City News September 2013


One Million Reasons – September Update

As I and the operations team of City on a Hill reflect on the year to this point, we can't but thank God for the generosity of spirit He has raised up in the City on a Hill community this year. You'll remember that at our 5th birthday celebration, we launched City Steps — a bold three year vision and strategic plan for our community.

In service of City Steps, we also laid before City on a Hill the 'One Million Reasons' campaign — simply to raise $1,000,000 towards the vision of City Steps.

Undoubtedly One Million Reasons was a significant moment in the life of City on a Hill, asking our community to re-commit themselves and the resources God had given them to the banner of "knowing Jesus and making Jesus known".

From the perspective of City on a Hill's embryonic, 5 year history, the goal could have seemed at the time the stuff of fancy, yet we believed in the grace and power of our very big God.

In this update, now 11 months into the first year of City Steps and nearing the end of the One Million Reasons period, I am excited to tell you that we are on track not just to make the mark of 'one million reasons' but to exceed it.

Total giving to City on a Hill to the end of August (the 11th month of our financial year) has reached $947,227; some $37,000 in excess of our budgeted position.

We thus have great confidence that some time during the middle of September we will burst through the $1,000,000 mark, and by the end of September (our financial year) we will be several thousands of dollars in excess of it. Praise God! .. and praise Him again!

If you or your family have been involved in this remarkable work of God, on behalf of the pastors, wardens, staff and leaders of City on a Hill, we thank God for your generosity.

What does this mean for City Steps and the leadership of City on a Hill?

First, it means that the pastors and leaders of City on a Hill have felt, and continue to feel, immensely encouraged by the confidence in them and the City Steps vision that this overflowing giving represents.

Indeed, the initial response to One Million Reasons was phenomenal. We estimate now that around an additional $60,000 was contributed in the first months of this financial year (Oct-Dec 2012) to kick-start City Steps through the 'one-off' donations we asked you to contribute.

In short, when we saw the community of City on a Hill following through with their intentions to join us in this bold mission, the leadership experienced and continue to experience a wonderful sense of unity, strength and support amongst our people.

Which leads to the second significant consequence of God's gracious provision — that the leadership could move confidently to provision many ministry areas with the staffing and resources needed to get City Steps moving.

In January and February alone, in direct response to the the wonderful response to the One Million Reasons vision, we brought on or expanded the roles of 6 staff members:

Andrew Grills was appointed Lead Pastor of the exciting City on a Hill Geelong plant (goal 3: church planting);

Chris Colgan was brought on formally to the staff team to lead our Youth ministry both in schools, reaching over 200 students each week, and with our growing City on a Hill Youth group (goal 6: intentional mission towards youth);

Jim Davison's role was expanded in the Many Rooms ministry to oversee the provision of a weekly breakfast service in addition to the existing lunch service to the homeless of North Melbourne (goal 8: deepen networks of love amongst the disadvantaged);

Emily Lancaster was appointed to a new role — Connections Coordinator — to oversee our hard working and vital welcoming, connecting and supporting work towards newcomers to City on a Hill (goal 13: connections across the community);

Adrian Hargrave was appointed videographer and immediately set to work creating the amazing videos of the Hosea series (goal 24 & 25: world class media & generosity with it); and

Neil Castle was appointed to the new role of Executive Director (Ministry), to oversee all ministry activities at City on a Hill specifically including the City Steps program (all goals).

Moreover, the continued provision has meant that we've been able to bring forward some exciting new appointments.

For instance, Sarah Frewen-Lord, who was graciously working 2-3 days per week voluntarily as a research assistant to Lead Pastor, Guy Mason, and the wider pastoral team, from September 9 will be joining the staff in a paid capacity. This is an exciting and timely move which will continue to strengthen our commitment to the first 'flag' of City Steps: that City on a Hill continue to be known for its Biblical teaching and training. We are so thankful that we can honour and encourage Sarah in this work by making this move.

There have been many other significant steps that we've made towards the City Steps program this year in the areas of our venues, our equipment, and our ministry activities and missional outreach. For more details, I point you to the forthcoming ministry report, available at the end of October.

Right now the wardens and operations team, in concert with the ministry directors, are making important decisions regarding the budget for the 2013/14 financial year which starts on 1 October. I ask you to please pray for these decisions as we seek to proclaim God's glorious news in Melbourne and beyond.

As always, for details on anything to do with City on a Hill finances, giving, or our governance and policy frameworks, please do not hesitate to contact either myself or Executive Assistant, Alice Arnott.

If you'd like more information on giving at City on a Hill, then please head along to

Author: Simon Angus
Published: 10 Sep 2013

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