[caption id=”attachment_2895” align=”aligncenter” width=”300”] Town representative Lloyd Ferguson, OACS executive director Adrian Guldemond, OACS board chair Gerry Steggerda and MP David Sweet cut the ribbon at the official opening of the OACS building.[/caption]
‘Today it’s a symbol of God’s faithfulness’
ANCASTER, ON – There were many praises to God, congratulations and cheers from the group who gathered on Saturday for the official opening of the Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) newly purchased building.
As part of the organization’s 50th spring learning conference April 25, delegates were invited to the new building at 790 Shaver Road in Ancaster for a dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony followed by a wine and cheese reception and open house.
Speeches were made congratulating the organization on their permanent home.
The conference theme, Making the Right Move, was quite appropriate as the organization celebrates its move, noted director of advancement Ray Hendriks.
“This is a tremendous occasion for us,” said Hendriks.
Hendriks said when he first saw the new administration building he thought it looked like a house, which is fitting for a family of schools and an organization that celebrates family. The new building is a functional space for offices and also promotes people to display their work of serving Christian schools and grow for the future.
“It’s the foundation of the things that are before us, and we are excited about that,” said Hendriks.
“Today it’s a symbol of God’s faithfulness, faithfulness to an organization that has strived to serve our God as faithfully as we could, and He now in His faithfulness has given us this place, and we celebrate, we are thankful that you are here to do that for us,” he said.
Congratulatory messages were sent from Ontario Christian School Teachers Association, the Society of Christian Schools in British Columbia and Redeemer University College.
Jennifer Feenstra, principal at Milton Christian School, gave congratulations on behalf of the Ontario Christian School Administrators Association, and town representative Lloyd Ferguson also gave best wishes.
David Sweet, MP for Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale, gave his congratulations on behalf of the prime minister and thanked the OACS for the work they do helping to build values in children.
“We have absolutely nothing to be ashamed of and everything to celebrate with the Christian heritage that this country comes from, and you continue that in the education you give to our kids,” said Sweet.
OACS board chair Gerry Steggerda said he feels a sense of relief and joy to have a facility to move forward and grow with, adding it is the coming together of many years of thought and planning meetings possible through the grace of God.
Pastor Bill Veenstra gave a dedication prayer, followed by the singing of “Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow.”
After the ribbon was cut OACS executive director Adrian Guldemond rang a school bell that is displayed in front of the building. The bell symbolizes the history, continuity and cultural preservation that is key to what the schools are about, said Guldemond, adding the function of the school bell was to call people together.
Supporters were invited inside the building for refreshments, to see the organization’s new home and visit with OACS staff members.
OACS executive assistant Tena Boven said she was excited the community could be there to celebrate, as the building really belongs to the member schools.
“It is a wonderful culmination of planning,” said Boven.