My name is John Fraser. I’ve been the Treasurer of the Church for the past three years and I’m also a charter member of the Redevelopment Steering Committee.
I was witness to two noteworthy events last Tuesday.
But first, let me set the stage. With respect to our redevelopment effort, we are truly blessed to be working with terrific partners like Colliers, the realtor that will market the property and Gowlings, our lawyers. Both Colliers and Gowlings see routine real estate deals all day long but our transaction is different and it intrigues them. Both groups are motivated, understand what we are trying to do and eager. They think creatively to help us. Upon a recommendation from Gowlings, Trinity incorporated an entity that we call Not For Profit or NFP for short. This legal entity will only exist until we complete the deal with a developer but it is designed to provide some additional protection for the Church and its leadership.
On Tuesday night, several members of the Board met with Jodey from Gowlings to sign some papers that clear the way for NFP to ink a deal with Colliers to begin marketing the property. The agreement with Colliers just needs a few tweaks before it is finalized. That should be done shortly. What a great Christmas gift for this congregation if we can get it signed before year end.
Graham Brown is the President of the NFP and quite pleased to have that role. Apparently, he’s wanted to be President of something for many years and now at this stage of his career, he can stroke that item off his bucket list.
This was a short meeting, taking just 30 minutes. The Board then packed up their things and headed down the street to join our Ministry Team and some others in a wonderful sharing experience with many of the leadership from St Matthews. The large room was filled to overflowing and there was anticipation and excitement in the air. After introductions, each Church provided a short history of their congregation and then we broke into groups to discuss our particular passion. Dave Rutherford and Jane Maass joined me in a finance focused discussion with four folks from St Matthews, including the Chair of their Board.
I have my feet planted firmly on the ground when it comes to all things Trinity but I have to admit that I came away from the discussions feeling good about the potential within this partnership. Their congregation is warm, welcoming and genuinely interested in working with us for the common good. It’s early days yet but there is lots of interest from both sides to leverage the strengths of each Congregation and do more than either could by itself. Again, what a terrific Christmas gift. We should all be excited !
Saint Matthews is host to an Ethiopian Church that has outgrown the space available. The Ethiopians are looking for a property they can move into but at the very latest, they will be out of Saint Matthews on August 31. It could easily be much earlier than the end of August. We discussed the rent that the Ethiopians are paying St Matthews and I’m confident that we’ll be able to negotiate a reasonable fee for the space that we need.
Onto a different matter…
No matter what you think about President Elect Trump and his policies, tweets and outrageous behavior, you have to admire his ability to create wealth. Since his election on November 8, $1 Trillion of wealth (that’s one followed by 12 zeroes) has been created as measured by the increase in the value of stocks in the marketplace. I haven’t done the research but I can’t think of any other time when so much value was created in less than five weeks.
I bring this up because our legacy fund is fully invested in markets in Canada and the US. The legacy fund has increased in value by $142,000 or close to 6 % since November 8th. This is good news indeed and a big turnaround from the funk that pervaded the markets when I last spoke to you at the Annual Meeting in February.
Final comment – do consider getting involved in the leadership of the Church. Your Board, Ministry Team and leaders of other ministries are working hard on your behalf but there’s lots to do and we could use some help.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact me anytime.