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We Have an Idea!

The council has been thinking of ways to support our churches and spark efforts to engage in mission and care for the needy in the cities where we are located. Because we are diverse in location, this does create some challenges. For example, suppose we pick a group or project to partner with, say in Vancouver. How do churches in Squamish or Surrey easily dive in?

In our thinking, we came up with a solution we would like to try for a season. If it works, we’ll keep going. If it stalls, we’ll have a rethink. Our idea is to create “city funds” where we set aside money from our general fund for each city where our churches are. Then, churches from those locations can tap into these funds to engage in mission or compassion in their cities.

To start, we’ve funded each city with $1500 with two exceptions. As a legacy church with its historic charitable number and bank account, Squamish has its own fund. North Vancouver has been funded $4000 because we have four churches in this city - whereas the other cities have one church. 

Of course, these totals are just a start. If your church needs more funds, we can free money up to support that need. And, in time, we will continue to add to these funds so that the buckets will grow (unless you keep depleting them - which is also a good thing. We want you to use the money!).

How can the funds be used?

There are limitations that the CRA puts on the way funds are used. If you recall the “Big Give” we have done at Christmas time, you’ll remember some of those rules. Essentially, though, a few rules apply:

  • Suppose you want to use the funds to support another charity in your city (and, hopefully, your church will also volunteer there). In that case, there are no restrictions here other than the charity should align with our values as a Jesus-following community. 
  • You can give funds to persons in need; however, all receipts must be kept, you cannot provide direct funds (gift cards for shopping are acceptable), and you cannot give more than $500 in a calendar year.
  • You can use the funds for mission projects or events (eg. block party, fundraiser, Alpha, etc.), but again, all receipts need to be kept. Reimbursements can only happen for expenses that have receipts.  

How do you access the funds? 

First, your church needs to pray, discuss, and discern how it might want to use the funds and who it might want to support. And for churches in North Vancouver, perhaps we want to partner together on something where we might serve the city together?

Second, as you have ideas, you can submit those ideas to Andy for approval. In some cases, he may need to seek council approval, and in some cases, we may need to decline the request (our rubric will basically be twofold: is it legal, is it Christian). 

Third, depending on the approval, we will determine the best plan for how the funds can be dispersed or reimbursed. 

That’s all for now…

So there you go. Start dreaming and praying as a church. And then, let’s get at the work of mission and compassion in our cities! 

Any questions? Reach out to Andy for clarification.