With any major project, there are sure to be lots of questions!
We are committed to ensuring our congregation and our community remain informed about this exciting project, and have compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions as a starting point for learning about Weaving the Three-fold Cord.
If you have a question that isn’t shown below, please email your question to AskAlyssa, and we will be glad to respond!
- What is the “new construction” we keep hearing about and what is its main purpose?
- How much will this cost?
- Where did the title “Weaving” come from?
- How does this help with security?
- What’s the big deal with “new entrances”?
- $5 million is a lot of money. Do we really feel like we can accomplish this?
- Why now?
- Is there a “mission” component to this project?
- When can I make a commitment?
What is the “new construction” we keep hearing about and what is its main purpose?
At the January 2016 congregational meeting with ADW Architects, it was determined that our three major needs were: (1)A new easily-identifiable entry way to the church; (2)security; and (3)taking care of water issues on the bottom floor of the main building..
The new construction is going to be a Welcome/Gathering Area located between the Main Building and the Family Life Center (FLC). The two-way /one-way drive between the Main Building and the FLC will be removed. Rooms 204 (main floor) and 102 (downstairs) will be removed and we will dig down to the bottom level (to address water issues from the north side of the building) of the main building. There will be new bathrooms on each floor of the main building and we will add a large gathering area on the main floor. We will have easily identifiable entry ways into the church in the new area. This will allow for secured entry to the building and will allow us to secure further access beyond the gathering space to only the parts of the building necessary for a particular event or worship service.
The final number cannot be known, of course. But, with everything that the we are planning plus remodeling existing areas in our main building and “soft costs” of seating, carpet, paint, etc. we estimate the figure to be about $5 million. Our Finance Committee and Church Council made the recommendation to the Church Conference on April 24, 2016. Our church membership present voted 347 (yes) to 2 (Against) with 4 abstaining to proceed with the campaign. We felt that was a mandate to move forward.
Where did the title “Weaving” come from?
Everything we do as a church is based on scripture. We based this campaign on Ecclesiastes 4:12: “A three-fold cord is not easily broken”. We wanted to honor the history of Gaston County textiles and the heritage of many in our church by choosing this theme. We see Jesus Christ as our center, and then we are prayerfully weaving “Church” and “Community” around Christ!
How does this help with security?
We are really excited that when the final plan is accomplished, the Wesley Center, Family Life Center, and main building will all be under “one roof” (meaning one can get to anywhere in those three buildings without ever going outside). Also, with one entry into the church (except on Sundays when we will have all points of entry in the main building opened) we can know where people are and allow access to needed areas.
What is the big deal about “new” entrances?
Right now if you are a guest at our church, it is confusing to get in! We have five double-doors in the main building and 99% of the time we enter only through the one single door in the back of the main building. New construction will provide easily identifiable entrances on the west and east side of the church from which you may proceed anywhere in the Family Life Center, Main Building, or Wesley Center.
$5 million is a lot of money. Do we really feel like we can accomplish this?
Yes! Capital Campaign experts tell us that most capital campaigns should raise between 1.5 and 3 times the annual budget of the church. Our annual budget is $1.7 million, so the upper end (3x) of that formula puts us at $5.1 million.
The misinformation about our church is that our giving is down. That is not true! We have increased our giving to the budget every year since 2011! In 2011, we “paid out” $1.6 million; in 2014 we “paid out” over $2 million for the first time. Over the last six years, the giving has increased each year. Our 2017 budget commitments increased by 17.8% over the 2016 commitments!
We are a leader in helping our community move into a new day! We join the exciting work of the new YMCA and the FUSE work in downtown. This church made an intentional decision to stay downtown, and we want to help our community grow! Providing a better space where we can gather can allow us to do just that!
We are growing! Over the last five years, we have grown by well over 200 members; over 130 of which are age 40 or younger. We want to leave a strong legacy for the next generation. We feel called to be a strong presence for Christ in this community!
Is there a “mission” component to this project?
We are entering this building project as we are beginning to seek way to support neighboring churches. We are currently in a relationship with First UMC, Bessemer City by sharing a pastoral position and they provide housing for one of our Associate Pastors. It is our hope that this project will enable us to continue to financially and spiritually build up other viable churches by offering them some of the resources that have made First UMC, Gastonia the strong church that it is. Our commitment to this ministry is about $45,000 a year.
We will have “Commitment Sunday” for our Weaving campaign on April 2, 2017. Our goal is for each member to be involved in this campaign as we attempt to weave our Church and this Community around Christ… that three-fold cord is not easily broken!