People are the Church! This is the truth behind the New Testament word for ‘Church’. The Greek word ‘ekklesia’ refers to an assembly or gathering of Christians. The emphasis then, is clearly on the people! Why then do Church buildings matter?
While it would be fair to say you don’t need a building to be a Church, it would similarly be fair to say you don’t need a house to be a family! We all know a family and its home are inseparable, and it’s the same with a church and it’s building.
Indeed the most common metaphor used to describe the church in the New Testament is a family:
Rosebank Union Church has been in existence since 1906, and has moved house a few times! The last move, from Rosebank to Sandton, took place 23 years ago. Generations have benefited from the sacrifice of those who built our Sandton home. Now it’s our turn to revive, restore & reinvigorate our church for the generations to come. This is project ‘Refresh’. It’s a word that came into focus on Pentecost Sunday this year: “Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord…” (Acts 3:19-20). We have been through a ‘time of refreshing’ in many deep & important ways, now it’s time for a refresh on the surface! Renewing our ageing church buildings will be an expensive exercise. We have a substantial facility that is home to a large family. The total project cost is R12 million, made up of a number of project modules. A large part of the work simply involves restoration (ie maintenance), but there are also some enhancements (upgrades) that not only reinforce growth we’ve already seen, but also position us for future growth in our Church.
1. Our street-side impression: Entrance & Facade
Our Church lives on one of the most recognisable intersections in all of Johannesburg! Thousands are forced to pause daily in front of our building on their commute. We have a remarkable opportunity to make a good first impression!
Similarly, as people drive onto our campus, we would love for the impression made at the entrance to not only be a positive one, but to reflect our heart as a Church.
Estimated cost: R1,2m
2. Our living room: Auditorium
All of the work in the auditorium is maintenance work: new seats, carpets and sound desk. Over 23 years hundreds of thousands of people have gathered to pray, worship and study the scriptures. It’s no wonder the furniture is a little tired!
Estimated cost: R6,5m
3. Our hang-out space: Street, Street Cafe & Amphitheatre
All families have their favourite informal gathering spaces. A breakfast nook in the kitchen, an outside patio or favourite spot in the garden. For RUC, these areas in our home consist of our internal ‘street’, with the famous cafe, leading to our outside amphitheatre.
Estimated cost: R1,6m
4. Our childrens rooms: Jerusalem Hall & X-Change
This is one of the most exciting parts of the project! The growth in our Next-Generation ministries (children, youth and young adults) has meant we’ve had to create extra space for them. We plan to re-purpose the Jerusalem hall into a youth & young adults facility (which could still be appropriate for the few other functions & ministries that use the hall).
We will also be doing some work around the entrance of the X-change building, to better facilitate the check-in process of children on a Sunday morning.
Estimated cost: R2,2m
5. Our outbuildings: Counselling Centre & Offices
Window frames, carpets and other maintenance items to renew the meeting & working spaces of our connected buildings.
Estimated cost: R0,5m
Total cost: R12m
While this is a substantial figure, it’s worth noting that it represents only 6 months of operating costs for our church. It is therefore a worthwhile investment on our family home that will not only benefit the people of RUC now, but the generations to come!
Funding Project Refresh
RUC does not currently budget towards these kinds of large projects, as our offerings narrowly cover our ministry costs. In the future we hope to apportion income from renting our facility towards these costs, but currently this income also subsidises our ministry.
We therefore urge the people of RUC:
a) To continue giving their general tithes and offerings to support our ministry costs, and
b) To consider an additional donation to project Refresh.
To make a donation simply make a deposit into our bank account with the reference ‘Refresh’.
Hyde Park Branch: 006605
Cheque Account Number: 200876201
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