Holiday Club 2023 Encanto is now firmly behind us and we are so grateful to God for His provision of the means, the leaders and the many many children who came through our doors for the five wonderful days of ministry.
South Africa is a religious country, with about 85% of people ascribing to various religious worldviews. However, only a small portion of that would be consistent with Orthodox Christianity. The people who live, work & exist around us therefore have very different views about God and life to us. Understanding these views will not not only fortify us in our faith, but also help us truly be Salt & Light in their lives.
Dates: Wednesday evenings, 12, 19 & 26 July
Time:: 18:00 for Soup & Rolls, sessions starting 18:45
- African Traditional Religions with Pastor Zwai
- Modern Cults with Pastor Justin;
- Islam with John Gilchrist.
Format: Each topic runs for the full three weeks, so participants have to choose a track for the full three weeks. All tracks will be recorded and made available afterwards. This course takes place in the Matthew series break, so we encourage Community Groups to participate together for this period
Ignition is a project of Rays of Hope which supports students from Alex as they navigate their university studies. Having a good mentor is one of the most important factors in the success of the students. Each student is allocated an individual mentor and mentor training is provided. Do you want to volunteer for this extremely rewarding opportunity?
If so, join the online information session on:
Thursday, 10th November
Contact Sarah: firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
Rays of Hope wants to paint the town yellow with dozens of cyclists riding for Rays of Hope.
You’ll need to buy a cycling shirt for R750, and then ask family, friends and colleagues to sponsor your ride in support of the programmes running in Alex.
More info at raysofhope.co.za/ridejoburg
It was a joy to celebrate Easter together! We had a full weekend of celebrations, including a sunrise service! If you missed the Good Friday or Easter Sunday services you can catch up here.
This weekend we dive right into our second major teaching series for the year: God’s Household, where we will be journeying through the book of 1 Timothy.
It may not seem like it at first, but the book is a fantastic follow-on to Easter:
“I hope to come to you soon, but I am writing these things to you so that, if I delay, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth”1 Timothy 3:14-15
As with all our major teaching series, we will have additional resources to complement your journey through the book. Each week we will release daily devotions that will follow the passage preached on the weekend. You can find them here.
Some of our community groups will be following the series in their mid-week groups. If you would like to join a group contact Pastor Zwai.
The Scratchpad Podcast.
We are also excited to announce a new podcast that will launch with this series, called ‘The Scratchpad’. This will be a talk-show type of discussion on the Sunday message, which will include additional material and insights on the passage. It will also include an opportunity for you to ask questions related to the Sunday message! Each week you can submit your questions here.
There will also be additional teaching platforms in the series, particularly when we get to the tricky bits. These long-format discussions will also include opportunity for questions.
As is now customary, we have both in-person and online worship services. We are very grateful for the increased capacity (250 people) at religious services at this time, which means more opportunity for you to reconnect with the ‘church of the living God’! If you haven’t yet come back to Church, now would be a great time!
Our services will remain at: 8:00am | 10:15am | 5:00pm – Please remember to book!
The emphasis of this book is on godly living in the social microcosms of our lives, fuelled by life in the Church, which is the ‘the household of God’.
We hope you will come to deeply know
“… he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen”(1 Timothy 6:15-16)
With you in God’s Household,
Title: One year on..
Dear Rosebank Union Church,
This weekend we mark the one-year anniversary of the Covid-19 disruption on our Church. It was on 15 March 2020 that we had our last full, unrestricted gathering on a Sunday! In the providence of God we were allowed a significant moment to meet, ‘Lift the Sail’, and head into the uncharted waters of a pandemic.
It is therefore somewhat serendipitous that we celebrate the one-year anniversary of closing church by re-opening it!
In case you haven’t heard: we’re opening our doors for a full, gathered worship experience again!
Due to the current limit of 100 people on religious gatherings we will be opening three services, to try and cater for as many RUC worshippers as possible. The services need to be slightly shorter to allow time for making the facility safe, meaning our service times in this season will be:
Due to limited space, booking each week is essential. You can do that here (link)
For our congregation joining us online: please note that we will be live-streaming the first two morning services, so choose one of the two times (8:00 or 10:15), gather, and join us for our brand new online Church experience (there will no longer be a livestream at 9:30).
We have done some upgrades to our online capabilities and are looking forward to bringing you the latest version of ChurchAtHome (which is now 5.0, if you’re keeping track!)
You will find the services on our usual platforms:
- (Youtube channel link)
If you’re choosing to worship at home, in the spirit of our ‘Hospitality’ Rule of Life, (link to sermon on hospitality) consider being intentional about inviting others to join you. ChurchAtHome provides a remarkable opportunity not only for fellowship, but strategic hospitality.
The relaxing of restrictions for Churches also means that we get to plan for a memorable Easter!
We have a few weeks to go, so save these dates:
- Thursday 1 April: Setting the Scene: immersive worship experience through the Easter Thursday narrative
- Friday 2 April: Good Friday services
- Saturday 3 April: Holy Saturday retreat (*new*)
- Sunday 4 April: Sunrise service (*new*) & Easter Sunday services
AGM This Week!
Lastly, the reopening of Church also means that our AGM next week will be both online, and in-person. If you’re attending in-person be sure to book (link), as dinner will be catered.
At this AGM the emphasis will be on celebrating what God did at RUC in 2020, and looking forward to 2021 by presenting our Mission & Purpose for the year(s) ahead.
Hoping to see you soon,
An update from Pastor Richard van Lieshout: –
Everyday, wherever we look, we’re confronted with a world that is quick to take offence, quick to condemn, quick to criticise, to attack and to fight. In a world that’s broken by division and hatred, we want to be reminded of God’s call on us to love one another.
Please make use of these great guides for personal and groups study to help you get the most out of this series. These guides will be updated each week.
- (27 September) Introduction
- (4 October) Bear one another’s burdens
- (11 October) Love one another, Outdo one another in showing honour, Live in Harmony with one another.
- (18 October) Serve one another, Show hospitality to one another, Love one another.
- (25 October) Bearing with one another, forgiving each other, teach and admonish one another.
- (1 November) Confess sins to one another and pray for one another.
Dear RUC member,
This week the leadership of the Church have made the immensely difficult decision to cease the operation of our Hospitality Company, which will unfortunately result in the retrenchment of the hospitality staff.
This company has been at the heart of our events management and catering operation, hosting events for Church ministry, community organisations as well as external corporate events.
An operation of this scale has necessarily required its own contingent of staff, of which we currently have six full-time staff and two part-time staff. This contingent of staff manage events and catering on a spectrum from small church functions, the Street Cafe, right through to large corporate events.
Whilst our Church has been proud to offer a quality service across this spectrum, it has come at a cost.
In 2019 RUC subsidised the work of the Hospitality Company to the value of R124 000. Indeed the history of this operation indicates that the scale of activities is insufficient to cover the personnel and other costs. While external corporate event bookings do go a long way to covering costs, these external bookings will always be limited, due to the priority of competing internal ministry needs.
The cost is not only financial: the complexity of this kind of operation has made it very challenging for our staff. An inordinate amount of time has been spent with staff, Deacons and Church Council in trying to adequately manage this service.
We commend our hospitality staff for their perseverance and hard work in sustaining this operation despite its various challenges. Our decision to close the operation has no bearing on the work ethic of our staff. Our hospitality staff, from top to bottom, work long hours, seven days a week.
Ultimately though, the model is unsustainable, both from an economic and operational point of view.
This has been brought into blunt focus this year, due to the Coronavirus. As you are all aware there have not been any gatherings, whether religious or corporate, since March. As a result, the Hospitality Company has suffered a loss of over R600 000 to date.
There is little optimism that this will change for the remainder of 2020, which means that RUC could end up funding a loss of over R1 million by the end of the year.
At our Townhall Meeting on 1 July this year I spoke about the ‘Clarifying & Catalysing’ effect of the Coronavirus. It has become apparent that indeed this season has clarified for us as a Church leadership that we have to cease this operation and focus on our core ministries.
Whilst the mechanics of this decision are clear to us, the burden of the decision rests heavily on us as the beloved staff have served us so well over the years.
We are all so grateful to Yvette and her professional team for serving us so excellently, and representing a true spirit of hospitality to our Church and all the clients of the Hospitality Company.
The staff will of course be receiving appropriate remuneration as part of the separation package, but we would like to open a channel for you to donate towards an additional gift for this group. Should you wish to contribute towards a farewell gift you can make an EFT into our bank account with the reference ‘Hospitality’ (or by using the online donation form below)
I urge you all to be in prayer for these staff members. As a Church we are seeking to help find alternative employment for them, so please pray for these opportunities to open. If you have employment opportunities for them please contact us.
Richard van Lieshout