by John Veldkamp
I am writing this message on the evening of December 8. Today our Alberta government announced stricter public health measures for the next few weeks. This is a challenging time for all of us, especially over the Christmas season. Hopefully by the time you are reading this, we have successfully “bent the curve” and we can look forward to fewer restrictions soon.
Living through a pandemic really highlights the brokenness of our world and our need for a Saviour. Praise God that He loved us so much that He was willing to humble Himself to be born, to live on this earth and to die for our sins. When we believe in Jesus as our Saviour we don’t have to despair when we consider the brokenness of this world. Jesus promises in Revelation 21:4 that “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
We want to be a source of encouragement to our members because the disease and the public health restrictions have a very real impact on the lives of our members. In the midst of our current challenges, we are encouraging our members to recall God’s promise to His people in Jeremiah 29:11 that He will give His people hope and a future. If you are struggling with your financial situation, please don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our advisors.
Several of our team members are highlighted in this newsletter. I am very thankful for our dedicated team members who work hard to serve our members, particularly those in need. The pandemic has also impacted our team members making their job more difficult and causing challenges in their personal lives. If you get a chance, take a moment to thank them because they really do care deeply for the people they serve.
As you can tell by flipping through this newsletter, we are working on many important initiatives to improve our services despite the pandemic. The biggest change that is coming to member services in 2021 is the adoption of a new digital banking platform. We are making this technology change because our current digital banking provider is discontinuing its software at the end of 2021. We don’t have an exact date for this conversion yet, but it should be before the summer. Some changes are already happening in connection with this conversion. Our website has been updated and we have arranged a partnership with a new budgeting app called MoneyWise that aligns much better with our biblical stewardship principles.
As more people hear about our Credit Union and its vision to be the recognized leader in applying Christian values to financial services, many are making the decision to try our services. Our momentum for growth is building and we added 330 new members last year. Many of these new members are outside of our historical membership base – one such member has graciously provided a testimonial of their positive experience. You can read about that elsewhere in this newsletter.
Overall we are still healthy financially and our Credit Union remains profitable. We did not hit our budgeted profit levels due to the dramatic drop in interest rates and members reducing their debt load. Although we reduced our profit sharing this year, we still paid over $150,000 back to our members. We were encouraged to see our assets grow to their highest level ever at $249 million and this is another sign that our momentum is building.
In March, we are planning to hold our Annual General Meeting once again and for the first time ever it will be a virtual meeting. Plans are still being finalized so stay tuned for details. One detail we do know is that both
Laura Veenendaal and Peter Deys will be declared elected by acclamation to second three-year terms on our Board. Thank you both for your service to our members!
I hope you are informed and inspired by the content of this newsletter. In these unsettled times, may your membership in our Credit Union help you find contentment with your finances. God bless!