Bjorn and I have been part of a church for 2 years now, Vintage 242 that meets in Abbotsford, BC. It is a Mennonite plant, a part of Acts 29 network (through Mars Hill of Seattle), and a reformed church...quite the connections! Our church is roughly 100 people. For the past two years we have met Sunday evenings in a Mennonite church.
For about a year, our elders, Johnny and Kevin, have felt called by God to move to downtown Abottsford and become a part of the downtown community. After ignoring this call for quite some time because it seemed ridiculous (financially and etc.), they have finally acknowledged God's voice and have turned to our church to ask us very seriosuly if this is something God is calling our church to become a part of. The old, historic postal office downtown has been for sale for over a year. Johnny and Kevin have dialogued with the city, ABDA (Abbotsford Business District Association), and the owner for several months now.
The owner has agreed to sell the postal office to our church, as long as we follow the proper zoning codes and pay a sum of $1.2 million dollars. For a small, poor church like ours, a million dollars is a pretty huge deal.
This is the point, where our church has had to collectively fall on our knees and have faith that if God wills it, it will happen. On Jan. 31, we must make a first payment of $200,000 to the owner. We will then have until March 19 to pay the remaining million dollars. The Mennonite Brethern Conference is considering helping out church, but to what extent we are unsure.
At this point, our elders are dialoging with wealthier men to encourage them to have the vision we have for the downtown, as well as our entire church is praying as to what God wants them to sacrfice financially.
If we are to move downtown, we would hopefully transform the post office into an upscale cafe bistro, a conference center, and commercial offices. Vintage would use the post office for offices and on Sundays.
Check out our site that shows pictures of the inside of the post office and the vision our church has. And please pray as our church hopefully "goes postal."