BOARD UPDATE – November 2022
Good day, and welcome to another edition of the Board E-Letter. Can you believe it is the end of October already? The summer sure went by fast. We were, however, excited to have been able to share the launch of a new ministry season with you in September. Hopefully, you were able to attend and enjoy some of the snacks/food trucks we had on site. Great things ahead!
The purpose of this E-letter is to inform you of any significant developments at, or through, the bridge.
Within this edition, you will find Board Nomination results, as well as updates on our finances, property development, and building campaign updates. Allow me to update you on what’s happening within our Staff & Ministry Team.
Children’s Ministry: Since our summer update, we have not yet filled the Children’s Pastor role. We have, however, seen God’s provision through Thivyaa Thirukeswaran, our new Children’s Ministry Intern. Thivyaa is giving administrative leadership to the children’s ministry team and does so with excellent organizational gifts. Pastors Emily, Sam, and Rod provide Pastoral leadership to the ministry. Please pray with us as we continue to transition toward leadership in this ministry. We want to thank our Pastors, Thivyaa, and the children’s ministry team as they continue to faithfully serve in this incredibly important ministry.
Church Ministry: Pastor Emily has assumed the role of Church Ministries Pastor where she oversees family ministries, adult ministries, OnMissions, Connections ministry, Membership, and our Discover classes. This role facilitates the coordination, calendarizing, and communication of ministry initiatives.
Groups Ministry: Pastor Anna is our Groups and Care Ministries Pastor. The Care initiatives of prayer, coming alongside the hurting, and seasonal groups, have now been folded into what we now call Groups and Care Ministry. It is our hope that a good part of care is facilitated and realized through our LifeGroups. We do, however, continue to see the need for care initiatives that are beyond the scope of the LifeGroups ministry. Anna will lead Groups and Care Teams that will assist the bridge in its desire to see people grow, heal, and reach out.
OnMission Ministry: Over the last five years, Deborah Childs has given attentive and inspirational leadership to our OnMission ministry. Out of the Cold, Coldest Night of the Year, refugee sponsorship, connection with our global missionaries, and promotion of our local partnerships have been some of the ministry initiatives that have grown and developed under Deb’s leadership. As of November, Deb will be taking a more focused role within OnMission, and Caleb Yeung will be overseeing the overall objectives and teams. Welcome aboard Caleb and thank you, Deb!
Communications: As of October, we have changed direction in our communication initiatives. Communications to a church (or any organization) is like breathing to a human. Without the exercise of it, there is no life. We wish to thank Earl James for pastoring and superintending our objectives in communications over the last several years. We have come a long way in our ability to connect within our church, and out to our community. Social Media, Websites, E-Letters, and a host of other tools are what we have been blessed with. In an overall renewal process in communications, you will see a combination of leadership initiatives that will take us through the next year. Pastor Emily, Pastor Jeff, and Paul Yoon will all be working in various areas to ensure that we and our community know who we are, where were going, and how we plan to get there.
So, as you can see…a little bit of movement and transition in the staff and ministry teams.
I also want to take this opportunity to invite you to our Annual General Meeting on Tuesday, November 22nd. Be sure to save the date as we will be voting in our new board members, and hearing updates on ministry, our finances, and property development. This will be an online meeting and I look forward to it being in person again when we meet in our new building.
I’m excited for what God has for us in the coming days. He has been so faithful in ensuring we have the right people in the right place, with the right abilities, doing the right things, with the right heart. Thanks be to God.
Board Nomination Update
Annual General Meeting:
Our next Annual General Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, November 22, 2022. Further details will be provided to you at a later date. It is an opportunity to reflect on and celebrate the past year, and look forward in anticipation of the year ahead. Pray with us as to what God would desire for us as a church for the upcoming year.
Board Member Election Process:
A recurring task at our Annual Meetings is to ensure that the church has seven Board members for the coming year. Of our current Board members, Winston Stewart has served for six years and thus is not eligible for re-election this year. Neil Maskery and Chrissie Shum have completed their first term, and are eligible for re-election. Thus, there are three Board positions that need to be filled. We would like to thank Winston, Neil, and Chrissie for serving on the Board so diligently.
The process of finding suitable people to take on the ministry role of Board member for the next three years began last August. This was shared with the congregation via announcements during the bridge in-person services, in the weekly e-blast memos, and on the website. The Board Nomination Committee would like to thank the members for submitting nominations, and for their prayerful engagement in the Board member selection process.
This year’s Board Nomination Committee is comprised of Pastor Brian Childs, Sonia Tan, Winston Stewart, Joanne Williams, and Jason Lam; I, Jey Anandarajan, serve as Chair. We received a total of 13 nominations, each of which was carefully examined to see if they met the basic qualifications as indicated in the bridge’s constitution. We were pleased and thankful to God that many of those nominated met the qualifications, and thus could be considered for the role of Board member. The committee took into account the needs of the church, and after prayerful consideration, we followed the constitutionally-directed process to select three nominees.
The next step was to determine, in partnership with the nominees, whether they felt they were being called into this role, and also had the capacity to fulfill the responsibilities. We are pleased to share with you that, after prayerful deliberation, these three nominees are willing to allow their names to be considered for the role of Board member:
The current bridge Board has approved the work of the Nomination Committee. The church membership will have the opportunity to accept and affirm, or reject, any of these names at the Annual General Meeting on Tuesday, November 22, 2022. I would like to thank the nominees for their willingness to serve in the Board ministry, and also thank the members of the committee for being part of this process.
Prayers and Encouragement for the Pastoral Staff and Leaders
Our pastoral staff and volunteer leaders have launched the new ministry season. Let’s uphold them in our prayers. It is their hope that the ministries would not only serve us, but also provide an opportunity for each of us to engage and find a place to serve one another and our awesome God. May God help us to face the new ministry season with wisdom, strength, and courage through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Thank you for your prayers and fervent engagement in the matters of the church.
Chair of the Board Nomination Committee
The Great Transition
My fellow Christ followers,
Given that our year-end financial statements are currently being audited, this financial update will tend to lean toward the qualitative side of the equation. More details will be given at our Annual General Meeting in November.
I doubt that I’m alone, but lately, I find it difficult to mark time. For example, I can’t exactly remember how we celebrated my eldest son’s 7th birthday as different from his 8th birthday. In drafting this update, I was uncertain for a brief moment, whether it was in the past year that Omicron broke out. But, here’s what I believe: God loves each of us enough to understand that we’ve been doing our best to find our way through the malaise of this pandemic. At the same time, I believe He’s calling us toward a great transition: from finding our way, to pointing the way (toward Jesus). I feel personally challenged to do my part in making this great transition. My prayer is that in the year ahead, we will fill the calendar with many unforgettable, relational and spirit-filled moments as we share The Good News of Jesus Christ with our community and the world around us.
What does this mean for finances? Simply put, the disruptions we faced this past year meant that some ministry plans were unable to be actioned. Accordingly, we ended up with an operating surplus despite general fund giving coming in below our forecasts. Over the summer months, the Board and the Finance Committee constructed a budget that would see us begin to point the way by investing a portion of unspent ministry funds into our re-opening of the new building.
As a leadership team, we thank you for your faithful giving and ask that you would continue to partner with us by generously sharing your financial resources, time, and energy with us as we navigate the great transition ahead.
Finally, if you happen to see any of Tim Jenkins, Chrissie Shum, Michelle Lai, Ken Mo or Cynthia Yoon around, please let them know how much you appreciate the tremendous effort they put into ensuring solid financial stewardship here at the bridge. I know that I surely do!
Board Member & Chair of the Finance Committee
Bridge Property Update
“Good morning, and welcome to the bridge church and our new building. God is SO good!” This short sentence has served as a goal line for me as it means we’re back home at 5440 16th Avenue. I frequently think about that first Sunday when we’re able to welcome everyone to our new building. How nice it will be to attend church on a Sunday morning. To fellowship with those who we haven’t seen in a long while. To witness God’s faithfulness expressed through bricks and mortar. And most importantly, to share in the anticipation of how HIS purposes will be realized through the people and property. At the centre of this project – going back to the earliest discussions of property sale and expansion – was the desire to see the treasures that have been entrusted to us not be buried, but rather invested in a manner that connects people to God. It is an investment that sees lives transformed and God’s love demonstrated in real and practical ways. Each square foot of this building is rooted in this purpose.
The goal line is now in sight – having our building fully operational early in the new year. I encourage each of you to look forward with anticipation of what will soon be and what God will soon do. It will not be long before the building at 5440 16th Avenue becomes the bridge church at 5440 16th Avenue. Let’s continue to pray for that day!
I invite you to attend the Annual General Meeting scheduled for November 22nd, where I will share more details about our church expansion project.
Chair of the Building Committee
Building hope campaign update
Hello Bridge family, I’ve been blessed with the unique perspective that comes from walking tours through our building on a weekly basis. I see the progress from one week to the next. I see our structure and space evolving and growing, and it’s foreshadowing the way our ministries will grow, evolve, and thrive when they start operating out of the dedicated and well-designed spaces being constructed to house them.
As I see the entrances and atrium settling into their final form, I’m reminded of a statement I made when we first launched our Building Hope campaign.
‘My wish for every person who calls the bridge their church home – is that they walk through the doors of our new facility for the first time, to look around, and take it all in. Knowing in their heart that they gave their best – contributing financially with inspiration from our creator in whom all resources flow.‘
My dream for this sense of belonging and fulfillment residing within each of you remains unchanged. If you have not engaged and given, there is still time. Sign up for a tour with me, see the space, ask your questions, imagine and envision the ministry impact, and then prayerfully consider what you should give.
This is the final development of our property. I reflect back on my own arrival at the bridge in the fall of 1998 and have witnessed 24 years of growth and property development. I see how the global influence of our church has grown, and alongside this influence, the conviction and credibility of our message of love and hope has likewise grown.
My family and I have given to every capital campaign at every stage of this journey since 1998. Join us; join your friends, life groups, ministry leaders, and Pastors. Choose to be part of Building Hope. Enter our new home in the new year, knowing deep in your heart that you played your unique part.
Board Member & Building Campaign Director