Annual Report 2021
Ministry Season: July 2021 - June 2022
Have you seen the construction across
New homes are popping up, bringing unprecedented opportunities to share the Good News.
And through your faithfulness, God is also building up your Gateway family.
Back in the days of Haggai, as the Israelites returned from exile, God challenged his people to prioritize the rebuilding of the temple and, even more importantly, the ministries of worship and the Word that build up His people.
Gateway Church, I am grateful that God has laid the same burden on your hearts this past year. In the aftermath of a global pandemic that disrupted the rhythms of church programs, you have prayed, given and served the ministries that build up God’s family.
Thank you and thanks be to God!
Below you will see what God has done through faithful people. Read the text, watch the videos and celebrate in your heart what has taken place and the best that is yet to come. And join us for an evening of looking back at the past year and looking forward together at our Annual General Meeting on September 25th at 6:30pm.
See you there!
Pastor Steve Kerr
Nominating Committee: This year’s Nominating Committee consisted of Pete Zimmerman, Cindi Parke (who presently serve as Elders), Rachel MacCormack, Ryan Ferreira (members who were elected by the membership at the Semi-Annual Meeting) and Pastor Steve Kerr. Out of their deliberations, they are nominating the following two individuals to stand for two available positions on the Board of Gateway Church: Rachel Minton and Mark van Donkersgoed.
Below is a brief biography of each candidate.
Report of the Nominating Committee
Rachel has been married to her husband Dan for 11 years. They have three children: Brendan (8), Levi (6), and Halle (almost 3). Their family moved to Ancaster from Hamilton in 2017, and love being in the country. Rachel is currently dabbling in sheep farming. Rachel grew up in a Christian home and accepted Christ as her Saviour at the age of 11.
She has attended Gateway since 2006 and has served in a number of different ministries over the years. Previously, Rachel served for 9 years as an Axis youth leader.
Mark van Donkersgoed:
Mark and his wife Brenda have been married for 26 years. They have 5 kids ranging in age from 21 to 11 years old. Mark and Brenda and family live on a farm between Cayuga and Hagersville. Mark is a farmer as well as an online business owner. Mark grew up in a Christian home, accepted Christ in his early teens and was baptized in his early 20's. Brenda and Mark started attending Gateway in 1999 and Mark has served in various capacities over the years and currently leads Gateway's Missions Team.
For more information on each nominee, please feel free to contact a member of the nominating committee or the nominee directly.
Pastor Steve Kerr
On behalf of Pete Zimmerman, Cindi Parke, Rachel MacCormack and Ryan Ferreira
2021 Baptism Celebration
After being sent home at the beginning of the pandemic, in 2021, our international and national workers had opportunities to re-engage and return in person to the places that God has called them to reach with the gospel. Our National and International workers are so grateful for your prayers and support of our Global advance fund. It takes a team working together, Praying, Giving, and Going, to fulfil our call to reach the world with the gospel.
Thank you, Gateway family, for your faithfulness!
160+ children in Ecuador have been sponsored through our partnership with Compassion Canada. This support has been instrumental in Compassion’s ability to support not only these children but their families through Covid. Many of the poorest families have suffered greatly during covid as their ability to work and provide daily has been impacted by the pandemic. Compassion has been able to bridge many of these family through this time. We are excited to see how God will use this partnership as another avenue to share the gospel in these communities.
Although the Lobbezoos returned to Cambodia in 2021, continued health issues for Bill led to the very difficult decision to once again to return to Canada for the foreseeable future. The Lobbezoos have settled back in Canada and the Central District is benefitting greatly from Ilana taking on the position of Mission Catalyst for our District. We took up a love offering for the Lobbezoos and the gift total was $30,160. Thank you for your generous giving. Please continue to pray for them during this transition.
The Ninawachi Bible institute continues to train students in understanding the bible and preparing them to reach local communities with the gospel. The institute offers a combination of in class teaching with “on the field training.” Students have the opportunity to spend time in the local and remote communities for a month at the end of each school year building relationships and sharing the gospel. Some of these students will have an opportunity to minister to tribal groups that have never heard the name of Jesus! Please pray for the staff and students at the school as they have had many health challenges in the past year.
Here is a break down of what was given
between July 2021- June 2022:
Global Advance Fund: $114,496.63
Short Term Missions: $7,354.75
International Workers: $6,050
Church Planting: $25,070
An Update from the Lobbezoos
Bill & Ilana
In May 2022, we took up a love offering for the Lobbezoo's and were able to gift them $30,160 because of your generosity.
This was their response:
“It was with tremendous surprise, joy, and gratitude that we received the news from Pastor Steve regarding the love offering you have been collecting for us over these past weeks. We are truly blessed and humbled to be the recipients of such a generous expression of love and support. I think it is safe to say that the total received has far exceeded our expectations, and we want you to know that we will be diligent in ensuring that we are good stewards of the gifts you have so sacrificially contributed. We would also like to express our appreciation for the many comments and words of affirmation and support since Sunday, May 15 when our video was presented, and the conclusion of our formal ministry partnership was articulated.
We cannot express it enough what a deep and consistent encouragement the Gateway family has been to our family over the years. We do commend you to others as examples of a church body that demonstrates a commitment to the task of global missions and our International Worker families. We know that you will continue to make an impact in the months and years to come.
You will always hold a special place in our hearts, and you can rest assured that you will see us around. Would it be a misplaced expression of favoritism to say that you could be our favorite church? Let’s keep that our secret, given Ilana’s current role in the District." ;)
With deep appreciation and love,
Bill & Ilana Lobbezoo
# of Attendees
Set Free Retreat
Candlelight Grief Service
The Gateway Compassion Team continues to assist our church care for people going through times of hardship and need. In 2022, a total of $9,825.75 was given to the Compassion Fund.
Disbursements totalled $21,784.57
A key reason the Compassion Team exists is for the purpose of helping to ensure that the
primary needs of every church member are attempted to be met. Primary needs are thosenecessary for physical, emotional, and spiritual survival: food, shelter, clothing, transportation, counselling, etc. Assistance may also be extended to regular attendees and consideration given to compassionate responses within our community and globally.
This year the pandemic, along with inflationary pressures, caused financial hardship for many. Assistance was given to address needs related to food, transportation, and housing for both individuals and families.
Gateway continues to utilize Shalem Mental Health Network to provide counselling services for our church family. This Church Assistance Program (CAP) provides up to six counselling sessions per individual at no cost. The cost of this program is underwritten by the generous giving to our Compassion Fund.
Serving on the Compassion Team throughout the year were Bruce Davies, Janet Mohl, Marian Ratzlaff, and Phil Drijber.
“Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick in prison, and not help you?’ And he will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.” - Matt. 25:44-45
“I am so grateful for the opportunity to serve on the CT. To represent our Saviour and our church family by helping others in need is a great privilege and source of joy. To see the smiles, and sometimes the tears, on the faces of single moms, older couples and young adults reacting to a gift of encouragement and support is a reminder of the importance of this church ministry. It is putting groceries on the table, helping finding someone a place to live, or providing needed counselling in the midst of turmoil.
Gateway church family, thank you for your generous giving to our compassion fund, it is making a difference in the lives
of so many.”
Compassion Team Member
from the Browns
Rich & Elisa
2021 was an exciting year with challenges and joy all mixed together!
We quickly realized that Gateway Kids had developed into three distinct ministries with On-site, On-line & At Home areas and we used this past year to map out these unique parts of Gateway Kids, and to dream, plan, and build teams to support their growth and future!
We have welcomed 50 new families to Gateway Kids from September 2021 until June 2022. That works out to be more than one new family per week! That is a total of 98 new children welcomed to Gateway Kids.
50 new GW Kids families means...
Re-opening and welcoming kids and families into the building again was a beautiful thing! There were challenges as we followed new guidelines and coped with pre-registration, class size limits etc. Meeting toddlers who were born during Covid and had never been to Nursery, welcoming brand new families EVERY WEEK, seeing kids so happy to be with friends again, welcoming 50+ NEW VOLUNTEERS, seeing parents moved to tears as they picked up their kids from programs because they were so happy to be back in the building was amazing!
Throughout 2021 we continued making our Kids videos for both Treehouse and Clubhouse programs with more solidified teams that consisted of passionate and creative people serving in roles as storytellers, script supervisors, youth assisting and recording wonder questions, and tech volunteers responsible for video taping and editing. It is a huge undertaking and the growth we have seen from this team is remarkable! In the Fall of 2021 we began using these same Online videos for our onsite Large Groups on Sunday mornings at Gateway Kids! This provides consistency with those watching
At Home. It's also created space for more intentional teaching and connection time with leaders during the Small Group portion of our mornings.
In 2021 we continued to look for ways to both increase and encourage connection, as well as growth opportunities for our families and communities. This included a Lent and Advent drive-thru where families picked up packages containing devotions and activities to help them experience the Easter and Christmas stories. Our “Eat This Book Challenge” was another big win as many families participated in a 5-month journey through the New Testament. This challenge was designed to ignite their children's love for the Bible. We also hosted our first Gateway Kids Family Swim at the Caledonia pool and had a fun day getting to know each other and celebrating summer. Later on, we hosted a “Baby & Toddler Picnic” and “Nursery Drop-in” for families that had welcomed new babies during the Covid season to introduce them to our church, programs and to each other!
Foster & Adoption Ministry
This year we launched a Foster and Adoption ministry and held three events with over 50 people in attendance. We partnered with an organization called Safe Families and had two families sign up to volunteer with them. Connections were made with others who are in the midst of or just starting out in the adoption and foster world.
Forest Cliff Camp
Our first week of partnering with Forest Cliff brought 65 community children to camp here for a week. We also had 35 children from Gateway attend for a total of 100 kids (plus a waitlist) at Day Camp! ForestCliff then returned in May for a special one-day camp event and there were over 450 people from all over Caledonia who came out for this event.
The Well Community Church has had another year in which we have experienced God’s faithfulness while navigating many changes and transitions.
In September, we resumed in-person worship services and were thankful to be worshipping together once again! Although we were in person, we decided to enhance our live stream technology for those that would continue to engage online. In January and February, our services went online for a brief period before resuming again in March. These back and forth transitions were difficult but we felt God’s guidance as we navigated it all amidst a continuing pandemic.
Our church family has evolved as we’ve had new families and individuals join. We praise God for bringing new families who are committed to the mission of The Well. Some individuals and families continue to engage online and have not yet returned to in-person worship and we are praying they will make this transition in the coming months.
In December, we had “Christmas in a Barn” for our Christmas Eve service. This was a creative way we could offer a service during a time of heightened caution due to COVID.
In April, we had our first baptism service which was so exciting for our whole congregation.
We had Kevin’s ordination service in June which was a beautiful celebration of all God has done.
He's Working in Binbrook
Picnic in the Park
We have had several individuals join our leadership throughout the past year. Last summer, Amber DeBoer served as our summer intern and ran “Picnic in the Park” each Friday in Binbrook- an outreach we have been offering in the community since our first year as a church.
Hellos & Goodbyes
In September, we were so excited to add Olivia Snyder to our staff as our Kids Church Coordinator. Olivia’s servant heart and desire to see our kid's program grow have been a huge blessing this past year.
Our leadership team saw some changes as Eugene Neudorf and Chris Leblanc ended their four-year commitment serving in this way. Kyle Zimmerman joined our team and Jarod Bebbington joined transitionally as we continue to develop leaders from The Well.
We continue to be committed to the Binbrook community and our mission of making Jesus known so that lives and communities will be transformed!
An Amazing Story of about the Power of Prayer
In spite of Covid, we were able to host two in-person semesters of Alpha at the church, including meals. About 40 people took Alpha for the first time and we were thrilled with the reports of how lives were changed. Thanks to Mike and Paula Falk and their team of small group leaders, technicians and meal providers! Whether someone is exploring faith or has been a Christian for many years, we encourage everyone to attend Alpha – and bring a family member or friend!
In spite of the challenges of COVID-19, groups have continued to meet. Since September we have had about 160 people connect to 19 groups. Many of our groups are composed of a variety of individuals and/or couples but we also had several specialized groups meeting – one for young moms, the Marriage course, a Griefshare group and a group for 55+, in addition to groups for men and for women.
No matter the format of the group, every group includes three priorities:
UP – getting to know God and hear from him
IN – getting to know one another and supporting each other
OUT – finding a way to serve others
Some of our group leaders reported the following highlights as they reviewed the year:
The group was very strong in sharing trials and praying for each other.
Seeing how we came together to make meals, give gifts and care for one another and others outside of the group.
Walking through very tough things with each other and lifting each other up to Jesus to help us in these challenges we are each facing.
The growth in the women’s faith and stretching on “Christ in them”.
Almost every group has committed to continue in the fall. We are looking for those who are willing to host/lead additional groups as we to expand our capacity. We hope to include several focused groups on marriage, on parenting and DivorceCare. Do you want to travel with others as you grow in your faith journey? Join a group!
Newcomer's Lunch & Intro to Gateway
Even during the pandemic new people have been connecting with Gateway either online or in person. We hosted several Newcomer’s events attended by 26 people and 19 people participated in Intro to Gateway.
Dozens of volunteers dropped off flyers throughout Caledonia, then returned on Saturday, May 14 to collect food. Although this year we again observed pandemic protocols and did not knock on doors, the people of Caledonia contributed over 13,000 pounds of food for the area food banks! Thanks to all who volunteered their time and energy to another successful food drive!
An exciting addition this year was that we assisted the New Credit Fellowship Church to host a food drive on the same day in Hagersville. The Church partnered with the Hagersville Lions Club and collected 3,000 pounds of food (including a live cow!).
An Amazing Story of Hope, Faith
& Trust in The Lord
Another year of Gateway Youth has come and gone, and God was as faithful as ever. As always, games were played, fun was had, and the gospel was preached. Both groups had a number of our classic events like Ginourmous Ice Cream Sunday Night and our Fryday on Wednesday. But we also had some new events this year, like our ringette night.
In both groups, teaching times were had where the scriptures would be opened and shared. There were a number of different series that happened over the year: Wes kicked off the year with a series on the book of Romans for the Axis group and a series on the Gospels in Blast, Natalie Horning ran a series in both groups on the lies from the world that students believe and how God’s truth can set them free, and Caleb McPherson led a series in both groups on the topic of prayer.
Through the fun that was had, the relationships that were fostered, and the gospel that was preached, God’s kingdom was grown in Gateway’s youth ministry this year and the Lord is to be praised for that.
Purpose: To further the discipleship of our students through mentorship relationships where students are given a mentor who can walk alongside them in their life and faith.
Highlights: We had 18 students and 18 mentors who took part in our program! The Lord worked powerfully through the relationships that were created, both the students and mentors were encouraged through the process.
The First big Events Since the Beginning of Covid!
Echo Mentorships Ministry
The Young Adult group at Gateway Church is back and running again! In April, the group was rebooted and has been running since then into the summer. Each night around 30 young adults have been meeting together to eat, pray, worship, and read the scriptures together. The Lord has moved powerfully through the time spent together on Monday nights.
The group has been going through the book of Colossians and kicked off with a study of Jesus found in verses 1:15-23. To go along with this, the group has been taking time for testimonies and stories of what God is doing right now in the lives of Gateway’s young adults, which has been very encouraging to say the least.
A highlight for the group has been the worship, where many of the young adults have been given the chance to step into the role of leading musical worship for the first time. It’s been encouraging to see so many stepping into the giftings God has given them, but also to see how the group has come together in those times of worship.
God has moved in this group and his Spirit has been clearly present on Monday nights. It's exciting to think that the group is just getting started.
(Slide to the left for highlights)
A financial update will be made available at the semi-annual meeting in March 2023. This annual report focuses on the ministry year July 2021-June 2022.
Here are some key examples, since June of last year:
$114,496.63 given to support our International Workers through the Global Advance Fund, as well as funding for international projects and support for Gateway’s National Workers (please see Missions Team report to see what God has done);
$26,316.25 given to the District Ministries Fund, to support the development, training and qualification of pastors, assistance for churches in transition and support for New Ventures, including church plants;
$1,051,872.46 given to Gateway’s General Fund, to provide for the operational needs of the church, including staffing, ministries, facilities and maintenance, special events, etc.