Annual Ministries Report
Celebrating What God Has Done in 2022
God has done some amazing things at Willingdon Church this past year. We are excited to share with you all the ways our ministry has impacted the kids, students, families, adults, the hurting and the lost here in our congregation, in our local community and beyond.
Letter from the Elders
It is amazing that God uses everyday people to build his church. He uses people that are imperfect and have sinful tendencies and changes us through His Spirit from the inside out to be like the image of his Son. It is in His strength that we are made strong. God has chosen to make us all part of the body of Christ at Willingdon church, each one with a different role. It is a privilege for the elders to serve the body and care for this body. We as elders take seriously the words of Paul in Acts 20 to the Ephesian elders where he says “Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood.” What a beautiful picture of the church that is so precious to God that he gave his Son Jesus up to save a people after his Name.
On the elder board, there are a total of 15 elders of which 12 are lay elders and 3 are pastor elders. As elders, we are charged with guiding the vision and overall direction of the church. We do this together with the pastors and leaders of the church and it is a joy to work with the entire team. You may not see the lay elders on stage very often but they are serving in many ministry areas including; International Language Ministries (ILM), Discovery Class, Willingdon School of the Bible and Ministry (WSBM), Worship Arts and Music (WAM), Life Group leaders, Refugee Ministry, Elder Discernment committee, mentors to younger people, and being involved in the lives of the people that call Willingdon home. The elders are also grateful to have supportive spouses that share in the ministry of the church by using their unique gifting from God.
In November 2022, one of our elders, Rick Wilson, passed away from ALS which was a bittersweet experience. Rick was quick to remind us of how good God is regardless of our circumstances. We will miss his encouraging words and how he was constantly in prayer for the church and the elders. Rick fought the good fight to the very end and left a legacy that encourages us to run the race with our eyes focused on Jesus. Those that spoke at his memorial reminded us of his godly character and leadership in all areas of his life.
As elders, we are trusted with shepherding the church and this is our goal when we serve in the church. Throughout the year when elders meet we start our meetings on our knees in prayer asking God to give us wisdom and guidance as we discern together how best to lead the church. We know each of us has been gifted in different ways by God and together we are here to serve the church. To that end, we recognize that we must always be dependent on God for our strength through his Spirit.
Over the past few years, the elders have been searching and praying for younger staff and younger elders that will carry on the pastoral and leadership ministry at Willingdon Church into the future. God has provided and blessed us with exceptional and committed staff. A new elder will be nominated this spring for affirmation by the congregation and we are continuing to look for younger elders that God has gifted to lead this church. We continue to ask God for the physical restoration of Pastor Rob Penner who has been a huge blessing to our church and staff. Pray also for strength for his wife Joy and their family.
We are very encouraged at how many people have returned to our live worship services. The elders are grateful for the generous giving from the church in 2022 which allowed us to reach our budget goal. We do not take for granted the faithful giving that has supported the church through the pandemic and now as we recover from the effects of the pandemic. Faithful giving allows the elders to plan for the future growth of the church. There are many resources that the church has been given and it is part of the elder’s role to see how the resources can be best used for Kingdom work.
Please continue to pray for unity in our church starting with elders, pastors and leaders in our effort to bring a clear message of hope into a broken world that desperately needs Christ. It is our pleasure to serve the body of Christ at Willingdon Church. On behalf of the elders, I thank you for your support and encouragement this past year. Please continue to pray for us that we will lead well to the honour and glory of Jesus Christ and for the spiritual well-being of our church that we dearly love.
– Ed Thiessen
Moderator of the Elders
Letter from the Lead Pastor
Our New Year’s Eve Prayer Summit focused on God’s faithfulness.
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” (Lamentations 3:22-24).
At the end of 2021, coming out of the pandemic, we were praying for personal spiritual renewal, the rebuilding of church ministries, and a renewed commitment to the kingdom vision God had entrusted to us. As I reflect on God’s steadfast love and faithfulness to our church family in 2022, I am filled with gratitude. He is building his church!
Here are some signs of his work among us: weekend attendance has grown from around 1000 to 3000 (including children and students); two significant outreach presentations (Easter, Christmas); growth in every ministry area; more than 1000 volunteers mobilized; more than 1000 visitors connected with our welcome ministry; scores of newcomers were included in Discovery classes, Life Groups, ILM fellowships, Family Ministries and Kids Ministries; hundreds received soul care; many making first-time decisions to place their faith in Jesus. The Lord of the Harvest has also raised up new workers to our staff team, each one is making a significant contribution to the ministry of the church at Willingdon and beyond.
In alignment with our collective prayers, our winter preaching series, “Better Together,” explored what it means to be a church family on mission together. This series, along with conversations with elders and pastors, led us to revise our church vision statement. It now reads: “A family on mission with Jesus: Everyone, Every Day, Everywhere.” This vision inspired our Fall Festival celebrations as we prayed for all members and attendees to be mobilized for the rebuilding adventure.
As our spring preaching series reminded us, “Confident” (Romans 5-8), our sure hope is in Jesus. He empowers us to face life’s challenges, be transformed by the Spirit, and live toward Christ’s return. Our summer preaching series, “Outhustled,” followed the story of Jacob. Despite his many shortcomings, God was more than able to accomplish his purposes through Jacob and his descendants. In the same way, God is more than able to use us for his glory as we seek to be obedient to Jesus, our Lord, in 2023.
At the beginning of 2022, the Lord assured me that we would go through two years of rebuilding, where we would tend to what was growing naturally, and then we would launch out with new ministry initiatives. We are in the second year.
We continue to pray for God to raise up kingdom worshippers and prayer warriors (Exalt). We are seeking to lead new disciples of Jesus to active engagement in church life (Evangelize). We proactively work to incorporate newcomers of all ages and backgrounds in all ministry areas (Engage). We are growing in our capacity to provide soul care to members and attendees and welcome refugees (Equip). And, we will continue to mobilize members to serve in all areas of church ministry (Empower).
As we look forward to 2024, the third year, we trust He who is faithful to lead us into new ministry initiatives. Some of these are already percolating. Pray with us and join us in mission!
– Ray Harms-Wiebe
Letter from the Executive Director
We praise God for His faithfulness, guidance and grace throughout this year and we are excited to share with you the many ways we experienced God at work through His people, church and ministries for His glory and kingdom.
Psalms 106:1 “Praise the Lord! Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!”
In 2022, the world attempted to recover from the pandemic and it was a year of economic, political and technological change. For Willingdon, it was the first year, we were open for ‘in-person’ gatherings for the entire year, since 2019 and it was a year of rebuilding and reimaging ‘how’ God would guide us to do ministry in a post-pandemic world.
During 2022, our church family continued to be a testimony to the faithfulness of God through the hearts of His people. Through your faithful service, generous giving and ministry engagement, you have shared the love of Jesus with others, each other, our community, city and abroad. By serving together as the body of Christ, we lived our vision to be a “Family on Mission: Everyone, Every Day and Everywhere.” Through God’s provision, through your financial giving, our 2022 budget expectations were met and by your engagement in ministry, our church family experienced many people come to know Jesus and deepen their walk with Him.
It was an exciting year as in-person attendance grew and over 1200 first-time visitors came in person and online to Willingdon. Every area of ministry experienced growth, from the nursery to seniors, we experienced God bringing new families, children, students, young adults, parents and grandparents from all around the world to Willingdon, to experience the saving grace of Jesus within our community of believers.
We are grateful for our volunteers and lay leaders who led the charge to keep up with the demands of our growing ministries. Many new members and attendees come forward to serve in many different ministry areas, both within the church and in the community. Together, our church family experienced the blessing of serving our great God alongside brothers and sisters in Christ. Evidence of the blessing of serving together was celebrated as six of our Café volunteers came to know Jesus and were baptised this year!
We are grateful for our staff team, their heart to reach the lost, disciple others and their passion to serve His people. Through God’s provision, our staff team grew as we added four new pastors: Jerry Skaggs (Team Lead Worship Arts); Angus Sheung (International Language); Vinh Doan (Team Lead Adult) and Richard Young (Care) and four new support staff: Rufina Huang (Adult); Joyce Lukas (Reception); Candy Gan (Events) and James Buss (Finance). Time and time again, we experienced God’s sovereign hand, in filling positions with gifted people who He called to join our staff family.
In 2022, a new generation of leaders began to emerge and it was pure joy watching these younger leaders take the lead in all areas of ministry. It was also heartwarming to watch those who have served for many years, mentoring a new generation of leaders. God is at work, as He continues to weave together an intergenerational and intercultural church on mission.
Throughout this year, the pandemic and the grace of God, we experienced incredible unity as a church, staff and leadership team. We are grateful to all of our elders and leaders, who continue to serve faithfully together, united in the vision of the church, using their God-given gifts for His ministry.
We pray you will be encouraged by the following ministry reports prepared by our ministry teams as we reflect on the incredible gift of another year where we can celebrate all that God has done through His people at Willingdon. We are also excited to experience another year of God’s sovereign hand, love, grace and faithfulness, trusting Him to do amazing things in the years to come!
To our church family, on behalf of our pastors and staff, we thank you for your ongoing love, support, encouragement and prayers. It is a privilege and blessing to serve alongside you to be a family on mission with Jesus in His church, community and around the world!
To God, we give the glory for His amazing grace, provision, care and love!
Administration and Operations
Meet our Amazing 2022 Staff Family Team!
2022 was a year of rebuilding our team and we praise the Lord for this beautiful family of brothers and sisters in Christ! God has called each uniquely gifted member of our team to serve Him and together we are blessed to be an inter-generational and inter-cultural staff family, who are using the amazing gifts He has given them.
This year we welcomed eight new members to our team: Jerry Skaggs (Team Lead and Pastor of Worship Arts); Angus Sheung (International Language Pastor); Vinh Doan (Team Lead and Pastor of Adult Ministries); Richard Young (Care Ministries Pastor); Rufina Huang (Admin Assistant – Adult Ministries); Joyce Lukas (Reception/Resource Center); Candy Gan (Events Coordinator); James Buss (Senior Accountant)
Our Staff Team:
Angus Sheung, Annie Lok, Britney Jang, Brody Loewen, Candy Gan, Caris Ip, Cesar Beltran, CJ Limvalencia, Cynthia Asirit, David Yang, Don Macleod, Elisangela Molinari, Ellen Wong, Emily Lien, Eric Cheng, Heloísa Jacinto, Ingrid Hopkinson, Isaac Lee, James Buss, James Kang, Janis Chan, Jerry Skaggs, John Best, Jono Caramay, Joyce Lukas, Karen Chan, Lauren Opelka, Levi Hopkinson, Linda Yang, Lisa Shen, Lydia Wang, Mark Janzen, Marko Delac, Marlyn Zidkovich, Max Jeet, Melissa Centeno, Nathaniel Wong, Nicole Yang, Nigel Li, Norm Schmidt, Paolo Vicencio, Penny Fuchihara, Ray Harms-Wiebe, Richard Young, Rob Penner, Ron Leonard, Ronn Abueg, Rufina Huang, Samantha Alexander, Sherie Etches, Shirley Fong, Silas Lui, Sophia Tam, Tomoko Kashima, Vinh Doan, Walter Patterson, William Zhang, Yvelyn Tang
We praise God for His provision and are grateful to our congregation for your faithful giving. The Fiscal Year of 2022 was a remarkable year of generous and faithful giving. With the addition of 191 new first-time givers, a continued increase of online giving pre-pandemic from 60% to 80% and the ongoing support from members and attendees, contributions totaled $6,191,166.00, 3.6% above last year.
In 2022, our ministry teams maintained effective cost management to ensure expenses would be in alignment with income. It is with gratitude to our great God and our congregation for their faithful giving, that we report we ended the year in the black with all of our expenses met.
2022 Outreach & Partnership Expenditures
$945,971 (15.4% of Burdget)
Average Attendance (Jan 2022 – April 2023)
We Love Our Neighbours!
104 New Members
First Impressions Ministries
Over 1200 first-time visitors came to Willingdon church, 1000 in-person and 200 online. We are grateful for our First Impressions ministries alongside our Care Team welcomed these visitors on the frontline from parking to greeting to ushering to the Welcome Center, to Here to Help and all that happens behind the scenes (Ministry support, First Aid, Sanctuary Care).
We are also grateful to our Care team for following up with each new visitor via phone calls and in-person visits and to our International Language Ministries, Children and Student Ministries who welcomed families and newcomers from all over the world.
Thank You Volunteers
Over this year, God has rebuilt his church by calling people to serve in many different areas of ministry and we are so grateful to you for using your God-given gifts to serve His people and Kingdom. Many of you have served every week and we thank you for your commitment and are so encouraged by your passion to be a “Family on Mission: Everyone, Every Day and Everywhere”!
Admin Ops Ministry Highlights
- Connect Ministry – Journey together! (Nicole Yang – Pastoral Intern)
- Events and Café Ministry – A faith journey! (Ingrid Hopkinson – Manager)
- Communications and Systems – behind the scenes for Jesus! (Janis Chan – Manager)
- Social Media – 2022 Takeaways (Nathaniel Wong – Social Media Coordinator)
- Building Maintenance – Caring for God’s House (Don MacLeod – Manager)
- Meet our newest team member – James & Maki Buss
Team Leader Moment
Executive Director Penny Fuchihara
There were so many wonderful moments to reflect on, in 2022. A few special moments would be the incredible joy of experiencing God moving in ways to bring those people He has called to His church called Willingdon. I have the incredible privilege of being involved in the process of hiring new pastors and staff. This year, we hired eight incredibly gifted people. Each person has a unique story on “how” they came to serve at Willingdon, but through each story, there is one common thread, a clear call to ministry from God and serving Him at Willingdon. He has brought people from the USA, Hong Kong, Japan, Australia, across our country and some from our very own neighbourhood in Burnaby to join our staff family. As a church family, thank you for encouraging and welcoming them to feel part of our church family through your kindness, warmth and love.
Long-term Missionaries, Short-term Mission, Mission Training, Local Outreach, Global Hotspots, Mission Circle
Willingdon Outreach Ministries is focused on pointing people toward Jesus, outside the walls of Willingdon Church. We help our church be a “family on mission with Jesus. Everyone. Every day. Everywhere.”
Global Ministry & Local Outreach Highlights
- Helping Ukrainians here at Willingdon
- New Missionary Highlight
- Journey Home – Refugee House
Team Leader Moment
Pastor John Best
In June 2022 I had the joy of traveling with (elder) Roman B to Lithuania/Poland & the Ukraine border. Our purpose was to build relationships with leaders from Lithuanian MB churches (we have been supporting them financially for several years), to visit several of our Europe-based missionaries, and to use some of the funds that Willingdon raised for Ukraine to provide tangible relief supplies. We had the honor of delivering these supplies to the Poland/Ukraine border, and spent a morning right at the border welcoming people leaving Ukraine entering Poland.
Worship Arts Ministries
Worship Team, Choir, Orchestra, Tech/Production, Creative Arts
Willingdon Church Worship Arts Ministries is focused on creating cultures and cultivating artists that glorify God—everyday and everywhere.
Worship Ministry Highlights
- A Community of Creatives
- Christmas Outreach Presentation
- Intergenerational and Intercultural Artists
Team Leader Moment
Pastor Jerry Skaggs
Randi and I feel so incredibly blessed to be a part of Willingdon Church. This past year was our inaugural year here in beautiful BC and there is so much to be thankful for: God moving us and our belongings safely, great favour with the immigration and border process, finding a home, and the immediate connection with church staff, volunteers and congregation—and even surviving the rain! In 2022, everything was a first for us: Easter—our first major choir and orchestra moment (and that was since Pre-Covid), ILM Weekend—Mass Choir and visiting all the ILM groups throughout the whole year, Weekly Worship—with multi-generational and inter-cultural teams, the FALL—with all the great church wide activities, and culminating all in a grand Christmas celebration of Jesus in the creative outreach presentation—Treasures. I am also, so blessed to lead the WAM Team, who are not only uniquely and individually creative, they are corporately unified in pursuing God’s heart and discipling others.
Nursery, Preschool, Clubhouse, HQ, Imagine, PlaySpace, Moms Connect, Scouts, Ignite Girls Club, Kids Choir, Safe Kids Patrol
At WillingdonKids, our desire is for families to KNOW, GROW, and GO. KNOW Jesus as Saviour and Lord GROW daily in the knowledge and love of God, by the power of the Holy Spirit GO into and throughout the world, boldly and obediently proclaiming who He is and what He’s done.
Kids Ministry Highlights
- A Family Worshipping Together
- Ignite Girls Club
- Under the Big Top
Team Leader Moment
Pastor Jono Caramay
One Sunday morning as I was teaching and leading a grade 4/5 boys small group, one of my students interrupts my lesson to say (rather loudly) to a classmate beside him, “Pffft, why? Who cares!?”. My first instinct was to make him leave the room for rudely interrupting, but thankfully I was prompted to pause and reflect.
Because it’s true… at the heart of all we do, these questions have to be answered. Why does it matter? Why should I care? All the programs, lessons, special events… they need to point to something. That something is the Gospel and how it actually changes us. And matters.
So we scrapped the rest of the lesson, and dove talked about why the truth of the Bible matters. And how that actually affects us. I believe God used this seemingly rude outburst to encourage us to keep asking those questions that lead to a deeper picture of how God is at work.
Student & Family Ministries
Junior High Ministry, Senior High Ministry, Marriage Ministries
Willingdon Church Family Ministries is focused on the strengthening and discipleship of the family through intergenerational relationships.
Student Ministries is maturing students to a point where they take ownership over their own faith, personally seek to deepen their own relationship with Jesus, and personally feel called to share the love of Christ and the gospel with their peers.
Student Ministry Highlights
- Monday Night Zoom Bible Study
- Student Worship Teams
- Stillwood Camp Outreach
- Parenting Conference
- Parents and Students Focus Groups
- Marriage Enrichment Courses
Team Leader Moment
Pastor Isaac Lee
In the Fall of 2022, I had the privilege of being able to sit down and have a lengthy conversation with a group of our students about the world they live in and how their faith intersects with their world. I was saddened by what they were aware of – that everything that happens in the world, both good and evil, are all openly presented to them through technology and social media, and yet, they recognize that they are not mature enough to process them all. What a challenging time to be a student! At the same time, I walked away encouraged by the conversation because I heard from them a desire for honesty, belonging and purpose. I was encouraged because if these are the things they are longing for, I am convinced that it is only a genuine relationship with Christ that will fill their longing. And so beneath all the noise, games, and laughter that takes place in Student Ministries, our end goal is to point them to Jesus in whom they will find truth, belonging and purpose.
Life Groups, Men's Ministries, Women's Ministries, Young Adults, Alpha, Marketplace Ministries, Discipleship
Willingdon Church Adult Ministries is focused on Making Disciples who are devoted and mature in their walk with Jesus because of the Great Commission.
Adult Ministry Highlights
- Young Adults Revamp
- Life Groups Energized
- Band of Brothers – Men’s Ministry
Team Leader Moment
Pastor Vinh Doan
The first highlight would be of a Young Adults gathering that had over 80 young adults attend and the second would be of a Men’s ministry gathering where over 80 men attended.
The third would be an open Question and Answer time with me. I encouraged the Young Adults to ask me any question they had on their mind. I was deeply encouraged that our Young adults felt comfortable enough to ask me any question that they were processing. The Q and A with our Young Adults went on for over two hours.
Discovery Ministry; Willingdon School of Bible and Ministry; Ministry Transformation (MB Seminary)
Theological education at Willingdon Church is for the purpose of helping people follow Jesus with their heads, hearts and hands, and to become equipped for ministry in the church and beyond.
Theological Education Highlights
- WSBM Building Strong Biblical Foundations
- MB Seminary Success
International Language Ministries
Cantonese, Farsi, Filipino, French, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, People of Indian Origin, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Armenian, ESL
Willingdon International Language Ministries exists to help people experience a life-changing relationship with Jesus in a language they understand, so that they can be an active part of the Willingdon Church family, grow as a disciple of Jesus, and participate in God’s mission by pointing others toward Jesus both here and around the world.
International Language Ministries Highlights
- Living Stone – Cantonese Fellowship
- ESL Ministry Flourishing
Team Leader Moment
Pastor John Best
God is doing something really special and unique in our Willingdon Church family. New people are coming every week, and they are coming from all over the world. We have an opportunity to point people to Jesus, help them adapt and integrate into life in Canada, and equip them to engage in God’s mission both here and around the world. The International Language Ministries are uniquely positioned to help people along this journey. I’m so thankful for the many gifted, godly leaders and volunteers who make it possible for people to encounter Jesus and have solid Christian community in a language they can understand.
Benevolence, Divorce Care, Funerals & Memorials, GriefShare, New Horizons Fellowship, Pastoral Care & Counselling, Phone Ministry, Soul Care, Visitation
As an area of ministry dedicated to the care of individuals and in order to meet the spiritual, temporal and practical needs of people who encounter the daily and profound challenges of life, the ministries of Care exist to train, equip and shepherd the Willingdon community to care for itself and others.
Care Ministry Highlights
- Soul Care
- Visitation: New Moms
- Care Aware
Team Leader Moment
Pastor Norm Schmidt
I would have to say a special moment for Care Ministries in 2022 was seeing the overwhelming response from the Willingdon community when we held our first ever Care Aware Event Sunday November 13th. It was wonderful to see many of our ministry leaders available to answer questions and provide information about what their area of care ministries does and opportunities for individuals to participate in the ministry. The event was also blessed by the participation of outside organizations who provide care to the community outside the walls of Willingdon and share what they do. From the feedback we received from people who attended – it confirmed to us that most people who attend Willingdon know very little about what Care Ministries does. Now many more people are aware of the ministry opportunities to care for others. Our desire is to have this as an annual event.
To know Jesus Christ personally and to carry on His ministry
Our ministry philosophy is utilized to provide a framework for ministry, to bring clarity to body life, and to empower members for service.
WHY We Exist
To know Jesus Christ personally and to carry on His ministry
WHO We Are
An intercultural, multi-generational church family in a global city with kingdom impact
WHAT We Do Every Day
Make disciples of Jesus that make disciples
A family on mission with Jesus: Everyone, Every Day, Everywhere
We worship God with all that we are
Psalms 99; Hab 2:14; John 4:21-24, 17:3; Acts 2:46-47; Romans 12:1-2; 1 Cor 10:31; Eph 5:18-21; Rev 5:8-14, 7:9-12
We share the message of Jesus with joy
Matthew 28:18-20; Luke 4:18-19; John 14:6; Acts 1:8, 4:12, 31; Romans 1:16-17, 10:13-17; 1 Peter 3:15
We offer a home for all people
Acts 2:44-47; John 13:34-35; Ephesians 4:1-6, 25-5:2; Colossians 3:12-17; Hebrews 10:24-25
We grow in our calling and service
Acts 2:42; 1 Corinthians 12:4-13; Ephesians 4:11-16; 2 Timothy 1:6-7; 2:2-5, 14-21; 3:16-4:2; 1 Peter 2:9; 4:10-11
We send wherever God leads
John 20:19-23; Titus 1:5-9; Acts 1:8; 6:1-6; 13:1-3
We keep Jesus at the center of our story
We teach God’s Word for life transformation
We pray because it changes everything
We live for God’s glory, not our own
We value obeying God’s leading above all else
We value connectedness within the church family and beyond
We work collaboratively for maximum impact
We steward resources for kingdom effectiveness
We serve others with grace and generosity
We humble ourselves before God and one another
We exercise faith and expect God to work miraculously
We are honest with one another and walk united