It was a day filled with praise, joy and laughter when Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa (URCSA), Polokwane City congregation officially opened the state-of-the-art church worth R8 million on Saturday.
Dressed in their black and white church regalia, the congregation sung worship songs outside the facility as they awaited the grand opening by priests. The presence of the Almighty could be felt around the church premises. The church’s head of communications and publicity unit, Simon Mokoatedi said in its present location since 2014, URCSA Polokwane City began serving Polokwane and the surrounding areas and has continued to grow and be a vital part of the community for over three years.
He further said through the grand opening, the congregation gives thanks to the Almighty for the opportunity to have an impressive facility to call their own in the entire history of the church. Mokoatedi indicated that the facility was made possible by financial commitments from the congregants who made huge sacrifices by participating in a special fundraising campaign for two years to accumulate a whopping R8 million required for the facility. The church covers an area of approximately 0,57 hectares and includes a grand hall that may be used as a multi-purpose space complemented by a full service kitchen, several administrative offices, boardroom and an open lapa for social gatherings.
The celebration attracted the likes of Moderator of the General Synod of URCSA Rev Professor Leepo Modise who delivered a keynote address, Emeritus Rev Dr Mphakane Kupa who ascended the podium to deliver the scripture of the day. Kupa is one of the elders of URCSA and his teachings left the congregation asking for more.
Modise congratulated the congregation on its achievement but cautioned that it was useless to have a fancy facility that does not benefit the less privileged in any way. He said the church building is the resemblance of a temple of God in Jerusalem and reiterated that a church is a vital building in the society.
“In the kingdom of God there is always bread hence believers should look after the poor and try to alleviate poverty in communities. A church should address burning issues for it to successfully serve the communities. As Christians we should learn to share the little we have,” he stated.
Moderator of the Northern Synod Rev Ezekiel Moraka emphasised that if it was not for great team work, the congregation wouldn’t have succeeded in purchasing the church. He thanked the congregation for their commitment, church council and URCSA Polokwane City pastor Rev Moshe Maponya for leading the church in the right direction. He further said if the church council is made up of selfless leaders, there will be growth.
Rev Maponya thanked everyone who contributed their time, money and effort to make the project a success, adding that they were excited about the facility. He further said the building will allow them to expand their ministries, add new programmes and activities and serve communities better. Gifts from different congregations were given to URCSA Polokwane City and congratulatory messages were delivered on the day.
The congregation was housed at NG Pietersburg-Oos for a certain period before they could purchase the facility. Rev Tjaart Meyer from NG Pietersburg Oos was part of the celebration and congratulated the congregation for acquiring their new home.
Story and photos: ENDY SENYATSI