6 April 2009 by monkey6


6 April 2009

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									6 April 2009 TO : ALL MINISTERS IN THE UPCSA KEEPING IN TOUCH 1 From the desk of the General Secretary Dear Colleagues Greetings to you in the precious name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour! It is now exactly two months since I assumed the office of General Secretary of the UPCSA. I must say that I am really enjoying the opportunities and challenges in serving our Lord in a somewhat different capacity from that of the parish ministry. However, daily I am realizing that I am where God wants me to be at this time in my ministry. There is no greater reward in life than serving God and others in His name and with His love. Wherever you may be in your journey in ministry right now, I hope and pray that you will know and feel the same. Sometimes ministry can be pretty taxing in many ways but we must never lose our sense our call, when we do it becomes more of a burden rather than a privileged gift. As we celebrate the death and resurrection of our Lord let us be reminded of the ministry of Jesus, His sacrifice, suffering and death but never losing sight of the empty tomb. May the resurrection stand as a sign of the promised hope and victory we have in Jesus! So again, this Easter, preach and proclaim the Goodnews with conviction, joy and celebration: “Indeed, Christ is Risen!” Getting back to where I started, as you can see the preacher in me never ceases to come out, since starting in February I have been busy with a number of things. I wish to share with you some of these in the following: Conducted an internal evaluation of staff roles, job satisfaction and perception of the Central Office. Started to revise systems and procedures of operation in some areas. Conducted an external evaluation to ascertain ministers’ perceptions, expectations and experiences of the Central Office. A special thanks to all those who took the time to send in their forms. Greatly appreciated! Hopefully we will provide an effective, efficient and excellent service. Conducted a Solidarity Visit to Zimbabwe. I was fortunate to spend some time with ministers and their spouses. They asked that we: (1) pray for them, (2) collect and send them some basic foods and goods, (3)assist with other matters related to the care of retired ministers and widows, and (4) express their gratitude to the UPCSA for our prayers, care and support through their




on-going struggles as a country. We are thankful that many congregations are already doing the first two. We are working with a more concerted effort in collecting basic items and sending them across. We will tell you more about this in due course. Initiated a process to address the problems faced by the Church Associations. A plan as a suggested way forward was accepted by the Church Associations Committee of the General Assembly and will now be looked at by the Associations. Please remember these in your prayers. The struggles have reached far, wide and deep affecting Presbyteries, congregations, ministers and families within the UPCSA. We need to turn to God on our knees for it is only He who can change hearts, minds and lives, directing us to the central message of the Gospel: Jesus Christ, crucified and risen, the Saviour of the world! Offered a variety of ways in which I and the Central Office staff could be of assistance to Presbyteries. I am pleased to say that a number of Presbyteries have responded rather immediately. I look forward to these visits. Have represented the UPCSA in some ecumenical gatherings. Perhaps of particular note are the following: (1) a Council for World Mission (CWM) Africa Region meeting, (2) my role in the mediating process with members of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches between the Dutch Reformed Church and the Uniting Reformed Church in their failed unification process, and (3) my visit on an Ecumenical Solidarity to Madagascar with the General Secretary of CWM, The Rev. Dr. Des Van Der Water. The situation in Madagascar is not good at all. There is a great deal of confusion, violence and non-acceptance of the new political leadership. Our CWM partner church there has been greatly affected particularly because the ousted President is also the lay Vice President of the Church of Jesus Christ in Madagascar. It was an amazing opportunity to speak to a stadium of over 70 000 Christians who gathered to pray for their country on Sunday, 29th March 2009. It was such a great expression of Christian unity and prayer for peace. Please keep this country in your prayers. Another piece of good news. I’m pleased to inform you that the UPCSA has now purchased its own property situated in 28 Rhodes Avenue, Parktown. We will be packing, moving office, unpacking and settling in between 18-31 May 2009. The Central Office would be closed during that time and re-open again on 1st June 2009. Please give thanks to God for this new acquisition and remember us in your prayers during the move.




I have shared the above with you to covet your prayers and support. Kindly share some of the contents of this letter with your congregation/s as well. It would be wonderful for them to gain some insights into what is happening in and through our Church. More significantly, it would be great to have them remember some of the things mentioned above in their daily prayers.


Thank you for responding to the call God has placed upon your life and for your service in His kingdom and the UPCSA. We really appreciate all that you do! May this Easter time be one of greater closeness with God as you journey with Jesus to the Cross and celebrate the news of the empty tomb. In this busy time for ministers in particular, may you find the inspiration to be heralds of the Goodnews and joyful servants of the Kingdom! May this Holy Week be not so much about work but about worship to our Triune God. My prayers and thoughts are with you, your loved ones and your congregation. Have a blessed and God-filled Easter! Blessings!

Jerry Pillay General Secretary


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