From 28 to 30 July Rev. Stephen Pedro (MSS) with the assistance of the two CBR implementers, Revs Babalwa Sifuba and Moses Baartman, and Revs André Agenbag (MSS) and Bossie Muller (Communitas Trainer) facilitated a workshop at the AMCS in Wellington with a group of URCSA Cape bridge ministers.

At the recent SC meeting, Rev. Pedro got the mandate to continue with a process to utilize the expertise, experience and time of our bridge ministers to assist him in the accompaniment of our “vacant” congregations to become more missionally focused.

Although the bridge ministers are trained to accompany congregations through a faith discerning process during their period of transition and before the call of a new minister, most of our “vacant” congregations are not, and after the dawn of the COVID-19 pandemic, will not be in a position to call a new pastor.

They however have other needs and need to be equipped with tools to be able to face the challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic brought to the surface. They also have to deal with the opportunities that come along with the multicultural context in which we have to be church today.

We believe that our bridge pastors, who are trained to  accompany congregations in these various processes of faith discernment, faith formation and missional transformation are in the ideal position to help support congregations to attend to these challenges and opportunities.

Consequently, the past workshop was utilized to revise the bridge ministry modules to align it more with the URCSA context and challenges facing our congregations. The outcome of the workshop is to develop a roadmap for the way forward. It includes three phases: an assessment of the needs of “vacant” congregations, the interpretation of the data and the implementation phase.

Within the next two months they will develop the content of the roadmap and work on a structure as to how they will assist the MSS to attend to the needs of our “vacant” congregations. All “vacant” congregations can expect a communique from the office of Rev. Pedro within the next month with regards to this process and the questionnaire for the needs assessment.

During the workshop, the bridge ministers were also introduced to Contextual Bible Reading and the two CBR implementors facilitated a CBR under the theme of “Deepening unity” with them.

The training for the next group of URCSA bridge ministers will take place before the end of this year.

Contact Stephen Pedro at stephen@kaapkerk.co.za for more information.