The Scarborough Chinese Alliance Church is a local church within the Christian & Missionary Alliance denomination of Canada. We are in the intermediate stage of our dual church direction. The Chinese speaking congregation and the English speaking congregation are currently worshipping in two separate buildings situated side-by-side.

 

At present, we are still one church with a single elder's board. Ultimately the two congregations will become two separate independent churches with complementary ministries.

 

Preamble: Historical Background

Humble Beginnings

The Scarborough Chinese Alliance Church was first started in 1981 with about 40 members. At the beginning, worship services in Cantonese were held in the afternoon using the facilities of the First Alliance Church. One year later, church services were changed to the morning and used the Beverly Glen Public School. The church continued to grow.

In 1987, one acre of land was purchased. In 1989, a building of 14,000 square feet was constructed. At that time, the church had about 395 adults, and 106 children. God has been blessing us!

Adding English Worship Service

In seeing the spiritual needs of the English speaking Chinese, we started a second worship service at 9:30 AM in December of 1987. The main language used was English with interpretation into Cantonese.

Since January 1990, this worship service was completely conducted in English. In July 1990, we were able to call an English pastor. These steps were taken with the purpose of ministering to the English speaking Chinese.

The Dual Church Direction

In May 1992, at the special membership meeting, with much discussion before hand, the Dual Church Direction was passed as a long term policy for our church.

This Dual Church Direction aims at establishing an autonomous English speaking Chinese church right next to the Cantonese speaking church, having the two church buildings within walking distance of one another, and providing ministries that mutually benefit both churches.

Our desires are to minister to both Cantonese speaking Chinese and English speaking Chinese, as well as having an autonomous and healthy English speaking church. We believe that the Cantonese and English speaking churches being side by side can complement each other's ministries.

Towards the Goal

In July 1993, by the grace of God, we purchased two acres of land right next to our present property. When the land is paid off, we will start construction of another church building, about twice the size of the present building.

In 1995, on average, the Cantonese speaking congregation had about 647 adults and the English speaking congregation had about 105 persons. We had about 156 children. We are still one church as far as finance and administration are concerned.

The establishment of this covenant is to ensure the success of the Dual Church Direction and a smooth progress toward the goal of having an autonomous and thriving English speaking church next to the Cantonese one.

Covenant Agreement

  1. When the two church buildings are ready, the English speaking congregation will be have a separate offering count.

    Relationally and administratively, the deacons board of the English speaking congregation will function in the same manner as the present, being under the Board of Elders of the S.C.A.C.

    The Cantonese speaking congregation, with more people, will use the new (larger) building while the English speaking congregation will use the present (smaller) building.

  2. Financial self-sufficiency of the English speaking congregation is defined as being able to honour all of the general expenses.

    The general expenses should include utility expenses according to the use of the facility. The general expenses cannot override the concern for missions.

    Self-sufficiency (autonomy) must be determined by the English speaking congregation. When the English speaking congregation is autonomous, it will have its own name and its own Board of Elders.

  3. All real properties are owned by the Scarborough Chinese Alliance Church and registered in the District's name. The amount of asset of the English speaking church is determined by the following conditions:

    1. At the time when the new building is ready for occupancy, 10% of the total net asset (book value) in dollar amount is considered to be the asset of the English speaking congregation.

    2. Both churches will together try their best to contribute to a mutual building fund to be used to pay off the mortgage on the properties (principal and interest included) and before the paying off of the mortgage, no one church should save up cash as asset.

      The total amounts contributed toward the mutual building fund by the Cantonese speaking church and the English speaking church will be booked year by year until the mortgage is paid off.

      The principal paid each year is the asset and it will be divided between the Cantonese speaking Church and the English speaking Church according to the ratio of the contributions in the year.

      The goal eventually is to have the English speaking Church own the smaller building on the one acre of land by paying for it a portion at a time.

      It is recognized that there may be, and will be, different perceptions of acceptable methods of asset allocation. However, in the spirit of unity and cooperation in our Dual Church direction, we accept the above arrangement as a way to make it possible for the English speaking Church to have a building for worship quickly and to own it eventually.

    3. After the mortgage is paid off, the Cantonese speaking Church may do one of several things to assist the English speaking Church to acquire the present (smaller) building:

      1. to charge 0% interest on the balance amount (The balance amount is the book value of the smaller building minus the asset of the English speaking church); or

      2. to charge an interest that must be less than half of the market rate; or

      3. to waive the balance amount

    This particular agreement (c) is designed to clarify the share and responsibility of both churches in the real properties concerned.

    Further, this can clarify future settlements regarding ownerships of the real properties should any one church decide to move to another location, and opt out of this Dual Church Covenant.

    Also, the exchange of usage and/or ownership of church buildings may be done upon mutual agreement between the two churches. If one church wants to sell its property related to this Dual Church Covenant, the other church must be given the first right of refusal to purchase.

  4. Cooperation: Even though we need to set an agreement like (c) for safeguards and peaceful settlement in the future, our strong intention and desire remain to be that of cooperation and mutual support of each other in Cantonese and English speaking ministries.

    The pastoral teams and the church boards of both autonomous churches will meet from time to time, at least once a year, to ensure that mutual support and benefits in the ministries are maintained and enhanced.

  5. This covenant is considered binding once it is duely [SIC] signed by the church(es) concerned and it is to be overseen by the District in case of disputes.

  6. When the English speaking church becomes autonomous, both the English speaking church and the Cantonese speaking church will reconfirm this covenant and sign it.

This covenant was approved by the membership of the Scarborough Chinese Alliance Church on February 18, 1996. Both the Cantonese and the English congregations of the same church were consulted before hand, and were both represented at the membership meeting.

This covenant was submitted to the District Executive Committee which approved it and filed it for future reference, on May 9, 1996.