Last week, I wrote about the question of a pastoral council. It`s time today to address our building project. I want to address this important matter, if only to explain why you haven’t received a lot of news on this subject in recent months.
The first reason is that we’re just coming out of the summer season, in which it is quite normal that things slow down. The second and more important reason is that there isn’t a lot that we can communicate to you, since we are in a process of discernment. We all know that the ultimate goal, in broad outline, is the major building project which was presented to you some time ago. This is still the ultimate goal, but the manner of attaining that goal is as yet undefined. We are exploring various options, in order to determine the best manner of achieving our ultimate goal. This is a time-consuming and slow-moving process. We will keep you apprized of all developments as they become firm.
A consequence of the fact that we are not fixed on the strategy to be adopted to reach our goal, is that we are not in a position to give you a firm number with regard to our fund-raising goal. The amount of money that we will need in order to get the project going will depend on the strategy that we will ultimately adopt. What we can tell you with certainty at the present time is that under any scenario, the amount we now have, which is roughly 1.5 million dollars, is a far cry from what we will need. We must then, continue to solicit your generosity, and you can be certain that we really need whatever you can spare.
Finally, another thing that I can safely do at this point in time is to address an objection to our mega-project. Here is the objection: why are we setting ourselves up to live our church life, in the future, in a concrete jungle, rubbing shoulders with several businesses, services, and hundreds, if not thousands of apartment dwellers? Why don’t we just build a school, which is all that we truly need? The answer lies in the cost of building a school. Estimates vary, but it’s safe to say, I think, that the school we need to build – a double-stream school (i.e. two classes for each grade) cannot, at the present time, be built for under 15 million dollars. In addition, construction costs in Vancouver are rising all the time, at a fast pace. We are not even certain that we can raise funds fast enough to outpace the rise in construction costs. In contrast, if we are able to make our mega-project work, it will generate important revenues, such that the amount needed to initiate the project and tide us over until the revenues start to come in will be a fraction of the 15 million that it would cost us to build a school by itself. Hence the appeal of our project…
This is about as much as I can say on our building project for the time being. I hope this has been helpful. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the people, too numerous to mention here by name, who are involved in this ambitious project. We will be sure to be in communication with you as matters progress. In the meantime, please pray that in this bold venture, God’s will be done.