We were calling it ‘Super Spring’. Our staff were getting pretty excited back in early August about the prospects of open gatherings again, coupled with a spring-time sense of renewal. So we packed our September & October calendar with some of the most important events we could think of:

  • The Prayer & Praise Party
  • Our X-Squared Youth Camp
  • A Campus Outreach evangelism event

The Disciple-Makers Conference

Now coming up this weekend is a flagship event for for 2021: The Disciple-Makers Conference.

Finding & implementing a personal disciple-making curriculum for a Church is a bit of a ‘holy grail’ in Church circles. As a team we had been searching for a long time. Eventually we just decided to put our heads together and try come up with something as unique as the wonderful Church of RUC.

That’s what Justin, Zwai & I will be launching this weekend: RUC’s own pathway for personally making disciples.

There’s plenty of space for you. We have all the conference trimmings. Come and check it out. Whether you’ve intentionally been making disciples for years, or never really knew it was something you should be doing, this will be a worthwhile weekend to stir up a renewed sense of purpose in your life. 


New Teaching Series

This conference will coincide with the start our last major teaching series for the year: The Gospel of God

‘The gospel has been described as a pool in which a toddler can wade and yet an elephant can swim. It is both simple enough to tell to a child and profound enough for the greatest minds to explore’. 

Timothy Keller

In this series we’ll wade out to the gospel depths where elephants swim. It could be one of the most important series I’ve yet done, and I’m very excited for it!


To get the most from this, come gather at Church on Sunday. We have space. We have reduced a lot of the hassle around Covid-19 protocols (yet still being safe!).

Meeting, greeting, smiling (with your eyes), singing, listening, praying, laughing, receiving, giving, sharing, serving, loving: this what happens when we’re together on a Sunday.

We’ve been able, by the grace of God, to remain united as a Church at a difficult time when we couldn’t meet together. Now we can meet again, and by the grace of God those gatherings will more than make up for what we missed!

You may have a good reason for not having returned to church in person, or it may be the inertia of a long period of being disconnected from Church. Perhaps it’s time to #RediscoverChurch. This Sunday will be a good one to try! 

Richard

Pray for SA

It’s safe to say we’re all concerned. A resurgent pandemic, escalated grieving, and now civil unrest. I’m sure we’re all feeling tired, disappointed & anxious. What do we do with this?

Our family just got back from some holiday time (and refuge from the cold) at the coast. We had a great time of rest after a pretty busy year so far! Speaking of which, we have a few weeks left in our series through 1 Timothy…

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.


Sunday Services

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 | 5:00pmPlease 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,

Richard

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:

  • 8:00
  • 10:15
  • 17:00

Due to limited space, booking each week is essential. You can do that here (link)


Online Services

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:

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.


Easter Services

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,

Richard.

An update from Pastor Richard van Lieshout: –

  • We’re re-opening church in-person from Sunday 14 March (services at 8:00am, 10:15am and 5:00pm) – BOOK
  • Services will also be live-streamed – We need volunteers!
  • Reminder about our upcoming Church AGM on Wednesday 17 March – BOOK
Sunday 7 March

Hey Rosebank Union family!

We are up and running for the year, and excited about our plans as a Church over the next few months, despite being restricted in terms of gatherings.

As you will know the adjusted level 3 lockdown rules do not allow any religious gatherings until at least the middle of February, which means we are back to Churchonline for all our gatherings.

We will be continuing with our monthly prayer meetings as well as the First Mondays webinars, as well as some new opportunities for connecting online.

We encourage you to not miss the new-year opportunity to commit to connecting with the RUC community:

  • Every Sunday: Churchonline @ golive.ruc.org.za. Be of the simplest and best ways to feel a little more connected to Church is to join us for the livestream at 9:30 on a Sunday where you can engage through comments, chats and request prayer.
  • Community Groups meet on various days of the week, most of them still meeting on virtual platforms in lockdown. Contact our Discipleship pastor, Zwai Zulu, for a suitable group for you.
  • Wednesday 27 January: Monthly prayer meeting. Be sure to kick your year off in prayer by joining us for the day of prayer and fasting (Fasting information here), culminating in our Zoom prayer meeting at 19:00 (https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81474261790)
  • Monday 1 Feb: First Mondays Webinar. We kick off our webinar series with a topic directly linked to our first sermon series. Also on golive.ruc.org.za at 19:00.

Speaking of sermons, we are very excited about our first sermon series for the year. 

It’s called Rule of Life: Habits to fortify and form your faith

Christians have been practising the concept of a ‘Rule of Life’ for centuries as a means of integrating spiritual disciplines (such as prayer, scripture) into daily rhythms of life.

What makes this concept relevant for us now is the fact that a Rule of Life is entirely contextual. The rhythms and habits that we develop are targeted specifically for the particular times we live in.

I think we all realise that these are unique times, with unique pressures and unique temptations. If we are serious about our spiritual growth then we need to be intentional about fortifying & forming our faith, through specially designed rhythms and habits.

Starting Sunday 24 January we will take six weeks to discuss six areas of life that are under unique pressure in 2021, and apply six spiritual habits that will fortify and form our faith no matter what happens this year! We don’t just want to survive 2021 but thrive!


I am looking forward to journeying through another year of ‘blessed uncertainty’ (as I am learning to call it!) with you, as we grow in:

  • Trusting God’s will of decree.
  • Embracing His will of desire.
  • Obeying into His will of direction.

Hoping to see you all soon (DV)

Richard

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.

Regards

Richard van Lieshout


Donation to the Hospitality Staff

This Wednesday (29 July 2020), we are having our first monthly day of prayer and fasting, culminating in the combined online prayer meeting at 7:00pm on Zoom.

In this short video Pastor Richard explains what fasting is and how and why it is important for us to pray and fast.

See you on Zoom from 7-8pm: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81474261790
Meeting ID: 814 7426 1790