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9-25-13 ADRA Canada Office Dedication Weekend

Open-house and ribbon-cutting ceremony held at our new facility in Newcastle, ON
Guests gathered in the parking lot for the dedication ceremony before the luncheon and tour.  
September 9, 2013 marked the culmination of the multi-year process of moving ADRA Canada from its previous office in Oshawa, ON to its new facility in Newcastle, ON. Under a clear blue sky, with perfect weather and beautiful sunshine, approximately 100 people gathered at ADRA Canada’s new office to celebrate the official dedication of the building. With pleasant banter among the guests, inspiring comments from distinguished speakers, and a mouth-watering luncheon served in artful arrangements, the event was by all counts a tremendous success.
Not everything about this process has gone so completely according to plan. ADRA Canada went to considerable lengths to present various proposals to address the challenges of the previous office in a way that would allow ADRA Canada to remain at the Kingsway Campus, but without success. The facility in Newcastle was purchased in June, 2012. Then began the long process of planning, negotiation, renovation, and moving. Anyone who has remodeled their own home, or even moved from one home to another, can probably imagine the level of stress created by the various setbacks and delays encountered.

Officials from ADRA Canada and the Seventh-day Adventist Church join MP Erin O’Toole in cutting the ribbon for ADRA Canada’s new office facility in Newcastle, On. From left to right, John Ramsay (Vice-President for Finance, Seventh-day Adventist Church in Canada), Mark Johnson (President, Seventh-day Adventist Church in Canada), James Astleford (Executive Director, ADRA Canada), Jonathan Duffy (President, ADRA International), Debra Brill (Vice-President, North American Division of the Seventh-day Adventist Church), and Erin O’Toole (Member of Parliament for Durham Region, Ontario, Canada).  
Finally, this last Monday, ADRA Canada Board members, staff, and invited guests were pleased to dedicate the building and celebrate the completion of the extensive renovation process. Staff and guests gathered in the resurfaced parking lot as ADRA Canada Board members cut the ribbon looped over the balcony railing.
Jonathan Duffy, President of ADRA International, congratulated ADRA Canada on its successful growth in recent years—a time when many other non-profit agencies have been struggling amidst changing donor agendas and a general constricting of budgets.
Also present were many representatives of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Canada, including president Mark Johnson, vice president Daniel Stojanovic, and vice president John Ramsay, who also serve on the ADRA Canada Board of Directors. Debra Brill, ADRA Director for the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists, also congratulated ADRA Canada on its growth. Part of the brief program included the presentation of a certificate from Erin O’Toole, the local Member of Parliament, who applauded ADRA Canada and the Seventh-day Adventist Church for their role in the local and international community.
James Astleford, executive director of ADRA Canada, thanked everyone who had helped make the new facility a reality, including staff members, who, while still carrying the burden of their regular workload, helped guide the project to completion. James was also quick to thank various professionals and consultants, who provided invaluable expertise.
“The combined efforts of all these individuals have brought this project to completion,” said James. “The result, and this is important for us as a charity and as a ministry of the Adventist church, is a significantly lower occupancy cost than we had previously. And as a bonus we have an improved operational environment.”
ADRA Canada board members and Jonathan Duffy, president of ADRA International, pose in front of the new ADRA Canada office  
As part of his closing remarks, James said, “While today we celebrate a building, I want to remind you that it is merely a tool for ministry, for service to the poor around the world.”
The final element of the ceremony was a litany, led by John Ramsay. In thoughtful tones, John led the group in reading:
“This building is not just wood and metal. It is much more than a physical entity. This building is a sacred place because it offers us the space to create something holy: a ministry for people of all ages, all religions, and all backgrounds. This building is our agency’s home. Today we are filled with joy and gratitude as we dedicate our new home to God and to the needs of the wider world.”
Earlier in the weekend, Jonathan Duffy presented an inspiring sermon on the topic of Jesus’ ministry to those in need. Duffy’s sermon was a powerful reminder of our sacred duty to care for those around us. Later that afternoon, the ADRA Canada staff invited local Seventh-day Adventist church members, community members, and the general public to attend an open-house event. With cake and juice in hand, visitors toured the office, met the staff, saw pictures detailing the transformation produced by the building’s renovation and ADRA Canada’s move, and learned more about ADRA Canada’s unique ministry to the poor.
ADRA Canada is so grateful to all of those who have supported, and continue to support, our work of sharing God’s love in practical ways. We appreciate everyone who attended our events this last weekend, and only wish that we could have shared the moment with more of you. We are sending a huge “Thank you” to all our friends and family, donors, Facebook friends, partners, those who have prayed for our work, and anyone who shares our passion to empower the poor. May God bless you richly.
Regardless of our physical location, we are a Canada-wide agency with the goal of providing help to those around the world who may be unable to help themselves. We here at ADRA Canada are blessed with, and grateful to God for, the steady support of compassionate supporters and generous donors from across Canada. We are thankful that you have chosen to partner with us in heeding Christ’s call to minister to “the least of these” (Matt. 25:45).
For more information, please visit www.adra.ca or call 905-446-2372.
North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists
9705 Patuxent Woods Drive
Columbia, MD 21046-1565 USA
Telephone: 443-391-7200
Fax: 443-391-
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