What are the structural issues with the current Social Hall that make it necessary to replace?
The Social Hall has limited space for dining and gathering for a church of this size, a kitchen too small and inefficient, aesthetically low ceilings, entrances and bathrooms that are not ADA compliant and out of date, electrical and mechanical systems that raise efficiency and code concerns. The cost to remodel and improve, and to bring the building up to meet ADA and building code requirements, would be out of balance with removing the building and revising the footprint for another use or similar use.
What other issues are there with the Social Hall?
The meeting space is too small for a church of this size. This limits the sizes and types of groups which would otherwise utilize this facility. In addition, the kitchen is too small and the layout is inefficient.
Why not use the Boy’s & Girl’s Club building for our activities?
While we can use this facility after 6:30pm during the week and on Sundays, it is a Gym with very poor acoustics. We have looked at improving the sound quality in the building, but it would cost over $100,000 just to do that. There are also no kitchen facilities there. Significant building changes would be necessary, and the leaders of the B&G don’t want to have a kitchen where food can be prepared on a large scale. Even if we did all of the necessary upgrades, we would still have to struggle with the issue of limited availability (during the summer the B&G is used for community programs 12 hours per day), and expensive acoustic treatments could necessitate limiting the use of the building for the B&G Club.
Will there be a loan? Will we wait until we have all of the money before we begin construction?
We plan to begin construction when we have 50% of the funding to complete Phase 1 of the building project. A small loan may be necessary for cash flow purposes to keep the project moving forward, but we don’t intend to take on long term, significant debt.
How long will construction last?
The best estimates from McCullagh and Scott Church Developers is 12 months from start to finish for this project. We should be able to get a much clearer picture when we are presented with the final plans in Spring 2017.
What is the process for final decisions?
The United Methodist Church Discipline provides a clear process for churches to follow. Upon the completion of a capital campaign, the following will occur:
- The Architect will complete final construction documents and the building will go out for competitive bid.
- Financing for a construction loan, to be paid fully by pledges, will be sought.
- Plans will be presented to the District Church on Building and Location for approval.
- The Building Committee will present a proposal for the final design, cost and financing to the Church Conference where final decisions about construction will be made.
Plus we have made the additional decision to not begin construction until we have 50% of the cost in hand. The goal is to have the new building totally paid for by the pledges to the “Build Hope” campaign so there will be no debt when the campaign ends. The hope is that we can begin building in the spring of 2018.
How long do I have to fulfill my pledge?
The giving period will last for 3 years, from April 16, 2017 to April 15, 2020. This pledge is to be over and above regular giving to the annual budget. Every family will determine the timing of their gift to best suit their situation (monthly, annually, all at one time, etc.).
What will be the impact on the annual budget?
It is expected that any increase to operate the new building will be nominal due to a more efficient HVAC system, lower maintenance cost and fewer repairs.
We have known for several years that the current social hall building was reaching its life expectancy. But ten years ago was too soon to address it because of our debt on the sanctuary. Ten years from now will be too late because of missed opportunities for ministries, lower interest costs and expected repair bills that would be incurred to maintain the social hall.
The following questions were generated by the group presentations of the Build Hope Campaign.
What happens to donations that have been going in the Building God’s Future fund?
The existing money raised over the previous four years (about $550,000) is available for use in the building process. This fund will become inactive as we complete our pledge campaign, which will be reflected on our offering envelopes, and all further gifts will be placed in the Build Hope fund. This money from Building God's Future is there precisely to help us accomplish this project. We have a Celebration goal of raising an additional $2.5 million, which simply builds the structure without furnishings. So we also have a Blessing goal of an additional $2.7 million, which would permit us to build and furnish the new Social Hall without touching the Building God's Future fund for future use. Wouldn't that be great to have money left over for other future needs?!
How will this new building help us make more and better followers of Jesus Christ in ways that our current facilities don't?
Here are a few different questions to consider…How long should we continue to not address what structural engineers first told this church about needing to “retire” the Social Hall 14 years ago? Will a new, larger Social Hall with a better equipped kitchen and a second story serve our needs far better than our current Social Hall that we should have already torn down? Would it strengthen our mission and ministry to tear down our current Social Hall without replacing it?
What will we do during construction when we no longer have the Social Hall?
During the process of construction we will have to be creative in our use of space. We hope to bring in some modular, portable units- equipped with a kitchen- to help with space and usage issues.
I heard we will be losing a lot of “green space” in the Courtyard in this first phase of our Long Range Plan. Is this true?
No. In fact, the new building will extend to our current sidewalk outside the Social Hall. So in Phase 1 very little of the Courtyard will be changed. The new building has a similar, but larger footprint than our current Social Hall. Go HERE to view the plans. Note that Phase 1- the focus of the Build Hope Campaign is in purple.
Why did we spend money on a stewardship company? Couldn’t we have done this on our own? Couldn’t that money have just been used for the new building?
We could have done it on our own, but the likelihood is we wouldn’t do nearly as well without outside help from experts who help churches do this all the time. Our Ministry Strategist, the Rev. Dustin Cooper, from Horizons Stewardship, helps our Build Hope Campaign in so many ways: he offers us a workable plan with clear guidelines and proven practices to follow, keeps us on target with deadlines, and makes sure our primary focus is on Jesus and being His church, not fundraising. In general, he helps all of us feel more confident about what we are doing, since so few of us have ever led such an effort before. Feel free to ask anyone with a leadership role in the campaign if Horizon and Dustin’s leadership wasn’t well worth our investment. I am certain of this- we would raise far less without his help than it is costing us to have this team alongside us in the Build Hope Campaign.
What will happen if the United Methodist Church experiences a split?
The United Methodist Church is the only mainline denominational church that hasn’t gone through a painful division or faced substantial numbers of people leaving out the back door far more rapidly than anyone is coming in the front door. So far the UMC has been able to avoid a painful church separation, but there is a strong possibility that difficult decisions will have to be made by local churches in the near future. There will be a special called General Conference (the only body that can speak officially for the UMC) in 2019 to address our struggles. The presenting issue is our differences over issues of human sexuality. Our deeper issues are related to the differences in how we understand God's Word.
We never know what the future holds, but we know the One who holds the future. Wondering about “what if” is easy to engage in on a number of other issues related to the Build Hope Campaign as well…What if the economy tanks? What if all the pledges people commit to make don't translate into actual funds given? The “what ifs” could go on and on, but here's what we know: there will be a Jesus loving, Jesus serving church at this location for years to come. We have needed a new Social Hall for many years already.
I hope and pray the UMC will find a way to stay together with integrity, but if we are unable to discern that pathway, there is no interest- from any of the parties involved- in, for instance, protracted litigation. Here’s what we can say: New Hope will continue to be a church where New Hope in Jesus Christ- with a “Methodist” emphasis on discipleship- is offered to a wide variety of people…thanks be unto God.
Where can I see the preliminary plans on the internet?
Go HERE to view the plans. Note that Phase 1- the focus of the Build Hope Campaign is in purple.
Will there be cake on Celebration Sunday, April 2?
Will there be folding walls in the new larger Social Hall so it could be divided into multiple rooms?
That is certainly something the Building Committee has given strong consideration to, and this issue will be in the discussion as we move toward our final plans.
How complicated will it be to receive approval from the District Board of Building and Location?
Depending on how our Build Hope Campaign goes the process shouldn't be difficult at all. At this stage the primary concern of our District will be with how we plan to pay for and/or finance the project. Since our goal is to have 3 year pledges equal to the total amount of the project and we won't begin construction until we have half the money in our hands, I don't see the approval process being a problem at all. By the way, the $550,000 in Building God's Future funds is cash we actually have on hand, so that means when we have an additional $700,000 come in we can tear down the Social Hall and get started. This is why our First Fruit Offering on Easter Sunday, April 16, will be so important.
What if I don't feel led to give or I'm unable to give?
We are simply asking everyone to pray the Build Hope campaign prayer, “Lord, what do You want to do through me?” We believe that God will honor this prayer in our life together at New Hope in ways beyond this campaign. Who knows how God might speak to you? As Ephesians 3:20 reminds us, God is able to “accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.” If you don't feel led by God to give after faithfully praying the prayer, then I firmly believe God will find another way to use this prayer in your life to fulfill His purposes.
We have emphasized not “equal shares,” but “equal sacrifice” throughout this campaign. Our Horizons Ministry Strategist, Rev. Dustin Cooper, told a story about a family who sat down at the dinner table to discuss how they might contribute to their church's building campaign. Their 10 year old son got up without saying anything and went to his room. His parents thought the conversation had bored him, but he was searching for what sacrifice he could make. About 5 minutes later he came back to the table with all of the money he had saved in his piggy bank saying, “Can our church use $10.42?” This boy took equal sacrifice very seriously and made a significant gift to his church.
Will construction impact parking?
It doesn't appear so, but if it does, we will certainly develop an appropriate contingency plan.
If you think of anything else, please don't hesitate to respond directly to me at Jamie@findnewhope.com.
“Lord, what do You want to do through me?”