A Message From Patrick
The first Sunday of April we had planned to receive an offering and building fund commitments to address a few areas of need on our campus, primarily expanding our parking.
But, a few weeks before April, the Coronavirus crisis began and church services moved to online only for 2 months. We decided to postpone the special offering and commitments because we weren’t meeting together and the economic future was uncertain. Like you, I am still praying for an answer – the virus to stop, a cure to be found, or a vaccine to be developed. But, while we pray and trust the Lord, it also seems wise to adjust our strategy and approach.
Our initial estimate for the total cost of the parking lot project was approximately $25,000. At the time, that amount seemed reasonable and something we could easily accomplish together. However, after prayer, numerous discussions, and consultation with other leaders, we are adjusting the plan and Moving Forward.
We have two main priorities that we are going to address instead:
- Upgrading our online service equipment. We never intended to be an online church, at least not at this early stage in our existence. However, this year has changed that. Not only were we an online only church for 2 months, but many of our church members who work in places with high exposure, or who are vulnerable and high risk, are wisely being cautious and continuing to attend online. Not to mention the countless number of people who have started watching when they are out of town, sick, or have to work. Online ministry is an opportunity for us to stay connected as a church family – AND to reach out to others who might never attend in person.
If you’ve ever watched our service online, it is moderate quality at best. That is not the fault of our media or worship team, we’ve just never invested in the equipment that makes it possible. But, we’re going to change that. We will be upgrading our camera and purchasing some of the technical pieces that will improve our video and sound quality. It will improve the online viewing experience significantly! And, should we have to go back to online-only services in the Fall or Winter, we will be better equipped this time…and will be able to have our own Kids Ministry services online as well.
- Finishing our Sanctuary lighting. Perhaps you’ve noticed that our Sanctuary only has overhead audience lighting, that wasn’t the original plan – well, at least not all of it. When we were building our church home, we had to make several cuts to the final project to stay within budget due to other requirements that were added that we had not anticipated. One of those cuts was Sanctuary stage lighting. Through various methods we have made it work, but being able to see the faces of the people on stage is something that is currently challenging…and something I deem rather important!
Over the next few months we will be purchasing and installing REAL stage lighting. We will finally be able to light and see the people’s faces on stage without the whole room feeling like you’re sitting outside, or by using workarounds that are less than ideal. But for those of you who might be nervous hearing that, don’t be. We’re not becoming a concert or going extreme in the opposite direction. Our primary goal and focus will be exactly what it says, lighting the stage properly!
So what does that mean for the parking lot expansion? It’s not gone forever, but in our current climate it is not an immediate need, nor do I predict that it will be for some time. With socially distanced seating appearing to be with us for many months to come, our building capacity makes our current parking more than sufficient. If we run into seating capacity issues, we will address that with other solutions.
Now, here’s the fun part. Instead of spending $25,000+ right now, we will spend less than a fourth of that – approximately $6,000.
I’m very excited about this. These changes will affect so many in our church family – of all ages!
On Sunday, September 6th, we will take a special offering to start these projects. I am asking you to join Suzi and me in making a commitment to be given between now and the end of the year. I am specifically asking God for five families to give $500 or more, that’s $125 a month. Others may be able to give more, but the key is that everyone in our church family gives. Whether your gift is $125 a month, $100 a month, or $25 a month, it will make a huge difference. Together we can do it!