Board Update – July 2019

Jul 9, 2019Updates

The summer is here. I’m excited that the leaves are on the trees, the plants are in full bloom, the temperatures are up, the lawnmowers are humming, and the summer wardrobe has come out. What a great time of year!

At the bridge, we see summer as the ideal time to rest, restore, relate, and recreate. We build the schedule, and the services, around these themes. Life possesses rhythms, and it’s so important that we cooperate with them. Here is a standing invitation from Jesus: “Take my yoke upon you (walk with me…live with me) and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart (I will not drive you into the ground), and you will find rest for your souls.” – Matthew 11:29 (NIV)

Rest, restoration, relationships, and recreation are what summers with Jesus should bring into our lives, and I hope this is the case for all of us this summer. I will be taking some time to do so this summer and be away until August 12th.

Within this E-Letter, you will find several updates. A Property Development report from Kevin Aide, a Finance report from Tim Jenkins, and Board Nomination guidelines from Jey Anandarajan. We also take this opportunity to inform you of any ministry or staffing changes. We are getting ready for the fall and a great new ministry year ahead!

The latest ministry change relates to our Creative Arts and Worship Ministries team. Pastor Jeff Boadway has been the leader of these ministries, and together, he and I, have had the vision to see a broader vision fulfilled. We have been asking God to help us fully optimize the giftedness and creative abilities of everyone at the bridge, no matter the age or stage. We are all creatives; all called to worship God with great imagination. Pastor Jeff, myself and the Board have agreed that it’s time for the dream we spoke of two years ago to come into fruition.

When hiring Pastor Jeff, we envisioned a comprehensive Creative Arts and Production Ministry at the bridge. We saw the Gathering (Worship Experiences) as a place where all the arts could be utilized to communicate the truth of our amazing and majestic God. Pastor Jeff will be expanding this vision and leading us to a place where greater levels of creativity can be expressed. He and I will be planning out the worship experiences with this in mind. When we envisioned this a couple of years ago, we saw the release of the worship portion of the ministry to the oversight of a Worship Pastor; an added teammate. As announced during services a few weeks ago, this has become a reality. We are so excited that Darius McKoy is now part of the Creative Arts Team. Darius is but one more gift to the bridge, from God. Many of you experienced him leading us in worship in June, and this past Sunday was his first official Sunday as our Worship Pastor.

A huge thanks to each of you for your love and devotion to Christ, as expressed through your lifestyle of giving. Your service to Christ and His community and your generous financial support are what allows the bridge to make significant inroads to many mission fields and ministry areas.

Brian Childs |Lead Pastor

 

Board Nominations

Our next Annual General Meeting will be taking place on Sunday, November 17. It is a time when we reflect on the past year to thank God, look forward to the new season ahead in faith, and elect Board members to serve the church.

The Board Nomination Committee requests your prayerful engagement in the matters of our church and to nominate members to the Board. This year, three positions need to be filled. Current board member, Jon Roland is completing a 6-year term, thus will not be eligible for re-election. Other two members: Tim Jenkins and Winston Stewart are completing their first three-year term and are eligible for re-election. Therefore three positions need to be filled.  We want to thank Jon Roland, Tim Jenkins and Winston Stewart for serving on the Board so diligently.

The role of the Board member is to partner with the Lead Pastor in the overall direction, governance, and administration of the bridge, so as to guide the pastors and congregation towards God-honouring best practices and purposeful ends. Please visit the Board nomination webpage for information about our nomination guidelines, role description, qualifications, and to nominate members for the Board.

The nomination committee is comprised of Jey Anandarajan (Chair), Brian Childs, Bill Buck, Grace Lee, Joanne Williams, and Paul Yoon.

The Nomination Process and Timeline:

  • Jun. 16:  Board Nomination Opens
  • Jul. 13:  Board Nomination Closes
  • August: Board Nomination Committee reviews nominees and contacts those eligible
  • Oct. 13 – Nov. 16:  Present Names
  • Sunday, Nov. 17:  Annual Meeting

Based on the qualifications and your prayerful consideration, please consider nominating members to the Board. We want to thank you all for your engagement and commitment to serving God.

Jey Anandarajan  | Chair of the Board Nomination Committee

Finance Update

It has been a great year of ministry and impact. We are thankful for your generosity and for what God has provided. Giving and income are ahead of target, with many new givers contributing to the bridge this year. As a congregation, you answered the call and gave from your heart in financially supporting several families that experienced tragic loss from house fires this year. Expenses are also favourable to budget with very few unexpected expenses being received this year.

We thank God that on April 15, 2019, the sale of our 4.37 acres of unused property was completed.  This sale resulted in proceeds of approximately $15 million.  These funds have been designated for three specific purposes:

  1. To completely pay off the existing mortgage of the bridge
  2. To redevelop, renovate and expand the church building
  3. To establish a vision fund that will be used in the future to extend the influence of the bridge beyond its current location

Praise God as we are officially 100% debt-free.  The interest we once paid monthly to the bank will now be invested back into the ministry and mission of the bridge.  The rest of the sale proceeds will be held in conservative investments, restricted for the purposes listed above.

As we enter into the summer season, we also enter into budget season.  The development of the Annual Budget at the bridge is prepared by the Budget Committee in conjunction with the church staff. The fiscal year of the church runs in parallel with the ministry year—September to August. The staff spends countless hours developing their annual plans for the ministries they oversee and the resource requirements to achieve their ministry objectives. These plans are consolidated and presented to the Budget Committee.

The Budget Committee consists of staff, Board members, and congregation members. This group spends numerous hours over the summer months prayerfully developing financial plans for the church to ensure all the various ministries receive the funds they require. Scenarios are also designed to forecast the giving and income amount for the year ahead. Sometimes difficult conversations are had, and difficult decisions are made, but thankfully, our God is faithful and always provides.

Please pray for the staff and Budget Committee as they meet over the upcoming weeks to develop the 2019–2020 budget.

We encourage you to check out what will be happening at the bridge this summer.  As you enjoy the summer months, please join with us in ending the fiscal year strong. Consider using pre-authorized debit, post-dated cheques, or Pushpay (mobile or online giving) if you are traveling this summer. Thank you for your partnership in the mission and vision of the church.

Tim Jenkins | Chair of Budget Committee & Board Member

Facilities Development Update – July 2019

God’s hands are in everything around us; however, sometimes it’s more evident than other times.  Over the last couple of months, it has been incredible to see how God has put people and circumstances in place to guide us along the path toward our building expansion project.

After much waiting, we finally completed the sale of the land to Andrin Homes, a local developer.  The proceeds of the $15.25M sale have been used to pay down all debt obligations to the bank fully. The remainder of the funds has been restricted in their use; having been allocated to a future vision fund and for our building expansion.

The pace of our building expansion project is picking up dramatically. Most recently, we applied for and received from the City of Markham, a minor variance for parking.  As we sat through the application hearing and presented our case for requesting a variance, we heard positive comments about the bridge from a community member, as well as those on the committee, who ultimately rendered a unanimous decision for approval of our application.  This was a huge accomplishment as it cleared the path for us to continue with our site plan application.  This is but one of several examples of God’s use of the bridge, its people, and its property.

The completion of the parking variance also moves us to the next level of design where we will focus our attention on interior aspects of the building such as room design, security, lighting, sound, and mechanical elements.  We will also be focusing our attention on hiring a construction management company to assist in this detailed design, as well as managing the construction process.

I am anticipating the building committee will be busy advancing this project over the summer and fall months.  If all goes well, we hope to break ground before mid-year 2020, beginning what we expect will be an 18-month construction project.

The future of the bridge is one of excitement, not only for what will be our new building but more for how our property and facilities will serve God’s purposes, His people and make an impact in the community.

Kevin Aide | Chair of the Building Committee & Board Member

the bridge