Greetings Grace Family,
In January of 2019 we held our annual Congregational Meeting and one of the items we decided on as a congregation was to liquidate two stagnant funds and create funding for a long-term project utilizing the assets from the aforementioned funds. It was called the Facility Renewal Fund (FRF) and the plan was to add to the seed money over the course of the next five or so years and revitalize our aging campus and buildings. Then the Covid-19 pandemic happened. And like so many aspects of our life together, it had a major impact on the FRF.
At that point nobody knew how long the pandemic would last or if we would still be able to remain financially stable without the ability to hold our worship services in person. This really took away the potential momentum we may have begun in funding the FRF. With so much uncertainty we really just hoped and prayed that you all would remain faithful in your giving, which, praise God, you did! It seemed like a bit much to ask for everyone to give even more to a building fund when we didn’t know how long things would last or even if we would have the opportunity to replace things like a roof or a fresh coat of paint. But, now we are back in a place of stability and in light of recent repairs to one of the Preschool’s air conditioning units, I feel it is time to remind everyone what was voted on and approved as a capital campaign and try and recapture some of the initial inertia that was halted when the pandemic happened.
There are many reasons why the FRF has not become a part of your regular giving pattern. I have heard a number of them, and I understand the thinking behind each of those reasons. But, the failure of the Preschool air conditioner was a wake up call. We have had a pretty good run of good luck for quite a while, avoiding any really expensive repairs to our campus. With the A/C failure our luck ran out. The final cost was somewhere north of $10,000! And that was just for one of our A/C units. I believe we have at least three others that are as old or about as old as the one we had to replace. Thankfully we had more than enough to cover the cost in the FRF. Imagine if we did not have those funds that almost entirely came from the liquidated funds I mentioned at the beginning of my article. There would have been an immediate appeal to cover the cost, and I have very little doubt that you all would have responded faithfully to the appeal.
But here’s the thing, the FRF was not meant to stave off future emergency appeals when the inevitable failure of an A/C unit happens, or the roof starts leaking. It was meant to be a fund that allows us to proactively replace and repair most of what needs replacing or repair on our campus. Beyond the pragmatic aspects of this capital campaign, it is really a matter of good stewardship. God has blessed us with our property and buildings and all that has taken place at Grace. Think about how much Grace has meant to you and your family in your lives of faith. It’s all a gift from God and His generous grace. You have shown your appreciation for God’s generosity with over 60 years of faithful giving. But the home of our faith and years or decades of memories, is showing its age. In some cases, very dramatically, and noticeably. We have two options; wait until we are forced to fix/repair/replace our parking lot, aging and poorly functioning doors, old A/C units, chipped and peeling paint, sometimes leaky roof, water heaters, electrical panels, old plumbing, and ancient sound system when they inevitably fail and ask for significant amounts of money in a very short time to cover the cost.
Or we can, over a period of the next several years gradually grow the Facility Renewal Fund and be proactive in revitalizing our campus and buildings. The first option is one many churches choose out of necessity. And should this be our option we would be much less likely to do some of the more cosmetic upgrades such as paint, new doors, or new windows and only repair those things that keep us cool in the summer, warm in the winter, and other effects of weather strictly outside our buildings.
What might this look like for each of you? An additional $10 a month? $20? $50? $100? Only you can answer that question. But if all of us contribute something the FRF will in a short time swell with potential. And you have my word that what you give will be used. You Council and I are committed to being good stewards with your hard earned money. I realize topics such as stewardship and fundraising are not anyone’s favorite topics. But, the next time you’re on campus take a good look at what you see and think about how you have been blessed by being part of the Grace Family. And ask yourself what things will look like in five or ten years if we ignore the issue of an aging campus. We have the means and resources, so it is really a matter of want to.
On behalf of your Congregational Council, I hope you will join me providing a little tender loving care to the place that has given us so much.
Yours in Christ,