Here’s a recap of what has been happening since the last update was published on December 15th: Many people have been pitching in to help, and it’s been exciting to see everything beginning to take shape!
The Building Committee
has been meeting regularly to review the renderings that were presented to the congregation last September. They’re considering any large scale design changes that need to be addressed with the architect before round 2 of the renderings. Smaller scale changes will be addressed once we move into more detailed drawings. Input received (such as through the comment cards) is being evaluated and incorporated. If you have ideas or comments, the Building Committee would be happy to hear from you.
The Events Committee
prepared everything for the brunches …. food, venue, decorations, the works. The church isn’t bricks and mortar. It’s people. As we move forward, we want to use this opportunity for some great fellowship time together.
The Communications Team
has been busy getting ready to get the word out. In addition to this update, you’ll notice a new bulletin board in the church gathering area, videos telling our members’ stories, and a new logo and banner for our project. We’ve also been producing the invitations you’ve received to the brunches and have been tracking the RSVPs. Our goal is to keep you in the loop about everything going on because this project belongs to all of us.
The Finance Committee
has been working to set a goal for our capital campaign. Look for more details on that to be coming out in the next few weeks. They’re also looking ahead at the impact of building and ministry expansion on our annual budget. We’d love to expand our gospel ministry even more to the Lake Mills area, but we also need to have the resources to support it. Say a prayer that God will continue to provide!
and our consultant, Patrick Rochford, has been working with our principal, Steve Gartner, and with our early childhood director, Allie Byers, to draft a business plan for an expanded Early Learning Center. Before we make the decision about building the Early Learning Center wing, we need to know how the future program would be structured and how it would be funded. A draft of the business plan was presented by Patrick Rochford to our church council and school board on January 23rd. There are still some details to finalize before the business plan comes to the whole congregation, but we’re optimistic about what we see so far.
and our consultant, Larry Ulrich, has been has been meeting regularly with our five leaders listed in the box on the first page of this update to guide us in planning our 125 Years of Connecting campaign.
Leadership & Congregational Brunches
are underway. Each brunch is several hours on a Saturday morning to talk about our ministry and our future plans together (and eat some good food, too). The first brunch, which was held on January 20, was for all our called and elected leaders and their spouses to begin that discussion. The next two Saturdays, January 27th and February 3rd, we want to continue that conversation with as many other families as possible.
What’s coming up in 2018 is going to be pivotal in the ministry God has given us together at St. Paul. The building project is about more than bricks and mortar. God is placing unique challenges and blessings in our path, we need to work together to understand the best way to respond with our planning, ministry, structure and function, and building. If you’re a member and you’re reading this, we’re hoping you’ll be able to come.
February Our worship beginning on February 11th will use the church season of Transfiguration and Lent to talk about generosity—God’s generosity to us in Jesus, and the way we reflect that generosity in every aspect of our lives. We also want those themes to spill over into our Sunday morning adult Bible study discussions. The series will use short vignettes from Tim Keller (you’ll see another video of him at the brunches) as a springboard into things Jesus said about generosity in the gospel of Luke.
Sunday, February 25th will be Leadership Commitment Sunday. Just as David did in the Old Testament (read 1 Chronicles 28-29), we’re asking our leaders to step up to lead and inspire all of us in supporting God’s work here at St. Paul.
May The weekend of Sunday, May 6th will be our Congregation Commitment Weekend. God has generously blessed each of us in different ways. We hope that already now you’re thinking and praying about how God can use you to extend our gospel ministry to the future.
Check the previous project update for other FAQs:
December When is groundbreaking going to be?
Do the renderings show what has been approved for construction?
May 6th seems a long way off for our congregation commitment weekend. Why the wait?
We picked that date because two things take time: growth and unity.
First of all, growth takes time.
We’re praying that God will use this time to cause growth in all of us in ways that are bigger than just this project. Yes, it will take generous gifts for this building project to become a reality. But our lives of generosity are a lot bigger than just this project. Generosity is the way you give of yourself to serve others, and it impacts your family, your work, your church, and your community. Five years from now, we would hope that people would not just say about us, “Those people built a building,” but that “Those people really don’t just know generosity; they live it!”
Growth means spending time together in God’s Word, wrestling with the things he says to us there. Growth means time for God’s Law to challenge our default ways of thinking, exposing the ways our selfish sinful nature is short-sighted and stingy. Growth means time for God’s Gospel to warm our hearts with the sweet news of how God gave himself for us, and to transform us into people who give of ourselves for others. Our pastors are planning ways to point us to God’s Word again and again over the coming months.
You may have already thought through or talked with your spouse about what you plan to give. That’s good. We’re glad those kind of thoughts and discussions are taking place. At the same time, we ask you not to rush it. Making a quick decision is easier because then it’s over and done. Be open to growing over the course of these next few months.
Unity takes time, too.
With about 1600 members at St. Paul, that’s a lot of people. Could we schedule the commitment weekend for a week or two from now? Yes. Some of our members are all ready to get going. But not everyone is. Rather than pushing ahead with some of our members, we want to make every effort to include everyone. Chances are, if you are reading this, you are more engaged than the average member of our church. We need you to help us reach others and build a snowball effect. More time allows more and more of our members to be united together in a common purpose about our gospel ministry and our plans for the future. This project belongs to all of us.
Are we really going to be able to complete the whole project?
That question has been on our minds, and we’re sure it has probably been on yours, too. At this point, God is the only one who knows our future and the answer to that question. Here’s what we can say at this point:
There’s a possibility that we could find a way to accomplish all of it at once (otherwise we wouldn’t have the whole project still on the table). It’s a big goal, but God has given us amazing people and resources here at St. Paul. We don’t want to sell ourselves short about what God could do through us at such a time as this. It’s also possible that we may need to prioritize some parts of the project over others. But there’s no way to know exactly what we can do together until we come together to pledge our gifts. We’ll be working toward that over these next three months. In the meantime, our Finance Committee is looking at the numbers of what we can afford for construction and is also looking at what a realistic budget would be to support our expanded ministry.
In the end there will need to be a decision made about what exactly we will build. That decision will be made by our congregation—not just by a few people or only by our leaders. Keep praying for our church—that God would give us the resources we need to take advantage of the opportunities he’s placing before us, wisdom to know what is best, and love for each other to work together in unity even when the decisions aren’t easy.