What’s Happening with ‘SPAN the Nineties’?

After the “SPAN the Nineties” fund raising effort last spring, several factors led the leadership of the church to reconsider certain aspects of the original proposal.

1) For example, the cost to remodel the “Hacking Property” for Children's Educational (CE) space exceeded original estimates to the degree that it became questionable whether that investment was wise.

2) The pledges from the congregation amounted to about $1.7 million over the next three years. This was slightly less than would have been needed to move ahead with what the SPAN brochure called “The Six Year Plan”. That would have meant completing a new sanctuary in 1992 and paying off the project in 1994. But there is a sense of increasing urgency that 1992 is too far away for a new sanctuary.

3) The estimated cost per square foot for the sanctuary took unexpected jumps in ongoing conversations with the architects, prompting serious consideration of less expensive design-build firms.

4) The inflationary rise of building costs has prompted reconsideration of the wisdom of waiting longer in order to borrow less. It may be that building sooner, borrowing more and saving on building cost rises would be less expensive in the long run.

Since the last congregational information meeting on July 31, the Executive Committee of the Council of Deacons has consulted with the Committee of Five (a planning task force appointed by the Deacons to research and report site development options to the Council). At the following Deacon Council meeting on August 23 the decision was made to spend half a day on September 10 praying, discussing and seeking consensus among the Deacons and Committee of Five concerning the revised proposal that would be brought to the congregation.

On September 16 the Deacons will mail to the congregation the revised proposal for your consideration. On Sunday, September 25 at 7:15 after the evening service we will have an all church business meeting to act on this revised SPAN the Nineties proposal.

In addition, the congregation will act at this special meeting on whether to accept a gift of property being offered to the church. The property two houses west of the church on 8th Street is being offered to us under certain conditions. In the September 16 mailing you will be informed concerning these conditions, possible plans for the site and costs involved.

Would you make all these matters a special concern of your prayers in the next month? We need the counsel of the Lord as much as ever. The Spirit is moving among us in significant ways, the largest ASK class in the last 8 years is concluding this Sunday, God is answering prayers for boldness, new neighborhood ventures are in the offing, laborers continue to hear God’s call among us, almost all of our graduating apprentices have been placed in churches, a new team of apprentices is assembling, etc. etc.

I am praying for a new goal to challenge us toward the year 2000 now that 90 by ‘90 is complete!

Pastor John

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