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.
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.
If you would like to help, there are various options:
- 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:
- Take out a standing order – regular support is the most valuable as it enables us to budget
- Ask your church or your diocese if it would be willing to support RinJ either regularly or by offering a one off grant.
- Put us in touch with any grant making bodies who you think might be able to help us.
- 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
“Go, and make disciples … who will teach others also”
Matthew 28.19 & 2 Timothy 2.2