Think tank says religious group spending pays off nearly five-fold

A recent article in the London Free Press reports that for every dollar spent by churches on outreach programming, the community reaps $4.77 worth of benefit

Check out the link below


Here's the article:

By Jennifer Bieman, The London Free Press

A new tool by a Hamilton-based think tank is letting Canadians coast to coast see how money from church collection plates in their community translates to social good on the street.

For every dollar congregations spend on programming, the community reaps $4.77 worth of benefit, according to Cardus estimates. Researchers call this divine social and economic spin-off a halo – and now the public can search for their town or city using the think tank’s tool.

“These communities are generating good beyond themselves and that means everybody is kind of benefitting,” said Milton Friesen, senior fellow and program director at Cardus.

“If they disappeared and you had to cover the common good benefits that they’re giving to the community, what would that cost you in a dollar figure?… Who would pick up that slack?”

The interactive online tool is an expansion of study published last year that focused 10 Christian and non-Christian Toronto congregations.

The Cardus team assigned market prices to the services each group provided – including daycares, recreation space, alcohol and drug addiction programming, family counselling, housing developments and helping refugees settle in Canada. Researchers interviewed church leaders and handed out detailed questionnaires for them to complete. The study was based on a similar project conducted in Philadelphia and was funded by the Canadian Council of Christian Charities, World Vision Canada, The Salvation Army and several other religious organizations.

When the project leads tallied up all the programs, assessed their monetary worth and compared the final sum to the 10 churches’ overall operating budget, they found that for every dollar the congregations spent on initiatives, the community receives nearly $4.77 in benefits.

“They’re not producing widgets or cars or things that can be directly linked to GDP…. But if they disappeared and the municipality or somebody had to put back all the stuff that’s missing, how much would that cost,” said Friesen.

The newly-released Halo Calculator applies the figure uncovered in Cardus’ 2016 study to Canada Revenue Agency data for church groups across the country. St. Thomas’ 16 listed congregations had a combined operating budget of $2,546,336 in 2013. By Cardus estimates, the total dollar value of the services they provide totals more than $12 million.

“This is all still very experimental,” said Friesen, adding the Halo Calculator numbers are only meant to be estimates.

“We’re hoping to generate more research. We’re pretty sure this is not the end of the story.”

Friesen wants the findings and the new online tool to spark conversations about the role religious institutions play in community development – especially at a time when some are facing an aging congregation and declining membership.

“This will hopefully generate discussion between municipalities and faith communities,” said Friesen.

“They are part of the social ecology of their communities. The look to be generative, they’re adding something, they’re not extracting. Let’s talk about what that means in terms of the long-term wellbeing of our communities.”

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Halo Effect in Southwestern Ontario

Dollar value of community impact

London – 351 organizations – $811,032,649

Sarnia – 77 organizations – $143,333,940

Chatham – 67 organizations – $97,430,622

Woodstock – 56 organizations – $77,840,471

Aylmer – 22 organizations – $19,320,647

St. Thomas – 16 organizations – $12,146,023

Dutton – 11 organizations – $2,560,670

West Lorne – 5 organizations – $2,146,438

Source: Cardus calculation based on 2013 Canada Revenue Agency T3010 data

Willis John Ball

BALL, Willis John - Peacefully at Victoria Hospital on Saturday, May 13, 2017 in his 92nd year. Beloved husband of Florence (Williams) for nearly 68 years. Loving father of Richard and Lori. Predeceased by his parents John and Gertrude (Stewart), sister Dorothy (Bert) Donnlley, and brother Stewart (June) Ball. Willis will be lovingly remembered by his many nieces, nephews and friends. Visitation will be held at FOREST LAWN FUNERAL HOME 1997 Dundas St. E. (at Wavell) Thursday, May 18, 2017 from 12- 1 PM with a funeral service to follow in the chapel at 1 PM. Interment in Forest Lawn Cemetery following the service. A special thank you to Dr. Dulay and staff LHSC Victoria Campus. Willis was a member of Masonic Temple Lodge No. 597 for almost 60 years and an honorary member of Morton's Point Fishing Camp. Those wishing to make a donation in memory of Willis are asked to consider the London Humane Society, Parkinson's Society or a charity of their choice. Online condolences may be accepted

Grand Opening Oct 23 2016

The weather was great as we celebrated the grand opening of our accessibility addition. Here are some photos of the event. img_0315 img_0322 img_0330 img_0344 img_0361 img_0364 img_0369 img_0380 img_0385 img_0386 img_0397 img_0410

Grand Opening October 2016


Our Grand opening was a wonderful success. To have a look at the festivities click on "Epiphany Photos" at the top of this page.

Lee Fitzgerald

The Church of the Epiphany mourns the loss of our good friend Lee Fitzgerald


Elvis and his groupies Florence and Leila (Lee)


....Peacefully, with family by her side at Victoria Hospital, London, Lee Fitzgerald in her 91st year passed away on Thursday, November 3, 2016. Dear mother of Lynda Betcherman and Philip of Thunder Bay. Dear grandmother of Benjamin Betcherman, Tasha Betcherman (Andre Evdokimoff), new great-grandson Aleksei. Loved by her great-grandson Austin. Also loved by dear cousins Jim and Mae Carswell. A host of special friends especially, George and Barb Smallman, Jean Bonin and family, Eleanor Woods and family, the Coffee Club at Tim Hortons, the Congregation at The Church of the Epiphany and other dear friends and neighbours. Friends will be received by the family on Monday, November 7, 2016 from 10-11 am at The Church of the Epiphany, 11 Briscoe Street West, London where the funeral service will be held at 11 am. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations to the Breast Cancer Society of Canada 420 East Street North, Sarnia, ON N7T 6Y7 would be appreciated. Cremation has taken place. Interment in Forest Lawn Memorial Gardens, London. Arrangements entrusted with A. Millard George Funeral Home, 519-433-5184. Online condolences, memories and photographs shared at



Trillium logo400x400 100_4217 The Ontario Trillium Foundation *Trillium News! Trillium has granted us $111,400 for our Accessibility Project, and the cheque will be arriving shortly. This puts us ever-so-close to our goal. We are moving ahead with construction, even though we are still a bit short of the money required for the project. Some of you have been holding off - maybe not really believing we would ever get this far. Please now consider a pledge to help us with the final push in our goal of making Epiphany fully accessible. Thank you to all who have given to this project in faith, even when we were still a long way off. Thank you in advance to those who are about to give. Our prayers are being answered, but there's still a way to go. We are planning to start mid June. For more information about The Ontario Trillium Foundation, check out the link below.

Our Church Families in India

Our Church Family in India In May of 1965 I saw a short item in the paper about an Indian Priest working in the states who had set up an agency called Save A Family Plan to help people in India have a better life. The cost was $5.00 a month. Shortly after I adopted her first family, Jean Haywood, who was president of the Ladies Guild asked if I would speak to the ladies about the plan. Shortly after, the Guild decided to adopt also. About that time the S.A.F.P. decided to offer what they called a Burse, a sum of $200.00, which would cover monthly payments for 20 years. If I remember correctly, it now costs approximately $200 a year to adopt a family or $2000.00 for a Burse. Over the years, as experience has been gained, new ideas and practices have been put in place. When a family is accepted for assistance, they are given six years to become self sufficient. Each village is encouraged to work together to learn how all levels of governments work, health, sanitation and women's rights. Some of the options open upon acceptance are: small business loans, goat, cow, chicken and rabbit rearing, agriculture, rice growing. In one sea side community, a group of women banded together and made a roaring success of making and repairing fishing nets. At the end of their 6 years, Peter and Lini have graduated the program and are growing rice, have a cow, goats, chicken, and yes, even a dog! Which brings us to our new family, Stephen and Reena. I was moved and distressed to see 8 year Libina in her mothers' arms. I phoned S.A.F.P. And learned that the family were in a car accident in Feb. And that Libina was severely injured. The Doctors at the hospital wanted to operate, but the parents couldn't see their way to pay for Libina's surgery. There are enquiries being made to try to get an idea as to how to proceed. All in all, I'd say we at Epiphany have received good value for our $200.00 investment, helping approximately 7 families over 49 years. When they write and say “Thank you for your love and kindness, may God Bless you, I am humbled. It is the giver who receives the blessings. Gloria Thompson

Great Fundraiser

“Rheo Thompson Individual Mint Smoothies”

$2 each. Make great gift toppers, and good for all chocolate cravings! See Sandy Winterton for details or email at

  mint smoothies  

Why we go to Church

September 15, 2013 Luke 15:1-10 Seeking the Lost. We Have All Been Lost. Maybe you have a getting lost story? Maybe from this last summer? -If so, why not note it, \ share it during coffee hour. ======= We’ve all been lost at one time or another. Inside as we journey in life, we can feel lost... We cry out to God at such times. That’s part of the human condition. ========== God is always there. Have you ever wondered Why sometimes it seems God isn't as close to us as we wish? The question is, "who moved?" Who got lost in living? Caught up in activities...demands. ==== Then we forget to worship, to come once a week to church. Four hours to be with God, to find our center, to see where we are going on our life journey... ==== Someone asked the question, on a website Why do you go to church? They were surprised by all the answers. What would you answer to the question? Why go to church? It is not an easy question to answer. On the website: Here is a sample of a few of the many answers: ======= Ron says: I go to church for soul food. Every week my soul is replenished by our moving spiritually uplifting service. During the luncheon that follows, my body is replenished by delicious foods that grace our table and my spirit is again refilled with the love and affection I feel surrounding me. ========== An Altar Guild Member says: When I come to prepare the altar I never feel it is a chore but more an opportunity to have a one on one with God. It is so quiet in the church that it brings me such peace. I honestly can say that this is a place I truly feel at peace. It brings to mind the song by the Beatles “when I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me...speaking words of wisdom.” This is what the Church of the Epiphany does for me. =========== Charollette Hyatt says I go to church because: 1st, God wants us to get together to feel close to Him. 2nd, to learn more about life and God. 3rd, to give and receive comfort from my brothers and sisters in Christ. 4th, to serve God through serving my fellow beings in an organized ministry. Oh, and to lift my spirits, my soul! ============= Someone else said: Why go to church regularly? To be loved, encouraged. We all have troubles. We all face dilemmas and disappointments. We all wrestle with discouragement and heartache. What God said of Adam applies to us all: "It is not good for a person to be alone." Why bear your burdens alone? Coming to church means interacting with your fellow Christians (ordinary people, just like yourselves) It means receiving an encouraging word, a hug and a smile. It means having someone listen. More profoundly, it is often through His body that Christ speaks the comfort and crucial direction that we need. How often a timely word of Gospel spoken by one Christian to another dispels the gloom! How often do we say after worship “I feel better.” How often one Christian will have a insight that benefits another. I Come to church to be loved and encouraged. ======= Michael Nolan says Like my truck, I fill it with gas but after a few days it runs out... Likewise my soul needs filling. So, I attend church as often as I can to refuel my spirit so that I may continue on my spiritual journey! Public worship is the best place to give your soul the Word-of-God-nourishment it needs. ======= Jenny wrote: Before I started going to church I felt so lonely. Even though I had friends and family I felt like there was something missing. That missing piece was God. When I first started going to church I was a lost and confused. Since I have been going to church I have become whole with the help of my church family. ======= Joyce says: I go to church because everyone is welcome. I attend Calvary Chapel church. We have a great pastor who preaches the Bible. All people are welcomed to attend. Long hair, tattoos, earrings, etc, are all familiar sights. We all feel that GOD did not turn any away, Who knows when or where the Holy Spirit will reach out to someone. We all love our church. ========= Tommy Young says: I go to church for spiritual renewal. At church it is as if I have been 'charged'--as a battery. The spiritual environment of the church lends peace to my soul. The church is a fountain of the living water I connect with God in a special way in Church. The sanctuary of the church is a 'holy' place -reverent and restoring. ======= Someone shares I come for the prayers: Jesus once promised, There is power when the people of God pray. An often overlooked reason to come to church is to be prayed for. ======= Ariel writes: Going to church is the best time to worship God with your brothers and sisters in Christ, singing praises, hearing the gospel and sermons, Worship together really makes you feel our dear God is speaking. That is why I come to church. ========= In church, God can reach out to you and I, with love, guidance... Like opening the door to God... God often uses others to help us of course. ========== Maybe it is like a story, about a church service once... it was a special mission being held at a church. Norman Vincent Peale found himself addressing a Methodist gathering in Atlanta, Georgia along with a fine preacher, Bishop Noah Moore. Also Pierce Harris, a much-loved local pastor. They were all guests of the local minister. In his sermon Peale said that he believed that Jesus Christ could come into a life and change it. No matter how hopeless it seemed if you opened yourself to Christ in prayer, Christ would help you. After the service, when he and the other guest preachers were gathered in the minister's office, they were told that a man wanted to see them. A somewhat disreputable-looking man, they were warned "unshaven, unwashed, poorly dressed. When the man did come in, he was reeking of alcohol, but his mind was full of the sermon he had just heard. "Do you really believe that Jesus can help me?" he asked. "Without a doubt," Peale replied. Then the man asked if they would pray with him. So the four ordained ministers prayed with the man. When he went out, Bishop Moore said, a bit wistfully, "If that man changes, we'll all be surprised, won't we?" There it was, a flicker of doubt from a good man that change is possible for people. Six months later, Peale said he was sitting in the lobby of a hotel in Clearwater, Florida, when he saw a man coming toward him, leading two little girls by the hand. The man was immaculately dressed, his daughters were exquisite children, attractive and well-behaved. At first Peale didn’t know who he was, but as he came closer, he recognized the former derelict from Atlanta. There was a smile on his face, He was humming "Amazing Grace" one of the Hymns Peale had chosen for that church service.... The man he held out his hand in greeting. Peale said it was one of the most emotional unforgettable encounters of his life. It was real, Christ was real, they opened the door.....that night... in that prayer... _________________________________ Rarely are we completely lost. And rarely are we completely found. The wonderful thing is - The most wonderful thing is that God knows where we are We have only to come, to gather, to open the pray...