Toronto is a city of 2.6 million where churches are small and real estate is costly. For this reason many churches meet in gymnasiums and cafeterias they rent from the Toronto District School Board. But now, very suddenly, the TDSB has taken action to get churches out of its schools. At the end of August each of these organizations was notified that they would face an imminent increase in rental fees. The next day they learned that this increase would range from 140% to 800% and that it would begin to go in effect in just four days. Unless the Board can be convinced to change course, they will effectively drive hundreds of churches from its nearly 600 schools.
At the end of August, the TDSB announced to their permit holders that effective September 1, 2012, they would streamline the organizational categories under which they distribute rental permits. As of that date, religious organizations (and...
Certainly there is much to be deeply concerned about in these developments.
Tim Challies wrote: Unless the Board can be convinced to change course, they will effectively drive hundreds of churches from its nearly 600 schools.
I am familiar with Grace Fellowship Church, Grace Fellowship Church of East Toronto and Grace Toronto Church and that they meet in school buildings. But are there really "hundreds of churches" meeting in school buildings in Toronto? Please be careful not to undermine what is a very strong argument with hyperbole. Or could you point us with a link to a list of these hundreds of churches?
"As of August 30, Grace Toronto Church, with approximately 450 attendees under the leadership of Pastor Dan MacDonald" ..... "This nearly doubled their rent to $12,224 per month; effective January 1 the rate will rise to $15,895 per month, an increase of 142% over the previous year"
Satan obviously cutting down the witness anyway he can. I wonder if this attack on church has to do with the extremely "Liberal" politics of Canada. They don't want any Biblical views to upset the abortion/homosexual agendas in force. Like other western countries discrimination against the Bible is rife and on the increase.
Russ wrote: KJVONLY I agree it is just a matter of time. As Christians, we need to break free from the idea of "church" that we are in here in the west. Around the world the body of Christ is organized very differently.
We need to stop thinking like Japhethites, and start thinking like Semites. Look at it, which one is always concerned about growing in numbers or power? Which went up to the moon(supposedly)?
KJVONLY I agree it is just a matter of time. As Christians, we need to break free from the idea of "church" that we are in here in the west. Around the world the body of Christ is organized very differently.
The article said,"As the Board revoked subsidies, it simultaneously announced that it intended to raise rental prices for all tenants by 43.7% effective January 1, 2013. Between the rental increase and the loss of subsidies, most churches will no longer be able to afford to rent school buildings. Many of them will have nowhere else to go."
I am not shocked by these things starting to trickle down all around us, merely a first fruits of the harvest we have sown over the last 40 years in western nations. The truth is, though, that this might be the exact thing these churches need to be revived. Why not move to home congregations?