Elder Board update to South Gate Alliance
It’s time for an update from our elder board. We’re trying to communicate better and more frequently. We want all our members and stakeholders to know what’s going on. So here are some progress items so far in 2023:
1. Benevolent Fund changes. In March of this year, our elder board approved some changes to our benevolent fund distribution program. We no longer give out gift cards to people who come to our door looking for help. We do now give out small nonperishable food hampers. We are going to track the impact for the rest of this year to evaluate these changes.
2. Catch the Wave of Cantonese newcomers to Canada After the congregation approved the budget in November of 2022, in February of 2023, the board empowered Pastor Michael and his team to hire a new outreach worker. The search led us to Summer Lo, who started on April 1, 2023. She is a ¾ full-time contract worker.
3. Trailer Repair As many of you have observed, the exterior of our trailers have been in disrepair for a while now. Woodpeckers had 3 different homes in the walls of the trailers. The congregation gave general approval to this expense in November of 2022, but before we proceeded with this project, our board requested an inspection by an authorized structural engineering company. Roger Luo, an elder in training, used his professional connections to help us find two structural engineers. They came and did an evaluation. In general, the trailers are in good structural condition, but there was one corner where the cribbing needed to be shored up. After receiving this professional evaluation, the board searched for bids to do the exterior work. Dan Vecino is a contractor with much experience in fixing things at SGA, and our board accepted his bid. Good progress is already evident, and we hope the renovations will be done by the end of June. We hope you like the new look! In the end, this was not a difficult decision to make because the board values children’s ministry! We want to have great facilities that will make a positive impact on the discipleship of our children for generations to come.
4. Police Checks Police checks put us in compliance with best practices in the area of liability insurance. SGA has a policy that all pastors, elders, youth workers, and children’s ministry volunteers must complete a police check. City of Calgary police are changing their processes and there will be a new push for compliance in this area after June 26, 2023. We want all of our staff, elders, youth workers and children’s volunteers to have this done by September 1, 2023. Pastor Sham was selected as the compliance officer in this area.
5. Children’s Ministry Children’s Daycamp is planned for July 17-21. We still need more children to register and more older youth or adults to serve in this ministry.
6. Missions On April 18, our board voted to affirm Sarah Friesen as a South Gate Alliance home grown missionary candidate to Chad, Africa. Sarah is an official missionary apprentice with Africa Inland Mission. Sarah spoke in the Cantonese and English congregations on April 30th and in the Mandarin congregation on May 21st. It’s thrilling as a C&MA church not only to send money to support world missions but also to send workers from our church to the least reached. Both Cantonese and Mandarin congregations are participating in a small town missional program led by Chinese Christian Mission Canada. The board affirmed this missional opportunity in small towns of Alberta.
7. Mandarin Ministry Intern Our elder board recently approved the placement of a Mandarin ministry intern at SGA. Her name is Hong Yan (Sarah), and her husband is currently a pastor at another church here in Calgary. Sarah is currently studying in a seminary and needs a 6-month internship to complete her practicum. Our elder board and the Mandarin ministry team have welcomed her from June 1 – November 30, 2023. She will be helping Pastor Esther in a number of different areas, and we just recently got acquainted with Sarah at a staff meeting.
8. Facility updates In addition to the trailers, there are a number of improvements you might notice have been made to our facility. We now have a bike rack for families who bike to church so they have a place to lock their bikes. The main washrooms got another paper towel dispenser. A number of rooms around the building got a fresh coat of paint. Some things you might notice soon are replacement of chairs in our foyer, possibly some handrails in our sanctuary, and a new drop down screen for the back projector in our sanctuary.
9. Women Elders In our May elder board meeting, we approved the following process of engagement: 1) Pastor Perry will preach the same message in each congregation; 2) on Wednesday, October 18, 2023 at 7:00 pm, SGA will hold a joint meeting of all 3 congregations, with a translator, to further study the issue of women elders, allow for questions and have a joint prayer meeting; 3) vote on the issue at our November 26, 2023 elder election and budget approval.
10. Community Connections One of the items our elder board is discussing is how we can have a greater impact in our community. We recently were a location for Alberta elections. After that, we used our sign to invite people to worship with us as well. Next week is a big event of partnership with the Shawnee-Evergreen Community Association: A Stampede Festival on June 24 from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon. We currently have 43 volunteers signed up to help and will have an information booth at the Festival for our church. This event is open for everyone in our church community as well as our surrounding Calgary community. Join the fun and be bold to invite newcomers to join us!
On behalf of our elder board, Pastor Perry
10:00 AM - Prayer Room in-person at SGA as well as on Zoom. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for the Zoom link.
11:10AM - English Worship Livestream Service