BOARD UPDATE – March 2023
I hope you enjoy this latest edition of the Board e-Letter. It’s a communication piece that goes out three times a year, with the purpose of keeping you informed of what’s happening amongst us and/or around us.
That said, spring has not quite sprung yet, but there is newness and growth all around us! the bridge, your church, continues to see God’s blessing poured in and poured out. There are so many new people that have joined the journey of faith with us. Each week I have had the amazing privilege of greeting new attendees and new ministers. As a congregation, you have responded so well to the message Blessed to Serve from the latest series Blessed. Thank you so much for stepping up and helping each of us to get ready for the new things God is doing.
Speaking of new things, this Sunday, March 5th at 10:15 am, we will be in our new digs. Can you believe it’s been three years since we’ve met at 5440, 16th Ave? God has truly kept us, and I for one, am so very grateful. Thank you, Lord! I encourage you to come early to check out our new space, as well as get your children familiar with the Kidzone space. Our first service on Sunday will be a “family service” as we celebrate being back in our building together. Kidzone will start the following Sunday, March 12th and Sunday junior high starts March 19th. Our grand opening will be in September.
While we will be in the new building this Sunday, it won’t be entirely finished. We’ll have another couple of months of addressing deficiencies and some construction still around us. If you have any questions or see something that doesn’t look right to you, please let us know at [email protected] We appreciate your attentiveness.
Another project that we’ve been engaged in is the Building Hope Campaign. This ran parallel to the building project. Our goal was $1.5 million, based on projected shortfalls in reserves related to cost. We’ve raised pretty close to $1 million. By God’s grace and great project leadership, the projected shortfall will not be as steep as we had anticipated. Let’s keep praying as we move toward the project’s completion and see God do something very special.
I’d like to take a moment to thank Neil Maskery and Earl James for their leadership and promotion of the Building Hope Campaign. All things considered (COVID Outbreak and escalating costs for all), we did well in this endeavour. Thanks to all of you for your sacrifice.
And as we move into our new building, we’ve been so grateful for partners like The Olive Branch Church and Unionville Alliance Church that housed us during our transition. Here is a kind video from our friends down the road at UAC!
Thivyaa Thirukeswaran has been our Children’s Ministry Intern over this past ministry year. Thivyaa has also been studying in the Human Resource Field and will be moving into a co-op placement for the next few months. In light of this, we have reposted the Children’s Ministry Pastor position, so please, let’s all be praying for God’s provision in this important and life-changing ministry. Let’s also be praying for Thivyaa as she moves through this co-op opportunity and discerns God’s guidance for her future.
Below is a list of our present board members. It’s a privilege to have the pleasure of working with each of them. Thanks so much to Neil Maskery (3 years) and Winston Stewart (6 years), who finished their terms on the Board this past November. Each of them will be taking this next year to be renewed and will be giving thought to future leadership opportunities.
LIST OF BOARD MEMBERS:
As we transition into this exciting new season, we are grateful to God for providing us with a wonderful leadership team of the Board and staff to guide us through. There are great things ahead as we continue to be a bridge to our community; connecting people to God, each other, and our world. I look forward to seeing you this Sunday, March 5th at 10:15am for our “Homecoming” at 5440 16th Ave.
Bridge Property Update
The time has come for us, the bridge church, to return home – albeit, a much-changed version of the home we left 3 years ago when COVID began. After 5 years in the planning stages and 26 months of non-stop construction, we are finally in a position to gather again at 5440 16th Ave. While the new building shares some aspects of our prior building, so much has changed. 50% of our space is newly constructed. The existing auditorium has been expanded and equipped with a state-of-the-art sound and lighting system. The KidsZone spaces are creative, inspiring and safe. “The Loft”, shared by the Youth and Young Adults, is large, configurable, open and fun. “The Commons” provides a multipurpose room that will serve a multitude of needs every day of the week. The Atrium, with its lofty ceiling, integrated signage and the HUB café is welcoming, inspiring and communicative. Each aspect of our new space has been designed with intentionality and multi-purpose in mind and will be barrier-free.
This building is mission-focused! Coming back home allows us to restart many of the ministries that have been so missed, including Out of the Cold, youth and young adults sports nights, etc. Our new space will allow for new ministry uses to form as well.
As with many construction projects, the work doesn’t finish the moment we return. Construction will continue for several months, working on finishings, fixing deficiencies, installing the long-delayed elevator, and other changes. While we will have to work around these final details, it’s great to be home!
It is with immense gratitude that I wish to thank all those who have sacrificed their time, talents and treasure, both now and prior. This collective sacrifice will see needs met for many and the Kingdom of God expanded.
Chair of the Building Committee
Dear bridge family,
As we’re on the cusp of going “home” and final preparations are being made, I’m thinking a lot about The Parable of the Wedding Feast (Matthew 22: 1-14). Anyone who has attended a wedding can relate to the excitement of the reception. The thing that makes the Kingdom of God so awesome is that EVERYONE is invited. What’s our response? The challenge for you and for me is to choose to show up and to be a full participant at the banquet that has been prepared for us.
The Finance Committee will be meeting in early March to conduct a mid-year review of church finances. As a brief update, Total Operating Income was $664,000 through December (approximately $80,000 below target). Total Operating Expenses ($558,829) are less than budget by a greater magnitude than the Income shortfall, enabling Net Income to be on track as we enter 2023. In general, when less is spent, less ministry is being administered. We deeply desire to increase ministry.
As a reminder, our budget assumptions are more ambitious from March onward, and therefore I am prayerful that giving will accelerate as we return home to our new building. Thanks for your faithfulness and generosity!
Our Building Hope capital campaign has concluded. The campaign, which was led by Neil Maskery, showcased thoughtful planning, timely communication and many creative elements. On behalf of the Board, I wish to extend sincere gratitude to Neil and his team for leading us through this campaign and to all who prayed and responded. We raised $966,765!!! Donations are still welcome.
Building Financing Options
As the project approaches completion, the Board will prudently review the final costs of the project and all financing options to bridge the remaining gap. At our AGM in November, three options were outlined:
- Raise funds internally through the capital campaign (preferred option)
- Borrow funds via a Term Loan
- Access Vision Fund
No further action is required from the congregation, but we do ask for your prayers for wisdom and right decision-making in the weeks ahead.
Board Member & Chair of the Finance Committee