February 24, 2021
As we come to you with this latest update, first and foremost, we give glory to God for all that he is doing in our church family and in his church throughout the world. It is evident that the Lord is at work and we’re grateful to be a small part of it.
We are also deeply grateful for your prayers and support for our team of elders, staff, and volunteers as we look to honour the Lord in fulfilling the Great Commission during some very challenging times. We do so because the LORD is in control and accomplishing his purposes. To the shattered nation of Israel he said, “My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose…I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass; I have purposed, and I will do it.” (Isaiah 46:10-11). We rest in that and join him in his work.
2020 year-end financials
We had the sense as the year was progressing that things were going quite well financially. As a result of COVID there were reductions to certain budget lines but there were also many new expenses that we had not faced before this unusual year. In March 2020, we met to plan for expected lower giving and adjusted the budget accordingly. But you surprised us! The Lord provided all that we needed and far more through your faithful giving week by week. We posted a healthy surplus which was moved into our reserve/savings, some of which was used to pay down that pesky second mortgage.
The full financial picture from 2020 will be presented at the Annual Members’ Meeting in June after our accountant has reviewed the financials and given them his stamp of approval. For now, here are some highlights:
- We posted a revenue over expenses surplus of $107,885 in 2020. The accountants will adjust this number with respect to depreciation and interest payments;
- Regarding our loans, our second mortgage balance is now just $58,484 at the lower rate of 5.25% and will be paid off or rolled into the first mortgage this coming December when we renew; the outstanding balance on the first mortgage (purchase of 7 George Street facility) is $2,221,500;
- The sale of bonds was successful with $439,000 in bonds now being held by our own members. A second issue of bonds will be made available this spring and will help us reduce the mortgage principle before we renew;
- The following balances reflect our current financial position:
|Designated Building Reserve
As elders, we want to express our gratitude to our finance team for the work they have done this year to ensure the integrity of our processes. We also want to thank Wendy Brouwer, our finance and human resources director, for her tireless work managing it all.
The Salvation Army Bayside Mission
Thank you for your support for the Bayside Mission. Pastor Todd had originally reported that a cheque of $10,545 had been sent. Once the dust settled on the year-end though, we were able to send them a second cheque for $5,065 for a total of $15,610! That’s awesome! Now that our Christmas effort has wrapped up and we are not receiving further donations for the Bayside Mission, any gifts you’d like to send their way should be given through their website.
Site pastor search for Alliston
We will be posting the job description on various search sites soon and will be asking God to lead us to a great pastoral candidate to lead our effort to plant a new Harvest site in Alliston. Anyone can contribute directly to the Alliston Plant Fund through the regular giving methods. All donations received will be used exclusively for Alliston.
Affiliation decision progress
After more than three years of being unaffiliated, the elders have all but completed the process of choosing the network of churches that we will partner with. A provisional decision has been made and we are calling on the church to take some time over the next 14 days to fast and pray and seek God’s face for this important decision. Barring any check from the Lord, on Tuesday, March 9 we will make the final determination and begin the assessment process with this group. Our goal remains to be affiliated by April 1.
Worship pastor/director search
The search for a worship pastor/director was put on hold due to the cascading restrictions related to the pandemic. As these restrictions begin to ease, we will resume our search in earnest. Please continue to pray that the Lord directs us to the man of his choice. The elders would like to thank Joel Dugard for his ongoing work as our interim worship director. As many of you know, Joel stepped into the interim role after the departure of our previous worship pastor, Jordan Donald. Since that time, Joel has done a remarkable job leading our worship team, particularly during the many changes to our worship format driven by the pandemic. Joel’s employment contract with the church will be complete on or before December 31, 2021. The elders wish Joel and Meggan God’s continued blessing as they seek his will for what’s next in their life and ministry.
Elder candidate progress
We are actively working with one candidate for elder and would appreciate your prayers for us as we meet with him in the coming weeks. His questionnaire has been submitted, and we have reviewed it carefully. The next steps include interviews with the candidate and then with the candidate and his wife. If we are in a place to go forward, he will be invited to the elders’ meetings as a trial elder for a period of time to assess his suitability to be serving in this role. Again, please pray for us as we walk through this process in the coming months.
We are also open to looking at other candidates. If you have someone in mind, please submit a letter of commendation to the elders concerning the man you’re thinking of.