The elders met again this past Tuesday night for our first meeting since the summer break. It was very nice to see each other again and there was a sense of excitement to start this fall season of ministry.
After a time of prayer, we began our meeting with a time of reflection on everything God has done through Central in the past few years. We recognized that God has blessed us in so many ways and we praised Him for all of our healthy campuses and the great staff that He has provided. Pastor Matt briefly summarized the history of the campuses and the elders affirmed the campus model, observing how the Holy Spirit has been at work helping the campuses to flourish. Our goal has never been to gather many campuses just for the sake of it, but rather our vision has always been to make disciples and grow God’s Kingdom throughout the eastern Fraser Valley.
All of us elders became such by going through a detailed nomination process. We have prayed, felt God’s calling, and been affirmed by others before stepping into this role. It can be a similar process to step down from the Elder role as well. With much prayer and careful thought, Julien Garnier has decided to step down from his position as elder. Julien has served for many years and has been a blessing to all of us on the team and in the church. He is a wonderful example of a faithful elder. We thanked Julien for his service and prayed for him.
Although many of us call it summer break, ministry was full steam ahead these past two months. Harrison Campus participated in their community’s Canada Day parade and held an open house. Each campus held a summer camp in their area and many kids in our church and communities grew in their faith. We praise God for all the opportunities to share the gospel and we trust the Holy Spirit will bring people closer to Him. Thank you to all the volunteers who made these events happen and to the generous giving by the congregation.
A huge ministry highlight was the baptism evening held at Harrison Lake where twenty-six people declared their trust in the risen Saviour through baptism. Over two hundred people were on the beach celebrating each one as they came out of the water. There were five more people baptized at Harrison Campus. What a way to celebrate their one year anniversary as a church! We also had an additional thirteen new ministry partners this summer, making it 45 new ministry partners in all. We are overjoyed to say the least.
It is exciting to see all of the ministry programs starting this fall. Whether you are a man or a woman, young or less young, there is something for you. In addition to our regular life groups, student groups, and Men’s and Women’s Bible studies, we are also excited for the Ministry internship program, Freedom Session,Theology Nights, an upcoming Worship Night, and a Fear and Anxiety workshop. We want to encourage everyone to get involved in ministries that will both serve you and you can serve in, in order to be a blessing to others. Our lives as Christians should include both being discipled and discipling others.
Lastly, we want to thank you all for being a part of this church. We consider it a privilege and blessing to serve as your elders. Please keep us in your prayers as we work together to follow God’s Word with the Holy Spirit, to serve you all, and to do our part in building up God’s people.
- On behalf of the Elders at Central Community
The Elders were encouraged to receive a finance update to the end of August. Support for Central’s ministries has increased by 11% compared to the same period last year. While we continue to experience a deficit of income to budget and expenses, we are on track to meet our ministry obligations. It was noted that while necessary maintenance projects continue, all capital projects have been put on hold in order to prioritize ministry. The Elders received word that the Lake Errock campus is fully operational again, the Harrison renovations are now complete, and that the exterior of the Chilliwack building was repaired and painted as a preventative measure to protect against the elements as we move into the Fall. Replacing the Sanctuary lighting in Chilliwack remains a high priority especially in light of the recent lightning storm that effected lighting control. We hope to address this in the near future.
The Elders noted that all ministries are stewarding their resources well and that they are all well below budgeted allowances. It came as no surprise that our mortgage interest is 2.3 times higher than the same period last year, but it was also noted that our lender, the Canadian Conference of MB Churches, has reduced our mortgage rate by .75%. This time last year we embarked on an Above and Beyond campaign. As a result, September giving numbers this year are likely going to be slightly skewed. Even so, we are confident is God’s gracious provision.
Our commitment to reach the Eastern Fraser Valley with the Gospel continues to drive our stewardship of the resources God provides. Operating five campuses through a unified budget allows us to minimize the duplication of expenses (admin., capital equipment, etc.), even as it requires us to staff our campuses for ministry effectiveness. Quarterly financial updates at the campus level allows local congregations to see their part in the bigger picture of ministry. The Elders celebrated the fruit of our investment into the Harrison campus noting that five people were baptized on the anniversary Sunday of its first year of ministry.
In short, while we are lagging in terms of giving to budget, the Elders are grateful for the faithful and sacrificial support of the church. Our goal to fulfill our mission requires us to collectively give to the work of God in and through the church. Join us in thanking God for his provision and prayerfully consider your part in our mission together.
We believe in the power of prayer. We value prayer. And we believe that God answers prayer and uses it as a means of achieving His purposes in the church and world.
Central's Elders will meet again in September invite you to come and receive prayer in the Chilliwack Campus Sanctuary.
Tuesday, October 17 | 6.30PM - 7.00PM
Chilliwack Campus | 46100 Chilliwack Central Road
You can also submit prayer requests using the link below.
Got questions or words of encouragement? We'd love to hear from you!
Please contact The Elders - email@example.com