Board Update – March 2018

The purpose of these eblasts is to inform and invite. The information shared is what we refer to as “membership matters” … constitutional, governmental, organizational, and ministerial matters.  Bylaws, policies, finances, church health, ministry initiatives, church membership, and staffing are all items that we have been communicating through past editions.

While the eBlast is focused towards members, we are hopeful that it will contribute to greater engagement by everyone who is participating in and partnering with the bridge.

The invitation offered is for feedback and further growth.  As they say, “Feedback is the breakfast of champions!”.   As an engaged member or attender of the bridge, we want to hear from you.  Your suggestions, thoughts, and concerns may just end up initiating something new, something effective.  So, don’t hesitate.  May I encourage each of you to always be working on your relationship with your church; communication is key, and dialogue is healthy.

One of the ways to be inspired in your membership and engagement is to attend Discover the Bridge and Discover Your Purpose.  These two regularly offered classes will orient you towards the beliefs, vision, values, and methodology of our church.

In this edition of the eBlast, you’ll be caught up on staffing, finances, property development, and growth pathways.

As to staffing…not much has changed since our Annual Meeting this past November.  Our newest staff members – Jeff Boadway (Worship and Creative Arts), Rod Cohen (Youth – Vibe and Fearless), and Anna Anandarajan (Care Ministries and Seasonal Groups) – are learning our church staff culture, and are growing in their new roles.  Sam Chung is adjusting well with Young Adults ministry and continuing to build relationships.  They report that they are loving life, serving at the bridge…and each senses a confirmation of their life’s calling.

Staff roles that are under development for our future are, Office Coordinator, IT Director, OnMission Director, and Children’s Ministry Associate Pastor (concentrating on ages 0-5).

At our November Annual Business Meeting, it was communicated that a subcommittee would be struck to review the Board election process and that a members meeting would be called in order to provide an update and approve of any by-law changes.  The members meeting will take place on Sunday, June 3, after the 11:15am service.  Please save the date on your calendars.

Between now and mid-June, all the planning will be ramping up for the 2018-19 ministry season.  Feel free to speak into this time of planning, and please be praying for your church and leaders.

Brian Childs, Lead Pastor

 

Financial Update

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you, the congregation and membership of the bridge, for your generosity and faithfulness.  Your partnership through your financial giving impacts the ministries of the church and, in turn, transforms lives.  Our operational expenses are funded by you and every dollar received is spent on the ministries and mission God has for us.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the pastors and staff for the fiscal responsibility and stewardship they continually demonstrate as they manage God’s resources.  It was not until I joined the Board that I began to appreciate the complexities of running a church like the bridge.  Much time, effort, prayer and energy is spent behind the scenes developing ministry plans, building budgets, staff and resource planning, maintaining the building and equipment, running the office, paying bills, managing cashflow, etc.

Our fiscal year runs from September to August so we are at the half way point, a great time to reflect on where we sit financially.  At the end of February, with thankfulness, we are able to report that over $964,000 has been raised through your giving, an amount that represents 66% of our annual target of $1.466 million.  We have also been encouraged to see over 80 new givers this fiscal year.

At this time, there are two items we would like to highlight:

  1. Pushpay, a mobile giving app, was introduced in the fall as our new texting and online giving method at the bridge. Thank you to those who have adopted this new method as 17% of our year-to-date giving has been received through this channel.  If you would like more information on our giving methods, such as pre-authorized debit, giving envelopes, etc., go to thebridgemarkham.com/give.
  2. At the November 18 Annual Business meeting it was communicated that the bridge would be consolidating its designated funds into the General Fund. This change has been reflected on our giving envelopes and on Pushpay.  This change will now allow OnMission to function just like all of our other ministries and will no longer be limited to operate within just the funds collected as “OnMission”.  Giving for Facilities has also been consolidated into the General Fund.

As I close, I ask that you continue to prayerfully consider your financial participation at the bridge. The months ahead have significant expenses as we continue to plan with our architect and work with the City on the next phase of our building project.  Great ministry programs are planned for the spring and summer as we continue to spread our influence and make an impact in our community.  Join with us financially, great things are to come.

Tim Jenkins, Board Member

Facilities Development Update

The property serves the purposes of Christ in a principled manner.  This mantra has been spoken many times as the Building Committee met and has been a guiding principle as we progress toward the design of the bridge’s new space.  It’s has been no easy task in designing this space as so much needs to be considered.  As we work towards a final design, there are many more factors to understand than simply each ministry’s space requirements. It is important to be thoughtful about the flow of people through the church and their experience along the way.  We also need to consider guests who are attending for the first time and are not familiar with our church.  Natural light can create a very positive environment but it can also make it hard to manage ministry environmental needs, so we are thoughtful about how we use glass to allow light through. Our facility will become “barrier free” so that everyone will be able to move around without limitations.  Our children and youth are incredibly important to us and our new space will implement the best “plan to protect” design features.

The Committee has met many times with the architect.   Church staff have reviewed multiple drawings and have provided their feedback.  Each iteration of this process has yielded a design that is incrementally better.  The constructability of the new space has also been a prime consideration as it’s important to minimize the impact to ministry during the 12-18 month construction period.

The Building Committee is pleased that we’re at the stage where our design has been submitted to the City for site plan approval.  Over the next 4-6 weeks, the City will evaluate our design and the look of the building to ensure that it conforms with their expectations for curb appeal.  The City will then provide their comments on what we need to change and what variance requests might be required.

We ask that you continue to pray for our Committee and the City Planners who are reviewing our designs and processing our project application.

Kevin Aide, Chair of the Building Committee & Board Member

*Subject to change as required
*Subject to change as required

Engagement:  It’s a Journey!

Engagement with any group of people is a journey!

Meet Teresa: Teresa walked into the bridge late this past summer.  She was moving toward God again after some time away, and a good friend had been encouraging her to return to church.

When she walked in that day, she experienced warm greetings at the front doors.  The people were friendly and invited her to enjoy a coffee in the Hub before the service.

In the service, she saw a diversity of both the people sitting around her and the staff.  She could see that she might belong here!  The music was enjoyable and the sermons were understandable.

When a call came from the platform to get connected, Teresa took the step.  Not only did she sign up for Starting Point, but she also connected into a LifeGroup.  Starting Point helped her understand about Jesus, and about Christianity.  The LifeGroup helped her to digest the Sunday sermons and to see how her life could reflect Jesus.  She also loved meeting other people and felt very comfortable with them.

Oh yes! Teresa attended Discover the bridge along this journey, which helped her understand what she was getting into, and why things were done the way they were.

A number of weeks later, when there was a invitation to consider baptism, Teresa again knew this was for her.  Although she had always wondered if she was good enough, or if she knew enough, she was encouraged to take the step – all she needed to know was that Jesus was her Saviour and a desire to follow Him.

Recently, Teresa attended Discover Your Purpose and walked into the room SO PUMPED that this was offered!  Her faith had been growing as she learned more about God, and now to be able to use her gifts to serve God and her church was amazing, and honestly quite astounding.  At the end of the workshop, as I debriefed with her, she signed up to serve, and she is so excited for what the future holds.

Teresa’s journey into the bridge family has been a rapid one!  Not everyone connects that quickly.  But it is well known that just attending a church does not help people grow, nor does the church grow.  It is when people become engaged in both community and serving that the trajectory of both changes.  Teresa’s life will never be the same!

This is what gets me up in the morning and what keeps me awake at night!  I love my job because I get to create pathways and environments which lead people to an engaged life with Jesus and His church.  An abundant, rich life.

Karen Heppner, Pastor of Assimilation

the bridge