Reflecting on AGM 2019
I want to thank everyone who participated in last Sunday’s AGM. I was told it was a record-breaking attendance.
We heard about the challenge in keeping our annual operating budget in the black as we seek to fulfil all our financial obligations (joyfully!) in the ministry of the church, our Diocese and Missions. I remind, guided by Biblical principle, for each to "give according to what he has”, and this is reflected well in the discipline of tithing.
We unanimously supported the Restoration Works of the Cathedral, especially in the Nave areas. Fund-raising will be starting in earnest. The estimated costs of up to $6 million for the works to be carried out over three years is, of course, a hefty sum. We will be seeking grants from the authorities where they are available. This will only partially cover the costs and your support is needed. Be assured that the PCC, Building Development Committee and the Restoration Works Committee will be proceeding carefully at every step and decide prudently on the solutions and expenses involved. This also received unanimous support at the Chinese AGM.
We also supported the decision to begin fund-raising for the Phase 2 Project. We are almost reaching or have reached maximum capacity in many of our Services. Our need for ancillary facilities i.e. Sunday school, office and ministry rooms are dire. The Working Group has worked hard at identifying where the space needs are and the Advisory Group (architectural) has advised on the design and the selection of the right architect. Laud Architects presented an early design idea for us to begin to reflect on and to guide the cost estimates. The current estimate is in the region of $20-25 million. Both AGMs supported the decision to begin fund-raising by a majority of over 90%.
As a family, of course, we want to seek as much support and involvement as possible. We can always do better in our communication and we will seek to do that. Do watch the Vicar Writes space. Conversations will continue - including Town Halls - as the leadership explains and gather feedback. Some will feel the need for space more keenly than others. We need to converse and listen to one another. More than anything else, it is a sense of faith in the Lord’s provision as He calls us to bring people into the Kingdom, prepare for the needs of future generations and give priority to the work of the Church and the Gospel.
I have been involved in two previous parish building projects and understand that not all will see eye to eye on the issue of building and cost. We need to value our relationship in Christ above everything else and offer mutual respect and understanding even in disagreement. Beyond individual opinions, we need to think communally, not just for the present community but for future ones as well.
One encouraging indication was the way the needs for the Bells Funds were met. And we should never lose sight of the fact that the Pavilion project is made possible with minimal controversy because of a generous donation.
We also elected in a new PCC and the names should be in this week's bulletin. We want to thank those who have served in the last PCC as well as those who offered to serve and stood as nominees. The limited number of PCC positions should not deter us from serving the Lord elsewhere. Indeed, in SAC we want to create as many avenues as possible for members to serve and participate in the work of the Lord.
We are now barely two weeks before the Celebration of Hope rallies start. Will you be there, serving or inviting someone? And if for some reason you can’t, the Body of Christ will value your prayers.