Welcome to the Jubilee Community Church 2019 Annual Review! If you are looking for some good news and encouragement this review is for you. Grab something to drink and set aside thirty minutes and you will be amazed at all that God has been up to amongst us in 2019.
Over the last year, by God’s grace, we have massively invested in the next generation, sought to be good news to the poor in a multiplicity of ways, intentionally built meaningful community and sought to make Jesus famous
in Cape Town.
Although we could have highlighted the scale of all we are involved in as a local church we are very aware that the Kingdom of God advances one life
at a time. In this years’ review there is a focus on individual life stories. Reading about one person’s journey helps us appreciate how personal God’s care is in each of our lives and the tangible difference He makes.
2019 also marked the formal retirement of David and Herma Adams from
the staff and eldership team at Jubilee. Dave and Herma have served magnificently on staff for over 25 years! They have modeled gospel partnership and long obedience in the same direction. Thank you so much
for your faithfulness to Jesus over so many years! You are heroes amongst us.
Finally, in closing I want to draw your attention to God. As you read this review I want you to be under no doubt that the main actor in the Jubilee story is God! In 1 Corinthians 4:7 Paul asks the Corinthian Church: ‘What do you have that you did not receive? [Implied answer nothing] And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?’
Theologian Gordon Fee commenting on this verse insightfully notes:
“What do you have that you did not receive?’ This is an invitation to
experience one of those rare, unguarded moments of total honesty, where
in the presence of the eternal God one recognizes that everything - absolutely everything - that one “has” is a gift. All is of grace; nothing is deserved,
Because that is true all our boasting is to be only ever and always about God and what he has done for us. May everyone who reads this review be aware that God is the source of every good work in our community and therefore glory and praise belong to Him and Him alone.
Stephen van Rhyn
On behalf on the Eldership Team
MESSAGE FROM STEPHEN
My family and I joined Jubilee in September 2016 when we were looking for a community church.
At the time, we were going through
a season of dryness where nothing seemed to be working and we so hoped for a river in our desert experience.
I trained as a pharmacist in my country and was going through the processes
of acquiring a pharmacist licence to practice here in South Africa.
After passing my professional examinations and asked by the South African Pharmacist council to acquire
a place to do an internship for at least 6 months things came to a complete halt!
When Stephanie and I started dating, we
had each been attending a different church.
After a couple of months, we had made a decision to find a new church that we would be able to attend together. In December 2018 we got engaged and started planning for our wedding in September 2019.
After praying about finding a church together, we decided to visit Jubilee in Observatory.
We really enjoyed the worship and the sermon and felt that this could be a great fit for us as
a couple. We met Darryn Wiehahn after the service because we aimed to join a life group as soon as possible, knowing it is one of the best ways to get to know people in the church. We attended Darryn and Charissa’s life group and absolutely loved meeting the other people in the group. We have been there ever since!
It has been an exciting year for the Kloof Street lifegroups. We have seen our people grow in their faithfulness and find real community as they do life together. As a leadership team
we started the year trusting God to add four new groups to the existing posse of life groups at the Kloof Street congregation. By his grace we celebrate new groups in Claremont and Hout Bay!
We have also seen a number of new people stepping up to lead groups which has been exciting. Ken and Jen Walton are two such leaders who have taken the reigns of their group after the original leader followed a
work opportunity to Germany.
2019 was an exciting year in our kids’ ministry. Our team flourished in one area in particular - kids’ worship.
It had been our vision for a couple of years to see the twice-a-term kids ‘praise party’ headed up by young musicians who could act as role-models in leading the kids into the presence of God through worship. In 2019 we saw this happen!
This year, one of our Jubilee students and Blaze leader, Fabian Pluddeman, agreed to lead the praise party band. It has been exciting to see what God has done through him during this year.
“Praise Party in 2019 felt like a leap of faith, exploring other ways in which we could worship God together. “ - Fabian
One of the hidden gems of Blaze’s weekly
rhythm is our schools’ ministry program known
as Scripture Union. During each week of term,
a team from Jubilee made up of staff and volunteers travels to three schools during lunch time. The schools in question are Oakhurst Girls Primary, SACS Junior and Rondebosch Prep.
Scripture union sessions include fun, games and a short bible lesson, followed by an invitation to our Friday ministries (Blaze and Eternity). Being able to serve the schools and families is a true blessing and we are grateful for the gospel partnerships with local schools.
Each year Jubilee has volunteers serving on our team, often assisting with kids work for a year. This is a great opportunity to foster spiritual growth and build community. The volunteers regularly participate in scripture union and are often encouraged to run games and lead talks, although this can be a daunting experience
when faced with a room of 25 energetic children bouncing off the walls.
Joshua is one of our Eternity boys, currently in Grade 6. He grew up attending church regularly and made his first confession of faith when he was seven years old.
As he recounts the journey though, he didn’t understand what that meant in its fullness. There was no dramatic change in his life or encounter with the Holy Spirit. He said he never really changed his behaviour, or felt compelled to do so.
All of that changed during our Eternity camp earlier this year during an evening session on the Holy Spirit. During worship, after the session, Josh said he was really paying attention to the lyrics of the songs.
“Something was missing” recalls Josh. “I felt lost without God. The words of the songs that night felt more powerful.”
This has definitely been a year of contrasts for me. Coming from a failed relationship and an unrelenting academic schedule, it was really God’s grace that kept me going. Even though
this year was tough in many ways, my relationship with God has really grown. I’ve been blessed with new friends at Jubilee and have been fortunate enough to serve on an incredible Gravity team.
Earlier this year, I joined a life group for the first time. Despite being at Jubilee for many years,
I always struggled to make friends at youth and generally preferred staying in the main service
to avoid going downstairs. That all changed this year, when I decided to make Jubilee my home and join a life group.
The Mustard Seed House opened at the beginning of 2019. Our goal is to provide a safe place for vulnerable young women from the Salt River area between the ages of 18-30. We aim to care for young women holistically through – education, discipleship, and work-readiness training.
The first resident to move into the Mustard Seed House was Fazlyn. Fazlyn first heard about the house from some friends she was living with under a bridge. She was immediately excited when she heard about our house because despite her dire situation, she still aspired to a better quality of life. She had decided that if there was an opportunity to get out of her current living situation, she would take it. This would be her first step on a new journey.
"In this day and age many men are growing up without a father or any father figures in their life, and even if you did grow up with a dad being around, the world shouts at men to hold everything together.
They say to not show emotion, to be strong, to roll with all the punches, and that you as a man don't need help.
Now if you are a fan of studying history and cultures like I am, you may have realised that
this phenomenon only started occurring within the last 200 years. Before that every tribe, every culture, and every group of people of every race had a society of knowledge and wisdom being passed down and taught from one generation
to the next.
2019 has been a little quieter on the project front, after an intense previous year that included the acquisition and renovation of the Mustard Seed house in Salt River. God remains faithful in His provision, both financially and relationally.
All the homes Level Ground has purchased over the years have been miraculously provided. Looking back we cannot help but stand in wonder at how God has arranged it all.
The recipients and occupants of these homes have all been connected to Level Ground through the Jubilee community. The small amount of faith we have brought has been multiplied by our Lord, as we have walked in faith, each bringing our own small ‘talents’.
Health and Pregnancy Center
Fourteen years ago this Christmas, two souls arrived in Cape Town from opposite ends of the world, one from England and the other from India. Together with a beautiful and compassionate South African nurse, they birthed the Jubilee Health Centre (JHC), a dream conceived by
the Jubilee elders years earlier.
A young local family was part of our first cohort
of patients. Come 2019, their “little girl” became a mother herself! What a privilege it has been to walk through life’s varied avenues with this family, through joys and sorrows, heartbreak and encouragement; and now to celebrate and help care for a new life entrusted to them.
Recently a 16 year old and her mum from a local community visited us. As is our practice we asked what she wanted Jesus to do for her, before praying for her at the end of the consultation.
Her reply, “I want to start a journey with Him,” was music to our ears, capturing the very reason for our existence.
Jenny Witten runs Jubilee’s Mercy store.
The store is located in the Observatory building and is home to an array of donated, gently used clothes, shoes, kitchen utensils, linen, blankets, toys and books.
The store serves folk in a variety of ways every year. Twice a year, Jenny and her team invite residents from Salt River/Observatory and groups connected to Jubilee from Langa to come and buy clothes and other goods that they need for their families. The items are nominally sold for
R1 and R2 each.
Further to that, every week on a Tuesday morning homeless people – mainly men - come to the building to receive clothes and blankets.
ImagineKnit is a community knitting initiative where women can be creative and productive, learn new skills and be affirmed. It is more than
a means of income, it’s a place of friendship, community and meaning.
The ladies participate at no cost, and work together to produce beautiful hand-knitted blankets. These blankets are then sold and profits are split between contributors.
Some of the women are homeless and unemployed, some have occasional or part-time employment. For all of them every bit helps.
Sandra, who grew up in Cape Town, left school
to work full-time at the age of 13. Her first job was at the bioscope in town, but for most of her adult life – 30 years! – she worked in the cutting room of a clothing manufacturing company.
At the age of 50 she was made redundant.
GROW is an Urban food garden, at Jubilee Community Church Centre in Observatory.
The garden was established in 2016, in an area
of unused land which was previously a rubble dump next to the railway line!. God has taken a rubble dump and transformed it into a flourishing garden which provides food, a place for purposeful work, builds community and displays His abundant life and provision.
Our goals are to:
Build our community via inclusive, voluntary work in the garden with people of diverse cultural and socio economic backgrounds
Grow vegetables organically.
Once harvested, a portion is donated to those in need via existing ministries and the rest sold to improve the project’s sustainability and provide funds for job creation.
Education Restitution Initiative
The Jubilee Education Restitution Fund
has been active for decades.
In 2017 we made the decision to expand the initiative’s mandate in response to the non-financial barriers to education which need to be acknowledged. The goal was to create a vehicle for church members to contribute to restitution
in these areas.
The Education Restitution Initiative (ERI) now includes: a fund which provides financial assistance for tuition for South Africans, a weekly homework club which provides a quiet and safe space to work with supporting tutors and educational resources, administrative assistance for applications to education institutions and what we call 'education journey support’.
Ben Kabengela was referred to Beth Uriel six years ago by a local church in Mowbray.
Ben’s story, like my others, was one of
He had an argument with his Father that turned into a physical battle between them. His father took out a restraining order and Ben was not allowed home.
The church where they were active members took Ben in hoping that the matter would be resolved quickly and that he could return home again. Unfortunately that was not the case and as a result they reached out to Beth Uriel for help.
Beauty for Ashes (RF) NPC is a registered
non-profit organisation (NPO) working with female offenders while in prison as well as
after their release. Beauty for Ashes works in partnership with the Department of Correctional Services to secure successful reintegration
The initiative opened a Halfway House Project in 2003 that focuses on the successful reintegration of female offenders into society by offering them a temporary place to stay after their release from prison. Their stay in the halfway house consists
of various forms of assistance in order to reach the desired goal of reintegration and rehabilitation. Beauty for Ashes has two halfway houses in Observatory and has operated throughout the years under the covering
of Jubilee Community Church.
Cinderella … More Than Just Another Fairy Princess Story!
Cinderella’s Wardrobe started in 2016, initiated by Jo Loizides. It is ministry to serve girls who can’t afford to buy or hire a dress for school dances and ceremonies.
Through this project, Girls are able to borrow beautiful dresses (mostly donated) for Grade 7 and Grade 12 dances. Buying and commissioning a dress is obviously expensive, but having access to our wardrobe allows these ladies to look their best without the pressure, should their parents not be able to afford it.
One happy Aunt said "Kelsy could not afford a matric ball dress then I heard from a friend about Cinderella's Wardrobe. We went to look at the dress and Kelsy picked a dress which meant so much. Our neighbours could not believe how stunning she looked, like a princess!"
Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food
will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge
the harvest of your righteousness.
You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.
2 Corinthians 9:10-11
Finance Report for 2019
2019 was a year of ups and downs. It was a tough year economically around the world,
yet tithes grew by 2% on 2018, largely owing to church growth – in particular growth in the Kloof Street congregation. There were also generous gifts into the Social Ministries, though they decreased from a remarkable 2018.
There was much to celebrate - individuals continued to grow in God, came to new faith
in Christ, were baptised, filled with the Holy Spirit, and added to the church community.
The children’s work had a particularly fruitful year and is growing well at both morning meetings. Many serving in this area have found real community and enjoyment.
We continued to host fun community-building events including our ever-popular dinner dance and once again we concluded the year on a high note with Christmas Cape Town Style – a large special carols celebration with the Cape Town Gospel Choir
and full orchestra.
It was a particularly tough year pastorally, so some budgeted events did not take place.
We finished the year with lower than expected spending on some budgets as a result.
We did make use of this to build capacity back into the staff team. Staff expenses increased by 8,6% but we ended the year with a strong team with some excellent new additions.
More importantly, the Lord knew what was coming, and unusually we entered into 2020 with a surplus, which allowed us to be generous and much thanksgiving to God during
a global pandemic.
2019 was our final year of the formal 10-year partnership we have so enjoyed with the Rapperswil-Jona Evangelise Swiss Church and also the Mergon Foundation – both of whom have contributed generously to our finances. We continue to remain relationally close to these partners and are grateful to God that we connected.
We are also particularly enjoying being landlords to Common Good, the social ministry arm of our close Advance partner church, Common Ground, as they so excellently serve some
of the vulnerable people in our great city – and pay us rent! In 2020 we will continue to work together with so many good ministries to serve Cape Town and highlight the goodness of God.