And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
(2 Corinthians 9:8)
God’s provision is something we talk about regularly. We know God will provide for our every need – yet how often do we reflect on all He’s done for us? With year-end giving under our belt, it seems like a perfect time to pause and look back on all God has done to provide for FAC in the last fiscal year.
Big Numbers, Bigger God
The ministry year of July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018 had an annual budget of $6,625,000, which includes the General Fund, the Capital Fund/Debt Reduction Fund, and Missions & Global Impact Fund. Our fiscal year closed with a total of $6,907,336 in donations for the year. That’s a surplus of $282,336 … way to go, church!
The Big Picture
At the start of the 2017/18 fiscal year, our mortgage was at $5,349,781. As a church, we were able to lower the mortgage to $2,736,721 … that’s a reduction of roughly 49%! Our goal of being debt free is definitely in sight.
But where does all that money go? Budgets seem to be all about numbers, but it’s really so much more than that … It’s about all the ways our donations fuel building lives that honour God. Here’s a snapshot of just a few of the ways our giving contributed to changing lives over the last ministry year.
At Your Fingertips
This past year there were two major initiatives to help improve FAC’s accessibility and guest experience:
- Launching a refreshed website with improved navigation and a more visual user experience.
- Taking the livestreaming of weekend services to Facebook LIVE to help expand our reach. Already we’re seeing people tuning in from all over the world – including St. John’s, the oil fields of northern Alberta, Halifax, Winnipeg, Carseland, Sylvan Lake, Baton Rouge, Bali, Guerrero, Langley, Colombia, Abu Dhabi, Taiwan, Ecuador, Argentina, Arizona, United Kingdom, South Dakota, and Idaho. Scheduled online pastors are available to connect with our online family in real time during every service, and we’ll continue to look for ways to improve the livestream experience moving forward.
Over the last year there have been four Community Connect events, representing 14 communities. This is a new initiative to help us connect with our neighbours who attend FAC. Sometimes FAC can feel so large that we don’t know where to begin to connect with others. These events happen after the weekend services right here on campus where you can stop by for a coffee, snack, and conversation to meet your neighbours. So far, people from Copperfield, Cranston, McKenzie Towne, Douglasdale, Douglas Glen, New Brighton, Mahogany, Auburn Bay, McKenzie Lake, Bridlewood, Evergreen, Shawnessy, Silverado, and Somerset have met their FAC neighbours. If you haven’t seen a connect event for your community yet, keep looking! These will continue to happen here at FAC. You can also click here for more info on how to connect with others through joining a small group that works for you.
172 … That’s the number of people who have taken the next step in their faith and were baptized! 172! Baptism is an important step in our walk with Jesus Christ. Jesus Himself was baptized: “As soon as Jesus was baptized, He went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on Him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:16-17)
As followers of Jesus Christ, baptism is a moment in our faith when we say, “I’m all in, Jesus – I am publicly declaring that I’m Yours.” We celebrate with the 172 people who took the plunge and said, “We’re all in!”
Here is another “more-than-just-a-number” number: 33. 33 people decided to make FAC their home church and become members. Membership is something we don’t discuss very often – but it’s an important step. Being a member of a church means that you’re committed to building into God’s church. You’re committed to pray for leadership, committed to help vote on large decisions, committed to connect, grow, serve, and share Jesus Christ.
Investing in Families
42 families stepped out in faith and dedicated their children to the Lord. This means 42 more families are committed to raising their children in Biblical truth. As a church family we’re standing by these families – praying for them, supporting them, and teaching their children in DiscoveryLand and Student Ministries.
And it gets even better … if you can believe it! 115 children in Preschool through Grade 4 prayed to accept Jesus as their Saviour in DiscoveryLand during 2017-18! Doesn’t that make your heart beat fast? It certainly does ours. But it doesn’t stop with the little ones; we’re committed to creating spaces and opportunities for students of all ages to grow and build lives that honour God …
The environment for SHS (Senior High Students) and JHS (Junior High Students) received a make-over – thank you for giving to the Capital Fund and allowing for some much-needed renovations to the Student Centre (Gym). They now have a space to call their own and a visible presence on Main Street.
Senior High Students also experienced two missions trips this past ministry year. Last summer, a group of 14 FAC students went to Montreal to partner with Soar Montreal and run English Camps. This past spring, another team of 14 students from FAC joined forces with Encompass Partnerships and the New Canadian Friendship Centre in NE Calgary to run day camps during spring break for 20-25 local students.
A new initiative Student Ministries was involved in was city-wide Youth Alpha, offered in schools all over the city. Over 700 students in Calgary attended Alpha last school year – and FAC sponsored 100 of these students! There were four student leaders from FAC. God is on the move in our city and He is using students to reach their peers.
Another new initiative that started last year was Crave, a student discipleship program for Young Adults. They meet twice a week to dig deeper in their faith. The first year there were twelve young adults who journeyed through this intensive program together. A new semester of Crave will begin this fall … Pray that this ministry will grow to reach more young adults at FAC. Click here for more info.
God provided volunteers to run all of the amazing ministries at FAC. We could go into detail on all of the different areas where volunteers serve … but this blog post would be endless! Did you know that over 1,700 people actively served at FAC in 2017-18? Some of the “big rock” events this year where you stepped in to help welcome guests included the Canada 150 celebration, Christmas Eve, Easter, Dinner Theatre, and the C&MA General Assembly. Thank you for welcoming our community through these events!
There have been a number of exciting additions to the area of Share (Community Impact & Global Impact). In November, 2017, FAC International launched – a full weekend (Friday through Sunday) dedicated to hearing from International Workers, participating in multilingual services, and learning God’s heart for the nations. There was a social justice walk-through that broke our hearts for the things that break God’s heart – and lives were changed! Many gave generously to special projects around the world like treatment for women out of sex-trafficking, bug nets for families in Africa, and chickens for families in Costa Rica to start micro-businesses. You’ve changed so many people’s lives!
The second big win was the addition of the “Missions on Main Street” TV wall that will feature only global missions-related content to better show how we’re actively sharing the love of Christ around the world on an ongoing basis. Right now you can stop by and see information on all the short-term missions teams heading out from FAC this summer.
Which leads us to the next win: short-term missions trips! Thanks to the heightened awareness of God’s work around the world, there was significant interest to go on missions trips this summer. God provided for 37 people to take the next step in their faith and dare to share what God has done in their lives! Many of them are on the ground around the world right now. Pray that these teams will not only make an impact while they’re on their trips, but that they will return with a renewed perspective on the global church. May they bring that perspective home to make an impact here at FAC!
Finally, through your donations we were able to sponsor five young influencers to attend the Envision Summit in Montreal. This conference is designed to expose young adults to spiritual health, “soul care,” and topics of faith in today’s culture.
You sure don’t have to look far to see the amazing ways God is providing for FAC! Thank you for your faithful, generous, and obedient hearts to give.
– FAC Lead Team (Pastors James Paton, Les Bon-Bernard, Heather Wile, and John Siebring)
Watch for even more ministry updates and stories from the past year this coming fall.