Letter from the Church Council
With Easter past, we look to the coming days with new hope of the resurrected Christ that guides our lives and walks with us through life’s trials. In 2022, this newness of life is accompanied by new freedoms from restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic. For ACC, this means cautiously reopening our Sunday School, increasing the number of worshipers in our sanctuary, and in the coming weeks the ACC Council has agreed to resume after-worship tea time and to celebrate communion in the sanctuary. We thank God for these resumed freedoms, and pray that they can continue enriching our life together as believers.
While we celebrate newfound freedoms, others in our community struggle with crises of various sorts. For many years, Arusha Community Church has responded to many such needs through our Projects and Benevolence fund. Over the past two years, this fund was inactive due to reduced giving as result of the Covid 19 pandemic, but this year at our Annual General Meeting, we agreed to resume PBC spending, recognizing that it is an integral part of our ministry. In fact, the Bible tells us that serving the less fortunate is the very hallmark of what it means to be a Christian:
“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth (1 John 16-18).”
The Projects and Benevolence Committee (PBC), at the request of the ACC Council, has refocused its mandate to prioritize the following:
• Needs identified by members of our congregation who are willing to vouch for and follow up with the person in need
• Support of individuals, not institutions
• Short-term emergencies where a single donation can make a big difference (e.g. health crises, a house fire, etc.) rather than chronic or recurring needs.
To carry out this mandate the PBC needs your help!! We need your help in two major ways:
1. Help us identify those in need in our community. As noted above, individuals who are assisted by PBC must be brought to us by a church member who is willing to vouch for their need, and who is willing to follow up after they have received assistance. PBC request forms can be obtained from the ACC office. Members of the congregation, their relatives and employees cannot be recipients of PBC funds.
2. Help provide the financial means to fund this ministry. Our 2022 budget was an act of faith, pledging 10 million shillings to PBC, on the assumption that ACC members would step up and help us resume our external ministries by increasing their giving over last year. As of April, however, our income has not increased significantly. With our renewed mandate, PBC will begin distributing assistance this month. Please help us find the means to carry out this essential ministry!
Neil Miller – Council Member