- We are excited to announce that Filomena Wood will be joining our staff team on March 30, in a new part-time position as Financial Lead. Filomena, her husband Chris, and their two kids have been attending Redemption for almost 10 years, and they both serve in a variety of areas. Filomena has training and experience in a variety of business roles and bookkeeping, so we are eager to have her join our team. Please join us in congratulating Filomena on her new role as we seek to consolidate various financial tasks. Part of Fil’s new role will be taking over our bookkeeping from Roy Oldham. We are very thankful to God for Roy’s steady and trustworthy service over many years and want to thank him for his faithful service as our bookkeeper.
- We continue our search to fill the roles of Kids Ministry Director, and Director (or Pastor) of Discipleship. It’s important that we hire the right person, who God would have for us, for both roles. We are trusting in God’s sovereignty in this, while we continue our search. Our leadership team is looking at some variations with these two roles. For example, is there a chance to combine them in some way or adjust these roles slightly as well as some existing roles, to help figure out any different ways we could hire to meet our ministry needs? No decisions have been made, just some creative assessment and exploration.
SOUL CARE MINISTRY
- We are thankful to God for the 160+ people who came to our Biblical Counselling Training weekends, taught by Ken Gentzler. God worked wondrously through Ken, and this set the stage for us to get many of our people trained up in Biblical Counselling.
- Coming out of these two weekends, we have had over 50 people express an interest in further training – praise God!
- We had two conference calls in March with those interested in pursuing training, and coming out of that, many are proceeding with core training over the next 8 months providing a solid and Biblical foundation to Biblical counselling.
- Our hope is that we will have dozens with this foundational training, and at least a dozen or so people proceeding all the way through to full certification with ACBC (Association of Certified Biblical Counsellors), enabling us to have a vibrant Soul Care Ministry at Redemption within 1-2 years.
- Our year-to-date giving is falling behind budget by about $50,000. This is not unusual for this time of year, and we are fully trusting in God that we will be able to catch up later in the year.
- However, we would encourage and remind our people to put God first in their finances. Please give regularly and generously, and if you are not currently giving, we would encourage you to get set up for online giving. This allows you to continue with donations if you have to miss a service, or if services are ever cancelled. Please contact Karen at [email protected] to get set up.
- Copies of our financial statements for the past 5 years are available at our Welcome Desk. If you would like a copy, please stop by and ask for one, or you can contact our office.
- Redemption completed the incorporation documents in the fall, so 2020 is our first year as an incorporation.
- We will have our first Annual General Meeting (AGM) on June 14, so please mark this date on your calendar. This will be a similar format to our Town Hall meetings except with a little more detailed presentation of our finances.
- We have looked at the long-term possible changes to this building to allow us to continue to do ministry here. We saw two phases in this. Phase 2 would be to add a full-size gym, along with some classrooms and offices, to the back of the building. The new gym would function as our lobby/gathering place on Sundays. Due to cost, we have no plans to proceed with Phase 2 at this time, and we are uncertain if we will need the space.
- Phase 1 addresses our crucial need which is for a proper gathering place – a lobby – since our current building is lacking one. We also need more classrooms (priority #2) and a few more offices (which phase 1 won’t address).
- Phase 1 would open up the lower floor, at the back entrance to our building to be our new lobby. This would double as space for various ministry events, other banquets or dinners, teaching events, etc. We would lose three classrooms; however, the gym would be converted into two floors providing an additional five classrooms. Phase 1 does not address our needs for office space; however, this is not as crucial as our need for a gathering place or classrooms. In addition, the extra classrooms may give us some flexibility to potentially use one classroom upstairs as office space if needed down the road.
- We put more detailed work (and cost) into this project up front, to examine every issue and reduce our risk.
- We proceeded with having one company price out our Phase 1 work, so that we would have a sense of the approximate cost of doing Phase 1. Their quote came back at $1.32M. This does not include the cost to remove the remaining asbestos in the lower level, which we believe will cost about $250,000.
- With the $1.5M to come from the sale of our land, we believe Phase 1 is likely financially doable. We would get a few more quotes from other contractors if we decide to proceed and would look at contracting it ourselves.
- Please visit our facility page on our website for more details, and to see the floor plans – www.rbclondon.ca/facility/
- We are taking this time to seek input and pray as a congregation if this is what the Lord would have us do. We will look to make a go/no go decision sometime in the coming months. If it is a go – we would not commit to anything until we get the cash in hand from our land sale in August, so the earliest the work could start is in the fall.
- Please submit any comments, concerns, or suggestions to the staff or elders, via email or in person.
Note: the following Church Planting Update was going to first be given as a Family Chat in our services on March 15. Due to the cancellation of services during the COVID-19 pandemic, we were not able to give that update in person, but wanted to get this information to you, rather than wait until services are back.
CHURCH PLANTING UPDATE
- We continue to thank God for His work in St. Thomas. Attendance is continuing to increase and averaging around 270 a week.
- They are also continuing to move toward financial independence, with giving steadily increasing. We anticipate we will still need to give them some support this year, which will be over and above our committed 3% to church planting, but this was planned, and we do it with a joyful heart as we see the kingdom work being done.
- Please continue to pray for their various ministries. Kids Ministry is busting at the seams and in need of more volunteers, small groups have started up, and we hope later this year to start up their youth ministry as well.
- We are excited to announce a new partnership with a church plant (GCC member church) in Sibiu, Romania. At the Senior Pastor retreat in January, Norm and Cindy had a God-ordained meeting with pastor Betuel Vararu, and his wife Sanda. Betuel has a BA and MA from a seminary in Romania, and his DMin from Midwest Baptist Seminary in the US. They started this church plant about a year ago, as just the two of them.
- Betuel and Sanda hardly knew anyone, but just started reaching out to neighbours and strangers. They soon had a Bible study started, and now, less than a year from starting that core group, they are meeting every week as a church with about 60 people joining them. They rent a building seven days a week, which they do services and mid-week ministries in.
- Betuel and Sanda have come very highly recommended by several within GCC, but they have very little financial support. It seems their meeting with Norm was a miraculous working of God to partner with them, and this has been affirmed by several others who we respect within GCC.
- They are supported enough by their own offerings to get through the year, but Betuel has not been taking a full salary, and things are tight. Betuel’s heart for a partner church is someone that could come along side and mentor and train them, but they also require about $23,000 to meet their full salary and church needs.
- With us no longer being committed to Melbourne, this has freed up funds to be able to partner with this plant in Romania, as well as other church plants.
Red Deer, Alberta
- God has provided a church planter for a new work in Western Canada. Chris Girvan has been commissioned by Redemption Calgary North to plant a church in Red Deer, Alberta (between Edmonton and Calgary).
- Chris officially began on March 1 and has already begun making contacts and tilling the ground.
- GCC Canada as well as all the western churches have committed support, and we are excited to come alongside and help supplement with approximately $12,000 to meet the financial need in 2020 and $21,000 in 2021.
- Please be praying for this very new (new to us, but not to God) work that God is doing.
- God gave us a contact in Belize 3 years ago, when Norm and Jon were there with other GCC Senior Pastors conducting several pastor’s conferences. Out of the hundred plus pastors or potential church planters they met, one man stood out the most – Pedro.
- Pedro is the principle of a residential Christian high school, an experienced leader, and a godly man and pastor. He has been pastoring the students and many of their families.
- Through the tragedy of the death of one of their recent graduates, God opened a door for Pedro to share the gospel with the parents, who got saved. They started a bible study with Pedro to grow. This has led to several families meeting with him to learn and that group moved to a Sunday morning.
- The past two summers, we have sent mission teams to Belize to help build a structure for this small church to meet in.
- Pedro has asked us to help provide some training for him and his small church, and he has not asked, but we think he can use some funds to help this new church. We will be exploring what sort of support as well as training we may be able to provide during 2020 to help this wonderful man and his new church.