There is a timeless truth that I believe is timely for us to hear in this season of life: Jesus is the hope of the world; and we—His Church—are the ones who get to be the carriers of that hope.
With that being said, I want to thank each and every one of you for your faithfulness to Niagara Worship Centre in this time. Your generosity has been a great encouragement to the leadership of this church as we are walking through these uncertain times. We know that many homes have been effected financially, and while giving is always a sacrifice, it has become much more of a sacrifice as of late.
Here is some financial insight from the desk of the bookkeeper (based on the time period between March 15 and April 30):
A notable increase of donors who used to only give during weekend services have started giving online
60% of our donations are now received online (as opposed to mailed in/dropped off cheques)
19 new donors have started giving
Your continued faithfulness in giving your tithes and offerings during this time has enabled us to continue to:
Support all of our missionaries
Support Pastor Previl Opont in Haiti as they continue to raise funds for the final construction of their church building since it was destroyed in the earthquake in 2010
Run the majority of our ongoing ministries (including kids and youth ministry via online)
Meet our regular building expenses and ongoing costs
Even though we have experienced an overall reduction in giving (of about 18%) since we have been unable to gather corporately, we are so grateful for where we are at and what we have been able to still do! Prior to knowing how much our finances would be effected, the Board worked to cut approximately 25% of our budget to ensure we were being good stewards of what was given. I want you to know that we are endeavouring to be extraordinarily wise with the finances that are given, and hope you know how greatly appreciated your faithfulness is.
Together, we will continue to bring the hope of the world—Jesus Himself—to those around us!
Thank you for all you do,
With the Government of Ontario’s recently announcement to keep schools and child care facilities closed until May 4th, we wanted to update you as to where we are at as a church. Our desire is to walk in both faith and wisdom in all things. Our faith leads us to pray, hope, declare and believe for a divine protection and a quick turnaround so we can gather again as a church family. Wisdom leads us to comply with the advise of our Government, who has asked that every individual confine themselves to their homes with the exception of necessary errands and emergencies.
Sunday Service & Other Ministries
We will therefore continue to refrain from gathering together for church services, ministries and events until further notice. We have transitioned our Sunday services, as well as mid-week prayer meetings, kids ministry and youth ministry to an online-only platform, through Zoom. We will soon be launching LifeGroups and StudyGroups in an online capacity as well.
All previously scheduled special meetings, from membership classes to baptism classes, have been postponed until we are able to gather again.
Our office remains open at this point, as we desire to keep our food pantry accessible to those in need during this time. The staff are not scheduling any in person meetings, but are available to be reached through email or a scheduled phone call.
We are still here to care for you, connect with you, pray with you, and help you in whatever practical way that we can. We are endeavouring to reach out to those who are not able to connect with us online for services and other mid-week ministries, and very much appreciate the whole church family making it a personal priority to reach out to those you know in the church so that we are showing our care for one another in this time.
If anyone is in need of essential items to be delivered, we encourage you to reach out to us at the office and let us know.
I want to begin this letter by reminding you of the words of Psalm 46:1, God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in times of need.
Whether we want to admit it or not, we are living in troubling times. With all that is happening surrounding the COVID-19 virus, there is no other way to describe it. That being said, we must remind ourselves that we do not have to be afraid. Fear must never drive our reactions or decisions. How we respond to what happens in our world must always be motivated by faith in God, wisdom and a desire to do the right thing.
After endeavouring to listen carefully to the voices of others who are making significant decisions in our community and prayerfully discussing how this effects us as a church community, we have decided to cancel all upcoming church gatherings until further notice. This includes the cancelation of our Sunday services on March 15th, as well as all mid-week events (Celebrate Recovery, Prayer Meetings, Youth, LifeGroups etc.).
This decision is not intended to spread further fear or panic, and I want to encourage each and every one of you to join me online on Sunday morning at 10:00am or by phone as I will be sharing a message from the Word of God about how we ought to approach issues like these in our world. Keep an eye out for a link on our social media pages, where we will post a link to the feed we will be streaming the message from. During the week I will also be hosting online prayer times where you’ll be able to join in digitally to pray and intercede in this time of need. Stay tuned as we announce more information in days to come.
Please know that even though we will not be gathering this Sunday and during this coming week, this is no time for us as a church to shrink back, but to rise up! This is a wonderful opportunity for us to demonstrate that the church is not defined by it’s “Sunday Services”—the church is actually the people of God, filled with the Spirit of God, empowered to do the works of God! Let’s increase our time in prayer, our time seeking the Lord, our time in His presence. Let’s stay connected as a church family by picking up the phone and reaching out to one another. Our gatherings me be cancelled but our identity and our mission is not!
Thank you for being mindful that the financial needs of the church still continue even in the absence of our gatherings. You can give online through our website at this address: www.niagaraworship.ca/give or text the word “church” to 905-356-0635.
I’ll leave you with the next statement made in Psalm 46:2-3
...Therefore we will not fear,
though the earth is transformed
And the mountains are toppled into the depths of the seas, Though their waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake in surge....
The Psalmists point is simple... in times of need, we WILL not fear, because we have God as our helper. We are not alone. We are never alone. We are the body of Christ, and we are well taken care of no matter what may come!
Pastor Tim and the NWC team.