The Fall season is always a busy one here at the bridge and staff and ministry initiatives are now in full swing. Leadership orientation and team building is all around. Our Summer series gives way to our Fall representations of God’s Word. Vision is cast, clarity is found, alignment is blossoming, and new people are taking full advantage of each of these offerings.
In September, we launched all our ministries and it was great seeing so many people interact with the different ministry booths. We also had our grand opening for the building and saw over 800 people from the church and our community come together and experience this wonderful event here at the bridge. Thank you to the 100 volunteers who helped make this happen.
If you and I were to take a step back, we would be able to see all that God has done, is doing, and is leading us toward. I just heard today that of the 50 registrations for our new cardio dance class, 39 of those will be making their way on to our church property for the very first time. Amazing.
Come and hang out at the bridge facilities any night of the week and you’ll catch the excitement of ministry objectives being fulfilled. Weddings have been had; funerals too; prayer meetings, planning meetings, preparation training, and strategic development are all in full swing. It truly is an exciting time of the year.
In this Board/Pastor Update, you will experience some good reports of God’s faithfulness—Board nominations, building project development, and financial stewardship. I appreciate each one who has contributed to this communication.
Here’s just a few pastoral & ministry updates:
• Pastor Sam is transitioning towards a half-time role as our Young Adults Pastor. He has recently taken on a part-time chaplaincy role in an amazing private school here in the GTA.
• Our dynamic duo of Thivyaa and Veronica continue to do great work in our Children’s Ministry.
• Pastor Rod has launched a new season of both Friday night and Sunday morning Youth. If you are interested in exploring and contributing to our Junior High ministry on Sunday mornings, we’d love to hear from you!! Rod is building his team.
• The Board and I have approved the hiring of a part-time Assistant Youth Pastor for our youth ministry. Pastor Rod and I will be starting to look for the right person.
• We are also working towards a part-time hire in the OnMission ministry. Please be prayerful as we move in this direction.
• We would like to welcome Anki Lam, who has joined us as our Groups Ministry Pastoral Intern. We want to thank Allore Franklin, who has been our Groups & Care Ministries Admin. Assistant. She will taking time to focus more on her field of training. We are happy to have Pauline Leung joining the team in this role. It’s an exciting team!!! As a LifeGroup Leader, myself, I feel so wonderfully supported by Pastor Anna and her team.
• Pastor Anna also oversees the Care Ministry. In order to continue to support this ministry, we will also be looking for a part-time intern in the new year.
• Pastor Jeff reports that his productions team is evolving and growing. He is so happy to be fully leveraging the new facilities, but also just as happy to have the actual project in the rear-view mirror.
• We would also like to welcome Kathy Mo back to the staff team as our part-time Communications Manager.
• Pastor Darius has initiated some very purposeful design that affects our worship experience each Sunday. He has revived the idea of a church choir and has recruited towards it for our Christmas Eve services.
Oh my friends, my co-labourers in Christ, so many good things are happening. I hope you are a witness to it, and fully engaged in God’s agenda here in this community. I encourage you to join us for our Family Sunday on November 26. We will be celebrating with others through baptism and then gathering at our Annual General Meeting after service, where you will hear additional ministry and operational updates. Thank you—a hundred times “thank you”—for all you have been doing when it comes to supporting and creating ministry expressions here at the bridge.
Please give this e-Letter a good read and let us know if you have any feedback or thoughts with regard to anything in the report.
We’re done, but the journey has only begun!
Just shy of 8 years ago, the process that led to our building expansion project started. Much has happened over this time. Throughout this process, I’ve shared our progress updates through e-blasts, videos, and in-person. I’ve often spoken about keeping our eyes on the goal line—the completion of the building expansion project—and to envision how the completed facility would serve the ministries of the bridge church.
The project is now done! The building is fully functional, including the long-awaited elevator. Every square foot is now being put to use for God’s purposes. The next chapter of the bridge’s story has just begun because the building project was never about bricks and mortar; rather, it was about realizing every ounce of potential from our location at 5440 16th Avenue. The physical was just a means to accomplishing the spiritual goal.
So, as I write this final project update, instead of looking back at the project and reflecting on the process and what was accomplished, I’d like to focus on the now and the future. Together, let’s envision what has already started and what will soon be. Just this past weekend, I took my daughter to Sr.High Youth Night in the Loft, and happening at the same time in the Auditorium was the Centre for Dreams’ Awards Night. Earlier in September, we had our grand opening and we saw many from the church and our community flow through the building. How exciting it was for me to see the building being full of life with different uses, but ultimately for God’s purposes. There is so much more going on and even more to come.
In conclusion, I’d like to say “thanks”. Thanks to all of those who call the bridge home; to those who give of their talents, treasure, and time to reach our community. The next chapter of our journey has just begun. God has been good and will continue to be so.
Chair of the Building Committee
My brothers and sisters in Christ,
On behalf of the Board, it is a privilege to update you once again on the financial picture here at the bridge; however, given that our year-end financial statements are currently being audited, this update will be more descriptive than numerical. You can expect a comprehensive update at our upcoming Annual General Meeting on Sunday November 26, 2023 at 12:30pm.
At this time, our initial unaudited results point toward a fiscal year in which we should end with either a modest cash deficit or surplus (in other words, we expect to be close to break-even). From a giving standpoint, we should conclude the year around 5% below our initial budgeted figures, but the near break-even result was achieved due to: i) the timing impact of delayed occupancy of our new building; ii) the favourable outcome of not accessing a bank loan to fund the completion of the project (interest expense was included in projections); and iii) good stewardship of expenses by pastors and staff.
Over the summer months, the Board and the Finance Committee completed financial preparations and forecasts for the coming fiscal year. The ultimate conclusion was that the entire leadership team is prayerful that 2023–2024 will be a year wherein we will see a spectacular outpouring of generosity such that the bridge might reclaim—or even exceed—the prior peak giving level that was achieved in our fiscal year ending August 2020. The church’s leadership sincerely believes that reducing expenses any further will likely prove to be extremely challenging. Greater GIVING is the most viable path forward. May the bridge be a church that lives out the teachings of Proverbs 3:9, which exhorts us to “Honour the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops.”
As always, I’m appreciative of the faithful contributions of the Finance Committee members at our church. Thank you to Michelle Lai, Kenneth Mo, Tim Jenkins, Chrissie Shum, and Cynthia Yoon for their partnership!
Board Member & Chair of the Finance Committee
BOARD NOMINATION UPDATE
It is our hope that you are facing the fall season with faith, whether it be a time of transition or status quo—if there is really a state like that. As the apostle Paul had resolved within himself, from the comforting words he heard from Jesus, telling him, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9). I draw so much comfort from this scripture that our God is with us in all seasons of our lives. Now to some church matters.
The Annual General Meeting will be held in person on Sunday, November 26 at 12:30pm. More details to follow. 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 this coming year.
This year, three board positions are open to be filled by qualified members. Chase Bethel has completed his second three-year term; Sonia Tan has completed her first three-year term; and Kenneth Mo is stepping down as his wife, Kathy Mo, has joined the bridge staff team.
The process to find suitable board members to fill the vacant positions started in September. The process and timeline were shared with the congregation at the Sunday, September 3 service. At that time, the congregation was invited to nominate members to fill the vacant positions. We received a total of 15 nominations. The Board Nomination Committee would like to thank you for making nominations and for your prayerful engagement in the new board member selection process.
The Board Nomination Committee is comprised of Dorine Chan Kwong Hian, Pamela Li-Chung, Pastor Brian Childs, Bill Buck, Kenneth Mo, and me, Jey Anandarajan, serving as Chair. The timeline for the process is as follows:
|Board nomination opens
|Board nomination closes
|September 27 to October 25
|Committee reviews and contacts those eligible for the role
|Determine qualified list of names to present to the membership
|Present qualified names to the membership
|Annual General Meeting and election of board members
Please uphold the nominated members and the Nomination Committee in your prayers as we determine qualified members to take on the roles for the next three years.
And finally, ministry leaders have launched the new ministry season. Let’s uphold them in our prayers. It is their hope that this would provide an opportunity to serve us, and for each of us to engage and find a place to serve each other 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