by Jim Doman
Love and Obey God, Love and Serve People. That is the Mission Statement from our Church Constitution. Try to envision some ways to fulfill that mission. That is what your leadership has been doing over the last year. We want to do more and better ministry for our church and our community.
There has been focused discussion over the past year on how to best do ministry, and how our existing building limits growth of our overall vision. We are a growing church. We have excellent pastoral leadership and many established ministries in place to meet the needs of our community. But we must plan for growth, especially in our building facilities.
We conducted a Congregational survey last year.
You, the Congregation, told us what the top 10 needs are for Central Manor Church:
- Accessibility was #1. We have five separate levels in this building. Some people cannot do steps. Wheelchairs must go backwards on our ramps. Last Sunday, I happened to be at the bottom of the steps leading down from the upper lobby. Hilda Funk was holding the handrail and carefully taking one step at a time. I bravely quipped, “I’ll catch you if you fall.” She did not appreciate my humor. The concern is real. We must minister to those in the community who have physical limitations. It was the #1 concern indicated on the survey.
- A larger lobby was the second most frequently listed need. We must think in terms of a growing church.
- A larger sanctuary with wider aisles, comfortable seating, and upgraded audio/visual technology.
- Larger adult classrooms with upgraded technology and comfortable seating.
- More restrooms, including family restrooms with handicap accessibility.
- Nurseries that are located adjacent to the main auditorium and visible to any visitor?
- A café / informal room, suitable for small groups, conferences, and other meetings.
- Better elementary classrooms. Dawn co-teaches 1st & 2nd Grade Sunday School with 12-16 children. They could use a larger room.
- Storage is a major problem within our facility. We have stuff stored everywhere, except in designated storage rooms, which do not yet exist.
- Do you want to guess #10? Parking. If we invite friends or neighbors to an event at Central Manor Church, we want a positive first impression, which means good, available, parking spaces.
Two important additional needs not on this list include offices for pastors and staff clustered together and visible to the public, and a designated area for our growing youth ministry.
We have identified some unique challenges inherent in our property and buildings, including a limited land footprint, the advisability of trying to connect to all five levels now present, and dealing with facilities built in 1955 and 1986. Some of you may remember the successful building program from 1986. Yes, it has been 35 years. Does anyone remember the 1955 building campaign?
All this to say: our needs and challenges can be best met with new construction. But we must absolutely have a comprehensive plan for expansion. That is why the committee is called Campus Expansion. Currently the committee is working to layout a comprehensive, long term, permanent plan to deal with needs and challenges. The committee members are Doug Funk, Stacie Doman, Jason Hean, and John Swanson.
The Council and Pastoral Staff are united in this statement: we need to strategically expand our building. When we know that we have settled on the best path forward, we will communicate that to you in detail. We will also have occasions of open discussion to listen to everyone’s concerns and answer questions.
Whatever the details of the final plan, construction involves money. We have created a Campus Expansion Fund. To kick it off, we will have a designated offering this Sunday, May 30th, which is the fifth Sunday of May. There are four months with five Sundays, so we will start having special offerings on those days.
This is not much notice, I agree, but it is a start of something we believe to be God’s direction for Central Manor Church.
We need to think of personal giving for the building vision to be characterized by three things:
#1 – Giving that is above-and-beyond our normal giving.
#2 – Giving that is generous and sacrificial, as the Bible teaches.
#3 – Giving that is an investment in the future ministry.
You may give by writing a check next Sunday. Please insert it into a blue envelope and drop it into the offering plate or collection box. You may also [give online]. Choose “Special Projects Campus Expansion” from the Giving Type pulldown menu.
This is the beginning of our savings for the future building plan. We expect to be saving for a few years. This is not the major fundraising campaign. That could happen next year after extensive communication. But it is an opportunity to get involved from the beginning. Please make this a matter of prayer. The next three months have been set aside by the Council and Pastors to simply ask God to lead us and further show us direction. Please join us in this prayer campaign. Imagine what God can do.