On 23 and 24 February 2017 the Moderator, Prof Leepo Modise, represented the URCSA at a meeting of the United Evangelical Mission (UEM) in Goma in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Here he presented the state of the URCSA as follows:
The Uniting Reformed Church consists of 1,230 000 members in 784 congregations served by 490 ministers of the Word. There are 294 vacant congregations in the seven regional synods. The name of URCSA (which is in the continuous tense) and its logo (which is an incomplete circle) reflect the Church’s emphasis on unity, and its hope for an even
greater church unification within the family of God.
URCSA is identified as the church of the Belhar Confession. This Church confesses her belief in Jesus Christ as Lord, and accepts the costly grace of discipleship in the new commitment to unity, reconciliation and justice. The Belhar Confession calls for a new obedience and not just unity: we are obligated to give ourselves willingly and joyfully to one another. It calls not only for reconciliation, but points to its inescapability: For Christians, reconciliation is not an option among other options, where we weigh the risks, consider the probabilities for success or failure, and then with cautious optimism feel free to choose the path more feasible and measureable. It is an obligation, a calling, a ministry entrusted to us by God in Jesus Christ.
Belhar’s call for justice is, at its heart, a call for costly discipleship. God – the God of Jesus of Nazareth, not the false god that blesses slavery, apartheid, genocide, exclusion, and oppression – is a God of justice; and God calls the church to follow God in this. The church must therefore stand by all people, not only those from whom we can benefit, those who conform our prejudices and comfort us in our bigotries. The church must stand with all people in any form of suffering and need, with no excuses, exceptions, or compromises.
This means that the church must witness against any form of injustice, so that justice may roll down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream. The church must act as the possession of God, not the possession of the privileged and powerful, the strong and the loud-mouthed, the racially exclusive, the arrogant and the self-satisfied; and the church should stand where God stands, namely against injustice and with the wronged, as Allan Boesak has said it so powerfully.
This belief has pushed URCSA to be engaged in the following projects for service and witness, when standing where God stands on the side of the poor, destitute, widows, and
orphans and wronged:
Social development projects:
- Water project
- Orphaned and Vulnerable Children
Health promotion projects
- Home-based care
- Prevention of Curable and incurable diseases
- Substance Abuse
Economic development projects
- Job creation
- Income generated project
Educational development project
- Skill Development
- Day care centres
- Training of people
There is a saying that if one walks alone, you walk fast, but when you walk with others, you walk further. Hence we want to thank UEM for accepting us as an Associate Member with the hope to be granted full membership at the next General Assembly. Then we will have strength to stand where God stands with other churches that confess Jesus as
Finally, the URCSA and the DRC has submitted an application to bid for hosting the World Council of Churches (WCC) in 2020 in Cape Town, South Africa’s mother city.
The last time the WCC has assembled in South Africa was in 1960 (during the socalled Cottesloe Consultation). We request all member churches present in this Assembly to support our application and pray that Africa will be chosen to host this Assembly in 2020.