2022.23 Annual Report
Supplemental Report
PURPOSE
We exist to connect people to Jesus, so the world thrives.
VISION
We envision a thriving town shaped by thousands of people experiencing the transforming love of God.
MISSION
We bring people together (Belong), invest in their spiritual development (Grow), and launch them into service (Serve) in the power of the Spirit.

VALUES

In pursuit of our mission, we long to be a church defined as:

FAMILY
We love God's people.
HOSPITABLE
We love people as they are and
welcome them with open arms.
UNRESERVED
We love Jesus passionately and want to experience his Spirit more deeply.
LOCALLY-FOCUSED
We love the Cochrane area in Jesus' name.
GLOBALLY-MINDED
We love the nations and want them
to have access to Jesus.
COLLABORATIVE
We love partnering with people
for the greater good.
PRAYERFUL
We love partnering with God
for the greater good.
 
 

From Our Lead Pastor

I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
Philippians 1:4-6

As I reflect on my first full year serving as your lead pastor, I am incredibly thankful for all of you in how you have supported this church family through prayer, generous giving, love for one another and a desire to partner with what God is doing in our midst. 

There is much to be thankful for in this last ministry year, even as we recognize that this was another year of changes and some challenges. We were probably all hoping for a year with no big surprises or changes; however, that was not the case. Yet, even with changes and challenges, this church family has remained steadfast, faithful and hopeful and we have seen God’s hand leading us. We are confident that God, who began a good work here in Cochrane Alliance, will carry it to completion.

Our first big change and challenge was Pastor Mike Poettcker leaving us in February. I cannot fully express how great it was to work with Mike for my first year of ministry here. Mike was a consistently supportive right-hand who worked to help me “find my feet” and succeed. Mike’s expertise in all manner of ministry questions and his deep connection with this church family meant that the staff felt his absence deeply. 

Yet, even with Mike’s departure, we could see God’s faithfulness and leading. Pastor Mike was able to secure employment outside formal ministry, which was something Mike had felt was a possibility back in October, and his departure gave us some breathing room financially. 

As we talk about finances, it is appropriate for me to thank you all for your generosity. As the year continued, we saw giving increasing and we ended the year in a much better place financially than we expected. We thank you for your trust in us, in your belief that God is working here in Cochrane Alliance and that you are willing to partner financially with the work that we do. 

I would also like to thank all our staff as all of them had to navigate the new reality of having one less full-time pastoral staff member. Workloads did increase and our staff rose to the challenges and we continued to move forward.

As a pastoral staff we had to sit down together this year and talk through new roles and responsibilities. Once again, we saw God’s leading in this as each pastoral staff was ready and excited to take on new roles. In addition, this allowed us to become more intentional in equipping lay leaders to step into ministry roles that were previously done, mostly, by pastoral staff. Our vision, as we worked through our new roles, was to be pastors who equipped, encouraged and empowered the congregation to step into whatever God had equipped and called them to do, whether it is in the church or in the community.

Even with changes and challenges, we were able to get back to some sense of normalcy in how we worship as a church family. I greatly appreciated the Long Table events where we were able to eat a meal together. We also had high levels of engagement with events that we designed to help people grow deeper in their faith and relationship with God. Programs like Life on the Balcony, Holy Spirit Encounter and Hearing God were meaningful and impactful for those who attend.

We saw the return of a program that once thrived in this church, Christian Service Brigade. We began with about 20 boys aged 5-12 and ended with close to 40. There was a clear need to have a space for boys to learn skills, bible lessons and spend time with men in the church who want to invest in this generation.

I want to thank all the volunteers who serve in so many ways in our church. I am constantly amazed on Sunday mornings when I see how many people are involved in Children's ministry, worship & tech teams, front door ministries and coffee setup. Then, throughout the week, we have women's bible studies, the men's group, small groups and seniors ministry. All of these require people to serve and to lead. I am grateful for this church family and your willingness to serve one another in love. This year was a good year. We had changes and challenges but we all came together and moved forward. Thank you for your graciousness, understanding and love.

As the ministry year came to a close we had one more big change: Pastor Randall Heier announced his resignation. We recognize that, similar to Pastor Mike’s leaving, there is a strong feeling of loss in this change. Pastor Randall has served us so well, not only in worship arts, but in teaching and preaching, as well. I came to rely on Randall’s ability to plan the details of our services, especially the special services like Christmas Eve and Good Friday.

We will miss Randall’s dedication to serve this church, he was a great complement to the staff team here and we pray that God blesses him and his family in their next appointment.

This has been an exciting year, a busy year, with amazing opportunities right alongside some changes and challenges. Through it all, God has been faithful to us. I would ask that you keep your church family as well as the staff and myself in prayer. Pray that we would have wisdom and discernment. Pray that we would listen well to the leading of the Holy Spirit and pray that God would continue to give us many opportunities to work with Him in proclaiming the hope of Jesus.

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.   
Philippians 4:4-6

Brent Rushinka
Lead Pastor

A Message From Pastor Brent

WEEKEND WORSHIP

BY THE NUMBERS

1
MADE A DECISION TO FOLLOW JESUS
9
BAPTISMS
8
NEW MEMBERS
457
AVG. IN-PERSON ATTENDANCE
(Adults & kids combined)
100
AVG. WEEKLY ONLINE LIVESTREAM ATTENDANCE
(Includes Sunday - Saturday views)
818
ANNUAL PANCAKE BREAKFAST
ATTTENDANCE

2022-2023 SERMON SERIES

DIGITAL CHURCH

BY THE NUMBERS

54,835
WEBSITE PAGE VIEWS
6,154
TOTAL PLAYS ON TV CHANNEL
4,400
TOTAL PLAYS ON YOUTUBE CHANNEL
542
eBULLETIN SUBSCRIBERS
73
NEW FACEBOOK FOLLOWERS
69
NEW INSTAGRAM FOLLOWERS

WEEKEND WORSHIP

Highlights from Pastor Randall

Wow, another year of ministry has come and gone. It has been a gift to gather with the whole church every Sunday to lift the name of Jesus high. There have been many highlights. Good Friday and Easter Sunday always come to mind as high points of the year. It has been an incredible joy working with every volunteer. Building relationships and seeing everyone grow has been such an honour. I want to thank all the volunteers who have given their time and talents. You are appreciated more than you know. This year we started running our monthly prayer summits, a time of worship and concentrated prayer. These have been rich with the presence of the Lord. I look forward to seeing them grow.

Over this year, I have expanded into a few other areas of ministry, including teaching and leading the Holy Spirit Encounter and Hearing God's Voice seminars. Wow, these times have been incredibly rich. To see how the Spirit of God has been moving in our midst has been highly encouraging.

In January, we had the Holy Spirit Encounter, and twenty-five of us went on a journey to learn more about the Holy Spirit and not just learn but also experience him. Seeing how God moves and works in us is constantly humbling.

In May, I ran Audible: Learning to Hear God's Voice. There were not many of us, but there are few times when I have seen God move in such ways and see him bring freedom to those who were there. Praise the Lord; even where a few are gathered in his name, he is with them.

This year has been a big year for some audio-visual projects that needed to get done to run our services better. We had some very generous donors within our midst and were able to purchase two brand-new laser projectors ($15,000). We also upgraded our live streaming computer to better engage with those who engage with us remotely. It is so cool to see how God uses all the different avenues so that the good news of Jesus can go to all nations.

Randall Heier
Pastor of Worship Arts

11
NEW TEAM MEMBERS THIS YEAR
73
TOTAL SUNDAY SERVICE VOLUNTEERS
8
NEW SONGS INTRODUCED THIS YEAR
WORSHIP SONGS
Waiting Here for You
There's Nothing That Our God Can't Do
1000 Names
O Taste and See
Champion

JAM KIDS

Highlights from Pastor Donna

JAM Kids Ministries experienced a fantastic year serving kids and families in our church. In our JAM classrooms, kids have discovered more about Jesus through learning and relationship. Our classes have grown to capacity throughout the year and we are experiencing the ‘good problem’ of finding more space and leaders. I am so thankful to an amazing group of volunteer leaders who have taught, discipled, prayed and served our church in JAM. Immense thanks to Laura Nixon who has led administratively, keeping things running smoothly behind the scenes. 

Last summer (2022), Simone Eeles returned to our staff as our Summer Kid’s Coordinator. Our regular Summer Programs were back in full force with Backyard Kids Camps in the Parks, Soccer Camp and BKC Bike Blast. We love working together with our church partners (Bow Valley Baptist, Tapestry and Athletes in Action) to reach out to our community. We celebrated reports of kids making steps toward Jesus and many new or renewed relationships throughout the summer.

Our Christmas Family event was “A Birthday Party for Jesus” complete with Birthday Cake decorating. A joyful noise was lifted high as our JAM kids sang to celebrate the newborn baby. The event was fun and festive and a true celebration of Jesus. Many families attended and engaged wholeheartedly in the real reason we celebrate Christmas! 

Our family events are designed to be catalysts for great faith conversations for parents and kids. The Easter Seder Meal was particularly meaningful as families experienced the symbolic meal representing God’s plan and redemption in Jesus. Then on Easter Sunday, we celebrated with a ‘sweet’ family event…an Easter Egg Hunt. It was exciting to see many community families participate.

Parent and Tots, and a new program called Christian Service Brigade were excellent, volunteer led programs. Both experienced an active year of growth, relationship and fun!  

Kids, youth and adults are all part of ‘the church’ that is represented within (growing together) and beyond our walls (reaching out). “First Week Worship” was a new onsite initiative this year as we welcomed elementary kids to ‘grow together’ intergenerationally in worship and communion. It was encouraging to see parents engaging with their kids as they participated in communion. Stories of people ‘reaching out’ in our community are abundant. I have been so inspired by stories of people coming to faith, stories of sharing and serving, stories of discipling and spiritual growth. What a blessing to be a part of such a vibrant community of faith! 

Donna Hernandez
Pastor of Children's Ministry

114
TOTAL ADULT & YOUTH JAM KIDS VOLUNTEERS
110
"HAPPY BIRTHDAY JESUS" CAKES BAKED
10
CHILD DEDICATIONS
14
JAM KIDS CLASSES EACH SUNDAY
3505
PACKETS OF FRUIT SNACKS CONSUMED
33
BOYS ATTENDED CHRISTIAN SERVICE BRIGADE

Celebrating Christian Service Brigade

‚ÄčIn October 2022, Christian Service Brigade returned to Cochrane Alliance after many years. Several dads began offering this for boys ages 4 to grade 5. Cam shares a little of what happened this past year.

YOUTH

Highlights from Pastor Jason

Our youth ministry exists to create space for youth to experience healthy community, build authentic relationships and grow in their likeness to Christ.  This past year we have seen our family of youth grow, pursue Jesus, and experience the transformative power of the Holy Spirit.  

As we reviewed the year with our leaders two of our values were continually brought up as wins; experiencing Jesus and meaningful relationships.  We truly felt that all youth, no matter who they were or the experiences they had, found a place to belong within the youth ministry at Cochrane Alliance Church.  Youth knowing they belong allowed for everyone to be themselves, pursue deeper relationships with leaders and peers, and experience the person of Jesus.  

In grade 6-8, we had a consistent group of 40 -50 youth coming weekly.  As the year progressed, we saw youth open up more, share their thoughts and experiences and seek Jesus.  Youth has become a safe place to ask honest questions, share doubts and experience change through Jesus.  

Our grade 9-12 groups began meeting in homes this past year for the majority of our weekly rhythms.  In homes, youth were able to build closer friendships as they shared their lives and studied God’s Word together.  The rhythm of meeting in homes was meaningful and impactful in the lives of our youth.  Leaders grew in their own capacity and gifting as the rhythm allowed for high school leaders to have more freedom and responsibility in how they led. 

One of our highlights as a ministry this year was our winter retreat.  We partnered with Bow Valley Baptist Church to put on a one-day youth retreat called Radical.  We focused on the radical way that Jesus has showed us love.  Youth were challenged to love others with the same radical love that Jesus modeled us.  The day included worship, teaching, praying together on ways youth could love others in their school and an amazing race through all of Cochrane.  It was a fun day for youth to come together as one body to pursue Jesus and the life He has for each of us.  

Jason Dimnik
Pastor of Student Ministries

$300
USED TO PURCHASE FOOD TO FILL THE
FREE FOOD SHEDS AT OUR WINTER RETREAT
80
YOUTH BEING DISCIPLED IN SMALL GROUPS
6
YOUTH BAPTISMS

DISCIPLESHIP

Highlights from Pastor Brent

Our staff team would like to take this opportunity to thank the leaders of our various small group men’s groups, and women’s groups who led so well this past year. Due to Pastor Mike’s departure oversight of the adult discipleship ministries was transferred to Pastor Brent and, later in the year, small groups were transferred to Pastor Donna. Despite the many transitions and changes, our leaders kept leading well and our groups were flourishing. We are incredibly blessed to have people in our church who commit to discipling one another and who welcome others into that discipleship journey with them. 

One highlight from the year that stands out was the launch of our Young Adults Ministry called Equip. We had six young adults from 19-30 commit to a one-year discipleship journey of spiritual formation and learning leadership skills. At our year-end evaluation everyone who participated felt they grew spiritually throughout the year. 

We also had thirty-two participants take part in the one-day Life on the Balcony seminar with Ingrid Davis that led to some significant life change and understanding of how God works in our past to set us free for the future. 

I was so pleased to see our men’s group, WINGmen continue to thrive this year and be a place of connection for the men of our church. We had excellent leadership in WINGmen and they are continuing on into this year.

We also had a team of women planning a re-launch of our women’s ministry which will be ready to go this Fall. Our women’s group, Bonafide continued meeting and a few women’s bible studies started up simply by women seeing a need and meeting it. It is so wonderful to have people in our church who use their gifts to address needs in our church. I am so thankful for those that led in this way through this year. 

I am excited for the upcoming year of small groups as Pastor Donna steps into her new role overseeing the leaders of those groups and we will expand our capacity to make sure people wanting to join small groups will be able to do so. 

Even with all the changes and pastoral transitions, our discipleship groups thrived and this is largely due to people in our church family who care deeply about one another and about the ministries of the church. Once again, thank you to all those who lead in so many ways in adult ministries and discipleship. We deeply appreciate you. 

Brent Rushinka
Lead Pastor

55
PARTICIPANTS IN LIFE ON THE BALCONY, AUDIBLE, AND HOLY SPIRIT ENCOUNTER WORKSHOPS
282
RIGHT NOW MEDIA USERS
20
SMALL GROUPS

PEOPLE CARE

Highlights from Larry

I have enjoyed my ministry of assisting people in our church family and community by giving them support in various ways.  My part-time position gave me the opportunity to reach out to those who needed someone to come along side them to meet spiritual, social and emotional needs that presented themselves.  Here are some of the highlights from the past year. 

Our Heritage Seniors ministry expanded in a big way this year! We gathered for five major events to enjoy being together, eating good food, singing together and enjoying some excellent speakers.  Our events included a Fall Supper, Seniors Christmas Tea, Christmas Banquet, Pasta and Pizza Night and our Easter Resurrection Brunch. Average attendance at our Senior’s events was 51 people.

Last Fall, we welcomed 12 people to join our Grief Share support group.  Our 13 weeks together gave us the opportunity to walk with people who had recently experienced loss and to offer them the support they were seeking. The video series and discussion times offered people in our group the opportunity to transition into the new realities associated with the loss of their loved ones. 

We offered counselling support to 36 people who needed someone to listen and offer counsel and a plan for addressing their needs. We assisted people in addressing such things as depression, anxiety, marital and family issues, grief and loss support and spiritual guidance.  Cochrane Alliance Church provided generous financial assistance to those who came seeking help. 

It gave me great joy to see our church offer meaningful worship experiences in the four long term care facilities here in Cochrane as well as one in Calgary.   Singing and praying with the residents as well as giving a short message in our chapel services gave them the worship experience they were seeking.   Many of the people we served told us that this was “their church” now that they could no longer attend church services elsewhere. 

Visiting people in Calgary’s four hospitals as well as those who were facing challenges at home gave us the opportunity to encourage and support them in multiple ways.  Hospice visits were meaningful by supporting people and their families as they faced end of life situations.

This past year, I was called upon to assist in the planning and facilitation of 5 funerals. Our collaboration with the local funeral homes opened doors of opportunity to serve not only our church families but the non-church families in our community. Often the funeral participation opened doors to walk with family as they began their grief journey following the funeral.  

Larry Charter
People Care

187
MEALS SERVED AT SENIORS EVENTS
34
LONG TERM CARE CHAPEL SERVICES
16
HOSPITAL VISITS
120
COUNSELLING HOURS
46
HOURS OF GRIEF SUPPORT
515
KMS TRAVELLED IN CARING FOR PEOPLE

RIGHT HAND SUPPORT

Highlights from Right Hand Support

This year has been one in which Right Hand Support (RHS) have witnessed God’s faithfulness and grace as we’ve grown and changed. We lost Pastor Mike as the Ministry head of our program. He had pursued funding grants for RHS. In September, we provided 9 months of counselling oversight for two counselling students, Melissa and Tim Sawatsky, who required practicum hours for their program. They were such a blessing and a help to the program that we hired them part-time in June as administration and program development. Although the number of clients have increased substantially, we did not receive the Provincial government grant we were depending on to continue the program past March. However, a donor unknown to us and outside of our church heard of our plight from an employee of an agency through whom we receive clients. This donor offered to fund our program for the year - a miracle witnessed by the many community agencies we serve. In April, the training modules used in the mentor program were modified and presented by Jordan and Robin in South Africa for a church-funded IT school to staff, students and the Ministry Care team. They found the information very relevant to the challenges they face. Within our program, mentees and counselling clients have shown interest in the love and care shown to them by their mentors and counsellors and in response, some have grown in their faith and others have attended church - for the first time.

Robin McColl
Right Hand Support Executive Director

77
NEW MENTEES & COUNSELLING CLIENTS
40
TRAINED VOLUNTEER MENTORS
450+
LOGGED MENTOR VISITING HOURS TO DATE
5
REFERRING AGENCIES
6
FAITH COMMUNITIES INVOLVED IN MENTORING
150+
CLIENTS & MENTEES SERVED TO DATE

Right Hand Support: A Mentee's Perspective

Crystene shares about her family's mentee experience with Right Hand Support.
BECOME A VOLUNTEER MENTOR

Right Hand Support is looking for volunteer peer mentors to walk alongside persons and families struggling with mental health needs due to or amplified by past or present trauma. We are seeking men, women, couples, young adults, and older adults. 

Right Hand Support is here to train and support you as you walk alongside persons or families who often feel marginalized and are struggling with life's challenges.

I'm Interested in Mentoring

GLOBAL HIGHLIGHTS

MEET JOHN & SHARON WICKER

A LOCAL MISSIONS PARTNER SERVING WITH SEND INTERNATIONAL

Our current ministry with SEND International involves a lot of virtual meetings with periodic travel. In some ways we are finding this to be more difficult than the in-person ministry that we had during our 18 years of service with SEND International in Russia. This was particularly true during the times of COVID travel restrictions. Maintaining virtual connections with teams working with immigrants across the United States as well as teams working in isolated communities across Northern Canada and Alaska can be exhausting. While the financial and prayer support from Cochrane Alliance are a crucial part of our ministry, the in-person fellowship, teaching, and ministry opportunities have proven to be absolutely essential to us. We are so thankful to be a part of Cochrane Alliance and for our unique ministry partnership. Thank you!

Contact John & Sharon
MEET ETHAN JANZEN

A LOCAL MISSIONS PARTNER SERVING WITH YWAM CAMBODIA

Being a missionary is such an amazing opportunity when the Lord calls you into it. I've been serving in full-time missions coming up to 4 years now. It has been such an inspiring & fruitful time. When people ask me what it means to be a missionary; I tell them it’s someone who sacrifices their life in order to serve people in other nations and someone who plants seeds with the hope of a harvest. I see myself as a person that loves to plant seeds! There's such a significance in seeds... Think of an apple, you can count the number of seeds in each apple, but you cannot count the number of apples that you will get from one seed. The seeds we sow in the lives of individuals can also bear much fruit. Being a part of Cochrane Alliance Church plays a big part in me being able to plant seeds in the lives of the Khmer people in Cambodia! When you guys pray, give finances and overall support me as I serve God here, it enables me to continue walking out what the Lord has called me to be apart of. Thank you for loving on me and being part of helping to sow seeds, as I walk out in faith to see Cambodians be transformed! We want to see One Nation Transformed in One Generation. 

Contact Ethan Subscribe to Ethan's Newsletter
MEET JUDD LEE

A LOCAL MISSIONS PARTNER SERVING WITH FREEDOM 8848

Inviting Cochrane Alliance Church to join the groundswell of people standing together, moving mountains for justice continues to be an exciting and encouraging opportunity. The mission of Freedom 8848 has been greatly impacted by the continued prayers and financial support of Cochrane Alliance Church – mobilizing the production of educational podcasts, life-skills workshops (or “Walnut Workshops”) with Next Step Ministries, athletes training and education, and the continued development of a “Everest-sized” fundraising event, the Everest Freedom Challenge. Learning as a church family was highlighted in February 2023 when our partner organizations were given the opportunity to share about trafficking prevention, rescuing victims, and restoring survivors and challenging each of us to put into action Micah 6:8 “Do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God.” Ongoing support, encouragement, and inspiration has continued from Cochrane Alliance Church and I am so thankful to stand together in this goal to end human trafficking. I pray this is the beginning of not only a journey of awareness and learning, but a journey of action for each of us, as God calls us to “learn to do what is right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed.” (Isaiah 1:17) 

Judd (left) pictured with fellow Freedom 8848 team member, Rem Vlasblom.

More About Freedom 8848

GLOBAL FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS

FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

Annual General Meeting Agenda

We exist to connect people with Jesus so the world thrives.

BELONG. GROW. SERVE.

Sunday September 24, 2023 | 1:30pm

  1. Call to Order - Jon Schwab

  2. Adoption of Agenda

  3. Devotion and Opening Prayer - Brent Rushinka

  4. Adoption of the Minutes:

  5. Presentation: Women Serving as Elders - Jon Schwab 

    • Pastoral Encouragement

    • Motion

  6. Vote: Women Serving as Elders at Cochrane Alliance Church

  7. Reports

    • Lead Pastor - Brent Rushinka

    • Board of Elders - Jon Schwab

  8. Result of Vote: Women Serving as Elders

    • Destroy Ballots

  9. Report of the Nominating Committee - Brent Rushinka

  10. Election of Elders

  11. Report of the Treasurer - Don Neufeld

    • 2022-2023 Financial Statements

    • 2023-2024 Budget

  12. Results of Vote: Election of Elders

    • Destroy Ballots

  13. Closing Prayer - Tim Heavenor

  14. Adjournment - Jon Schwab

We will have a time of concentrated prayer immediately following the official adjournment of the meeting.

From Our Board Chair

Psalm 127:1 "Unless the LORD builds a house, the work of the builders is wasted. Unless the LORD protects a city, guarding it with sentries will do no good."

The Lord has once again proven His faithfulness to us throughout this year. He has been in our midst working, building and protecting.  He has led us with wisdom and love.  We are his and he has been the one sustaining us.  He has provided wisdom, finances, strength, courage and love.  

I extend a warm welcome to our new members and those who have recently joined our church community this year!  It is our hope that you find a place to belong, grow and serve.  We exist to connect people with Jesus so the world thrives.

I would like to express our deep gratitude to all those who continue to generously contribute their finances to support the kingdom work of Cochrane Alliance Church.  As a board, we constantly give thanks to God for His provision and are humbled by your faithful and sacrificial giving.  Additionally, I extend my thanks to the donors who have contributed to our capital needs and to fund Right Hand Support. 

I want to acknowledge the hard work of our Finance Committee: Brent Rushinka, Mike Poettcker, Daniel Souza, Brenda Heavenor, Don Neufeld and Lyle Wilton. They have dedicated countless hours to ensure responsible stewardship of the resources entrusted to us.

The past few years have been a season of transition, and this year has brought further changes. We bid farewell to Pastor Mike Poettcker and his wife, Becky. Pastor Mike served our church faithfully for many years as our associate pastor and interim lead. He exemplified a missional mindset, project management skills, and a genuine love for God and people.  He was also instrumental in the establishment of Right Hand Support, which has and will continue to have a lasting impact for the community of Cochrane.  

At the end of the summer, we will also be saying farewell to Pastor Randall Heier, his wife Becky, and their family.  Randall has effectively led our worship ministry, and served us with his  teaching gifts.  We have witnessed his growth as a preacher and been inspired by his encouragement to stir our affections for Jesus.

We are thankful for the years we have been led by these pastors and release both of these men and their families to follow wherever the Lord leads them.  May God bless them abundantly, and may they thrive in their future endeavors.  I ask that you keep the Worship Pastor Search Committee in your prayers, as well as the person whom God is calling to fill this role.

This year the Board took the initiative to review and update the Lead Pastor job description and evaluation process.  We also provided counsel to Pastor Brent as he restructured the staff.  Pastor Jason assumed a new role as Pastor of Youth & Leadership Development, while Pastor Donna took on the role of Pastor of Children & Community.  Let us extend a warm welcome to Stacy Morris, our new associate for youth ministries.  She will be working with Jason Dimnik to providing leadership and oversight to the overall direction of our youth ministries.  We also want to welcome Melissa and Tim Sawatsky to our Right Hand Support staff.  Melissa will be serving as Program Administrator, while Tim will take on the role of Program Development Coordinator. 

During this year, we also accomplished the following:

  • Reviewed board functions, roles, meeting objectives, expectations, and culture
  • Formalized a centralized banking agreement with RBC and the Western Canadian District to strengthen and support our relationship with the WCD and our sister churches.
  • Altered the way we report finances to the congregation, combining capital and operational funds for easier understanding and transparency
  • Reallocated funds from stagnant restricted funds to address immediate needs
  • Vigilantly monitored our finances, adjusting our strategic direction as necessary and advising Pastor Brent in managing discretionary expenses
  • Funded a special training opportunity for the Children’s ministry leadership
  • Oversaw the funding and staffing structure of Right Hand Support
  • Oversaw the Emergency Preparedness Committee (Jon Schwab, Blaine Ellerby and Wally Irons) as they developed a new Emergency Response Plan for CAC
  • Pursued and secured an AED donation from the Cochrane Activettes
  • Supported Pastor Brent's participation in the Alliance Gateway Vision Tour
  • Received prayer team training
  • Regularly prayed for the congregation's needs, as well as for wisdom and direction

This year, the board recognized that those who requested we review the policy concerning women serving as elders had now waited many years. It was appropriate that we should honor the request to review the policy as we were in a more stable position to spend dedicated time in study, prayer and discussion. As a board we rigorously studied the question of the biblical qualifications for eldership, including reading the book Two Views on Women in Ministry (Counterpoints: Bible and Theology), discussing aspects of William J Webb’s book Slaves, Women & Homosexuals: Exploring The Hermeneutics Of Cultural Analysis, and listening to experts discuss different aspects of the discussion on Dr Preston Sprinkle’s Podcast Theology in the Raw. During our monthly meetings from September 2022 to April 2023 we dedicated time for discussing this topic and praying over the decision. In early May 2023 the board convened for an extended session to pray and discuss the topic at length.  From this time of study, prayer, and discussion the board decided that we will be once again bringing this decision before the membership at the 2023 AGM.  After extensive deliberation, we have also come to consensus that as your elected board of elders, we will be recommending that the Cochrane Alliance Church membership accept the provision by local church constitution to allow women to serve as Elders.

I express my sincere gratitude to my fellow board members for faithfully serving our Lord and the Cochrane Alliance family. Doyle Peterson continued as Vice Chair, Jon Wilcox continued as Secretary, and Don Neufeld took on a new role as Treasurer. I also extend my thanks to Dave Anger, Simon Ongom, Adam Braun, Tim Heavenor and Brent Rushinka.

At the AGM in September, I will be stepping down from the board at the end of my second three-year term.  It has been my privilege to serve as the chair for the past four years. These six years have been eventful, involving discussions on our legal status, women in leadership, navigating the challenges of the pandemic and associated restrictions, bidding farewell to the Kolebas, Quicks, Poettckers, and Heiers, welcoming the Hernandezes, and leading the search for and welcoming the Rushinkas, to name a few milestones.  I am grateful for the opportunity to serve our church community in this capacity. I deeply appreciate this church, its staff, and the men and women with whom I have served on the board and various committees. As the board welcomes two new members and a new chair assumes my position, I kindly ask for your prayers during this transition process.

Special thanks go to Doyle Peterson, Franc Godri and John Wicker for mentoring me; to Judd Lee, Jon Wilcox and Brent Rushinka for your brotherhood; and to Danelle for your love and unwavering support.

We look forward with anticipation to what God will do in and through us this year.

In His hands,

Jon Schwab
Chair of the Board of Elders

Report of the Nominating Committee

Nominations for Board of Elders

3-year Term:    

Cam Hiebert
Blaine Ellerby

1-year Term:    

Tim Heavenor

Current Members:     

Don Neufeld
Doyle Peterson
Adam Braun
Dave Anger
Simon Ongom

Nominations for Congregational Reps

Danelle Schwab
Sharon Wicker

From Constitution: 
Article XV – Elections 

…The Nominating Committee shall present and post, at least two Sundays prior to the annual meeting, one name for each office to be filled. Other nominations, if any, shall be made in writing, signed by two members in good standing, and filed with the chairman of the nominating committee for posting before the public services on the Sunday prior to the annual meeting.

From Bylaws of Cochrane Alliance Church: Article IV - Board of Elders 

Elders shall be elected to a term not exceeding three years. A three year term is defined as beginning at the AGM when the elder is elected and ending at the AGM three years hence.  An elder can serve on the board for a maximum of two consecutive terms after which they must step off the board for a minimum of one year.

Nominating Committee:

Brent Rushinka, Chairperson
Shirley Stephens, Congregational Rep
Heather Ann Braun, Congregational Rep
Doyle Peterson, Board of Elders Rep
Simon Ongom, Board of Elders Rep

* Click links above to find out more about our current Elders and Nominees.

From Our Board Treasurer

Greetings to all Cochrane Alliance members and adherents. It is with great pleasure and gratitude that I present to you the highlights of our 2022/2023 fiscal year’s financial report.

  1. General Fund Giving: I am thrilled to share that our General Fund giving surpassed expectations during this past year. We received a total of $1,073,767 which is notably higher than the budgeted $967,000 amount. This substantial contribution from congregants has allowed us to continue supporting various programs and initiatives dear to our church’s mission.
  2. Capital/Evergreen Fund: While the Capital/Mortgage Fund Income fell short of the budgeted target, with $121,460 against a target of $240,000, we were able to cover most of this shortfall using the surplus from the General Fund. I’m grateful for the Finance Committee’s adaptability and resourcefulness in managing our finances.
  3. Staff Restructuring and Annual Savings: In a bid to streamline our operations and enhance efficiency, we reorganized staff responsibilities. As a result, we expect to secure additional annual savings of approximately $40,000. We believe we can do this without compromising the quality of church programming or functioning understaffed. These savings are reflected in the upcoming 2023/2024 budget.
  4. Rental Income: One of the objectives in expanding and updating our facilities was to foster community engagement and create a welcoming space for local organizations and charities. I’m delighted to share that our rental income for the past year was 26% higher than budgeted. This surge indicates the growing interest in utilizing our facilities for various functions and events, reflecting our commitment to be a valuable asset in the community and echoing the words of Jeremiah 29:7, “. . . to seek the peace and prosperity of the city.”
  5. Proposed Budget for Upcoming Year: Considering the uncertainties and challenges we faced during this past year, we have prepared a conservative budget for the upcoming fiscal year. This budget aligns with actuals from the 2022/2023 period. By embracing this prudent approach and seeking God’s guidance, we aim to continue to advance forward while minimizing unnecessary risks that could potentially harm our church body.

In conclusion, I want to express my deepest gratitude to every member of the congregation for their unwavering support, dedication, and commitment to our church’s financial well-being.  Your contributions, both financially and otherwise, have been pivotal in achieving these positive outcomes. As we look ahead, we remain steadfast in our mission and vision, knowing that together, with God’s grace, we can surmount any challenges to the glory of God.

Thank you for your attention, and may God continue to bless our faith community abundantly.

Respectfully submitted, 

Don Neufeld
Treasurer of the Board of Elders

2022-2023 ANNUAL REPORT SUPPLEMENTAL

Includes complete 2022/23 financial statements, 2023/2024 proposed budget and more.

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