A little after 4:00 PM on Tuesday, June 15 Jon Grano, the Vice Chairman of the Council of Elders, signed the documents that transferred the building at I-35W and Highway 10 to the ownership of Bethlehem Baptist Church. That evening the elders bowed before our merciful God and gave thanks for his unspeakable faithfulness to bring us this far. We prayed that, beyond all that we can now dream, God would make his name great in this place. Oh, that this building would be
- a place where Jesus Christ is treasured above all things (including buildings),
- and where thousands of people meet him and are saved by him,
- and where thousands of children grow up in God-centered truth,
- and where thousands of teenagers see Christ as more desirable than the fascinations of their generation,
- and where adults are awakened and sustained by the glory of God in the face of Christ,
- and from which mercy flows in practical helpfulness across Mounds View and the northern suburbs,
- and where thousands of missionaries are called and nurtured and sent to the unreached peoples of the world,
- and where marriages are made strong and single people are sold-out for Jesus,
- and where people ripen in old age as sages for the kingdom,
- and where worship is humble and authentic and God-centered and Bible-saturated,
- and where people of all races feel loved and respected, in heaven-like racial harmony,
- and where the cause of justice is trumpeted,
- and where culture is not mindlessly endorsed or anxiously discarded, but is critically engaged and used to the advantage of God’s truth and beauty.
On the financial side, in the last couple months you have given $841,000 to Treasuring Christ Together. That means that $84,000 (10%) is has been set aside for Church Planting and $84,000 (10%) has been set aside for the Global Diaconate (global crisis). This is remarkable and should move you to pause just now before you read on and thank God for his moving so many of you to give.
We now have a $5,400,000 loan. It is a 30-year loan at 4.63%. But no one plans to keep it that long. Our prayer is that God will guide a thousand giving units (you) to add the TCT label to your giving envelope, and make a steady (weekly, biweekly) designation for TCT. We hope you do not take money from your usual giving to the budget (which has been strong this year!), but will stretch and add a gift to Treasuring Christ Together. This is what will create the stream of income that will make the mortgage payments ($28,809/month). The $679,000 which is now available will be used toward the build-out costs over the next several months. Those costs are now estimated between $2.6 and $3.6 million for phase one (which would include not a completed gym, but a usable gym-like space). Therefore please keep praying that God would enable our people to give not only the new stream of income, but larger gifts that reduce the amount that would have to be borrowed to pay for the build-out.
A realistic date for leaving Northwestern and entering the new campus in Mounds View would be March, 2005. God has been good to us. By this goodness I appeal to you: present your bodies to God as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. May all your bodily life be acceptable worship to God through our infinitely worthy Lord Jesus.