ANNUAL REPORT June 2017
OUR VALUES We believe in a triune, relational God who calls us to come together as a diverse community of believers. Therefore, we want to walk together, supporting one another physically, emotionally and spiritually. We strive to be a welcoming, inclusive family that goes through the joys and the trials of life together, acknowledging that God uses this community to deepen and mature our faith. We believe in a God of grace who came to save the world, not to condemn it. Therefore, as we are continuously receiving the gift of God’s grace, we seek to grow in that grace and extend it to others. We strive to define ourselves by what we are for, not what we are against. We believe in a God who is our centre. Therefore where we are on the journey is less important than that we are moving towards a deeper relationship with Christ. We believe and participate in God’s redemptive work in all people, which gives us the freedom to come as we are, and to accept others as they are. We each are on a unique journey to become who God has created us to be. We believe in a creative God. Therefore we are open to expressing our faith in new and creative ways that reflect the beauty and complexity of our creator. We are called to use our creative gifts in worship and service as we engage with our world. We take joy in the diversity of gifts that allow us to delight God and participate in His ongoing story. We believe in a humble God who came not to be served, but to serve. Therefore we engage in sacrificial and active service to those around us. We strive to be good stewards of God’s gifts and talents by serving one another in humility. We aspire to regard others as higher than ourselves, which liberates us to creatively take risks in serving others for God’s glory. We believe in a God who knows us, and who desires to be known. Therefore we embrace a journey of faith that requires us to constantly strive for a personal, intimate and transformative knowledge of God. We strive to be led by God’s Spirit in supporting and encouraging one another in working out our faith. We believe in a God who loves this broken world and wants to reconcile us to Himself. Therefore we are commissioned by Christ to go out into the world, meeting the holistic needs of the local and global community. God calls us to participate in a redemptive work that he has already initiated; in humility, we will partner with others to work alongside and chase after Him.
INDEX Church Clerk
Pastor of Worship and Mission
Pastoral Care and Seniors
Church Office and Communications
The Deacon’s Board
Mission Action Team
Spring Garden Initiative Team and Special Project
Refugee Action Group
ESL Café Ministry
Sunday Morning Bible Study Group
ESL Bible Study
Refresh Women’s Group
Partnerships and Vocational Missionaries
Nominating Committee Report 2017
CHURCH CLERK Report from Karen Cassel
Historical Events (from January 2016 to April 2017) BIRTHS September 7 , 2016 Tobias, to John and Veronica Vanderwerf March 16, 2017 Grace Tahlia, to Scott and Kate Moore DEDICATIONS February 26, 2017 Jesse and Joanna James present Edmund Carey James
BAPTISMS April 16, 2017 Ella Sider
NEW MEMBERS Brenda Forder Kate Moore Shannon Loewen
MARRIAGES December 16, 2016 Liam Stain and Romy Patenall MEMBERS TRANSFERRED OUT Victor and Tanya Borisenko DEATHS Oct 16, 2016, Doug Beckett Nov 29, 2016, Thelma Bampton Dec 23, 2016, Lilian Beckett
At the time of this report 123 active members
PASTOR OF WORSHIP AND MISSION Report from Rev.
Teach me your way, Lord, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name. Psalm 86:11 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:29-31 I love how the picture scripture gives us of what it means to love God and to live our humanity as God intended is to be undivided—integrated, holistic, inter-relational. Loving him is all mixed up with loving each other and loving ourselves and loving creation and loving justice, mercy and humility, and on and on and on. Oh to be an undivided people with undivided hearts!
We spent a number of months as a community exploring this reality that to love God is inextricably connected to loving our neighbour (and vice versa—though saying that is somewhat redundant). One thing I love about my job is that I get to spend much of my time working alongside of others in areas that seek to love God and love neighbour—specifically my part in our corporate expressions of loving God in worship and loving our neighbour in community, sharing God’s story and showing God’s care through local and global missional initiatives. And I love how our shared values around how God’s character as Trinity is worked out in our commitment to work alongside one another— that ministry is not about the pastors or professionals, but about all of God’s people working together, loving and serving. There is no doubt in my mind that everything that is good about Spring Garden where God is in the midst of us offering ourselves to Him, to each other and to the world as a grateful response to His first offering himself to us individually and communally in unfailing love—perhaps just a longwinded way of saying “how good and pleasant it is when God’s people come together in unity” (there’s that image of being undivided again). This is why, to me, it is a beautiful thing that Spring Garden’s communal worship and communal mission are predominantly led, facilitated, and given life by so many people of different giftings, passions and personalities, and I give thanks to God for the ways so many people week-in and week-out serve.
Our communal worship gatherings on Sunday mornings are rich because of the wealth of service and prayer that many people offer to create the space where we can come to lift our voices to God in worship. I’m thankful for Colin Chapman and Anne Barron who plan worship and lead the bands and the congregation in music, prayer and Scripture; for all the skilled musicians who lead us in music; for the Creative team (Shannon Loewen and Erin Bonney it has been awesome creating with you!) and others who bring holistic beauty and creativity into our worship; for Mike Lee and Maria Ma who have faithfully set the table (and cleaned it up!) for communion; for Cheryl Chapman who bakes our gluten free bread; for those who lead prayers of the people; for ushers and greeters who give priority to our desire to be a welcoming people; for scripture readers reading the Scripture’s over God’s people; for those who bless children and youth; for those who share their stories and their ministries with the community, to bless and encourage us; and for the quiet and humble servants who sit in the balcony running sound and projection so that we can all worship alongside of one another. In regards to our communal mission initiatives, I am deeply thankful for Anne Barron who alongside of Jane McClean and
Marion Goertz has faithfully cared for our sent Vocational Missionaries at home and abroad, and for Lesley Daniels who has championed mission (and worship!) initiatives as a part of the Deacons board. It has also been a joy working alongside Rodway Daniels and Victoria Shipmaker as the Spring Garden Based Initiatives Team. It is truly inspiring to work with a team that is so passionate about the witness of God’s Kingdom and equipping followers of Christ for mission in their daily lives, and who have the capacity to do so with creativity, wisdom and patience. For a fuller report of what this team has been up to, please read the Missions Action Team Report. This being said, all of this work that is being done is to create space and opportunity for the community as a whole to engage in mission together, loving our neighbours locally and globally, as well as caring for God’s creation in a new way with the community garden. Thank you friends for making yourselves available for engaging and equipping the community. And I give thanks to God for you, the community, for the ways you love God and neighbour in your lives and in the city! Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church (that’s us in Spring Garden, and in the Church all around the globe!) and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. (Ephesians 3:20-21) God bless, Greg
PASTORAL CARE AND SENIORS Report from Rev.
The Highway of Life The Highway of Life I am traveling on the highway of life Have been traveling every day since my birth And will continue until I leave this earth Day by Day and year-by year All my activities will appear in print In my highway of life log book Recording in the detail the history of my life The highway signs appear on my birthdays And indicate the years I have traveled. The highway of life ends in paradise Where one may experience the GLORIES OF HEAVEN . . . by Les Alexander August 22, 2009
Over the years the Adult Bible Class has welcomed those that are unemployed, newcomers to Canada, and those that have retired and, one lady who works in the community and uses her lunch hour to join us on Thursdays. Our focus has remained the same - - bible study, prayer, fellowship, cake [birthday] and fun. And of course each year we close off our study with a â€œGarden Partyâ€? enjoyed by all. This year the theme of our study involved discovering our values and how to live them out in our lives. In March we embarked on a journey following the road signs to the Cross.
We enjoy serving in various ways in the church. Once every two months we are responsible for coffee time after church, Debbie Bennett arranges for scripture readers on Sundays, and Margaret Irwin, although laid aside with a broken hip, sends out cards. I am privileged to bless our children on Communion Sunday along with Myrna Frost, Victoria Shipmaker, George Spear and Faith Holwyn when available. Also take communion to the teachers downstairs. Under the umbrella of Pastoral Care Ministry, Peggy Moore visits new mom. I continue to represent Spring Garden Church in the community. For the past 20 years I visit, and preach at North York General Hospital. I am called upon by several funeral homes to conduct funerals. On Good Friday I had the honor to conduct a funeral for a 99 year old saint. I also preach and participate in my motherâ€™s church. This year has been a transition for my family with the death of my 96 year old mother. Thank You Spring Garden Church for your support and prayers. If you know of someone in need please be in touch with me. It is better to get many calls about a need than none at all. The pastoral care ministry is the practical next step to Mathew 25:3146. May God bless you as you seek and serve Him. Blessings, Margaret Sutton
DISCIPLESHIP MINISTRIES Report from Rev.
Has it been a year already? It seems like just yesterday we had our ministry launch BBQ with the ice cream truck in our parking lot! This year has been one to remember. Reflecting back, it is amazing to see how the needs we had were met by God in various ways. One of these ways were through the great volunteers who have served alongside us both faithfully and diligently. It must be noted that these individuals are making a significant impact on the lives our young people through showing Godâ€™s love. We believe that the relationships built will have a lasting impact on their lives. This year we had a few changes to our team. As we were sad to see Koon Wah finish her time as our Discipleship Deacon, we were happy to welcome Adora Chui into that role. Adora has been a wonderful deacon and have been a great support to us. We were also happy to welcome 14
This year has been one to remember. Reflecting back, it is amazing to see how the needs we had were met by God in various ways. One of these ways were through the great volunteers back Samantha Steeles as our Childrens Intern, as well as Diana Boisvert who was our Youth Intern. Our vision is to partner with families to nurture children and youth in lifelong discipleship to Jesus Christ. We are grateful that Spring Garden is a place that embrace children and and you as an integral part of the community.
Children’s Ministry One of the highlights of this past year was our summer day camp. Following what was a successful camp the year prior, this year we decided to make it a bit bigger. We partnered with Jesse James’ team from Youth Unlimited’s summer camp and were able to offer families a fun full day camp. With a full registration of 40+ kids, the church building was full and there was a lot going on. One of our favourite moments was when we were able to see the kids trust God with what they were fearful or anxious about. One of the little girls wrote on our prayer wall about how she was nervous about moving to a new place with her family, but was trusting God with the move. It was really touching to see her faith deepening throughout the camp. At the beginning of the ministry year, we decided to slightly change the structure of our groups by dissolving what was the grade 5&6 group, and merging them into two different areas. We merged the Grade 5 group with the grades 3&4, while incorporating the grade 6 group with the youth worship gathering (more about that later). Looking back at how that worked, we believe it was a successful move based on the feedback from our team meetings and observations throughout the year. Overall, our focus has been less about the teaching of curriculum and more about the relationships that are built between the kids and leaders. Through our current structure, we have seen children embrace new friends who were new to Spring Garden. There has been a great change in personalities with a lot of the children who were not wanting to participate in the beginning but have now connected really well with their groups and leaders. We see God moving in the lives of these children and how He’s forming them into who He wants them to be. 16
We are constantly evaluating our current curriculum and are use the feedback of our leaders and students to provide lessons that fit with who we are and what we value. While numbers are not the most important thing within ministry, we are pleased to be able to say that within the past 6 months alone, our attendance has been averaging around 73 children.
Youth Ministry As mentioned in the last portion of this report, we started the year with incorporating grade 6 children into the youth program. Our first event was a BBQ for the grade 6 kids to help them get used to youth group. It was a great start to the new year! We were very surprised at how quickly the community developed. We were able to see good friendships and relationships built between the youth and their leaders. It was encouraging to hear how the youth would rather come out on a Friday night with their friends than miss out on what we were doing. This was only possible because of the help of our youth leaders Jesse James, Kaitlyn Williams, and the Big Three (you know who you are!). 17
On Sunday mornings, we continue in worship downstairs with our youth. In the youth lounge we spend time talking about how our faith intersects our lives and how believing in Jesus is relevant to who we are. In September we began a new curriculum which focused on looking at the bible in chronological order. The point of it was to show how Godâ€™s story isnâ€™t just random; and how from the beginning, he has orchestrated all of history to this very moment and that our part of the story is very important. In the three years we have been here, we are always blown away with how our group functions. Each youth and leader are so very different and diverse, yet we get along really well. We love how creative the kids are in the different ways they are gifted. Lily Sider, for example, created a book of her favourite memories of being in youth group. She created by hand and gave it as her christmas gift during our annaul Christmas party gift exchange.
Following the success of last years life group project, we wanted to be more intentional with discipling and mentoring youth. Thanks to the hospitality of Jim and Anja Turner, as well as Koon and Clem Lee, we were able to have life groups for both male and female youth. Kaitlyn and Diana led the girls life groups, while Jeremy and Sam led the boys. Through these life groups, we have seen how God is changing and shaping us to be a group that trusts each other and does life together.
In the three years we have been here, we are always blown away with how our group functions. Each youth and leader are so very different and diverse, yet we get along really well. We love how creative the kids are in the different ways they are gifted.
Again we are so very grateful to God for this church and the ministry that we can be a part of. It has been a great year and we look forward to more great things as we continue to serve Him and His people.
CHURCH OFFICE & COMMUNICATIONS Report from Suzanna Lai
(Church Office and Communications Manager)
From April 2016 to April 2017, I continued to provide administrative and communications support to all church events and ministries. They include annual events and meetings such as Christmas and Easter celebrations, bike blessings, summer camps, community clean up, intergenerational worships, ministry launch, annual meeting, budget meeting, leaders meetings, baptismal…etc., just to name a few. Event details were communicated to the congregation well in advance and administrative support was given to ensure they not only took place successfully but also were well received and participated by the congregation and new friends. I also assisted and participated in some non-annual grassroot initiatives over the year. I provided administrative support for Derek Smith to facilitate a “Network With Confidence” career guidance workshop; which offered valuable information that benefited job seekers from the congregation and the neighboring community alike. I contributed announcement and advertisement support for Corinna Smith’s “Getting Into Fitness” free workout session. It advocated physical activity as a integral part of selfcare. I offered communication and administrative assistant to the Refugee Action Group to promote the Syrian refugee family sponsorship initiative and conduct fundraising efforts. In December 2016, we welcomed the Risou family from Syria to Canada. Lastly, I joined the action group caring for Valentina Turtakova, a homeless Roma refugee woman who has no family support in Canada. I did investigative work for her situation, 20
The past three years have been the most enjoyable and fulfilling working years I have ever experienced. It was such a privilege to (...) serve the pastoral team and the church community in such an immensely meaningful way.
attended legal meetings with her, helped in finding housing and social assistance in Toronto for her, and connected with various parties involved in her care. You can read more about her story in the report written by Victoria Shipmaker. On the church facility booking and parking lot rental front, our church continued to be tremendously utilized by various ministries, organizations and missionaries that we support; as well as other Christian organizations and people from our local community. We also continued to rent 22 parking spots to two nearby businesses.
As most of you already know by now, I will be resigning from the position as the churchâ€™s office and communications manager in August. The past three years have been the most enjoyable and fulfilling working years I have ever experienced. It was such a privilege to be entrusted by the deacons and the SGC family to serve the pastoral team and the church community in such an immensely meaningful way. Best of all, I loved every minute of it! I could not have asked for a better boss, referring to both God and Gene. Geneâ€™s servant leadership encouraged me to serve the Lord and His church with fervour and humbleness. I was graciously welcomed and loved by Margaret, Greg, Sam and Jeremy. We shared life and journeyed 21
through some peaks and valleys hand in hand. Knowing the team loves me and is always there to support me gave me much peace and uplifted my spirit in more ways than I can describe. The beautiful friendships and tight-knit bond I built with the pastoral team had a tremendous impact on my life. Each and every one of the pastoral team members inspired me. Their kind, profound, and joyful spirit steered me closer to the Lord for I saw what heaven is like through working and journeying life with them. It is something that I will forever treasure and be thankful for. I went from being someone who was uncertain on what I have to offer for Godâ€™s kingdom to someone knowing exactly how God want me to serve His people. All along God knew working for SGC and experiencing the kind of love, affirmation,
and inspiration I did from the pastoral team and the church family was exactly what I needed to achieve such a transformation. While I have nothing but gratitude and deep love for the pastoral team and the SGC family, I realized my blessed journey of working for the church is coming to an end after experiencing a chaotic and stressful semester of intensive studying, working, looking after my young boys, and supporting my husband in his new business venture; while still trying to invest in my marriage and maintaining the various roles and relationships I have. The only way for me to finish my new academic pursuit is to devote a lot more time and effort into it. Therefore, it is time for me to let someone else take care of the church office and the community. My family and I will continue to be a part of the SGC family. In fact, I await excitedly to see how God will use me to serve this community and His kingdom in a different capacity. I believe God will continue to shower SGC with His goodness and provide someone who loves and desires to serve the pastoral team and the church family as much as I do, perhaps even more! I also ask for your prayer as I embark on a journey of full time study with the anticipation of starting a new vocation after two and a half years. With much love and thanksgiving. Your sister in Christ, Suzanna Lai
THE DEACON’S BOARD Report from Mary Ellen Hopkins The Deacon’s Board is responsible for managing the church resources. The Board is responsible for preparing and approving the annual budget which include Church Ministries, Salaries and Benefits, Missions, Administration and Property Costs. Church Membership is also administrated by the Deacon’s Board. During this past year we have met quarterly with the Elders and the Pastoral Team and together we discussed topics relevant to our church. We have followed the discernment process for making decisions as discussed in the book “Pursuing God’s Will Together. This has been a rewarding experience as we determine God’s will on how to best meet the needs of our church community. During our monthly meetings we report, discuss and take action on items of business which come to our attention. The names of the deacons and the area they oversee are listed in the monthly publication of Delve. At the end of our meetings, Gene leads us in a discussion on the book entitled “Pursuing God’s Will Together”. We all read this book and discussed the assigned chapters at each meeting. The author of the book, Ruth Barton, presents a refreshing way of discerning God’s will together which is helpful in making decisions. 24
Below are a few of the highlights from the past year. More details will be reported under the appropriate headings in this Annual Report. Finances At our congregational meeting in February 2017, a budget of $560,600 for the year 2017 was approved. We receive a monthly update on actual costs compared to budgeted numbers. As of March 31st our revenues are behind budget by $28,949 which is not unusual for the first quarter and compares favourably to last yearâ€™s numbers. Regarding the Syrian Refugee Care Fund, the current fund balance is $42,088. We expect this will be adequate to maintain monthly costs and other expenses of the family for the remainder of the year without having to raise additional funds.
The board has approved funding for a new alarm system and a new sound board. These improvements will be funded from the Capital Fund so the annual budget will not be affected. Pastoral Staff Sabbatical Policy We made revisions and approved at our meeting on March 21, 2017 the Sabbatical Policy which had been last reviewed and approved on September 27, 2005. A sabbatical of four months may be granted to any member of the pastoral staff after six years of service at Spring Garden Baptist Church. A copy of this newly revised policy is available at the church office.
Office and Communications Manager
The members of the Deaconâ€™s Board value your continued prayers for discernment and wisdom in managing the church resources.
We have been privileged to have had Suzanna Lai serve as our Office and Communications Manager for the past three years. She has inspired us all with her expertise, grace and willingness as she undertook the innumerable tasks this position requires. We can continue to surround Suzanna and her family with our love as she transitions to being a full time student in the fall.
A Search Committee has been formed and job description prepared in order to accept new applicants for the position. It has been a privilege for me to serve together with Marion Cameron, Adora Chui, Leslie Daniels, Gonzalo Libardo, Peggy Moore, Esther Penner and Doug Willson this past year. For Marion and me, on June 30th our 3-year term of serving on the Board is coming to an end. The members of the Deaconâ€™s Board value your continued prayers for discernment and wisdom in managing the church resources.
Report from Cindie Chaise
As Elders at Spring Garden Church, we are entrusted to pray for the church, offer spiritual advice, and provide support and accountability to the Senior Pastor and to others in the church body, while shepherding the Church and living as Christians. As a group of six Elders, we have found it a privilege and an honour to serve the church and our staff in this way. Prayer is the cornerstone of what we Prayer is the do. The Elders organize the prayer cornerstone of what team in the Prayer Room each Sunday after church. The prayer team we do. The Elders is a mixture of Elders and members organize the prayer of the congregation that have had team in the Prayer prayer training, and they are available Room each Sunday at that time to pray for anyone that would like prayer. The Elders are also after church. privileged to pray for people during the week, by request. If you would like to pray about something with any of us, please do not hesitate to go to the Prayer Room after church, or talk with one of the Elders during the coffee time, or contact one of us. Our contact information is found in Delve. We provide support and accountability to the Senior Pastor in our Eldersâ€™ meeting, about once a month. We also are in contact with our staff in the intervening weeks to pray for their prayer requests and to encourage them. We give God thanks for each of them and how they bless our community of faith. 28
We also give God thanks for everyone at Spring Garden and use our meetings to pray and to discern what God is doing in our congregation and where we as a church might closer align with the Spirit. At our last Eldersâ€™ meeting, as we discussed this report, we mused about this past year. It has been a wonderful year of seeing God leading Spring Garden and its leaders. Weâ€™ve seen how the Lord has led us firmly and clearly in our meetings, and we have been blessed individually and as a group. We look forward to new Elders joining our group this year, to add to Joanna James and Cheryl Chapman who joined us this past year. We give thanks to God for his faithfulness, his protection, and his leading. May his Spirit continue to guide us, to protect us, and to grant us wisdom. To God be the glory.
MISSION ACTION TEAM Report from Anne
Once again this year we have seen Mission in Spring Garden grow and thrive through a variety of activities and efforts. Through your generous contributions to our budget we have been able to support 14 vocational missionaries, 4 organizations and our various Spring Garden Based Initiatives. Vocational Missionary Care and Partnered Organizations Each year brings challenges and changes for our vocational missionaries and how we support them. With our new policy, which is in its third year of implementation, we have begun to â€œstep downâ€? support for those who are living and working in a geographical area where they can raise support from the community where they worship. Becky Lee has become a member of her church in Saskatoon and Grace Bartel who lives outside of Winnipeg, is looking towards retirement soon. Both of these vocational missionaries have been stepped down in support over the last few years and 2017 will be the last year we support them. We wish both of these women continued success in their ministries as they move forward. We have begun a similar process with John Vanderwerf who with his wife and four children live and work in Scotland and have been involved with a community there for the last several years.
Support for Matthew House was moved from directly supporting Anne Woolger, as she no longer attends Spring Garden, to supporting Matthew House as an organization. We want to continue to support this work with Refugees and know that several people in our community continue to volunteer and have a direct involvement with Matthew House. Jen Chrystman and Kevin and Joyce Richardson are coming home on furlough this year. Kevin and Joyce in April and Jen in July. Kevin and Joyce are looking forward to retirement soon and will be living in Southwestern Ontario. Jen will assess her next steps during her year at home here in Toronto. This will be an opportunity for us to get to know her better. Ron and Idalia Fairbanks continue to train and support missionaries going to the mission field with Greater European Mission (GEM). Their ministry continues to be fruitful and they attend Spring Garden when they are not speaking or traveling to do mission work. Our largest group of vocational missionaries serve with Youth Unlimited here in Toronto. We welcomed Brad Sider as a full time Vocational Missionary this year as well as continuing to partner with Scott Moore, Monica Kay, John Wilkinson, Clem Lee, Jesse James, and Kathy Webb. They are doing great work within a variety of areas to support youth within our city. Please take some time to get to know them, their families and their work. 31
Another project that we have been working on is to revamp the criteria for the Binkley Memorial Fund. We have begun a student bursary program to support students involved in a short term mission experience Showing God’s Care and Sharing God’s Story locally or outside of Toronto. We hope to encourage young people to participate in a mission experience as they grow and mature in their faith in Spring Garden. We also continue to financially support organizations such as Groups of Hope (Faith Holwyn), Neighbourlink (Myrna Frost) and The Dale which is a CBOQ church of marginalized persons in Parkdale (Greg Kay). Each year the face of our vocational missionaries and partnering organizations changes, but the important work that they do to bring the good news to those in need continues. Jane McClean, Marion Goertz and myself, as part of the Mission Action Team, care for our vocational missionaries on a regular basis through communication and prayer. I would like to thank Jane for her many years of service to missions at Spring Garden as she is stepping down from this ministry. Spring Garden Based Initiatives Greg Kay together with Victoria Shipmaker and Rodway Daniels focus on Spring Garden Based Initiatives – ways to engage each of us in mission activities in our community. Again this year we handed out candy and hot chocolate to our neighbours at Halloween. We partnered with Youth Unlimited to assemble bags
for street youth through Eva’s Satellite. Again many of you went shopping to buy Christmas gifts in support of Angel Tree – a ministry which provides gifts to children whose parents are in prison. As part of our Advent worship we collected food for the North York Harvest Food Bank. We continued to provide pies at Thanksgiving and lasagna, brownies and soup mix at Easter to ex-offenders. On Good Seed Sunday in April we gathered to collect garbage, refurbish our gardens and care for our earth. We are excited this year to be beginning a community garden and hope to see this as a new way to reach out into the community. Thank you to everyone who participated in these events as we seek to share God’s story and show His care in our community and beyond. This year the Initiatives team has been emphasizing the importance of sharing our stories as a way of inspiring and encouraging one another in loving God and loving our neighbours. We have encouraged sharing stories in Delve, on Sunday mornings, as well as collecting stories through a brief survey. As well let us not forget about our sponsored Syrian family, the Risous, and the ongoing support that we continue to give them. Please read about this initiative in Refugee Action Group report. Finally, thank you to Lesley Daniels who has been our liaison to the Board this year as the mission deacon..
SG INITIATIVE TEAM AND SPECIAL PROJECT Report from Victoria Shipmaker
Easter meals for Ex-offenders A week before Easter Spring Gardeners gather to make lasagnas, soup mix and brownies for ex-offenders who are supported by the Mennonite Central Committee. This is a time of giving as we buy the materials to support the needs of 20 people but also a time of working in fellowship as we cook and assemble the meals. The youth were very busy putting together the soup mix and the brownies and it gave us a chance to answer questions about how the recipients would use the gifts we were assembling. The program is undergoing a change in leadership at the MCC end but our contributions are still very much needed and appreciated. We hope to continue to build upon the relationship with MCC and those they serve. Submitted on behalf of Spring Garden Initiative Team Angel Tree - Prison Fellowship Canada (PFC) This was our second year in taking part in PFCâ€™s Angel Tree program. Angel Tree is a chance for those in prison to seek a volunteer to purchase a gift on their behalf to be delivered 34
to their children. This year some of the children lived in other provinces which meant the gift was sent in the mail. Those that lived in Toronto were hand delivered. This program teaches us a great deal about the nature of giving and receiving. Not all families are eager to talk to a stranger or meet to receive a gift! . This was a great opportunity during the busy Christmas season to think about those who are in prison and the effect on the family and to share these realities with our children. Despite the busy season and the challenge in reaching and delivering the gifts those who took part said they would do so again! Submitted on behalf of the Spring Garden Initiative Team Update on our Friend Valentina Valentina came to our attention last year through another church as someone who needed a place to stay while she awaited processing to go home to Slovakia. A Spring Gardner family was generous to open up their home and their love to this stranger. Though Valentina had little English we got to know her very quickly! Her love of children, movies and Jesus was readily apparent. However her situation was much more hard to unravel. Though she had been in Canada as a refugee for a number of years her ability to live in Canada on her own was doubtful. Her husband had been deported back to Slovakia and Valentina had problems accessing the social system without his help. With no bank account she could not receive Ontario Works. With little English we relied on a friend 35
of the church to translate but needed a professional translator to come with us to appointments and to determine what Valentina wanted to do with her desire to go home. We are thankful to Spring Garden church who helped us with the cost of translation and gave us the time and caring of Suzanna and Greg to help attend appointments, handle paperwork and tons of appointment making! We are also thankful for the food and gifts that were delivered to Valentina as she stayed with us. Unfortunately it became apparent that Valentina was uncertain about going home and yet was not self sufficient to stay on her own so we made the difficult decision to take her to a shelter where she could receive more help for the long process of her hearing and getting settled. All of this happened last April and May. In March of this year we learned that Valentina had decided it was best for her to return to her home country to live with her mother-in-law and husband. Through a donation by Spring Garden and her friends both in the church and the community enough money was raised
to ensure she could make the long trip home with a supporter to ensure that she got home safely and with as little anxiety as possible. Enough money was raised to purchase new clothes for her which was a big treat for her in this new chapter in her life. She arrived safely at home at the end of April. We are thankful for the church who supported a little band of people who joined in Valentinaâ€™s life. We learned a great deal about the the refugee system, shelters, social assistance and the legal system on top of the spirit of those who come to Canada seeking a better life for their families! Submitted with gratitude Greg Kay, Suzanna Lai, Joanna James and family and Victoria Shipmaker.for each of them and how they bless our community of faith.
REFUGEE ACTION GROUP Report from Jeff McGee (on behalf of RAG) In January 2016, in response to the humanitarian crisis in Syria, Spring Garden Church partnered with Blythwood Road Baptist Church (BRBC), with the goal of sponsoring a refugee family from Syria. The Refugee Action Group (RAG) has 4 members from SGC and 3 members from BRBC. The RAG is co-chaired by Jeff McGee of SGC and Margaret Paul of BRBC. Within SGC, the RAG is accountable to the Deacon of Worship & Missions.
By July 2016, we had jointly raised $50,000, exceeding our target by $10,000. We then submitted our sponsorship paperwork to CBOQ and the Canadian Government.
By March 2016, the RAG was fully functional. On May 26, the RAG organized a fund-raising event â€œMaking Ends Meetâ€?. The event had an auction, plus middleeastern food and music and presentations. The auction contained items and services donated by members of the congregations and solicited from local businesses. The highlight was having the Syrian Refugee family, sponsored by Mimico Baptist Church, tell of their challenging journey to Canada and how special it is to 38
be in Canada. The event was well attended and raised about $7000. By July 2016, we had jointly raised $50,000, exceeding our target by $10,000. We then submitted our sponsorship paperwork to CBOQ and the Canadian Government. At that same time the Canadian government had stopped processing Syrian Refugee applications. We therefore expected it to be long wait and not get a family until mid-2017.
In early December 2016, we were contacted by a Scarborough church that knew of a Syrian family that had arrived in Canada in Sept 2016, but was not being supported by their sponsor. We bonded with the Risou family (Tarik, Hanaa and their 3 yr old daughter Rahaf and Tarik’s brother Ahmad) at the first meeting and immediately began negotiations to assume the sponsorship of the Risous. By the end of December 2016, we had moved the Risous into a 3 bedroom apartment. Through donations from the congregations, we furnished and fully outfitted their home. We next facilitated a series of medical and dental visits and ensured they were enrolled in an ESL school. Once they were settled in their home we began to assist them to integrate into Canadian society. Members of the congregation assist is by providing in-home ESL lessons twice a week for Hanaa. We also started the “Social Walker” program, in which ladies from the congregations take Hanaa and Rahaf out for walks in the neighbourhood 3 days a week. By early March 2017, the Risous were settled and getting comfortable with English and Tarik had gotten is G1 driver’s license. On March 4, the congregations were invited to a “Welcome & Baby Shower” as an opportunity to meet and engage with the Risous. We were able to provide the necessities for the expected birth. The highlight was watching Rahaf ride her new bike around the lounge. 40
Ayman Risou was born on March 25; a healthy 8 lb baby boy. The family continues to thrive and describes Canada as the “promised land”. Later this year we will begin the process of finding employment for Tarik and Ahmad. This is a long term partnership which will go into 2018 and beyond. There is an African proverb that says “it takes a village to raise a child”. I would say, “it take a church to sponsor a refugee family”. The RAG committee was the enabler, but many members of the congregations played a role and will continue to play an important role in the lives of the Risou family. Please continue to pray for the Risous. Thanks for your support of the Refugee Action Group. Carrie Wright, Elizabeth Ferguson, Kevin Lai, Margaret Paul, Moira Ferguson, Ruth Reimer and Jeff McGee)
COMMUNITY LIFE Report from Esther Penner (Community Life Deacon)
Fostering a healthy community Whether eating life amongst members of a church body is really worthwhile a meal together, investment. Whether eating sharing a laugh, a meal together, sharing a playing a game, laugh, playing a game, serving serving alongside a alongside a friend, or chatting friend, or chatting over coffee, fellowship is what draws us into closer and stronger over coffee, relationships. One of our goals fellowship is what as a church has been to increase draws us into our intergenerational activities closer and stronger so that people of all ages could relationships come together in a spirit of love and unity. So far, so good. Here’s a brief description of some community events we’ve enjoyed recently. We started the ministry year off in September with a great Spring Garden tradition: enjoying a delicious bbq outside the church with the whole Spring Garden Church community. This was a great chance to catch up with friends about our summers and look forward to ministry opportunities ahead. In November we hosted our first Board Game Café in the Youth Lounge. It was a blessing to see young children, youth, adults, and seniors relax on a Friday night, reveling in friendly 42
competition and yummy treats. From the positive response, I think we’ll add this to our yearly (or perhaps more frequent) repertoire! After our intergenerational worship gathering in early December, Spring Garden participated in a fun Christmas potluck. During this bustling event, we learned two things. First, let’s do away with sign up lists, since way more people will always show up to a potluck than anticipated! Second, we have a church full of amazing cooks who can pull off the most delicious dishes! Let’s keep tapping into that! A good time of food and fellowship was had by all. In February, we gathered in the multipurpose room once again to enjoy lunch. This time people either brought their own bagged lunch or dug into the Subway submarine sandwiches provided. We also enjoyed some fruit, desserts, and coffee before heading over to the annual budget meeting / ministry update. This was a great way to hear stories of 43
how our donations have impacted – and will impact - the lives of people within and outside of our church family. Easter week saw a collection of gatherings through which our members could jointly commemorate and celebrate Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection. This included an intergenerational Palm Sunday gathering, preparing Easter meals for exoffenders, stirring Good Friday and Easter Sunday worship gatherings, and the well-attended continental potluck lunch afterward. This was a wonderful display of togetherness. June 2017 should be a fun and busy month for our congregation, as we hope to take advantage of the warm sunny weather we’ve been waiting for. We are partnering again with Youth Unlimited to host a bbq / bike blessing in back of the church on the 4th. Then on the 10th, we hope to see a great turnout at a local park for a Spring Garden Sports Picnic. At this all-ages event, we will invite you to bring a lunch, picnic blanket, and lawn chair. People who love sports can participate in organized soccer, football, Frisbee, and other active games, while the rest of us can cheer you on! Hats off to the groups and individuals who helped plan other community events this year, such as the Halloween event, the Newcomers lunch, and the much anticipated camping weekend in July! It’s great to see such initiative and creativity amongst our members, and to witness this desire to have quality time together! As usual, Spring Garden has continued to enjoy coffee and refreshment time after Sunday morning gatherings. This has been such a key part of the way we weekly commune with each
other and I can’t imagine church without it. In addition to long time servers, we got some new helpers this year. Together, these groups have been actively working out any kinks in our ‘system’ of service. It’s been wonderful to hear people’s opinions and suggestions on how to make coffee time better for everyone and I hope that the little changes we’re making will noticeably improve this ministry. A quick word about our volunteers: You don’t know how appreciated you are. I’ve seen children as young as 9 and I’ve seen senior citizens (and every age in between) helping to set up, take down, and clean up for events we’ve hosted. It’s been so amazing to see selfless and humble service amongst our congregation. It has been a blessing to the rest of the church, but also (I hope) to those who serve. It reminds us that we are all a part of this mixed collection of Jesus followers. We all have something we can offer and give to our community, no matter how little it may seem. This year, I’ve really tried to steer clear of only using the ‘usual suspects’, the people we always expect to see offering their time and energy during group events. By reaching out to a larger pool of helpers, I want to relieve those who have done so much in the past, but also allow new volunteers to rise to the occasion and discover the friendships and joy (and good challenges) that service brings. Please consider this if you’re wondering how you can be a part of Spring Garden ministry in the coming year!
LIFE GROUPS Report from Garth Barron
The mission of Life Group Ministry at Spring Garden Church is to create, support, and develop small communities of people devoted to Christ, to one another, and to service & growth as followers of Jesus. Over the last few of years the number of Life Groups has decreased somewhat, although the existing groups tend to be thriving. The decrease primarily reflects the change in demographics in the church towards young couples with small children. These families tend to find participation in a Life Group a major challenge. The Life Group Ministry Team would appreciate prayer as we continue to look for practical ways to make Life Groups more feasible for this demographic. The Life Group Ministry Team (LGMTeam), having also experienced attrition in the past two years, currently consists of Garth Barron and Gene Tempelmeyer. We are seeking to expand the team so as to more effectively reflect the demographics of our congregation. Again this year we launched our annual common curriculum for Life Groups in January instead of in September, This yearâ€™s curriculum was a seven-week DVD-based study curriculum based on Scot 46
The mission of Life Group Ministry at Spring Garden Church is to create, support, and develop small communities of people devoted to Christ, to one another, and to service & growth as followers of Jesus.
McKnight’s book The Jesus Creed, focused on Jesus’ summary of the commandments as loving God and loving others.. During this period Gene’s Sunday sermon series complemented the small group studies. Nearly all life groups used the Jesus Creed material, and it generated a lot of lively discussion. As always, we would also appreciate your prayers for this ministry in general, as we seek to move ahead in faith. Pray particularly for the dedicated group facilitators who have been willing to make room in their frequently busy schedules for this ministry. Respectfully submitted, Garth Barron
ESL CAFÉ MINISTRY Report from Garth Barron
After a brief hiatus, the ESL Café was restarted in Oct 2016. It provides newcomers to Canada with a comfortable venue for tea and conversation. On Wednesday evenings from 7:00 to 8:30 students gather in the east to practice and improve their English, and to make new friends. The time is spent in discussing a wide variety of topics, reading short stories aloud, as well as occasional grammar instruction. Since restarting, our numbers have been somewhat low, with 3-6 students coming out most weeks, although fewer on some of the colder Wednesday evenings during the winter. (Toronto winters are challenging for many immigrants from warmer climates!) We are always looking for more facilitators, especially women, since most of our students are women. Expertise in teaching ESL or in English Grammar is not a requirement, so if you’d like to check it out, feel free to contact me, or to simple come out on a Wednesday evening.
It provides newcomers to Canada with a comfortable venue for tea and conversation. (...) Students gather in the east to practice and improve their English, and to make new friends. 48
SUNDAY MORNING BIBLE STUDY GROUP Report from Garth Barron
Your word is a light to my feet and a lamp on my path – Psalm 119:105 The group is now in its ninth year and continues to thrive. There are typically 4-8 participants on most Sundays. Over the past year, we have studied Paul’s letter to the Philippians, as well as Ruth, Ezra, and Nehemiah from the Old Testament, and we are now beginning a study of the second half of Isaiah (Chapters 4066). Our goal is to understand what scripture would have meant to its original readers, and then consider how it applies to us today. We also want to see each passage in its wider context, and to get the big picture of the Bible’s story. To this end we do a verse by verse study of a biblical book. Participants are encouraged to feel very free to share different views, thoughts and opinions and all discussions take place in a climate of mutuality and respect. The discussions can be animated and lively! Our aim is not just to know the scriptures, but to help each other to live by them. When we are close to finishing a particular book, we normally decide as a group which book(s) will be our next project. We don’t meet during July and August, but would be happy to have others join us for a new start in September 2017!
ESL BIBLE STUDY Report from Ben
The ESL Bible study is in its 6th year now. The size of the study has become somewhat smaller, ranging between 1 and 5 people. People of a variety of nationalities come to the study including, Chinese, Korean, and Iranian. The budget for the study has included purchasing NIrV bibles, which are translated to be understandable by ESL students. The study involved various topics and passages over the past year, including a series on Psalms 119, where each week two stanzas of the 22 stanzas (one for each Hebrew letter, as it is an acrostic) were covered. Each study of the 11 weeks was punctuated by listening to Greg Kayâ€™s Psalm 119 cd. This is a wonderful double cd by Greg where he composed a song for each stanza of Psalm 119. Study participants found the music to be a highlight of each week. After finishing with Psalm 119, the next major topic was a series on the book of John, where we went through the gospel chapter by chapter. Just before Easter the chapters on the crucifixion were covered, and just after Easter the chapters on the resurrection. There are some newcomers to Christianity in the study, so going through a gospel has been very beneficial. Please continue to pray for the study, that it would be a place of learning about the Good News for them. Pray that we would continue to be the welcoming church for newcomers to Canada
PROPERTY COMMITTEE Report from Wes
Chapman and the Property Committee
The Property Committee is responsible to maintain the building and grounds of Spring Garden Church, as well as 106 Spring Garden Ave, the house we own adjacent to the church. The task of the committee is to keep both properties in good repair so that anyone entering the building will see a clean, well-maintained and welcoming place. Maintenance of systems such as the elevators, HVAC systems, boilers, electrical, plumbing and other areas both in and outside the church property takes time, energy and dedication and the committee appreciates all those who have assisted this year. Special thanks must go to Fazil Yussuff of Moeâ€™s Cleaning Services, who does a superb job keeping our building clean each week. As well, a number of other volunteers have assisted with some of the projects we have completed. Thanks so much to all of you, your work is so greatly appreciated. From June 2016 to June 2017, the committee has completed the following projects: 1. Replacement of a major electrical breaker affecting the sanctuary lighting 2.
Repainting of lines in the parking lot
3. Repainting of walls in various areas of the church and inside cupboards in lower kitchen 4. Installation of smart door at the parking entrance to facilitate access for various groups 5.
Security system upgrade
Repairs to plumbing and hot water heater replacement
Installation of directional signage throughout the church
8. Replacement of a large number of incandescent lights with LEDâ€™s 9. Removal of many old unused items around church to the junkyard 10. Many other minor improvements and repairs too numerous to mention in this report Respectfully submitted, Your Property Committee Neil Bickerton, Wes Chapman (Chair), Don Hopkins, Jeff McGee, Peggy Moore (Deacon), Esther Penner, Wil Tranter, James Wright, Peggy Yang
IT/AV COMMITTEE Report from Kevin Lai
The IT/AV Department had a quiet year. In previous years, we restructured the department and budget to improve service, efficiency and costs. We sat back in 2016 to observe the structural savings roll in. We delayed spending on some planned upgrades to 2017, in order to support the 2016 budgetary needs of the other ministries at SGC. We did manage to purchase a new PC workstation for Greg, which seemed to resolve a few more outstanding problems. We also purchased a media PC for the Youth Room, and moved the old computer to the Children’s Theatre, and retired the old Mac Mini. There were also a few minor repairs or upgrades done, such as replacing hard drives, monitors, and network switches. We decided to move over to an enterprise grade Wifi system at SGC. We recently installed Ubiquiti Networks Access Points which has improved the Wifi coverage and stability around most of the church. “SGC-Wifi” is for private office and ministry use. “SGC-Guest” is for guest access. Some deadzones still currently exist, such as in the nursery and the prayer room. We are still working on improving Wifi in those areas however, we figured that since the people using the prayer room are wirelessly reaching heaven on their own... Wifi doesn’t really cut it. A portable AV system (QSC) was purchased for Discipleship Ministry use, as well as other occasions such as Sunday Gathering meals and other SGC events.
The IT/AV Department had a quiet year. In previous years, we restructured the department and budget to improve service, efficiency and costs. We sat back in 2016 to observe the structural savings roll in.
The main sanctuary projector was also replaced with a newer HD projector. Switching over to 16x9 will be a bit more involved process, as all the MediaShout slides will need to be resized. Some projects in the works include: replaced the main sanctuary sound board, purchasing a new server, redesigning the SGC website, integrating with the door access & security systems, hiring for IT support, and exploring using Rock RMS for Discipleship Ministry Check-Ins and/or other church management solutions.
If anyone is interested in serving in this area of IT or AV, please let us know! We need more help in managing the day-to-day issues that arise as well as special projects. IT/AV Committee: Colin Chapman, Wes Chapman, Kevin Lai, Sam Lee.
RESOURCE CENTRE Report from Karen Cassel
TThe Resource Centre is online and you can look up and request books from the church website. Go to: http://springgardenchurch.ca Click on Resource Centre This will take you directly to a search screen where you can input your search terms (title, author, subject, etc.) to discover what is available in the library. You can submit a request for a book, and it will be emailed to me. The Resource Centre provides books, videos, and DVDs for general Christian growth, study, and leisure. The library resources are provided to speak to the needs and events that are taking place in the wider church life. Reading materials are an invaluable resource for personal and 56
spiritual growth. We are able to offer important resources that cannot be found in the public library system. We are so fortunate to have a book budget and have the ability to purchase books to meet our objectives, and to support the teachings we enjoy each Sunday. There is a monthly feature in Delve that gives a synopsis of books and DVDâ€™s recently added, and/or supports the messages of that month. The library has a subscription to Christianity Today, available for borrowing on the same terms as the books. Over the past year, some of the new titles added include: Read and share DVD Bible for kids DVDs including Captive, Forever strong, The Current 21 Ways to connect with your kids Prescription for life The broken way
REFRESH WOMENâ€™S GROUP Report from Tanya Salituro Brothers and Sisters in Christ, Refresh has had another wonderful year of learning, fellowship and prayer. The addition of newcomers to Canada joining Refresh from Japan, Brazil, India and China, certainly has increased our awareness of cultures and needs around the world.
We have had prayers answered in only ways the Lord could answer and we sing praises.
We have had prayers answered in only ways the Lord could answer and we sing praises. Refresh as a Christmas outreach the year was able to help those in a shelter in Huntsville connected to the work of Yana Baitakova. In addition to studying different passages of Scripture, we were all blessed by the Jesus Creed common curriculum, and saw miracles small and large from praying the Jesus Creed. The leadership of Faith Holwyn on lenten Bible Study and the Passion, made Easter very special culminating of course in our annual Easter potluck. We are currently following the Easter studies with devotions on the Holy Spirit.
We give special thanks to the Lord for our RefreshKids caregivers, Li and Sonia who lovingly and patiently teach and care for the kids. We also appreciate the organizing skills of Beverly Holtzman, who keeps track of everyone and sends out regular updates. We pray for her miracle healing or the new lungs that she needs, soon! If you know someone who could benefit from our Wednesday morning 10-11:30am meetings, please do not hesitate to invite them! And may God bless Spring Garden Church now and always... as you all so richly bless us..
Report from Geoffrey Moore (Treasurer)
2016 Financial Results Budget â€“ Operations, Mission and Property
Cash Receipts for Operation, Mission & Property
Shortfall to Overall Budget
Net Cash Position Increase
2016 Comparison to Approved 2017 Budget 2017 Budget
Capital Fund We still have some funds left in our Capital Campaign Fund from2009/10. These funds are used to make building repairs to ensure we do not build-up a deferred maintenance problem. Wes Chapman is the key person in this area and works with the Property Deacon Peggy Moore. 60
Caring & Sharing Fund The C & S Fund helps those people related to the Spring Garden family who are in a time of need. Donations to the C & S in 2016 were $9,587 and expenditures were $9,962. The Cash Balance at December 31, 2016 in the C & S Fund was $4,225. Audited Financial Statements â€“ will be completed for 2016 and will be released in June 2017. Note In 2015, Marion Cameron took over the Vice Treasurerâ€™s duties that George Vanderwerf looked after for 15 years. Updated computer programs have been installed. Marion is doing an outstanding job and in 2017 she will handle all of the accounting functions. Count Teams We have 4 Count Teams headed up by Darlene Boyd to ensure that offerings are counted weekly without any delay! Historical Budgets vs. Actual Receipts Year
PARTNERSHIPS AND VOCATIONAL MISSIONARIES Vocational Missionaries Report from John Wilkinson (Youth Unlimited) John is the Executive Coach and Strategist for Youth Unlimited here in Toronto as well as Youth for Christ Canada – Eastern Region. He is a key resource source for Scott Moore and the YU Board as well as being the Shepherd for the Central Services Team. In addition, he works with local YFC Chapter Boards and EDs across Canada guiding them in their succession planning and in the coaching/training/resourcing of the new Executive Directors. John has been with YFC for 36 years. Report from Scott Moore (Youth Unlimited) At YU, we express our vision simply as transformed youth transforming our city. We work towards fulfilling that vision through: (1) grassroots ministries; (2) a wholistic approach to transformation; and (3) local partnerships. We are so grateful for Spring Garden Church’s partnership, which so tangibly expresses the love and power of God to the youth we serve. Last year, seven of our staff were sent as missionaries from SGC, two of our programs consider SGC ‘home base’ and many of our YU staff use space at SGC regularly for ministry and meetings. We are truly blessed by you. Thank you! 62
Report from Clem Lee (Youth Unlimited) Over the past year I have been working to provide supervision and support for a handful of staff and volunteer leaders at Youth Unlimited. Moving forward, I will be taking on a new role as JaneFinch Community Director. I deeply appreciate and cherish Spring Garden’s support in this endeavour. Our team desires to see the youth of Jane and Finch become a transformative and redemptive presence in their community. Thank you for being a part of this ministry. Report from Monica Kay (LAUNCH, Youth Unlimited) Our team had the honour of doing approximately 100 workshops at camps, conferences, schools, and churches helping to inspire young people to grow in their faith, their leadership and their impact in this world. We ran our third year of the LAUNCH Leadership Course with 10 students. We are continually fine tuning the course and delight in these young people learning more about themselves as they lead a community project for which they are deeply passionate. We had 21 young leaders in coaching partnerships - this includes the 10 students mentioned above. Their dreams vary from building a “Justice Project Curriculum” to a charity bake sale, to a 63
high-school safe space to talk about mental health, to collecting personal goods to those in need, to leading a Christian group at University, and more! Thank you Spring Garden for partnering with me as I lead LAUNCH and my amazing team (7 people). We are blessed and grateful! Report from Jesse James (Revolution(s), Youth Unlimited) Over the past year the community of young leaders involved in Revolution(s), a program of Youth Unlimited (Toronto YFC), has undergone a lot of change. In the midst of connecting with and serving hundreds of Willowdale’s young people, several youth have had significant transformation experiences! Lots of mentored young people entered post-secondary school and have returned with knowledge and wisdom and a deepened sense of self-awareness. One young youth has learned much more about controlling her temper, even in nasty situations. Some youth who have never served their neighbourhood joined other more experienced young servants to lovingly sponsor, assemble, and deliver 125 gift bags to their homeless peers. On a personal level, Joanna and I are blessed to experience a deep community of Spring Gardeners. We celebrate the birth of our son, Edmund Carey, and we continue to find new ways to thank God for our faith community. We celebrate the dozens of conversations about the intersection of faith and friendships, Jesus and justice, community and church. Psalm 25:1 - “In you, Lord our God, we put our trust.” Report from Kevin & Joyce Richardson (SIM) Serving with SIM since 1984 in Nigeria and Kenya Equipping Leaders through Theological Education Providing Psychological Services and Care for missionaries and 64
their families from many organizations and ethnic backgrounds who are serving on the continent of Africa Report from Becki Lee (Athletes in Action Canada) Thank you Spring Garden for standing with me as I minister to university athletes with a view toward transforming the nation and the world with the love of God. This is my tenth year on staff with Athletes in Action, a division of Power to Change. Our mission to to develop movements of evangelism and discipleship, through spiritual multipliers (disciples who make disciples) in the athletic world. We dream of a day when every team and sporting community in Canada has someone who authentically follows Jesus, and is making disciples who make disciples. I am currently serving on campus at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, SK. I also give leadership to Student Link, our national strategy that supports student-led Athletes in Action ministries on Canadian university campuses. www.goaia.com and www.athletesinaction.com Report from John Vanderwerf (YWAM Scotland) Hello Spring Garden family and greetings from Scotland. As part of the base leadership team at YWAM Stanely House, in Paisley Scotland I am involved in re-pioneering the base. Currently that involves building a staff team and setting a culture of intimacy with God which propels us into mission. We run Discipleship Training Schools, directing young (and sometimes not so young) people into a lifestyle of mission whilst engaging our community with the gospel. Report from Jen Chrystman (OMF) Kiwi Bible translators, Dutch urban poor health workers, Filipino missional business trainers, German seminary professors, British international mission leaders, American college campus evangelists, and Filipino tribal Sunday school teacher trainers have many things in common. The most beautiful and restful though, is time spent at our OMF Calapan Center where they can refresh, relax and find a listening ear. We are all deeply loved by 65
our Creator and expressing that love on His behalf is my joy and delight. You should have dropped by and added Canadian friend and church-mate to the list! The length of my sentences may remind you of St. Paulâ€™s letters. He probably had a sending church watching his sentence limits! God bless you with more peace and joy along the way! Looking forward to seeing you in July. Love Jen Report from Ron and Dalia Fairbanks (GEM) Praise God with us for Godâ€™s encouraging response to our daily prayers at 10:02 asking Him for more workers according to Luke 10:2. Four long-term missionaries have recently arrived in Europe. One student just got back from 3 months in Germany, another just left for 3 months in Romania and two more are headed there in September. We have also been encouraged that each one has raised their prayer and financial partners in record time enabling them to get to their field of service even quicker than expected. Dalia and I are involved in the recruitment, appointment, training and preparing, supervision and encouragement of GEM Canada short term teams, interns, and mid/long term missionaries. We also develop partnerships with schools, churches and other organizations that seek to reach Europe for Christ. For more information check out: http://www.gemission.org Blessings Report from Faith Holwyn (CBM) Groups of Hope continues to spread and be used in various settings both in Canada and internationally. Although Brenda Halk is mentoring the program in CBM, I have been asked to go to Curve Lake in June for a weekend and to Haiti in August for 10 days and CBM is assisting by giving me a consulting fee to help to pay for the cost of the trip. Recently I had someone who attended a workshop in the Dominican Republic last September, send me a picture of a group she is facilitating in Uruguay. God continues to spread the seeds.
Supported Missional Organizations NeighbourLink North York Report from Mryna Frost Spring Garden Church has supported NeighbourLInk since it began in Willowdale in 1995. We are one of seven churches of various Christian denominations who are actively involved in meeting the needs of many poor and disadvantaged people in the Willowdale Area . The number of requests for help continues at a fairly high level with Spring Garden meeting a very high percentage of them. The most frequent request is for drivers to take people to medical appointments. Finding enough drivers is often a challenge. Thanks to our loyal Spring Garden volunteers many needs are met not only for driving but for shopping, visiting, taking people to food banks and helping with moves. As a result of the ongoing care of our NeighbourLink volunteers many friendships have developed. In order to continue meeting needs and embarking on some new initiatives it is imperative that financial support be maintained. The funding that Spring Garden Church provides both through the Missions Budget and the Caring and Sharing Offering is deeply appreciated. Thanks to the initiative and creative thinking of our Director, Janice Wilson, Neighbourlink was able to hire 2 Summer students who improved our Web-site and designed a new NL brochure. Myrna Frost has participated as Secretary of the Board , Spring Garden Volunteer Co-ordinator and Office Volunteer. In December , the fourth Annual Benefit Christmas Concert and Silent Auction was held. It was very successful . In September Spring Garden had the opportunity to contribute items to the Personal Care Centre located at Willowdale Presbyterian Church. We are very grateful to our Spring Garden family for their donations.
In December several Spring Garden Life Group members provided beautiful Christmas baskets to several needy seniors This was greatly appreciated as it brought some joy into the lives of people who are often struggling throughout the Christmas season. A Volunteer Appreciation Brunch was held at Spring Garden in September. There is an urgent need for more NL volunteers. Nl was fortunate in receiving a grant that will enable us to pursue helping seniors in more significant ways throughout the coming year. We thank all the volunteers at Spring Garden who have reached out to those in need this year. Your gifts of time, service and friendship have touched many lives and are deeply appreciated. NeighbourLink North York office hours are: Tuesday and Friday – 9:00 a.m. – noon Phone 416-221-8283
Willowdale Collboration Network Report from Jesse James The Willowdale Collaboration Network regularly gathers together in Spring Garden’s beautiful lounge. What a gift this is to us! Thank you for your generous hospitality.
The most effective way we can impact youth is by resourcing, supporting, and sharpening their leaders. As leaders become stronger and work collaboratively with other leaders, the students they influence will benefit from transformative servant leadership and new opportunities. Because students take on leadership characteristics of those who lead them, it is strategic to resource their leaders. Together we coordinate the Eva’s Community Celebrate & Skate each year, the Boom Basketball League, advocate to Willowdale’s political leaders on behalf of Willowdale’s young people, and coordinate various community outreach initiatives here in Willowdale. We are also thrilled to continue working with new partners to develop some more innovative programs and initiatives that will creatively meet the many diverse needs of Willowdale’s 40,000+ young people. In the way of the Eastern Orthodox Churches here in Willowdale, here is a blessing: May God richly bless his many churches here in Willowdale as we, together and diversely, live in the reality of Jesus’ incarnate peace.
SGC NOMINATING COMMITTEE REPORT 2017 Deacons Current Deacons
Mary Ellen Hopkins
Nominee Shannon Loewen
Elders Current Elders Cindie Chaise
Finishing Year 2017
Officers (one year term) Position Moderator
Nominating Committee Members Current Members
Koon Wah Leung
Nominee Lesley Daniels
We extend our thanks to those who have served and those who continue to serve our church. 71
Report Editor Suzanna Lai
Graphic Designer Tiago Roffe