Around the office, we have a little joke that once we finish Christmas Eve services we start planning the Block Party, and then once we finish the Block Party we start planning for Christmas Eve services. All that means is that as we approach our big event this Saturday we also recognize we are marking the halfway point of 2017.
In addition to Block Party planning in January, we also announced our plans for the Re:New Life building fund and began receiving pledges and donations towards our renovation project. In the month of January we received pledges from you, added that to the amount already in the bank and to the monthly amount we had committed from our budget to arrive at the total amount pledged of approximately $120,000 for 2017.
I’m pleased to let you know that as of this writing, we already have $70,000 in the Re:New Life Building fund, which means we are already past the halfway point of what we have pledged to raise this year. I’m so grateful for your faithful giving over and above your regular tithes and offerings that have allowed us to get to this point already. We feel confident that we will be able to finish the year having raised the full amount pledged.
So what have we been doing besides receiving donations?
In February we received the final architectural drawings for the project, which was a pretty exciting step for us! These plans have been almost 5 years in the making, so to see them come to completion was a pretty good feeling. The architects did a very thorough job of putting together a plan that we feel like will not only give us more space in our worship area, but also a much better flow to the building. In addition, we are going to have a GREAT lobby space that I know will get a lot of use, as we all love to hang out after services together!
Once we had the final drawings, we began reaching out to general contractors to open the bidding process. We took the time to walk with them through the whole project, answered their questions and asked many more questions of our own. We have currently received one full bid, and are awaiting submission from at least two other contractors. Once we’ve received those bids we will have a better idea of the full cost of the project and will be able to determine how we will fund the renovation and when we will be able to begin.
In the meantime, we did complete a cosmetic renovation of our space for children, and rebranded our Kid’s church ministry as “Kids Life.” If you haven’t had a chance to check out their new space downstairs, you really should. It looks great and was completed without us having to tap into the building fund at all.
We are also planning to replace our rooftop HVAC units this summer. They need to be replaced as part of the renovation anyway, so this will be one practical step we can take right now to address some immediate needs (like air conditioning in the summer and heat in the winter), as well as to set us up for the first phases of the full renovation.
As we have said from the start of this process, our purpose in working on this renovation project is to create more and better space for your neighbors, friends and family members who need to be part of a church that is changing what people think about Jesus and the church. We want a beautiful space for our church, but more than anything we want to keep connecting people to Jesus, and we can’t do either of those without you.