(Brooke’s generosity Blog)
February 23, 2020
An annual report is a moment in time. At the AGM meeting this afternoon(Feb 23), we gather to learn, reflect, and move forward in grace and ministry.
Our congregation is part of the Presbytery of Waterloo-Wellington (including Guelph). Between 1988 and 2018 this presbytery reported a stark reality. During that time the numbers show:
- 4 congregations closed
- 2 congregations amalgamated into one
- 2 congregations prepare for closing in 2020
- 28 congregations reported numerical and financial decline
- 7131 members lost or 57% of total membership
- 1 congregation reported numerical and financial growth (beyond CPI)
- Knox Waterloo is that congregation
In 1989 Knox Waterloo had the 8th highest revenue in the Presbytery with $177,971 reported. In 2018 we were 2nd (2018 was not a great year for the operating fund).
I rejoice that some congregations are now preparing for renewal projects. Some are investing in new outreach and vital ministries for the 21st century.
At Knox Waterloo we continually look to the future. We were prepared for the 21st century. Ministry and Mission drives everything we do in response to God’s blessings in Jesus Christ. We strive for excellence in all we do. We do many things faithfully and well.
This is our 131st annual meeting. In looking over the annual reports and meetings of the past years, there are a lot of continuing themes. Excitement about ministry continues to be a feature. The other constant is a concern about finances. Even in the years of amazing stewardship with cause to celebrate, there is just something about Presbyterians. We never like to proclaim victory or celebrate, because we know that a disaster might be just ahead of us.
Since the first worship service on October 27, 1888, this congregation has thrived. Today we worship in our fourth sanctuary. We were nomadic for two years while a new building was prepared for worship in 1927. We have grown with the region.
We invest in people by providing excellent programming (ministry, faith formation music and others) and support staff. Our facility is built for 21st century ministry. Many of us will not be here in 50 years. Yet, in faithfulness, this congregation will continue to be a beacon of hope in the centre of this growing urban centre.
Whatever we encounter, this congregation has always managed to re-invent ourselves to serve God more effectively. We correct course and make wise future-oriented decisions.
For 131 years every bill has been paid. Every mission allocation met or exceeded. We respond generously to genuine need. An amazing number of lives have been touched with God’s Grace. (A future generosity insert will feature mission projects.)
Today, our assets are much, much larger than our debts. Our net-worth is higher today than at any previous time in our history. We are in God’s hands. Today and Always.