July 15, 2021

Still dreaming.

With the acceptance of an offer to purchase the property next door on Queenston, many folks have asked if that purchase affects our current design dreams and plans for the Renovation and Expansion plan On This Site.  The short answer is no, not currently.  Our plans and dreams have typically involved trying to remain as much as possible within the current footprint of our building, with the exception being a new entrance area and elevator for greatly improved accessibility.  The new property will perhaps affect our eventual parking capacity, and improve our ability to create a safe and pedestrian friendly entrance to the facility. Much is yet to be determined with the new property.

The Project Committee met recently with Buck Perrin to receive his final drawings and designs to guide us forward.  It was a wonderful time to be inspired by the innovation and creativity God has entrusted to us all.  We are aware that one of the longterm impacts of Covid has been a significate rate of escalation in building costs.  We are trusting that God will guide us forward to a plan for financing that which is necessary to support the future ministry On This Site.  Please continue to pray for the Project Committee as we work toward the Overall Project Goals.  

 

May 27, 2021

We have a deal.

At the May 16th General Meeting the motion to approve the purchase agreement for 2810 Queenston Street was passed unanimously.  So - we have a deal.  The purchase will complete on July 30th, and we will assume possession on July 31st.  

During our deliberations we understood that there will be many decisions to face as we walk this decision forward, but we are confident that God's hand is in the details.  Please continue to hold our church leadership in prayer as they seek to create a means to provide oversight, direction, and protection of this valueable asset.  May we all be looking for the Spirit's stirring as we find ways to steward well the gifts entrusted to our community.

We are grateful for the peaceful converstations, and excellent questions raised in our community.  Thank you for your participation in this dialogue.  We are mindful that in all we have and in all we do, we desire to remain faithful to our mission of making Jesus known among us, around us, and beyond us.  May it be so.

 

April 28, 2021

Big news!

We have some big news to share. On Monday evening, April 26th, Pastor Kyla (Project Committee Chair) became aware that a property that borders our church property was placed on the market for sale. Such a property could have significant positive implications on the eventual accomplishment of our expansion and renovation Overall Project Goals. Immediately the Project Committee gathered to discuss the implications of this opportunity. Consensus was built, and the committee brought a recommendation to the CLT the following night. Upon review of the recommendation, and in cooperation with the District Office, the CLT also worked toward consensus and submitted an offer Tuesday night on the property, conditional upon membership approval. The conditional offer has been accepted by the owner, and we are now seeking membership approval to complete the process. A Special General Meeting has been called for Sunday, May 16, 2021, 4pm on Zoom.

We are sure you are aware that the real estate market in Victoria moves quickly, but we want you to know that while we have taken swift and timely action to submit a conditional offer, you can rest assured that the input of members is very much at the center of our activity.  The offer is completely dependant upon approval of our membership.

In anticipation of many questions, we have prepared an information package available here.  Please take the time to review the material carefully.

We are excited about the set of circumstances that have aligned to make this option possible for us.  Please be in prayer as we discern the way ahead in a peaceful and unified manner.

 

January 7, 2021

The fences came down!

While we had hoped that our project would be complete in 2020, we are so very close now.  Just waiting for the permanent fencing around our gathering area to arrive, and for the restoration of our fire exit.  But the big news this week was that the construction fences finally came down.  And what a difference that makes! 

We have now had our landscaping completed on the front of the church.  We have worked closely with the contractor to choose drought resistant, deer resistant, low maintainance plantings that will still provide a sense of beauty and colour throughout the year.  We opted to install a drip line instead of an irrigation system, as it was recommended as a preference by the landscaper for the proper care of the plantings, and it fit  well in our values around wise stewardship of our funds. Just a note, some of the planting areas will not be part of the final plan, but for now they will provide adequate ground cover and give us a sense of completion for our first Phase.  

So a few final touches and a new sign for the building will all help us to regain community presence and recognition again. We have noticed some of our new neighbours moving into the now completed project next door, and we look forward to connecting with them and providing them taste of encouragement bags too.

As for what is next?  The project committee has taken a much needed rest over the holidays, but we will return to our work early in 2021 to discern a plan for the way ahead.  We have learned this year to hold our plans loosely, and to consistently keep our eyes open, watching for the Spirit's guidance.  As you pray for the On This Site project, we ask that you continually pray that we might be given wisdom and favour in our proceedings.  

You may enjoy seeing a few of the updated photos here

As always, we welcome your comments, questions, and feedback.  Feel free to write us here.

December 3, 2020

Nearing the finish line on Phase 1

Pastor Kyla was on the site today with our architect and contractors to get an upclose view of what is left to complete on the first phase of our On This Site project.  We are getting very close to the end of this stage.  Final touches will include the installation of fencing around the new retaining wall, and of course some low maintainance landscaping projects as well.  We are hopeful to have the final details complete by month end.  Following the wrap up of details, the Project Committee hopes to have a short break to breathe, rest, and re-energize before launching into the next planning stage.  

Please continue to hold this project and the team leading it in your prayers.  We seek God's wisdom, forsight, passion, and creativity.  We desire to work humbly, faithfully, and in a manner that always honours the person of Jesus at work among us.  Please pray also that God will continue to meet our every need for skill, vision, leadership, and resources.  We trust His lead.  

In case you haven't driven past the building lately, here are a few pictures of the recently poured ramp to the lower level, and of the top of the retained play area. 

 

November 23, 2020

General Meeting Results

On November 15th, 2020 our membership met via Zoom for a Special General Meeting to discuss and decide on the special resolution regarding the On This Site Overall Project Goals, leadership, and accountability for the facility upgrade.

The following Special Resolution was passed unanimously:

1. The “On This Site” Overall Project Goals (p. 2 in the package) be approved.

2. Guided by the Overall Project Goals, the Project Committee be empowered to act on behalf of Victoria Alliance Church as they liaise with the Pacific District, the Municipality of Saanich, and all contractors and trades to see the On This Site renovation and expansion plan through to completion.

3. The Project Committee be accountable to the Victoria Alliance Church Board through monthly reports including, but not limited to, detailed cost estimates, full financial reports, work progress reports, and recommendations if required.

With this formal work behind us, we look forward to how God will continue to build us and draw our hearts closer to Him and to one another.  Your prayers are appreciated as we move ahead.

 

October 22, 2020

Townhall Series Summary

Recently the Project Committee, along with members of our Board of Elders hosted a series of 4 Townhall meetings to discuss the upcoming motion before the congregation regarding our On This Site renovation and expansion plan.  Below is a brief summary of the three key areas of discussion we covered:

1. Summarizing the project's history:

For more than 13 years, there have been committees actively working to pray, listen, discern, and dream about our future facility needs at Victoria Alliance Church.  The Future Facility Committee began the work, and has crafted most of the Overall Project Outcomes that are before us for consideration.  The Property Committe came next, and was responsible for helping the Board of Elders work through a discernment process that has brought the overall decision to remain on our current property and commit our energies to developing and improving our facility where we are.  The Project Committee is currently functioning under the mandate to ensure that the Phase 1 project come to completion, navigating through all necessary levels of approval and construction.  The Project Committee now seeks the congregational approval of our guiding Overall Project Goals, and the mandate to move us forward in looking to complete the full renovation/expansion project.  

2. An update on Phase 1:

We anticipate the completion of our first phase by late November.  This phase was dealing with the frontage of our property as it relates to Townley Street, and the new housing development to the west of us. During the course of this phase, we have had the opportunity to learn many lessons about flexibility and responsiveness when dealing with the renovation of an aging building.  We have also been grateful to learn many lessons during this limited project, in advance of what will be a much larger scope project.  We needed to learn how to make decisions collaboratively and quickly, how to write cheques that were larger than we were accustomed to, how to discern our process around entering into contracts, and how to communicate as clearly and transparently with our Board as possible. The first phase has given us cause to learn all these lessons and more. 

We want to make you aware of the 4 significant "unexpecteds" that we encountered during this first phase.  

  1. An unexpected underground oil tank was discovered at the very beginning of our project.  This meant the tank needed to be removed, and the soil surrounded needed to be removed and replaced.  We are pleased to know this remediation was done well, and leaves our piece of the world a bit safer - especially knowing that this was the area we envisioned as a playground for our children.
  2. An unexpected solution to our ramp issue was landed upon.  We had always beleived we would need to remove the front entrance ramp when we initiated the excavation for the future playground.  However, with the help of many minds, a solution was arrived upon that allowed for new columns to be constructed that would accomodate the excavation, and allow us to retain the future use of the ramp.  While we still believe the removal of the ramp to eventually be necessary, this current solution means we are able to keep our sanctuary open and accesible to all in the interim. 
  3. An unexpected change in our leadership.  After decades of dedication, dreaming, and designing, it became necessary for our Project Advisor, Buck Perrin, to step down from his role.  With his absence we have experienced a significant loss of expertise on our Project Team.  However, Russ Bell, former Board Chair, has now joined our Committee, and we are in the process of onboarding one more highly qualified individual to help offset some of the loss.  The Pacific District (our Denomination's District Office) has been wonderfully supportive as well, and has connected us with a volunteer who is a rich resource in building projects.  We have been encouraged by the level of support coming our way, and for God's faithful provision to us.  We remain grateful for Buck's passion for this project, and will always be indebted for his tireless commitment and call to do our best work to glorify God.  
  4. An unexpected pandemic.  The whole world has shifted.  We all have experienced it to some extent.  For our project, the biggest effect was to extend our project timeline significantly.  Our contractor shut down production for 6 weeks, and then restarted with only a skeleton crew.  We really had very little activity on our property until late June.  We are now full steam ahead, and hoping to wrap up all activity by the end of November.  

3. Summarizing the next step before us:

As a result of some of the lessons learned in the first phase, we now desire to proceed in a manner that allows us the freedom to be flexible in our approach to the full project, while ensuring that we have enough helpful controls and lines of accountability in place. To this end the congregation is faced with a significant list of Overall Project Goals to consider.  This list of goals is the result of the many committees that have been asking "what do we hope to achieve as we build a future facility to serve the next several generations?"

It is the hope of the Board of Elders that you will look over these project goals closely.  Pray over them.  Ask questions about them.  Engage in discussion about them.  

The next step as a congregation will be to decide if these goals are in fact representative of what we want.  They will serve as a guide to help make all the decisions in our project moving forward. If they are in line, then we will also be asked to empower the Project Committee to proceed in achieving the goals.  And finally, we will be determining a process of reporting and accountability of the Project Committee to the Board of Elders.   

The date for our Special General Meeting is tentatively set for November 15, 4pm, via Zoom.

If you have any further thoughts, questions, or considerations for our Project Committee, please email us at onthissite@victoriaalliance.ca