On Sunday, June 11, 111 members of our congregation voted on whether to begin construction of our new Living Hope sanctuary. The three hour meeting was filled with information, questions, analysis and feedback. The conversation was passionate and respectful and all opinions and concerns were given an opportunity to be heard. At the meeting’s conclusion, the assembled members voted to approve moving forward with groundbreaking in the summer of 2017. Both those who voted yes (67) and those who voted no (44) spoke of the additional financial pressure and that we need to address this by acting quickly. Specific timing for the groundbreaking will be determined in the next few weeks.
The "yes" vote creates the following expectations:
- Construction to begin upon the schedule directed by our contractor and architects at the earliest point possible in 2017
- A second capital campaign, likely to be run in parallel with the final year of Build More Do More Serve More, will begin as soon as it can be logistically and faithfully implemented
- Church leadership will engage with our lender, Thrivent, to arrange for short-term debt that will cover the project funding gap until funds from the second capital campaign are received
Our new sanctuary will certainly bless the congregation with a wonderful worship environment. In addition, it will act as a visible witness to members of the community that we are a thriving, growing, and a dynamic congregation, serving our Lord in our mission to "Know Christ and Make Him Known." We, the members of Bloomington Living Hope, now have the great responsibility of enabling this expansion, as well as our existing ministries, through our time, talents, and treasure.
As we work to meet this challenge, let’s also think about what can happen! We will use the first of the monies raised to mend our current operating shortfall. There will be opportunities to take the Living Hope expansion beyond what is today included in the project. For example: expansion of our parking lot and taking the audio/visual from better (than we have today) to best-in-class. Prayerfully, we will also have the ability to pay down some of the $2.6 million existing long-term debt.
Please prepare your heart and discuss with your family, friends, and fellow members how you can support this project. In the coming weeks and months, you will hear of opportunities to contribute and be involved. Please prayerfully consider what you can do to meet the challenges we now have ahead.
It is truly a wonderful and exciting time for our church. Together, we will watch it grow and we all with it!