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TOGETHER IN FAITH

“For I am about to do something new.

See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?” Isaiah 43:19

On the threshold of our 70th anniversary, and with a fresh vision for ministry, Oakridge Church is finding renewed momentum, and a new future is opening before us. The Spirit is alive in us. It’s palpable in our vital Sunday Worship, in our growing diversity, in the widening of our outreach partnerships, and in the warm caring welcome that has always been a hallmark of Oakridge. It’s our vision to be “A Caring Diverse Community, Rooted in Christ, Growing a New Generation of Faith.”

 

With a new vision and fresh opportunities for our faith community, I invite you to join with me in an intentional season of prayer, as we discern together the Spirit’s lead toward our next steps in ministry. Here at Oakridge Church, we are undertaking significant steps forward in our ministry this year. With a fresh Vision for Ministry, we have much work to do in implementing and activating that Vision and in expanding the impact of OPC ministries in general. In 2024, with matching funds from a successful grant application to the Presbyterian Church in Canada, we will grow our Korean Ministry by hiring a new paid coordinator in the summer of 2024. This new bi-lingual staff person will increase the scope of our evangelism and outreach in the city of London.

 

As we prepare for our future, we also want to place Oakridge on a solid financial foundation. Our Together in Faith capital Campaign is focused on the elimination of our current mortgage ($565, 586), plus also using any additional funds raised to address some facility needs—all of which will enable Oakridge to accelerate and expand our ministry and mission to better impact our growing city. Our $3.6 million expansion in 2010 has given us a spacious facility that is used for ministry seven days a week; but it also requires some refreshing for effective future ministry. Our remaining debt still costs us about $125,000 per year. One of every six dollars given to our ministry goes toward our debt each year. With the imminent renewal of our two bank mortgages in 2024 and 2027, if not paid off our debt servicing costs are set to substantially increase.

 

Yet retiring our debt will give us back about $100,000 per year for ministry at OPC. Imagine how those funds could be used to help us move downward in age and outward in focus toward our city and our world. How might a new expanded small group ministry program help to grow faith and new disciples of Jesus? How might greater coordination of our African Community help us to grow in ministry and outreach? How could our ministry partnerships in our city be expanded to help more of our most vulnerable citizens? How could our Pizza Lunch ministry to about 120 local youth each week be grown? How could high-quality communication help us to reach more people in our city? It’s an exciting time to be part of OPC. I’m so glad you’re here.

 

And this is my invitation to ask you to join me in praying, “Lord, what do you want to do through me?” For as we are reminded in Ephesians (3:20), “Glory to God, who is able to do far beyond all that we could ask or imagine by his power at work within us.”

In Christ, 

Rev. Tim Archibald

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FAQ'S

What is the “Together in Faith” campaign?

The campaign is the initiative to fund the planned debt elimination, and prioritized facility repairs and refreshing projects, as funds are available, after the debt is eliminated. 

 

Why are we having this campaign?

With a new vision and fresh opportunities, Oakridge Church is finding renewed momentum, and a new future is opening before us. The opportunities and needs for ministry in our growing city are many and great. This project will primarily pay off our $565,000 mortgage debt—which currently costs us about $130,000 in principal and interest charges each year. One in every six dollars given to OPC goes towards debt repayment. By paying this off we place our ministry on a stronger financial footing for the future and potentially allow more direct funding for new future initiatives for our growing ministry—thus allowing us to live more fully into our vision. Secondarily, any additional funds raised will be used to address some needed refreshing of our facility.

 

What about my current tithe or offerings I make to OPC?

The most important financial gifts that you give to the ministry at Oakridge Presbyterian Church are your gifts that support the annual ministry of the church. Do not compromise your annual ministry gifts, for the sake of the Together in Faith campaign. Capital Campaign gifts are above and beyond your usual annual gift to OPC.

 

How will we be asked to participate?

Every person who feels a connection to OPC will be asked to do two things:

  • Pray daily: “Lord, what do you want to do through me?” Seek God’s direction as you reflect on the ministry of OPC and your possible gift to the Together in Faith campaign.

  • After praying daily, you will be invited to make a sacrificial gift to the “Together in Faith” capital campaign on May 12, 2024. Remember the saying, “Not equal gifts…but equal sacrifice.” These capital campaign gifts will be given across a three-year period from June 2024 through May 2027.

 

We are making an Estimate of Giving to the capital campaign; when do we begin to give toward that?

Dedication Sunday, when the Estimate of Giving cards are turned in, is May 12, 2024.  The 3-year giving period for the campaign is June 2024—May 2027. Gifts to the campaign can be made at any time between now and May 2027.

 

How are the gifts given?

It is up to the individual making the gift how they want to give.  Many individuals will break up their total gift and make weekly or monthly offerings toward their Estimate of Giving over the three years of the campaign. Some persons may give their gift in one or a few lump sums, due to special circumstances or for tax reasons.  How the gifts are given will be varied according to your particular situation. You can indicate on your Estimate of Giving (EOG) card how you intend to make your gift.

 

What if my job situation changes or I have a crisis?

The EOG card is a declaration of your intentions to give based on your understanding of your particular situation when you filled out the card. We understand that a crisis or emergency may preclude or diminish your ability to give what you intend. It could also be that an unexpected blessing may enable you to give more than you thought you could. Contact Nancy Martin, envelop secretary:  nmartin@oakridgechurch.ca  at any time if you need to modify your pledge or the manner in which you would like to disburse your gift.

 

Who can best answer specific questions related to my campaign gift and my tax situation?

Your tax advisor will be the best source of information regarding the tax implications of your gift. 

 

What can I do next?

Learn as much as you can about the campaign projects, and ask clarifying questions. If you have questions, please contact Campaign Chairs, Tom Kontio, Joslyn Reid or Andrew Reid. Then, pray. Pray for Oakridge Church its future. Pray asking, “Lord, how do you want me to respond to this invitation to make an impact and join in the Together in Faith Campaign?"  A series of Congregational Gatherings will be held the week of April 21/24 to share the finalized project and campaign details, and to process your questions. Contact Marg Hyde mhyde@odyssey.on.ca if you would like to be part of one of these gatherings.

 

 

How does the scope of this “Together in Faith” campaign compare to what OPC has achieved in the past?

In 2010 OPC completed a $3.6 million expansion of our facility. Over 80% of the mortgage is already paid off. The Together in Faith Campaign will get us to the finish line on that expansion and help place our ministry on a solid financial footing for living into our fresh vision for ministry of being “A Caring, Diverse Community, Rooted in Christ, Growing a New Generation of Faith.” 

What is the purpose of the estimate of giving card?
The estimate of giving cards are distributed to ALL members of the congregation to ensure they have an opportunity to participate in the Together in Faith Campaign, and as we all pray, “Lord, what do you want to do through me.” To help guide our actions as a church, the card gives us an estimate of what may come in and helps us plan for the future. However, it is not binding on you as an individual. We have always believed that we are led by the Holy Spirit, and as we did through the visioning process, we continue to invite God to lead us in seeking his will first and foremost. If you do not feel the Lord guiding you to participate at this time, please return the card indicating that you will not be contributing a set amount. You are still welcome to contribute in any way you like if the Lord guides you differently in the future. Should you discern to give a gift to the Together in Faith Campaign and your situation suddenly changes ( work, personal circumstances, etc) you are welcome to give more than estimated or to give less, the estimate you put on the card does not bind you either way. We are asking that whatever you discern, that ALL cards be returned. This will help us ensure all members of the congregation have had a chance to pray and discern. If you have any further questions, please review the other FAQ’s or speak to one of the Chairpersons of the campaign. Those who do return an Estimate of Giving card will be kept updated yearly on their progress. Many have found this update helpful for record keeping purposes.

How should I send in my Gift to the church for the campaign?
Campaign gifts may be contributed in the same ways that we normally give to OPC. Monetary donations can be sent in using one of the preferred methods of e-transfer or cash or cheque. Service fees apply to credit card donations and as such are not the preferred method but are still an option for those who wish to do so. There are links for both forms of payment on the OPC website. You may wish to include a cheque in with your estimate of giving card when you return it and that is fine as well. If sending by an electronic method, please indicate that donation is for the Together in Faith Campaign. All amounts will be recorded by our envelope secretary at the church and will be receipted at yearend like all other contributions.

How do I return my Estimate of Giving (EOG) Cards?

 

EOG cards will be received in Sunday Worship with the offering on Dedication Sunday (May 12th). EOG cards can also be returned any day of the week (8:30am-4pm) to the office.

 

 

 

How do I add my monthly pledge to my Pre-Authorized Remittance(PAR) automatic monthly givings?

 

It’s easy. Just send a note or email to Nancy Martin (our envelope secretary) nmartin@oakridgechurch.ca with the necessary details of your designation amount and she will add it to your PAR.

 

 

What if I already regularly give to the Capital Fund on my OPC envelope?—how does this relate to my new estimate of giving for the Together in Faith Campaign?

 

Many at OPC have been giving to the Capital Fund over the years to pay down the mortgage—helping us whittle down the mortgage balance by regularly designating givings to the “Capital Fund” since our new addition was constructed in 2010. THANK YOU! Givings to both the Capital Fund and Together in Faith will go directly to our mortgage repayment—so you have a choice. If you are on Pre-Authorized Remittance (PAR), one option is to leave your current givings in the categories you had chosen in the past, and simply ask Nancy Martin (our envelope secretary) to add a new category of Together in Faith (TIF) and the amount for your new campaign givings. Both the amount you already give to the Capital Fund and the Together in Faith Campaign will go to mortgage repayment. Another option is to simply combine what you were already giving to the Capital Fund with your new Together in Faith giving and have Nancy put one amount

under the new “Together in Faith Campaign” designation. Those of you still using paper envelopes also have a choice. You can either continue to give to both Capital and Together in Faith OR you can combine it into one amount and write TIF (Together in Faith) and the amount you are giving in the blank space on the front of your current envelopes.

 

The primary objective for our current Together In Faith capital campaign is to eliminate our mortgages over the next 3 years. Together In Faith eclipses and replaces previous mortgage reduction initiatives and campaigns. We are inviting your fresh consideration of a new gift over 3-years, between now and May 2027. All of us working together can bring our mortgage elimination efforts to completion, then we can invest ourselves more fully in our day-to-day ministry at Oakridge Presbyterian.

 

 


Could we use some of our Legacy Fund to pay off our mortgage?

 

The short answer is no.The Oakridge Presbyterian Church Legacy Fund was set up in 1984 and over the past 40 years the fund has benefited from bequests and Memorial donations from Church members and supporters. These individuals have given their bequests to the Church with the knowledge that the fund generally preserves the capital while spending the interest/growth in three specific areas of designation: 1) Mission; 2) Education; 3) Capital Projects. The Legacy Fund policy is to use the growth and interest of the fund. To spend down the principle would violate our Fund Guidelines, as well as the trust given to OPC by those who previously bequeathed and designated funds to our Legacy Fund. It is important to be consistent in the use of our Legacy Fund so that future donors can feel confident that their bequests will be used according to the current policy of the Legacy Fund to benefit our on going ministry.

 

 

The best way to understand the Legacy Fund is to see it as an apple tree where each year we harvest the fruit for use in the three specific areas of designation. To take from the principle would be like cutting down the tree and would threaten future fruitful return to our ministry. Using the Legacy Fund to pay off current mortgages would also erase the past 40 years of stewardship of the bequests of the individuals that have remembered the Legacy Fund in their wills. Additionally, we would use up the capital that currently provides us with approximately $35,000 per year in our three specific areas of designation.

 

Potentially, the the designated “yearly fruit” for Capital Projects could be designated for mortgage repayment. However, usually this amount is urgently needed for the immediate maintenance needs of our building (e.g. the new roof for our south Narthex roof this spring; or the recent repair of our air conditioning.)

 

 

Why is Together in Faith coming to fruition now, since the addition to our building happened in 2010?

 

80% of the 2010 expansion debt has already been paid. The remaining 565,000 is costing us about $130,000 per year to service ($100,000 in principle repayment and $30,000 in interest). And when our two bank mortgages are renewed these costs are set to substantially increase—taking more resources away from our regular ministry budget and staffing at OPC. By paying off the debt we receive this money back to invest in regular ministry and to ensure continued staffing for ministry.

 

 

Whose idea was it to hire someone (Horizon Stewardship) to help raise the money?

 

It was discerned and prayed through by Session and a committee of Session. Research was done. If you don’t hire someone to help you raise funds, you raise less money. The last in-house campaign did not raise enough funds to successfully pay off the mortgage. We need to be successful this time--since if we aren’t there will probably need to be cuts to our staff in order to

keep the mortgage paid. Yes, there is a cost in hiring a professional stewardship company, but the amount of money you raise will be much higher.

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