It has been over two months since we had our last update as to just what God is doing at Grace Church. Our hope and prayers were that by now we would be able to meet, update you, and celebrate together. Fellowship and food as only Grace Church can do was the agenda. Unfortunately, while worship service a@endance is increasing nicely, and our online capabilities are improving, the pandemic continues to create challenges to having all of us together in one place at the same Ame. So, at least for now, we will have to utilize our technology to communicate what is happening at Grace Church and where the Holy Spirit is leading us.
If you have entered the facility in the last few weeks you no doubt have noticed the major facility facelift that our lobby and Café are receiving. Some of you have asked questions about the project so we thought it might be helpful to share the vision behind what is going on.
As background, we think is important that you know that your Elders and Pastoral staff are working to ensure that everything we do is consistent and aligned with our Values, Mission and Vision.
Depending on God, we will be
A Jesus Church Where the Gospel is Central.
A Welcoming Family Where People are Cared for.
A Growth Community Where Disciples are Made.
A Change Catalyst Where Lives are Transformed.
A House of Champions Where Young People Can Thrive.
A Unified Leadership Where We Move Forward Together.Our Mission
“Grace Church exists to
Love People into the Family of God.
Equip People in their Faith.
Mobilize People in their Calling.
Release People for Kingdom Impact.A Jesus Church”
“We Envision a Church Where People Thrive.
We want you, your kids, and everyone you know to thrive at Grace because of Jesus.
Where the Gospel is Central.”
Being consistent and aligned with our Values, Mission and Vision does not mean our goal is to go back to “business as usual” before the pandemic hit. As shared at the CongregaAonal meeting in January we continue to see a new future for Grace Church Here, Grace Church Everywhere, Grace Church 24/7/365.
It is the Grace Church Here part of the Vision that the facility project primarily applies. We want to share the vision behind the project and why we have embarked on a plan to refresh and repurpose our facility. Both of these words are important, so let us unpack each one for you so that we might all have a clearer understanding of the reasoning behind these faceliFs and help you understand the scope and sequence of the project.
As we looked at our facility, we identified three areas in need of a significant refresh. Specifically, the auditorium, lobby/bathrooms and the exterior including the parking area.
In the auditorium we needed to update the audio, video, and lighting as well as refresh the seaAng and overall environment of the worship experience.
The lobby and bathrooms looked “Are” and out of date. They needed a refresh to make a great first impression on visitors we want to reach for Christ. There were also some infrastructure repairs to walls and roofs that needed a@enAon.
Lastly, the exterior needs a more contemporary look to connect with our community and the parking area needs resurfacing to make that great first impression.
As we have been strategizing for our Mission these last few months we came to the conviction that two other parts of our ministry needed facility a@enAon, not so much for the purpose of a more modern look, but for the purpose of providing excellent ministry to a younger generation. We absolutely must become younger in our demographics if we want to leave a legacy for our children and grandchildren and provide a Grace Church in the future that will minister to our offspring and community. To that end we have landed on the need to repurpose our café and children’s ministry areas so that we might indeed become a House of Champions.
The decision to remodel a café that was quite functional and spend money in that part of the facility is built upon our desire to create a warm and welcoming café space that will be utilized throughout the week for younger people.
One of the biggest challenges we face is how to create a new children’s ministry area that will engage the younger generaAons and their children. At one Ame our primary outreach to children was through LiAtz Christian School when it was part of the church. The facility was designed to accommodate a school model of XX years ago. The need to find a 21st century church model for ministry to Kids at Grace Church has become criAcal.
First we engaged Stephanie Kicera, a local designer who developed Rock LiAtz, Wilbur Hotel and other large Church facilities, to look at designing an updated refreshment to our facility that would reflect a LiAtz feel aesthetically while relaAng to the younger generations. The new colors, flooring, staging, lighting, audio, and café experience are al designed to create a 7 day a week space where young people can Thrive. Below are renderings of the finished space.
Next, we engaged an architect to design a refresh to the exterior of the facility. The goal here is to bring the look and feel of the facility up to date so it will connect with the younger generations. Below are conceptual renderings of possible refresh looks.
Lastly, we engaged an architect to explore how to repurpose our facility for a be@er children’s ministry as a church, while trying to minimize the impact upon the school. Shortly we hope to have a very clear picture of how to repurpose some of our present space into a fantastic children’s ministry area that allows us to do discipleship among this age group at the highest level of faithfulness and excellence. We do not have a conceptual drawing yet as we are sAll in the early design Phase.
The result of our strategizing is Project Thrive. The project breaks down into four Phases. Phase 1 was to address the auditorium. During the pandemic shutdown, we took the opportunity presented to completely update all the technology in the auditorium as well as refreshing the seating and overall environment.
Phase 2 of the project is to refresh and repurpose the lobby, bathrooms, café, and office area. This Phase is underway and should be completed by approximately mid-January.
Phase 3 will be to refresh the exterior of the facility, including the parking area. We plan to start this Phase once the design is finalized, funding is secured, and a seasonal driven construction schedule allows.
Phase 4 will be the children’s ministry area. Timing of this Phase will likewise depend on finalizing the design, funding, and a seasonal driven construcAon schedule.
As detailed below we currently have either actual or good estimates for the cost of Phases 1, 2 and 3. Phase 4 is much more complex and requires Ame for design, engineering and cost estimates. Once the design of Phases 3 and 4 are finalized we will finalize the total cost.
As a result of your faithful giving and good stewardship by leadership, Grace Church is in excellent financial shape. The church is debt free and has significant financial reserves. We have been able to fund all of Phase 1 and the Lobby/Bathrooms/Café parts of Phase 2 out of our accumulated surplus in addition to $142,000 contributed by the Elders, while still maintaining significant financial reserves. The office area is being handled in-house as funding allows. To address Phases 3 and 4 we will be iniAaAng a capital campaign, “Project Thrive”, to raise the necessary funds once design and cost are finalized
That is it for this update. We hope this answer’s many of your questions and gives you a good sense of where the Holy Spirit is leading us. If you have any additional questions our leadership team will be glad to respond. Remember, we are refreshing and repurposing for another 50 years of excellent ministry to the younger generations of our area, so they might enjoy the blessing of a faithful Bible teaching ministry even as our founding members created and enjoyed with God’s help. We are excited to believe that our founding and longtime members will leave a Legacy to their children and grandchildren for years to come should the Lord tarry His return.
God is Doing Great Things at Grace Church! (Volume 2)