Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates
The Church is closed until further notice
We are closely monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation and will be posting frequent updates here.
The following is a message from the Board of Managers
May 29, 2020
As individuals, families, and as a congregation, we are indeed living in strange and uncertain times. Although none of us know when or how things will get back to normal, we can be assured that together we will come through this stronger and more resilient than ever. All around us are signs of communities coming together in new ways, people providing help and support for each other. The “new normal” can and will be better than before if we trust and believe in ourselves and our community.
When the shutdown began in March, Board members met with Session and convened more frequently. The early weeks looked uncertain. We are thankful Wes arrived home safely from Spain, but regular weekly worship and all other Church activities immediately ceased as the lockdown took effect. Our daycare tenant Kids & Company suspended operations. It seemed things were changing daily, and we did not know what the impact would be on the operation of Rosedale Presbyterian Church.
The primary role of the Board of Managers is to be responsible stewards of the Church’s financial and physical assets, to ensure that we can maintain our commitments and our missions in our community and beyond. The shutdown presented us with some unique challenges and I am grateful for how the Board and the Congregation rose to meet them.
I want to begin with a word of thanks, because since those early days of the crisis, I have seen our congregation come together in ways I could not have imagined. We have embraced technology to be able to minister online with wonderful results. From Coffee Hour and the Globe and Faith meeting on Zoom, to recorded sermons and an online ministry of music, Rosedale Presbyterian Church has adapted and is finding ways to thrive.
- Recognizing the special, central place that music has in the ministry of our church, we agreed readily to maintain our paid choir leads despite the suspension of church services. Our musicians have responded by providing beautiful home-recorded music with the accompaniment of our director Chris Dawes, accessible from our web site and Facebook page. Thank you to Chris, our soloists, and the choir for your continued ministry and support.
- We have maintained our full payroll and contract pay commitments and will continue to do so as all the church staff have worked hard to keep us operating during this time. Thank you to Wes, Ijeoma, Jen, Jomar, Norm, Chris and all who have made the difficult transition to working remotely while enabling Rosedale Presbyterian Church to continue ministering to our community.
- We have negotiated in good faith a rent abatement plan with Kids & Company in full confidence that this will help them resume operations as soon as permitted by the Government of Ontario. Thank you to Victoria Sopik and the team at Kids & Company for their continued confidence in us as a landlord and business partner.
- Because of our new partnership with Canada Helps, those who normally contribute via weekly envelopes have a secure option for online donations. Thank you to all of you in the congregation who have continued your support for the church during these difficult times.
A brief word on our finances
We have applied and been approved for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy. This federal program, extended to August 29, provides assistance to non- profit organizations as well as businesses whose revenues are adversely affected by the economic downturn due to COVID-19. This enables us to almost offset the temporary revenue loss from the suspension of Kids and Company. As a result, although our weekly envelope givings are lower than last year, we do not anticipate a significant change to our operating budget. We will likely incur a small deficit by the end of the year instead of the small surplus we had anticipated but this will be a temporary and manageable situation.
Our financial health is dependent on your continued support. Please be sure to remember Rosedale Presbyterian Church as we head into our much-needed summer vacations. Norm Creen is available to assist anyone who wishes to donate via Canada Helps or to set up Pre-Authorized Remittance (PAR).
Brock Winterton, Tom Starkey and our Trustees have continued to prudently manage our investment portfolio. As of April 30th our total endowment funds stand at just over $2.5 million, down only about 4% from the end of December 2019. This is very favourable compared to, for example, the Dow Jones down over 15% and the Toronto Stock Exchange down more than 11% for the same period. As a result, the Board is very confident that Rosedale Presbyterian Church has the necessary resources to weather the crisis and continue to thrive in ministry and worship.
As the crisis progressed, the status of our renovation project was the subject of lengthy discussions and debates in our Board meetings. We considered many options including cancellation or postponement and reduction in scope. Most important was ensuring the safety of all concerned including our congregation and staff, our day care tenants and the construction crews. With full confidence in our financial strength and the long- term health of Rosedale Presbyterian Church, the board concluded early in May that the project should proceed as planned and approved in our November 2019 congregational meeting. Work started May 19 and is expected to be complete by Labour Day. Demolition work can be carried out most safely now while neither the church nor daycare are occupying the building. Our contractors are adhering to all required safety precautions, practicing physical distancing and using protective equipment while on site. In retrospect, our decision to go with touchless faucets and toilets in the renovated washrooms now looks like a very good idea and well worth the expense.
For everyone’s safety, we must prohibit all access to the church while work is underway. We have posted signs at all entrances, and any questions can be directed to Feite Kraay. I look forward to safely celebrating our renovated space with all of you in the fall.
Thank you again for your continued support and confidence in Rosedale Presbyterian Church. It is a privilege to serve as your Board and we wish everyone a happy and safe summer.
Convener, Board of Managers
Note that the office is closed until further notice
(Phone and emails will be monitored.)
Our mailing address is:
129 Mount Pleasant Rd,