1. Why pursue this project?
The purchase of the BMH building offers our church family a unique opportunity to meet current needs fully and to position ourselves well for future growth and ministry potential. Connecting the two buildings into one facility also would reconfigure our facility in order to more fully accomplish our purpose as a church, which is summarized in three words:
- WORSHIP (which is why we would update the Worship Center);
- BELONG (which is why we would update our Connection Spaces); and
- SERVE (which is why we would create flexible and ministry-specific spaces).
As a church, we want to look outward in order to serve and reach people in our community and around the world. Investing in bricks and mortar only makes sense to the extent that new or renovated facilities further this mission. Children's ministries, youth ministries, English as a New language, Adult Bible Fellowships, and Discipleship Counseling ministries are just some of the ministries that would benefit from the addition of the BMH building.
2. What are we talking about?
We have been offered the opportunity to purchase the building next door to us, known as the Brethren Missionary Herald (BMH) building. As part of purchasing the BMH building and unifying it with our current facility, this project, if approved, would involve reconfiguring and renovating aspects of both buildings for maximum effectiveness.
3. We already voted to buy the BMH building, right?
No. We have not yet voted to purchase the BMH building. The 94% positive vote in November ...
- affirmed that the idea of purchasing the BMH building was worth pursuing;
- authorized a feasibility study; and
- approved spending the money to come up with a design and cost estimate for unifying the two buildings
4. Who is coming up with the design and cost estimates? Who is the "Aspen Group"?
Aspen Group is a firm that serves churches in thinking through and realizing effective space utilization and creation. Their work is a mix of renovation and re-purposing (70%) and new construction (30%). They bring a strong and careful stewardship mindset to the planning and design process. They are all about facilitating ministry.
5. Do we need this extra space?
Yes. Literally every possible space in the church is used during our prime ministry hours (Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings). On Wednesday evenings, some spaces are used two and even three times by different groups of children and youth. Because there is no unused space on Wednesday evenings, English as a New language meets across the street at Jefferson. We intend to launch a new Adult Bible Fellowship this fall; however, there are no places for it to meet on Sunday morning, other than the Worship Center. If you have tried to navigate through the Welcome Area between services, you know that there isn't room to stop and chat. Space limitations are starting to confine growth.
6. What ministry areas and facility needs are being considered in the feasibility study?
The study addresses four primary ministry areas:
- The Worship Center: main auditorium.
- Spaces for connecting relationally: hallways, courtyards, coffee, check-ins, etc.
- Kids Connection Ministries.
- Adult Bible Fellowships.
Also being taken into account are student small groups, English as a New language, Discipleship Counseling, and our nurseries. In other words, this project impacts every person in the church family.
7. What updates are needed in our Worship Center?
Lighting, seating, and sound panels on the walls need updating. When the sound system was updated in 2013, the church pursued updates of the lighting and seating in the Worship Center. The Trustees and Business Commission postponed the lighting updates in order to wait for LED technology to develop further and for costs to drop. Seating decisions were then held off when the possibility of purchasing the BMH building surfaced, necessitating a thorough, integrated feasibility study of the entire project.
8. Will this project meet our long-term goals/needs for ministry? Does this allow us to grow into new local ministries or simply meet current needs?
Yes. The addition of more than 18,000 sq ft of extra, multi-use space would not only meet current needs but also allow for future growth.
9. Who owns the building next door?
The building, as well as approximately 43 parking spaces behind it, is owned by the Brethren Missionary Herald Company, also known as GraceConnect.
10. What is BMH/GraceConnect, and why are they selling the building?
The Brethren Missionary Herald Company (BMH) is the publishing and communications ministry of our family of churches: the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches (FGBQ. BMH exists to promote Great Commission teamwork among the churches of the FGBC. Our church is connected to BMH both organizationally and personally. The current Executive Director of BMH is our own liz Gates. Her predecessor was Terry White, former moderator ofWLGBC. Due to changes in their publishing ministry--focusing more on digital communications--BMH approached our church about leasing portions of their building which weren't being used . The ensuing dialogue led to the proposal of purchasing the building as the best option.
11. Why would we have BMH stay in the building after we buy it from them?
The northeast segment of the BMH building (reception area, four offices, plus some downstairs storage) would remain the home of BMH/GraceConnect for five years, even if we purchase the building. In their negotiations, the team ofWLGBC leaders and the BMH Board pursued a "win-win" scenario, that is, an agreement which would benefit both parties. The result was an agreement in which WLGBC would have the opportunity to expand facilities in order to meet current and future ministry needs and BMH could sustain their ministry to our family of churches and to us.
12. How would the BMH building be used?
The design work thus far creates a unified and secure area for children's ministries on the top floor and part of the lower level of the BMH building. Preliminary plans envision moving the K-6 classes (presently housed in the south wing of our current building) into the BMH building, adding some larger children's church spaces, some small group rooms, and two flexible usage classrooms.
13. What would happen to the Tree of Life Bookstore, if we buy the BMH building?
The Tree of life has a lease with BMH through April ofthis year (2016). Should we choose to purchase the building, the Tree of life would most likely move to the Grace College campus.
14. How much would the BMH building cost?
Negotiations between a team ofWLGBC leaders and the BMH Board resulted In a verbal agreement, stating that, should the church vote positively to purchase the building, the purchase price would be the appraised value of $425,000 (approximately $25 per sq ft).
15. Does it make more sense to buy it, tear it down, and then build exactly what we need? Would new construction be a better value?
No. The structural engineers and consultants have all agreed that the BMH building"has good bones." It is solid and well-built. Purchasing and remodeling the existing building (18,000 sq ft) would be much less expensive than new construction.
16. How much would the whole capital project cost (purchase and remodel of building, unifying the existing buildings, and updating the Worship Center?
The Aspen Group is working on cost estimates. The WLGBC Building Group,Business Commission, and Overseers are tasked with determining the scope and cost of any capital project brought to the church for approval. Please pray that the Lord will lead in their decision-making this month.
17. What impact would buying the building have on future years' budgets?
It would require additional custodial staff and would increase our utility bills. If we choose to finance any portion of the project, it would also mean adding a mortgage payment to the budget.
18. What financial impact, if any, will this have on our ability to be a sending church and for us to expand our ministry support?
This is an important question. Our church family generously supports a global team of cross-cultural missionaries. In addition to this, God is raising up people in our church who are committed to cross-cultural ministry in the future. We want to do our part in sending them out. We approach all these responsibilities with a serious view of stewardship; however, we are not coming from a perspective of limited goods or limited resources . If this facility project will help us fulfill the mission God has given us in our community, and the cross-cultural workers whom God is raising up In our church will help us fulfill the mission God has given us to the world, then God will provide for both through His people. He will not make us choose between our local and global mission. In fact, health and growth In either one will promote health and growth In the other. We choose to pursue both our local and global mission, listening to God and depending on Him.
19. When can we see the proposed design?
Early in March the design will be made public via a mailing followed by a variety of settings in which church family can ask questions and give input.
20. When will the church family be asked to vote on the proposed plan?
If the process continues on schedule, the church family will vote March 13th-10th (but no later than April).
21. Who will be asked to vote?
All who consider this their church home may vote. Any time we adopt a capital project, all are asked to vote because all will be asked to give generously In order to accomplish it.
22. Who serves on our Building Group?
Bruce Barlow, Connie Burkholder, Denny Daniels, Nick Hauck, Brent Hollinger, Trida Hummel,Josh Lee, Dan Pacheco, Jr.,Rhonda Raber, Cathy Reed,VIcky Scanden, Ryan Srogi, and Becky Wilson.
23. Who serves on our Communications Group?
Bruce Barlow, Shannion Bowell, Kip Cone, Judy Daniels,Jodie Hall,Emma lehman, Dave Phelps, Aaron Scantlen, VIcky Scanden, Scott Schneider, luke Secaur, Terry White, and Lola Yoder.
24. Who serves on our Finance Group?
Bruce Barlow, Ryan Bowell,Jessica Bricker, Kris Farwell, Michael Harstlne, Chuck Josey, Susanne Kessler, Scott Miller,Steve Miller,Craig Snow, and VIcky Scantlen.