What about “Bountiful Blessings”?

 “Bountiful Blessings” is the name of our fund to pay our current mortgage. Our accounting practice is to keep our mortgage separate from our general fund for ongoing ministry, and that’s reflected in the fact that there are separate Bountiful Blessings envelopes whenever your offering envelopes come in the mail. Many members give generous Bountiful Blessings gifts to pay for the building that supports our ministry. Over the last 14 years, those gifts have allowed us to pay down our $3.5 million mortgage to just over $2 million today while never missing a payment.

We need to keep supporting our mortgage through construction and beyond. Therefore, Bountiful Blessings will continue until our current mortgage is paid off, either through gifts received or as part of the initial draw on the construction loan. So, if you have been giving toward Bountiful Blessings and want to continue, by all means, keep doing so! The more we can pay down our current mortgage, the lower our future mortgage will be after we construct our new sanctuary.

On the other hand, we’ve heard from people who are passionate about supporting the new sanctuary construction. If that’s you, then by all means, join with us in building up funds for construction!

“Bountiful Blessings” gifts will go toward mortgage repayment. “Building Connections Fund” gifts will go toward building expansion. You should find both kinds of envelopes in the next packet you receive in the mail, and both options are available for PushPay gifts as well. In the end, both kinds of gifts serve the same purpose—providing the building we need to carry out gospel ministry here in Lake Mills.

I just got a new packet of offering envelopes in the mail. Can you explain the envelopes?

Envelopes help us to be careful in how we record your giving. If you use the envelopes to give, then we can provide you with a giving statement for your tax purposes, or just to show that your offerings have been received and are being used to serve people with God’s Word here at St. Paul. We also hope the envelopes will help you to be purposeful & intentional in your generosity. But using the envelopes is only one way to give. If it doesn’t matter whether your gift is on your giving record, you don’t have to use an envelope. You’re also able to avoid cash and checks completely and give digitally through PushPay. Offerings through Pushpay are also recorded on your statement.

  • Many of the envelopes (one for each time we worship) are to support our ongoing ministry through our general budget. While perhaps not as exciting as a new building, these gifts are the heart and core of our ministry support here at St. Paul.

  • Some of the envelopes are for specific gifts, for example helping with tuition assistance for our families.

  • There are two kinds of envelopes that tie in with our sanctuary building project. “Bountiful Blessings” envelopes have been included for a number of years already and will continue to be in your envelope packet until next spring or summer (read more below). “Building Connections Fund” envelopes are new. They’re the ones that tie in with the commitments we made last May. Use those as you fulfill your commitment (otherwise your gift would go toward our general budget). You should find two “Bountiful Blessings” envelopes and two “Building Connections Fund” envelopes in your packet for each month. You don’t have to use every envelope. We want you to have the right kind of envelope available when you need it.  

What are the current plans for the sanctuary?

Our work with the architects was put on hold last fall after the renderings were completed. Since then, our capital campaign has helped determine the size of our project, and our congregation has voted on the scope. That gives us the direction we need to begin working with the architect again on a detailed set of drawings that, God-willing, will take us through construction.

As our Building Committee begins working again with the architects, they’ll have two main things in hand: 1) the renderings presented last September, and 2) a list of the changes, comments, and ideas compiled from our members’ comments and the Building Committee meetings. Last September the estimated cost of the sanctuary addition as drawn in the renderings was $6-6.5 million. In order to move the project to the target of $5 million, we will need to cut some of the square footage. Here are the three areas that are the most likely:

  • We could leave the future fellowship hall (the room in which we currently worship) the same size as it is right now, rather than extending it. We might then also leave out the extra office space currently drawn along the fellowship hall extension.
  • We could reduce the square footage of the gathering area.
  • We could reduce the square footage of the sanctuary.

In addition, there have been many concerns about parking—regarding both the number of spots and their proximity to the sanctuary. Those and other concerns will need to be addressed. If you have suggestions, share them with Mike Shiels, our Building Committee chairman. His contact info in on the first page of this update. At this point it seems safe to say that the final building will not be the same as the renderings last fall, but will likely have many aspects that are similar.

How do we end up with a $3-3.5 million mortgage after construction?

Here’s a summary of what was presented at the voters’ meeting on July 22nd. These numbers are rounded to the nearest million for the sake of simplicity:

                  $2 million is our current mortgage

     plus      $5 million for the projected cost of our new sanctuary

equals      $7 million is the amount we need

  minus      $4 million expected in commitments made by our members

    total      $3 million is the approximate goal for our new mortgage after construction

On July 22nd our voters’ approved a final mortgage of up to $3.5 million. That extra $0.5 million recognizes that we will need to keep servicing our mortgage during construction and that we will likely need to set aside contingency funds to react to unforeseen issues that arise. In the best case scenario, our final mortgage will be closer to $3 million, but we need to allow for other possible scenarios as well.

If we don't completely pay off our current mortgage by March 2019, will that slow down the construction timeline?

The more we can pay down our current mortgage, the better our financial position to begin construction will be. If there is a balance remaining on our current mortgage when we are ready to break ground, we will likely use part of the construction loan to make the final payment. We would need to make sure in that case that our combined gifts and the construction loan would complete the building.