems clear to us that this need will only increase during 2021, so please continue to support our Church family members through this fund.
We have a profound trust in God’s provision over us as individuals, and as a community. In particular we as a Church continually remind ourselves:
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you”(Matthew 6:33)
We are very excited for the work of the Kingdom in JHB through RUC this year, and so glad to have you as our precious family as God’s “fellow workers” (1 Cor 3:9).
Hoping to see you all soon!