Monthly Archives: September 2013

Rooted in Jesus Autumn Appeal

RinJ practice group in S Sudan

RinJ practice group in S Sudan

In 2013 we experienced both a rapid expansion of Rooted in Jesus and a sharply reduced income. If we are to continue to support its development, we need to raise more funds. And so we are holding our first ever major appeal. We invite you and your churches to prayerfully consider whether you can offer some additional financial support to Rooted in Jesus.

Rooted in Jesus is now in use in 57 dioceses or denominations in 15 countries. Commended by the Anglican Communion Office and endorsed by many Anglican Provinces in Africa, it’s unique in its aims and methodology, and it’s proven to be effective. The new RinJ Junior programme designed for use with children is helping provide the first systematic Christian education many children have ever received.

UK team members return home challenged and inspired, so this work impacts the vitality of the Church here too.

We have two main needs:

1. Supporting Rooted in Jesus Conferences

This year we were invited to run 18 conferences; next year we are looking at up to 30. Some of these will be to new dioceses, some will be followup conferences; we know from experience that it’s often through the followup conference that the programme really becomes established. It’s all done on a shoestring, but with administrative and print costs we need something like £3000 to support each conference in addition to the contribution made by the receiving diocese; team members raise their own costs on top of that.

Often dioceses need financial help if they are to run a conference, particularly in missionary areas where there is no existing infrastructure, or in areas suffering from drought or floods, conflict or political instability, such as South Sudan, Madagascar, or DR Congo: to work in such places inevitably costs more.

Just yesterday I met with a Tanzanian bishop, appointed recently to serve a new diocese; he has half a house (the walls and roof), half an office (bricks up to waist height), 25 clergy (almost all unpaid) and 51 evangelists (who have had no training). His situation is not unusual; and it’s in places like these that Rooted in Jesus makes all the difference, establishing a foundation of discipleship on which the ministry of a whole diocese can be built.

Drought in Tanzania

Drought in Tanzania

2. Establishing regional ownership

As RinJ continues to expand, we are also aware that we need to move its administration to centres within each province, so that it can be locally owned and run. This is already happening in South Africa and in Tanzania, but ongoing support is needed in both places due to the rapid growth of RinJ across each province. We would like to do the same in Burundi, which is at an earlier stage but where the Archbishop is keen to see RinJ locally supported across the Province; and in Uganda, where again RinJ is endorsed by the Province.

Doing the sums

Rooted in Jesus is at a critical point. We know the difference it makes – and I hope you’ve been able to keep abreast of some of it – do check out the website news page and comments page. We’ve had significant help from particular churches and dioceses, and one-off grants from a couple of trusts, and we also have some generous individual donors. This has enabled us to do what we’ve done so far. Jonathan Rendall’s recent sponsored walk raised £500; it all helps.

But the crunch issue is this: although RinJ is endorsed by Anglican Provinces across Africa, it receives no central funding. ReSource helps with the salary costs of the part-time UK staff, but the operational costs have to come through donations – and we currently have less than £5,000 in the bank. In order to fulfil the invitations for 2014, we need £36,000; if we are to pursue the vision of establishing regional ownership we will need considerably more than that.

We know that times are not easy. We are immensely grateful for your encouragement and partnership. Would you be willing to help us continue the work of Rooted in Jesus, and move it to the next level? Would you help us support Christian discipleship in some of the poorest (and yet most passionate!) parts of Africa? So far the Lord has provided all the funding we have needed; but as things stand at the moment we are going to struggle to support RinJ in 2014.

Practice RinJ group in S Sudan

Conference in Madagascar

If you would like to help, there are various options:

  1. Make a one off donation, either online or by cheque payable to Rooted in Jesus and sent to Frances Hazell at the address below (online donations offer a gift aid option, cheques can be accompanied by a gift aid form). Visit our support page and click the green button which looks like this:
  2. Take out a standing order – regular support is the most valuable as it enables us to budget
  3. Ask your church or your diocese if it would be willing to support RinJ either regularly or by offering a one off grant.
  4. Put us in touch with any grant making bodies who you think might be able to help us.
  5. Last but not least, pray!

Everything helps! If you’d like any more information please don’t hesitate to ask.
With love in Christ Jesus
Alison  Morgan

“Go, and make disciples … who will teach others also”
Matthew 28.19 & 2 Timothy 2.2

Rooted in Jesus in Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi

 Rooted in Jesus in Tanzania

Masasi 09  (247)

The last few months have been the busiest ever for Rooted in Jesus, our discipleship programme for Africa. We sent teams to no fewer than eight dioceses in Tanzania. Teams were either UK or Tanzanian led, with members from both countries. There are too many stories to tell, but we saw humble and inspiring leadership from the host bishops:

  • Bishop Sospeter Ndenza said, “I was born again 35 years ago and I have been a bishop for 7 years, but the Rooted in Jesus Conference has done something in my ministry, not only as a bishop, but as a Christian and believer.”
  • After a conference training Sunday School teachers to use Rooted in Jesus Junior, Bishop Hilkiah Omindo said, “The Gospel must be properly preached, properly led and properly resourced to support the engine of the church, and it is children who are the engine, the strength of the church. We are just tyres; nearly worn out. Our children need knowledge; if we have children who have the Word of God the Anglican church will go far.”

UK team members have also returned challenged and renewed for ministry at home. One wrote, “It is almost beyond my ability to explain what a difference it makes to visit an African country as opposed to viewing programmes about it”. Another said “The trip will impact my own ministry in a number of ways, but chiefly my re-learning that I need to rely completely on God”. Another commented, “For my own ministry, I am hoping that the African concept of ‘fully living in the moment’ will help me to be more effective engaging with people and giving them time, without conveying that I am too busy, or needing to rush off to someone or some other place. Letting go and letting God will also, I hope, be a change in the way I operate.” And one hoped “I am praying that things will never be the same again for me and that God indeed will bring new fruit in my life and ministry as a result of all the seed planting that was taking place in me during our time away.” Many team members talk about the impact on their ministry here at home – and we thank God for that.

Looking ahead, in November we will be holding the first national African Rooted in Jesus conference in Tanzania. 13 of Tanzania’s 26 dioceses now use RinJ, and we have invited all the bishops and coordinators to come together for 3 days in Arusha. These are the leaders and future leaders of the Anglican Church of Tanzania, and the conference will be a key factor for future growth. It will launch RinJ as a nationally owned and supported initiative, under the leadership of Bishop Stanley Hotay, Canon James Almasi and Canon Jacob Oyange. The guest speaker is Bishop James Newcome from the Diocese of Carlisle, who will share their experience of putting ‘Growing Disciples’ at the heart of the vision of a rural diocese. Please pray for us as we take this step of faith.

Junior Morogoro 2013


Rooted in Jesus in Burundi, Rwanda and South Africa

Meanwhile another team, led by Kevin Roberts, the archdeacon of Carlisle, headed out to offer conferences in the Diocese of Kigali, Rwanda, and Bujumbura, Burundi. We all know the context; church historian Timothy Yates sums it up: “It has been profoundly disturbing to many that areas such as Ruanda and Burundi, with a 90 per cent nominally Christian population, could be the context of ethnic violence of frightening savagery… The issue is whether such great numbers can be rooted, taught and nurtured, so that their Christianity is not superficial adherence but a deeply implanted moral and spiritual formation.” Archbishop Bernard Ntahouri needs no convincing, and he is currently looking to see how RinJ can be coordinated and supported right across the province.

In Kigali the conference, superbly organised by Diocesan Youth coordinator Manasseh Tuyizere, was attended by 75 youth leaders and 25 catechists. All of the Rooted in Jesus coursebooks were translated into Kinyarwanda before the conference began, and the delegates returned to their parishes eager to start Rwanda’s first Rooted in Jesus groups. Kevin writes that ‘it was clear from all we spoke to that this is a Diocese with a clear sense of strategic purpose, underpinned by a deep passion for God and the gospel.’ There were many testimonies of healing, repentance and forgiveness in both places – these, and the team leaders’ reports, can all be read on www.rootedinjesus.net.

In South Africa Rooted in Jesus is now run by Bishop Martin Breytenbach and Revd Trevor Pearce, and RinJ is spreading across the province. Reports from the Diocese of George say that “feet are being made brave and hearts are being opened to reach out into the community beyond the congregation” – and a lot of other things besides! Next stop, the Diocese of Natal.

Rumonge 2013 VS 3

Alison Morgan

http://www.rootedinjesus.net