Please join us on January 25th @ 9:15 AM for our Annual Meeting to approve the 2009 Budget. We will also receive an update from the Building Committee. Come and join the discussion.
Christmas Eve Candlelight @ 5:00 PM and 10:00 PM
Christmas Day @ 9:00 AM
Come celebrate the birth of Jesus with family and friends. All are welcome!
Have we not groveled here long enough eating and drinking like mere brutes?
Have we not darkened and dazed ourselves with books long enough?
Sail forth – steer for the deep waters only.
Reckless O soul, exploring, I with thee, and thou with me,
For we are bound where mariner has not yet dared to go,
And we will risk the ship; ourselves and all.
O my brave soul! O farther, farther sail!
O daring joy, but safe! Are they not all the seas of God?
O farther, farther, farther sail!
Walt Whitman Passage to India
I’ve been thinking of this wonderful poem by Walt Whitman recently as we embark on yet another new year. It seems, however, even more meaningful to the community of Messiah Church as we prepare to embark on a great adventure of faith – the building of a new church! I’m not telling you something that you do not already know. The economic conditions of our country are as bad as any of us can remember; most of our future securities have taken a hit; the needs of the poor and hurting are increasing and the cost of living seems to be ever going up – And we? What do we do? We choose to build!!! For we are bound where mariner has not yet dared to go! Aside from our regular giving, we have pledged an additional half a million dollars toward the construction of approximately 13,000 square feet of new space. O Brave my soul! O farther, farther sail!
Still, I believe that this church is committing to this adventure in uncertain times because deep down we believe the Good News that Walt Whitman proclaims – that we are always sailing the seas of God! No matter what this New Year holds for us personally or as a family of faith; in good times and in bad times; in economically sure times and in uncertain times – we are always sailing the seas of God – the seas belong to God. So what is the next step on this adventure of building?
The Mission Investment Fund of the ELCA has suggested a rule of thumb for churches – you can borrow approximately twice what you have pledged in a Capital Campaign. Tim Coulthart (our Treasurer), in conversation with the Parish Council feels that this is a comfortable rule. A million dollar loan, combined with the Gundlach’s lead gift of one million and our $500,000 pledge commitments translates to a project of around 2.5 million dollars. The Building Committee has been informed of this number and is presently working with Vogel Construction and Angus Young Architects to design a structure to meet this budget.
The next months will be extremely active ones for the Building Committee. Their goal is to break ground by June 1st, 2009 in order to have the building enclosed by winter. Given that schedule, a design will have to be formalized with input from the Advisory Committee and presented to the congregation; a congregational meeting will need to be set up for approval along with approving the necessary loan amount; construction drawings will need to be created; and a construction loan will need to be arranged. The final word on the church design AND loan amount always remains with the congregation!
This is an exciting adventure and like all adventures, it will not always be smooth. I’m sure there will be differences of opinions, setbacks and even some delays – all this is expected. Even more however, I expect that the people of Messiah will continue to respond in faith. We believe that whatever the next months hold; whatever the New Year brings; whatever is before us – always we sail ahead knowing that the seas belong to God. We ask God’s blessings on the journey. We move ahead with faith and courage. We sail! O my brave soul! O farther, farther sail!