VDDG

Verenigde Diensgroep Diens en Getuienis (VDDG)

Gesamentlike Taakspan vir Diens en Getuienis (NGK Familie)

Voorsitters:
Prof Piet Meiring, tel: 012 348 8236, sel: 0834589008, e-pos: pgjmeiring@gmail.com en
Oudl Ruben Masisi, sel: 082 467 0027, e-pos: masisir@sapo.co.za

Addisionele lede:
Ds V Pillay, Dr A Hoffman en mev D Seloana

Sekundi:
Drs Botha van Aarde en Johan Botha

Skriba:
Ds WC van der Merwe

Adres

Kantoor van Algemene Sinode
H/v Jan Shoba- (Duncan-) en Pretoriusstraat
HATFIELD
Pretoria
 
Posadres
 
Posbus 13528
Hatfield
0028
 
Tel: 012 342 0092
Faks: 012 342 0370
e-pos: umsw@ngkerk.org.za

 


Verslag Algemene Sinode
 

Ons roeping

Ons roeping tot diens en getuienis in eenheid:

‘n Teologiese grondslag vir die NG Kerkfamilie se missionêre bedienings

“Gaan dan…”

Met sy hemelvaart het die Here Jesus vir sy dissipels twee merkwaardige dinge gesê. Matteus vertel hoe Jesus sy dissipels na ‘n berg in Galilea geneem het, waar Hy van hulle afskeid geneem het. Dit was ‘n vreemde groepie wat Hom daar ontmoet het. Hulle was, soos ons, doodgewone mense. Die ongelooflike gebeure van die afgelope weke – Jesus se arrestasie, sy kruisiging en veral sy opstanding – het deur hulle koppe gemaal. Hulle het nie presies geweet wat om daarvan te maak nie. Party het selfs getwyfel. Maar vir hulle én vir ons het Jesus die dubbele boodskap gehad (Matt 28:18‑20):

Sy eerste boodskap was: “Aan My is alle mag gegee, in die hemel en op die aarde”. Die dissipels moes weet: Jesus is die Seun van God, wat deur sy Vader gestuur is om die geweldige offer te bring waardeur die wêreld gered sou word. Maar Jesus is ook die Here, die Een aan wie alle mag in die hemel en op die aarde gegee is. Met sy hemelvaart het Jesus op die troon aan die regterhand van sy Vader gaan sit. Die leisels van die geskiedenis, alles wat op aarde gebeur het en in die toekoms nog gáán gebeur, is in sy hande.

Terwyl Petrus en sy vriende nog verstom gestaan het oor die wete dat hulle Meester die Heer van hemel en aarde is, het Jesus vir hulle die tweede boodskap gegee: ”Gaan dan na al die nasies toe en maak die mense my dissipels…” Daarmee het Jesus hulle die grootste denkbare kompliment gegee: Hy het hulle genooi om sy medewerkers te wees! Hy was besig om sy Ryk te vestig, maar wou dit nie sonder hulle doen nie. Hy het hulle as ambassadeurs van sy Ryk aangestel, wat mense uit alle nasies op aarde aan hulle Koning moes voorstel. En, het Jesus beloof, hulle sou nooit alleen wees nie. Deur sy Gees sou Hy met hulle wees om hulle te begelei en te ondersteun, vir altyd, tot Hy weer kom.

Dit is waaroor hierdie boek handel: oor die drie-enige God, die Vader, Seun en Gees, wat by ons wêreld betrokke is. Oor die Vader wat die Seun gestuur het, oor die Seun wat sy Gees gestuur het – én ook oor ons, wat deur God by sy werk op aarde betrek word, om die boodskap van sy liefde aan al die nasies te verkondig én te demonstreer. Om te praat én te doen. Om te getuig én te dien.

Die afgelope jare het verteenwoordigers vanuit al vier lidkerke van die NG Kerkfamilie sáám ‘n Verenigde Diensgroep vir Diens en Getuienis gevorm, om met mekaar oor ons verstaan van God en van sy sending op aarde, asook ons opdrag en mandaat om sy verteenwoordigers op aarde te wees, te beraadslaag.

Deur die jare het die besef al sterker en sterker gegroei: nie een van ons, of ons kerke, kan die taak alléén behartig nie. Ons kan dit nie sonder mekaar doen nie. Ons kan eers iets van die ondeurgrondelike liefde van die Here begin verstaan as ons dit sáám met mekaar ontdek (Ef 3:18). En daar is geen manier waarop ons die wêreld van die werklikheid van Jesus se liefde kan oortuig as ons dit nie ook as één groep, saam met mekaar doen nie (Ef 3:18). Ons is oor en oor deur Jesus se gebed vir sy dissipels aangegryp: “Vader, Ek bid dat hulle een mag wees…sodat die wêreld kan weet dat U My gestuur het” (Joh 17: 21).

Dit was vir ons ‘n groot bron van inspirasie en bemagtiging dat terwyl die eenheidsproses in die NG Kerkfamilie nog nie voltooi is nie, ons diensgroep wat die banier van diens en getuienis in die NG Kerkfamilie omhoog moet hou, dit as één groep met ‘n onherroeplike verbintenis met die Here én ook met mekaar kon doen.

Dis ons gebed dat predikante en lidmate in al ons sinodes en gemeentes hierdie boek sal lees en bespreek en gebruik. Mag die Here ook die NG kerkfamilie opnuut na sy berg neem, om ons na sy dubbele boodskap te laat luister.

Reuben Massisi

Piet Meiring
(mede-voorsitters van die VDDG)

Our calling to service and witness in unity:

A theological basis for the DRC family’s missional ministries

“Go then…”

With the ascension the Lord Jesus said two remarkable things to his disciples. Matthew tells us that Jesus took his disciples to a mountain in Galilee to bid them farewell. It was a rather awkward group who met Him there. Like us, they were ordinary people. They were still trying to digest the unbelievable events of the last few weeks – Jesus’ arrest, his crucifixion and especially his resurrection. They did not know exactly how to respond to these events. Some even doubted. But for them – and for us! – Jesus had a double message (Matt 28:18‑20):

His first message was: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me”. The disciples had to know: Jesus is the Son of God, who was sent by the Father to bring the tremendous sacrifice through which the world would be saved. But Jesus is also the Lord, the One to whom all authority was given in heaven and on earth. He ascended to heaven to occupy the throne at the right hand of the Father. The reins of history, of everything that happened on earth and that should still happen in future, are in his hands.

While Peter and his friends still stood dumbfounded by the realisation that their Master is Lord of heaven and earth, Jesus gave them the second message: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations …” Thereby Jesus gave them the biggest compliment imaginable: He invited them to be his co-workers! He was establishing his Kingdom, but He would not do it without them. He appointed them as ambassadors of his Kingdom, who had to introduce people from all nations on earth to their King. And, so Jesus promised, they would never be alone. Through his Spirit He would be with them to support and accompany them, for ever, until He would come again.

This is what this book is about: it is about the Triune God, Father, Son and Spirit, who is intensely involved with our world. It is about the Father who sent the Son, and about the Son who sent the Spirit – and also about us, who are involved in God’s own work on earth, to proclaim and demonstrate God’s message of love to all nations. To speak and to do. To witness and to serve.

In the last few years representatives from all four churches in the DRC family together formed the United Ministry for Service and Witness, to deliberate with each other about our understanding of God and his mission on earth, as well as our own task and mandate to be God’s representatives on earth.

Through the years the realisation has grown stronger all the time: none of us, or our churches, can handle this task alone. We cannot do it without each other. We can only begin to understand something of the unfathomable love of the Lord when we discover it together, with each other (Eph 3:18). And there is no way we can convince the world of the reality of Jesus’ love if we don’t do it as one group, together with each other. Again and again we were overwhelmed by Jesus’ prayer for his disciples: “I pray … that all of them may be one, … so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” (Joh 17:21)

While the unification process in the DRC family remains unfinished, it has been a great source of inspiration and empowerment to us as torchbearers of the service and witness ministry of the DRC family, to shoulder this responsibility as a united group with an irrevocable commitment to the Lord and to each other.

It is our prayer that ministers and church members in all our synods, presbyteries and congregations will read, discuss and use this book. May the Lord also take the DRC family to his mountain again, to let us listen anew to his double message.

Reuben Massisi

Piet Meiring
(Co-chairs of the UMSW)

Pinkster 2015

Partnerships and Forums

SADP
The aim of the Southern African Diaconal Partnership is to facilitate partnerships between churches and congregations in Southern Africa, North America and Europe. These partnerships focus on social development, poverty alleviation, social justice and combating HIV and Aids in Southern Africa.

About the Partnership

The aim of the Southern African Diaconal Partnership is to facilitate partnerships between churches and congregations in Southern Africa, North America and Europe. These partnerships focus on social development, poverty alleviation, social justice and combating HIV and Aids in Southern Africa.

Vision of the SADP

As brothers and sisters in Christ, representing a variety of churches and agencies, we begin a relationship to explore our partnership relationship in ministry and build the Kingdom of Jesus Christ.

We together embrace the goal of eradicating poverty in South Africa, through the transformation of both South Africans and North Americans, and the empowerment of the poor.

PURPOSE

The focus of SADP:  Social justice, social development and poverty alleviation, HIV and Aids.

The SADP will distinguish between a network (in this case the UMSW) and projects:  The purpose of the network is to nurture existing partnerships and to foster new partnerships.

The accepted communication lines for projects is directly with partners and copy to the network (UMSW)

The key performance areas for the network (UMSW) are:

  • To provide an enabling environment for the fostering of new partnerships and the nurturing of existing partnerships
  • Communication between all partners
  • To promote and enhance involvement and ownership

THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE PARTNERSHIP

The South African Diaconal Partnership between Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa and the RCA (Global Mission), Christ Memorial Church, CRWRC (later Partners Worldwide) was born out of talks between the Commission for Church Unity (URCSA) and the North American churches.  Originally it was suppose to report to the Commission but that never realised in practice.

It was decided that the partnership should focus on the diaconate of the churches and that the respective churches should be treated as equal partners.

A North America staff person was appointed to organise and coordinate the partnership and he was based in South Africa (Mamelodi).

Three phases in the development of the partnership can be distinguished:

  • Phase 1:  A staff-oriented activity
  • Phase 2:  Development of relationship with projects
  • Phase 3:  The re-definition of the partnership

The United Ministry for Service and Witness was formed in 2006 and this development brought the DRC, DRCA and RCA into the partnership.

On the North America side other partners emerged e.g. Second Table Ministries, Schenectady Church.

URCSA also has partners with churches in Europe and the question arose how those partnerships impact on the SADP.

Partners

Agencies

1. The DRC and the URCSA have been involved for years in professional social welfare services.  Even before Government departments for Welfare and later for Social Development were created and before Social Work was established as a discipline and profession in South Africa, the DRC was busy with social welfare projects such as children’s homes, institutes for deaf and blind persons, homes for unmarried mothers, etcetera as part   of its mission of caring.

2. The process of organising and regulating the social welfare sector through government policy and legislation gained momentum, particularly in the second half of the previous century.  One result of this was that the then General Commission for the Ministry of Caring (AKDB) as well as the various Synodical Commissions for the Ministry of Caring (SKDBs) were all registered as welfare organisations in terms of the National Welfare Act (Act 100 of 1978).  This step gave the commissions a double purpose, namely to be a synodical commission on the one hand and a registered welfare organisation on the other.

3. The implementation of the Not for Profit Organisations Act (Act 71 of 1997) meant that the synods had to   structure their social welfare activities as separate organisations and they were all registered in terms of this Act.

4. The need for an umbrella forum to represent the church at national and international levels resulted in the   establishment of the Council for Church Social Services (CCSS) in 2001.

5. The alienation between the church social services and the congregational diaconate has been a cause of concern to the CCSS for a long time.  Over the past years this has often been discussed and every time the church social service organisations have re-affirmed that their services are an auxiliary service, an extension, an instrument for the congregation and its diaconal ministry.  Church social services want to be nothing other than a ministry of the church. Seen as such, the church social services are an important asset for the church. Over many years much expertise and resources have been developed.  The CCSS is well placed in the broad social welfare sector and it is an important role player not only in South Africa but also in Namibia.

6.   Currently, church social service organisations experience that their relationship with government holds a number threats that have the potential of seriously harming this church asset.  One such threat is the State’s growing expectations that organisations become more involved in communities.  There are huge financial implications for organisations if they are to meet all these demands.  Although there are many similarities between the expectations of the state and the expectations of the church, for example poverty alleviation,healthy families, the protection of children and the development of a society where older persons are treated with respect and dignity, to name a few, there are specific expectations of the State with which the church cannot associate.  Another serious threat is the State’s financing policy that increasingly shifts the financial responsibility for the delivery of services to that of organisations.

7.  In the discussions on the relationship between the church social services and the church, the current status of  the church diaconate was also broached. Due to a variety of factors, the picture of the congregational diaconate in the DRC is unclear, as is the case in other churches within the UMSW.   Apparently, a perception exists that it does not function equally well in all congregations and churches.  Consequently, the UMSW constituted a work group that is presently investigating ways to promote discussion on the congregational diaconate.

As part of the Combined Commission for the Diaconate (CCD) ministries, URCSA and the DRC developed strong diaconal programs over many years. This work was later structured according to existing SA legislation which meant that NGOs had to be established and registered them with the Department of Social Development. This registration meant that the church partnered with government in service delivery.

In 2002 the synod gave permission that this registered part of URCSA and the DRC’s diaconal work (social service) could merge to form BADISA.

BADISA was established in April 2003 and is the joint social service and development ministry of URCSA and the DRC. More than 160 programs and projects form part of this unique ministry.

Projects

URCSA Northern Synod and RCA Partnership

Facilitating HIV/AIDS awareness programs in their respective congregations amongst both youth as well as senior members.

The partnership between URCSA Northern Synod and Reformed Church of America which was constituted in 2009 is progressing as per the proposal submitted by URCSA Northern Synod to RCA in 2009. Trained Senior Youth members of 4 Congregations namely Letaba, Namakgale, Rivoni and Kgapane, are actively involved in facilitating HIV/AIDS awareness programs in their respective congregations amongst both youth as well as senior members.


URCSA Northern Synod and RCA Regional Synod of Canada (RSC) partnership

This partnership is progressing as per the proposal submitted by URC Northern Synod to RSC in April 2010. The local URC Namakgale in Phalaborwa finalized building plans to renovate the drop-in centre at Mashishimale. The congregation decided with the approval of RSC, to do the renovation themselves. Estimated quotes for the renovations amounts to R280 000 but will be substantially reduced with the Church Council and congregation deciding to do these renovations themselves and in so doing creating job opportunities for local the community and congregation members.


Follow-up ecumenical delegation Visiting South Africa on Multi Cultural Ministries in SA

This two-person delegation visited SA in April 2011 and consisted of Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis who is the Senior Pastor of Middle Collegiate Church in New York City. She leads a growing multicultural congregation in the city of New York. Jaqui was accompanied by her husband the Rev. John Janka who is a retired United Methodist Superintendent and Conference Minister who began his ministry in a predominately African American city. A conference was held in Cape Town arranged by Carl Swart and talks held in Pretoria. They shared their experiences of their 2010 visit. The hope expressed from the Reformed Church family to the delegation was to enhance this partnership which was welcomed by the delegation.


Kgautswane / Mophalema Water and URC Northern Synod

This project focuses on the refurbishment of the existing water infrastructure in Kgautswane and Mophalema areas and is done between the URC Ohrigstad – URCSA Northern Synod, Second Table Ministries and the Sekhukhune District Municipality. This project is currently being implemented and seeks to refurbish the existing dilapidated water reticulation system’s pipe-works, and storage facilities, replacing old rundown diesel pumps with low maintenance effective and efficient electrical pumps – providing temporary employment to some residents of Kgautswane. Financial support from Second Table Ministries (STM) is not forthcoming anymore but STM still has a keen interest in the project. This project is currently employing three local Kgautswane people. The planned completion date of this project is the first week of November 2011

This project stands to improve; the quality of the water resource; and water infrastructure; providing access to the Mophalema/Kgautswane communities to the much needed water resource thus improving the quality of life of more than 6 000 people in Kgautswane and neighboring villages.


1st Reformed Church of Schenectady (FRS) New York partnership with Tapologo

This partnership between Tapologo Hospice in Rustenburg and FRS is still strong and a delegation is possibly visiting Rustenburg in October 2011. Joe Doolittle is at present the major liaison for this partnership in progress between the local URC churches and Tapologo Karlien park URC is still continuing with their outreaches to Tapologo.

Rev Johann Bosman has completed a sabbatical on the RCA Creeds and Confessions and focused on the Belhar. He visited Rustenburg some time past is building a relationship with a local school (the name still to be confirmed). Joe indicated that Johan’s involvement in Rustenburg might be good a re-energizer for what is ongoing in Rustenburg.Joe Doolittle plans to visit South Africa in 2012, probably in early summer. Bishop Dowling from Tapologo will be in the US in April.


Evaton Noord and Maranatha URC’s partnering with Southern Africa AIDS Collaboration (SAHAC)

Evaton Noord and Maranatha URC congregations in Sebokeng’s relationship is growing with SAHAC. The two churches have already been engaging with local schools there Maranatha URC already launched the “Courage Brand” of SAHAC at at least one High School in Sebokeng with close relation and support of SAHAC. This project is regarded as a pilot project. URC Maranatha established a committee to liaise with the local school participating school. 1 Youth member of URC Maranatha attended a youth leadership camp in July 2011.


Christ Memorial Church’s (CMC) partnering in the Free State

Rephidisitswe Community Shelter – This is an emerging project in Botshabelo, Free State for abandoned and vulnerable children that will provide residential care in addition to Day Care for OVC’s. Anna Mara /Paulinah Masiu are the key SA contacts and Christ Memorial Church is the major NA contact. With the financial assistance from CMC, a building and property was purchased. CMC put up 80% of the funds needed. This Centre is to be registered in the name of Calvary URCSA Botsabelo. A MoU and Constitution of the Centre still needs to be finalized in cooperation with NKGA and DRC who are also involved.

Lebone Educare Centre – This is an OVC day care centre project in Botshabelo, Free State. Paulinah Masiu is the key SA contact. Paul Scholten from Christ Memorial Church is the major NA contact who on an annual basis would bring visitors from North America to Lebone to do work around Lebone for at least one week.

Botshabelo West Community Centre – This is a developing project of the DRC family of churches to address issues of poverty and HIV through community empowerment in Botshabelo West. Andries Hoffman is the key SA contact and Christ Memorial Church is the major NA contact.


United Protestant Church of Belgium (UPCB) funding for Home Based Health Care (HBHC)

The UPCB again committed funds for 2011 in support of Home Based Health Care (HBHC) in the Reformed Family of Churches. A proposal for continued HBHC funding for 2012 will be submitted. 13 HBHC projects were supported in 2010 and the same number were supported with the funds received for 2011. Through this funding and average 246 Volunteers and Caregivers were supported; and an average 2500 people benefiting directly mpacting the lives of more than 5000 people.

A Belgium delegation visited SA in August 2011 they were welcomed at the Mamelodi Dienssentrum and visited HBHC projects in Sebokeng, Mosselbay and Paarl. The feedback received from all projects visited as well as the Belgian delegates were very positive.


Investments for Africa

A recommendation was made that IFA close down its own program and seek a partnership with a new Kingdom Investment Company presently being formed. This proposal was according to the Board not fitting IFA’s mandate and was not accepted.

Talks with Africa Works (AW) were done to investigate possible cooperation. AW officially commenced in 2007 in Mozambique and Zambia as a Christian based non-profitable organizations. After successful pilot projects in Mozambique under World Relief, Africa Works became part of the exit strategy for World Relief Southern Africa programs, involving agri-business, micro-finance and small to medium enterprise (SME) development. AW also intends to expand into Malawi following a similar process as in Mozambique and Zambia and is currently exploring options of expanding into Zimbabwe, Swaziland and South Africa.

IFA decided to cooperate with AW and to transfer some of its funds to AW with increments based on AW’s performance with the funds. This however, still needs to be concluded.


Shell SA for Developing Entrepreneurs projects

The diaconal Liaison in his private capacity facilitates an Entrepreneurial skills development program for Shell SA. in the past year Maranatha and Evaton Noord benefited from this program because of the engagement in economic development projects. Since October 2010 x8 trainings were completed training an average of 200 business people either already in business or wanting to start their enterprises.


Global Fund Project

Implementation

The National Religious Association for Social Development [NRASD] is one of the primary recipients of funds from the Global Fund. NRASD signed a contract with Council for Church Social Services [CCSS] as Sub-Sub Recipient to the Global Fund funds from NRASD. CCSS engaged in signed contracts with regional Church Social Services as Sub- Sub- Sub Recipients to the funds that channels and apply funds to projects at grassroots [church] level including congregation members.

This project is implemented in the following regions:

Mpumalanga, Free State, Gauteng, North West, Highveld, Northern Synod [Phalaborwa –Limpopo]. Organizations involved are HospiVision and PEN. This project ensures implementation to be inclusive of the DRC Family of Churches.

Project Staff
Project Manager : Willie Van Der Merwe
Project Coordinator : Efraim Oppelt
Financial Assistan t : Gerhard Potgieter
Limpopo Provincial officer : Efraim Oppelt

Global Fund targets
Global Fund Targets achieved in 2011 are:

Targets to be reached in 2012:
Care Givers trained and deployed to date:
Care Givers to be deployed in 2012:

Coastal Provinces:
As negotiated with NRASD, KZN and Western Cape Provinces will also come on board as from October 2011.


Evaton Noord / Maranatha and Aliwal North URC’s partnering with Second Table Ministries (STM)

URC Maranatha has started a Funeral Parlor as an economic development initiative to be joined by Evaton Noord. Two weeks of entrepreneurial skills development training was facilitated by Efraim in August and October 2011 at URC Maranatha. STM is in liaison with Maranatha regarding assistance Maranatha with their sewing project. Funds for this project were already forthcoming from STM for purchasing machines.

Maranatha have now acquired the land to start the Klipkop centre/church through assistance from STM, but have some difficulties to overcome in clearing the title, getting the utilities to the site gathering the needed funds, and then completing the construction. Hope is expressed and plans made for the local DRC congregations to to come into this partnership. North Point Congregation in Seattle also entered in a partnership with URC Maranatha. Rev Mike Mbeta from URC Maranatha visited STM in June 2011 to strengthen this relationship. He was accompanied by his wife and Rev Bradley Stoffels from Aliwal North. STM also supports a building- and a feeding project at URC Aliwal North

Heilbron URCSA – This may be a new project for church development. Rev Swart Boysen is the SA contact and STM is the primary NA contact. CMC also has history with the Heilbron church.

Reports

Action Plans

Provide an enabling (church) context

GOALS:

  • strengthening of structures (regional, presbyteries, congregational)
  • deepening of theology of service and witness
  • revitalize diaconate

WHO:

WHAT?

M & E

RESOURCES

UMSW
Regions (Synods)
Office
(NA) partners

Common vision (commitment)
Good governance
Training, material
Mandate document (buy and   implementation)
Structure (continuity and commitment)
Working – projects indentify

Once a year

Office staff
Budget (SADP, DRC family, Europe)

Communication

GOALS:
NA / European partners need information to develop
Involvement and ownership

WHO:

WHAT?

M & E

RESOURCES

Projects
UMSW (national, regional and local)
Partners

Reports
Information, dissemination
Communication lines (organogram), identify people
Website

Quantitative
Qualitative

Office staff
Budget SADP

Promote and enhance involvement and ownership

GOALS:
To develop community projects

WHO:

WHAT?

M & E

RESOURCES

UMSW
Projects
Partners

Develop vision and theology
Material – (vision and theology)
Missional theology
Across transformation
CRWR
Project development model

Stories

Office staff
Budget SADP, DRC Family

Vigsforum van die NG Kerkfamilie

Vigs
Die Goeie Herder strategie
Hierdie strategie beskryf hoe die NG Kerk by MIV en Vigs betrokke wil wees. (AS 2002)
Verklaring en verbintenis van NG Kerk in verband met MIV en VIGS

Week van gebed

Week of prayer (Word) 2015
Week of prayer (Pdf) 2015