MINISTRY RE-OPENING PLAN
- We are continuing to work on detailed plans for what a possible re-opening would look like, when government restrictions lift enough to allow gatherings of a larger group of people.
- Our staff is working on researching three different options. They include A) live services with limited capacity, B) continuing with our Church Online services, while integrating a regular, in-person, fellowship/social event, and C) home church (groups meeting in homes around the city to watch the online service together with fellowship).
- Each option has different pros and cons and issues to be addressed, but we are working hard at investigating each of these, so that once permission is granted from the government to proceed, we will already have much of this work done for the option that fits with requirements and is best for our congregation.
- We have realized through some significant assessment, brain-storming, and actual measurements in our Worship Centre and building, that the limiting factor in starting Sunday services is not the gathering (group) size allowed by the government, but the social distancing requirement.
- For example, our Worship Centre, which has about 640 chairs, can only ever seat a maximum of about 200 and more likely about 175 with social distancing, depending on the number of singles vs. couples vs. families.
- This means that as the government increases the group size allowed, it makes little difference to our Sunday services as we believe, and data indicates, social distancing will remain for the longer term. Therefore, if social distancing is in place, we can only have 175-200 maximum in a worship service.
- The 175-200 will be intentionally spread out evenly in our Worship Centre, so the sense of togetherness, of God’s people worshipping, raising our voices together, etc. will not be the same as we all have been longing for.
- Other factors which will impact our Sunday services include checking everyone entering the building as per government requirements, recording name and contact information of each attended in case of any incident of COVID, flow of traffic in the building (social distancing in hallways?), washrooms needing to be sanitized, etc.
- While some of these realities can be quite discouraging, we have not lost hope that there is a way we can gather together, as soon as allowed. It may look and feel very different for many months to come. Our hope is not in our plans, nor is it ruined by government restrictions, but is in Jesus Christ. God is still on His throne, none of this is a surprise to Him, and He is working all things out for our good and His glory, as He continues to care for His children and grow His church!
CHURCH PLANTING UPDATE
- Please continue to pray for Redemption St. Thomas. By God’s grace, this healthy and Biblical church has a wonderful staff and elders, and a growing and vibrant ministry. They continue to do well during this shutdown, providing online worship and preaching and shepherding their people with all the restrictions.
- Having a beautiful 700 seat Worship Centre and a congregation of around 270, they should be able to start-up in a more effective manner than we can.
- Please continue to pray for the leadership and people of RBC St. Thomas as they work toward financial independence, hopefully this year or next.
- Our new partner church in Sibiu, Romania (a GCC church plant) is doing well in this season. Please continue to pray for Pastor Betuel, his wife Sanda, and their children, as well as their elders and congregation.
- We are very thankful to be in a partnership with this growing church as they pursue their gospel mission.
Red Deer, Alberta
- Plans are still going forward to plant a GCC church in Red Deer, Alberta, although it is on hold due to COVID-19.
- Please continue to pray for Pastor Chris Girvan, his family, and core group as they are in the early stages of building a core group.
- As we have communicated in the past six months, our church plant in Melbourne Australia has shut down.
- All ministry has ceased at this point and the people in the core group have found new churches to be a part of.
- A new Melbourne street evangelism ministry has begun from this church and that continues to grow and thrive, so we are thankful to God for this.
- Pastor Adrian is transitioning to other work, one being Biblical counselling. He is a certified Biblical Counselor (ACBC certification) and sits on the boards of Biblical Counselling Australia and Biblical Counseling Coalition.
- Adrian has also been given a scholarship (from another ministry) to start a PhD in Biblical Counselling.
- Our year-to-date giving is tracking on par to our revised budget. Our donations vary greatly week to week, but we are thankful that our expenses are somewhat reduced in this season of shutdown.
- We are very thankful to God for allowing us to be in the financial position we are in. By the grace of God,
- We have no debt. He stopped us from building (we would have a $3-4 million mortgage)
- We will be able to pay for our recent roof replacement without borrowing (cost of about $280,000)
- We have been able to meet all our financial obligations and keep all our permanent staff employed
- We have maintained a healthy bank account balance, which is necessary due to the weekly swings in donations and expenses.
- We are also expecting the final payment this summer from the sale of our land on Colonel Talbot. This $1.5M will go into an account to help fund our commitment to Redemption St. Thomas for 2020/21, as well as our phase 1 renovation of our facility to give us a lobby and more classrooms (if approved in the next 6-12 months).
- Copies of our accountant reviewed 2019 financial statements will be distributed to members prior to the AGM. If you would like a copy, please contact [email protected]
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING (AGM)
- Our first AGM as a corporation in the province of Ontario is scheduled for June 14 at 6:00pm.
- If you are a member at Redemption Bible Chapel, you should have received an email with information to join the online meeting.
- This will be more of a “business” meeting with a set agenda. There will not be the same open-forum Q&A time.
- If you have a question you would like to ask our elders, send it before the meeting to [email protected].
- Our roof replacement is complete! As mentioned, we are thankful that God provided the funds to pay for this “must do” project. We can say “goodbye” to leaks!
- We presented plans early this year for a possible renovation that would include converting the gym to two floors of classrooms and opening up the space at the back of our building, where you all enter every Sunday, to create a large lobby for gathering and fellowship.
- This project would cost us approximately $1.5M.
- Due to the pandemic shut down, these plans are currently on hold. However, this renovation is not off the table, and we would love to hear any thoughts from you. You can see the plans on our website at rbclondon.ca/facility.
- Please submit any comments, concerns, or suggestions regarding our facility to the staff or elders via email.