Relate Church has been around for almost 33 years and we’ve called the city of Surrey home for most of these. We exist to build the church by developing flourishing relationships with God and people.
We are a non-denominational, Hillsong Family Church. We value prayer and passionate worship and practical, spirit-filled teaching that impacts not just our Sunday, but our Mondays too. We want to create a place that feels like home, where all are welcome, and no one is forgotten. We already consider you family.
We’re planting a campus of Relate Church in Abbotsford, British Columbia. We’re launching on January 27th, 2019 on the Abbotsford campus of the University of the Fraser Valley.
Our heart is for the Valley, and it has been for many years. Our pastoral team has always planned on taking our church community, our life-giving culture, and our love of Jesus and people to the city of Abbotsford, but we’ve been waiting for God to raise up the right leaders. Dan and Cassandra Comrie are those leaders, and the call of God on their lives, as well as their heart for their city and its people is so evident. They carry the DNA of Relate Church, and when they moved to the Valley in 2017, we began making plans to put down roots. We’re so excited to see those roots grow into this beautiful, vibrant, life-giving community that God has put on our hearts.
The Fraser Valley is impossibly beautiful. There is this diversity to the region you see few other places in our nation – both in the scenery, and the people. Mountains meeting meadows, old teaching young, cultures converging and there is so much vibrancy to these interactions, and yet in the midst of all this, we see so much brokenness, so much loneliness, and so much hurt. Cassandra and I grew up in the region, and we’ve seen both sides of this spectrum first hand. Homelessness is up 86% in the Fraser Valley over the last 3 years, as opposed to only 19% in Metro Vancouver and the city proper. Abbotsford, just like it was in 08/09, is once again in the running to be considered the murder capital of Canada with 5.53 homicides per 100,000 people, as opposed to the national average of 1.68. There has been a resurgence of gang violence and activity in our city, and an epidemic of renewed drug traffic throughout the Valley, all while young families flock to our neighbourhoods in search of affordable and accessible housing. We were one of those families.
For the past 6 odd years, Cassandra and I called Surrey home, because we called Relate Church home. We both grew up in Christian homes. In tithing families. I’ve tithed as the letter of the law since I received my first allowance. I understood the practice, but until we came to Relate, I can’t say for sure that I understood the principle of generosity in action. I didn’t understand ‘the why’. And then we found our church. Then we heard generosity spoken of as common, expected practice. We saw love in action. We took hampers to families in our own city who told us that without this food they had nothing to feed their children that week. We became friends with amazing women who had gone through Mercy Ministries and had had their lives and eternities changed in the process. We saw the love of Christ in action and we couldn’t get enough of it.
Then, near the end of 2017, we moved back to the Valley. We were one of those growing families seeking affordability. Our parents both live out here, they made convenient babysitters. Within a month’s time, our home had been broken into, Cassandra’s engagement ring had been stolen, and someone very close to us had attempted suicide. Somewhere in that space between actually losing something of great temporary value, and almost losing something of irreplaceable eternal value, we said an unequivocal yes to the call that God had placed on our lives - the call he had spoken and affirmed through our pastors at Relate Church, and the mission that went alongside of that – we were going to bring a life-giving, generations focused campus of Relate Church to the city of Abbotsford and the people of the Fraser Valley.
This was our introduction to our new community. This was our welcome to the neighbourhood. Abbotsford has lots of churches. We know this. And yet, the so-called Bible Belt has not maintained church attendance in the face of significant population growth over the past decade. The number of individuals claiming ‘no religious affiliation’ has grown year over year without fail for the past decade. The city of Abbotsford, more than ever before, is filled with unchurched people. Beyond this however, and this has been on our hearts from the very beginning – our experience has taught us that the city of Abbotsford is filled with de-churched people. Those who have walked away from the faith of their parents, pushed back against the religious affiliations they were assigned in their youth, and our heart breaks for these people – because they could have been us. Because they almost were.
Our lives could have been so different, had they not been forever changed first, by an encounter and relationship with Jesus Christ, and second, by our involvement in a life-giving local church. A place where all are welcome, and no one is forgotten. A place which walks out the love of Jesus to meet the practical and spiritual needs of our community. People are hungry for hope. We’re going to be part of their story.
This only becomes possible if God is in it. We believe with all our hearts that Jesus is the answer to the ache within. So we’re praying like never before, we’re hustling hard to do what we can do, and believing with everything for God to do what only He can do. We believe that He gives us the amazing, life-changing opportunity to be part of His work here on earth. We believe that He’s giving you that opportunity right now. My hope and prayer is that this package inspires you and gives you the necessary information to prayerfully consider partnering with us.
Thank you for believing in the call of the local church, for believing in His mission, and supporting us in this journey. We believe that God has miracles ahead of us, and the stories of what He does in the Fraser Valley through this season of obedience will echo down through the generations, and make an eternal impact in heaven.
With all the love we have to give,
Pastors Dan & Cassandra Comrie
Homelessness Up 86% in the FVRD over the past 3 years
Compared to up only 19% in Metro Vancouver in that same span
The ‘Bible Belt’ – does this still ring true?
Only 17% of Abbotsford residents report attending church, even once a year.
Murder rate: 5.53 for Abbotsford vs. 1.68 national average (per 100,000 people)
Over the past decade, population has increased more than 10%, while those who identify as Christian have decreased 11.7% over that same period.
We want to be good stewards of the resources given towards Relate Church and our Valley campus.
Our desire is to be financially transparent, and we have modeled this desire year over year at our Surrey location, where each year we make our financial statements as well as an independent auditor’s report available on our website. If you have any specific questions or clarifications regarding our finances, get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org
This campaign isn’t about asking people to give to Relate Church, but about seeing people give through Relate Church.
We can all make a difference. We’re asking for support to help us launch on January 27th, 2019, on the Abbotsford campus of UFV. Whether you’re a student, retired, raising a family, or in any other season of life, we want to make it as simple as possible for you to be a part of what God is doing here in the Fraser Valley.
We are looking for individuals, families, businesses, and churches to partner with us in raising our goal of $97,135.06. Each circle below represents a partner that has committed to financially support the launch of Relate Church Valley. Each unfilled circle represents an opportunity to partner. Would you prayerfully consider committing to give monthly for the first year of our existence, or a one time gift?
HOW TO HELP
01. One-Time Donation. 02. Monthly/Recurring Gift
Giving by Cheque Instructions
*All donations will receive tax receipts in their giving year.
*Quarterly Development Updates will be sent to all financial partners
ADVANTAGES TO GIVING
Giving Costs Less than you think
Federal and provincial government tax incentives encourage individuals to support their favourite charities, but many people grossly underestimate the true value of these incentives, in part because federal and provincial tax credits are calculated separately, not as one total amount on your individual tax return.
In BC, your tax credits for charitable donations above $200 reduce the cost of your gift by almost one-half (more in other Provinces). There are many avenues to be generous while benefiting from tax deductions.