REAP: A New Van for the Ruchs
WARNING: What you are about to read is a SECRET! Please do not disclose these details to any member of the Ruch family, and do not share it on social media.
REAP is our code name. It stands for Rector Epiphany Anniversary Present (and Party!)
In 2019, Bishop Stewart will celebrate 20 years as the rector (head pastor) of Church of the Resurrection. We want to honor and celebrate the years of love and sacrifice he has poured out for Jesus and his church.
For years, the Ruch family has driven an old 12-passenger van affectionately named "Abraham." This van is part of their family ministry, and they have shared it generously with the congregation and the community. Abraham is in continual disrepair, and frequently breaks down on family trips, famously resulting in a number of divine interventions on the side of the road. While these interventions make good sermon illustrations, we believe that it is time for Abraham to finally cross into the Promise Land, and retire from service.
On Sunday, February 24, we will hold a church-wide Surprise Party for Bishop Stewart, Katherine, and their children. It is our dream to present a brand-new van to the Ruch family, purchased with funds given from the thousands who love them and have received so much from them over the last 20 years of ministry.
In order to pull off this surprise, we are hoping to collect all of the funds well in advance of the party, in order to make the van purchase. Thank you for giving generously to honor and celebrate our beloved pastor, priest, friend, and spiritual father.
Please note that anything donated toward this rector anniversary gift is not tax-deductible.
A very generous donor is giving us a remarkable opportunity; they will match dollar for dollar all gifts given between now and January 22. For example, if you give $100, the anonymous donor will match it by also giving a $100. If you give a $1,000, they’ll match that too. And, the donor will keep on matching gifts up to a combined total of $10,000.
When we set the goal of buying the Ruchs a new van, it seemed like a huge mountain to climb. However, we’re now in sight of the top. If we combine new gifts of $10,000 with the $10,000 match grant, we’ll be able to buy the Ruchs a beautiful new van (and we mean “beautiful”). It’s hard to imagine how thrilled, blessed and shocked (!) the Ruchs will be when the church “draws back the curtains” to show them the new van, and then hands them the keys!
So, if you’re waiting to make your donation, please give as soon as you can, and certainly on or before Jan. 22.
There are a few logistical details which Go Fund Me requires us to convey. We have now established Madeleine Ruch, Stewart and Katherine's oldest daughter, as the beneficiary of all funds raised through Go Fund Me. Madeleine Ruch will be withdrawing the money for the van purchase. Go Fund Me requires the recipients of each campaign know about the money being raised on their behalf. Because we want this gift to be a surprise for Stewart and Katherine, they have agreed to let Madeleine serve as the beneficiary instead.
When I informed Madeleine about this Go Fund Me campaign and our hope to purchase a van for her parents, she was overwhelmed with gratitude and excitement. Madeleine was also very surprised-she was not aware of this secret and felt very certain that her family is unaware as well. (Thank you for your discretion!) Going forward, Madeleine's input will be instrumental in guiding us to a van which best suits the needs the Ruch family.
Once again, thank you for your love and support for the Ruch family. Plans regarding the 20th Anniversary Celebration will be forth coming from Church of the Resurrection.
Thanks for keeping this secret.
Happy New Year.
Nancy Longhurst for the REAP team.