CHPC’s Capital Stewardship Campaign
“We will tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the LORD, . . . that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and rise up and tell them to their children, so that they should set their hope in God . . . ” — Psalm 78:4-7
A God-sized challenge for CHPC this Fall
We have the opportunity to mark a new chapter in the life and ministry of CHPC. A chapter where the campus is renewed for ministry, not just to replace broken machinery. This is about preparing our facilities to be excellent for God’s purposes. We are a unique church in the city pursuing Christian maturity and growth for people of different ages, races, education, and background.
The time has come to resource the next generation of CHPC for this unique ministry by solidifying the core systems of the campus and upgrading/updating facades, fixtures and forms so that the building serves God’s purposes well into the future. The facility requires significant work to serve as a tool for ministry for the next generations. The time is now to make these changes for the future.
You will be hearing more about the Campaign in the near future because we need all to be involved and participate. We will have numerous information sessions and opportunities to participate. Every minute served and every dollar given contributes to what God has planned for our future. The essential first step – prayer! Be praying for God’s leading and developing. He knows the future. He is the provider. His will is the only way worth seeking. Please join in prayer for this important faith stretching, challenging step we take at CHPC. To God be the glory!
Where are we going as a community of faith? What is our mission? Every Sunday’s bulletin lists the mission of our denomination, the Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians: to build flourishing churches that make disciples of Jesus Christ. God’s specific vision for CHPC is:
“To be a multi-cultural community of people helping one another to obey Jesus.Christ. We invite all to follow Christ and challenge one another to be His disciples so that we influence our homes, workplaces, and neighborhoods according to God’s love, justice, and mercy…to the Glory of God.”
Since 1853, Christians at CHPC have cheerfully sacrificed to support Christ’s mission around the world and for the buildings ‘at home’ that enable it. The facilities are an excellent tool dedicated to an excellent God. The whole church campus is used as a tool for evangelism, nurturing new generations and making disciples. The facilities speak to people inside and outside the walls. They must be fully functional, safe, relevant and complimentary to the ministries God is growing in our midst today.
An Overview of the Capital Stewardship Campaign
WHAT? To undergird God’s ministry through CHPC, a $2.2 million Capital Stewardship Campaign was envisioned to provide funds for critical and necessary short-term and longer-term needs. 65% of the money will be used for major facilities and grounds needs. 25% will be used for various facility upgrades on campus and off. 10% will go directly to missions at CHPC and ‘beyond the walls’ locally, nationally and internationally.
Capital Stewardship Campaign CabinetWHO? The Session, the Senior Church Staff and the Facilities, Finance and Administration Team (FFAT) have, in faith, approved the Capital Stewardship Campaign. Shown here are the photos of the chair people for facets of the Campaign. These men and women have also recruited people in the congregation to be on their team. Have a particular interest? Contact Janet Dumford at (513) 541-8281.
WHEN? In September and October members and the church community will be invited to Informational Meetings that will include the Campaign’s rationale and priorities, ministry insights, and key questions. In November, there will be a Commitment Sunday — an opportunity to make a personal commitment to the Capital Stewardship Campaign. Pledges are special giving above and beyond normal tithes and offerings and may be paid over three years.
WHY? The Informational Meetings will address this question in detail. In brief, Session adopts an annual budget that includes funding for ministry and for maintenance of the facilities which God has entrusted to us over the years as our congregation has changed, many normal wear and tear projects have been deferred. While the ministries and mission of CHPC have grown and flourished, it is clear that now is the time to focus on “capital projects.”
PRAY for those leading the Capital Stewardship Campaign. Stewardship is the KEY word. Pray that God forms us into His stewards and faithful disciples who in turn raise up faithful disciples of Jesus Christ from one generation to another…all to the Glory of God the Father.
Questions and Answers
We seek to be a multi-cultural community of people helping one another to obey Jesus. We invite all to follow Christ and challenge one another to be His disciples so that we influence our homes, workplaces, and neighborhoods according to God’s love, justice, and mercy.
The building is a tool for evangelism and discipleship. We want it to be an excellent tool. We want it to speak to those outside the church that we are a safe place and a relevant place. We want all the systems of the facility to be in fully working condition to support the many ministries housed in the building.
A list of projects has been developed for inclusion in the Capital Stewardship Campaign. The budget estimate for completion of the list matches 90% (for the reason for this number, see “missions” below) of the fund-raising goal of the Capital Stewardship Campaign. Budgets for various line items on the list have been established based on the best information currently available to us, but will be refined as precise costs for specific items and exact scopes of work are finalized. These, in turn, may be affected by the level of success of the Campaign. In terms of priority, all items on the list are priority items for the facility; however some are of greater urgency due to the need for prompt repair/replacement of them. Those will be accomplished earlier to avoid further deterioration or expense. Some items also must be accomplished “in good order and discipline” – when they happen is dictated by the sequence of operations necessary to complete the list as efficiently as possible, and thus may occur later in the process.
There are perhaps four major reasons we have reached this point in terms of the facility. Together, they might be labelled what has been called “the tyranny of the present.”
First, while routine maintenance of the campus is accomplished through monies allocated annually from our normal income, and we do reserve money each year from the annual budget for major expenses, the fact of the matter is that the growing needs of the other portions of our budget (personnel salaries and expenses, support of global missions, and our own children’s, youth, music, counselling, and other ministries here) ultimately place hard limits on the amount of money Session can allocate to campus expenses without eliminating or seriously hobbling those other ministries.
Second, many of our major building systems are approaching (or have exceeded) their anticipated service life. These include roofing, mechanical, security, lighting, and parking systems, many of which were installed in the early 1980s when we constructed the Barnabas Center, heavily renovated the Ministry Center, and performed other campus work. Reserve funds have been depleted in recent years through addressing the beginnings of those needs (e.g. rebuilding the Ministry Center elevator, replacement of large refrigerant pumps in the ice system, and the like). Remaining funds are insufficient to address the multiple major system repairs and updates that are needed at this point.
Third, our facility is run by people. Sometimes, errors are made. It must be conceded that some decisions regarding improvements in the past have been proven, over time, to have been wrong (or at least short-sighted). For example, when sidewalk work was done a decade or more ago, the decision was made to save money by not pinning the sidewalks to their adjacent curbs. As a result, at this point, sidewalks have begun to sink, causing trip hazards at the curbs. This is a safety issue that must now be addressed (at a cost that ultimately will be higher than if we had pinned the structures in the first place). To be sure, those who made the original decision felt that other needs were more important at the time, and the money saved was undoubtedly used for another worthy purpose. But the fact is that a problem that could have been avoided has arisen. The quality of such decisions has been much improved since we engaged a professional facility manager.
And fourth, apart from the renewal of the infrastructure systems that support our campus operations, the major goal of this Campaign is to update the facility to make it more attractive and inspirational to those who visit CHPC – those who presumably will be joining and renewing our community of faith – and more flexible and functional for the needs of the next generation of ministry. It is clear (and studies support) that people are attracted to and are more likely to become involved in and join organizations whose facilities are attractive, up-to-date, and well-maintained, thus giving an impression of vibrancy, relevancy, and forward motion, and providing the flexibility to meet the current and changing needs of their populations. Conversely, a facility that appears out-of-date tends to leave a faint air of neglect and decay – a “smell” of a stale and idle or even dying organization. Crumbling curbs and sidewalks, a deteriorating parking lot, 1960s era ceilings, flooring, lighting, and walls, moveable partitions that don’t function properly, and the inability to maintain climate control effectively, all contribute to such an impression. Also contributing to that is a user-unfriendly layout, where finding one’s way from one place to another – second-nature to those of us who are “In” the organization – is difficult or impossible for “outsiders”. This is NOT who CHPC is . . . . but it is, in many cases, currently how our facility presents us. Updating large areas to become more relevant and easier to navigate and use is not something that can be handled within the annual budget of CHPC (or of any similar organization). It requires a special effort – hence the Capital Stewardship Campaign.
This is an excellent question – the implication being: wouldn’t it be wiser for us to move to smaller quarters more in line with our “decreasing/aging membership” and “challenges meeting our current operational expenses”? Indeed, if one were to accept that a decreasing membership and current budget challenges are permanent, and that our ministry in College Hill is insignificant, the answer might be yes. But Session, the leadership, and, we believe, much of the congregation does not accept that premise.
God has worked (and is working) mightily at CHPC. We have been (and are) a strongpoint of His kingdom in College Hill. We have vibrant, dynamic ministries that spread His love in our neighborhood. We have deep roots in College Hill, going back more than 15 decades. God has deeply blessed us. He has provided for us a magnificent facility, some features of which are both priceless and irreplaceable, within and from which to carry out His mission. He has given us a dedicated staff, and a loving and faithful core congregation. We stand as a pillar in College Hill, helping to hold back the tide of anarchy that sweeps our society, our nation, and the world and to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ to that suffering world.
God is doing a mighty work among us. Our staff and outreach ministries are strong. Society cries out for what it lacks – seeking God. Many are finding “spiritualism” and discovering that there’s still something missing. When they eventually encounter Jesus, particularly in a traditional environment, they find deeper meaning and satisfaction than most have ever known. Even those who grew up in the “warehouse” churches are seeking more traditional worship, surroundings, and teachings.
So, the choice for CHPC appears to be between concluding that we are a dying congregation, abandoning our ministry in College Hill, and moving to a “rest home” for the balance of our days . . . or believing that God has called us to be ministers here and now, in 2016 College Hill and beyond, in which case, as good stewards of the gifts God has given us, it is our duty to care for them and to make them appropriate for the people He will lead here, as we step into a new generation of ministry, tackling the current (and future) problems as a growing, vibrant, strong voice for God’s eternal Kingdom on our own street corner and around the world, down through the next generations.
Session and the leadership of CHPC are strongly committed to the latter vision, and believe that God has a great plan for us going forward. We need to be fully prepared for that coming ministry. The Capital Stewardship Campaign is one way of making those necessary preparations.
In fact, our giving has been relatively stable and (in the end) on budget for the past several years, with even small surpluses occurring in some years.
As part of our efforts to keep the congregation informed about the church and its affairs, we have given periodic budget reports that giving was below expectations at various points during the year, but, with the benefit of hindsight, that has not been a function of inadequate giving, but of changed giving patterns in recent years. Our human expectations, based largely on old patterns, have not been in precise accord with God’s perfect timing. But the bottom line has been a budget that has been met solidly by the congregation in each recent year.
In a broad sense, perhaps there are always alternatives. The real question is whether a Capital Stewardship Campaign is the best option.
Long-term savings is not a viable option, because the work needs to be done now; we don’t have decades to accumulate savings from our operating budget to fund it. Further, accumulating the necessary funds in that way would, during the accumulation period, inevitably starve ministries of current funding, thus damaging or destroying them.
Borrowing to finance the needed upgrades would also hobble the ministry of the church for decades for a similar reason – loans must be repaid, and they must be repaid with interest. Thus, money that otherwise would go to the necessary work would instead have to be allocated to debt-service, resulting in a limitation of “bang for the buck” that could be achieved by borrowed dollars. CHPC has had a tradition of not borrowing money for such purposes for many years, restricting our borrowing to very short term arrangements. We currently carry no debt, freeing all of our revenue to address current and future needs (i.e. we are not paying interest to anybody).
We thus believe that the Capital Stewardship Campaign is the most prudent, responsible, and sensible way of financing the needed work.
The Campaign has been organized in such a way as to encourage maximum participation among our congregation. Ideally, it would be best if everyone, from all levels of economic circumstances, participated at whatever level they are called to by the Lord. Biblically, the point isn’t how much one gives, but that one responds to the Lord; one participates – proportionate response is the watchword. Remember the Mark 12 story of the widow who placed two copper coins into the offering, following rich people who had given much. Jesus, watching, called his disciples together and told them that she had given more to the treasury than any of the others because they gave from their wealth, keeping much for themselves; she gave all she had to the Lord.
We need to be sure to teach that lesson clearly. The dollar amount of a gift isn’t important to God. What is important is that what you give shows your commitment to the Lord. If you sacrifice something of yourself, in order to give to the Lord – that’s commitment. If you just peel a few bills off your bankroll, such that you don’t even notice that they’re gone . . . . there’s not much commitment there. God’s looking for commitment. We’re trying to encourage people to follow God.
We are hopeful that the entire campaign can be conducted in such a way that no one – new or old member – feels “pressured” to give. That’s especially important with respect to new members, of course. It is the intention that such persons be made aware of the Capital Stewardship Campaign in the course of learning about the church, and, as they choose to join us, be presented with the opportunity, as a new member of the “team”, to participate at some level in the campaign if they wish to do so. If we are successful in making such people feel that they have joined us as a member of our “team”, we anticipate that many, if not all, will want to participate at least at some level. Nobody should be pushed toward any particular decision on this matter, or toward any particular level of gift.
In some ways, the current condition of the campus acts as a barrier or “wall” to newcomers. The work to be completed as a result of the Campaign is intended to dismantle that wall by making the campus more visitor-friendly (in terms both of navigation and surroundings), relevant, and inviting to those visiting us to join with us in our community and ministry.
The impact of the Capital Stewardship Campaign will be positive for missions. At home, the improvements to the campus will supplement and aid evangelism by providing an attractive, welcoming, comfortable place in which to spread the Good News. We believe that the Campaign will also encourage additional people to participate in the church’s mission (both through participation in the campaign itself, and then through other ways). The Campaign will benefit off campus missions by devoting 10% of all money received toward those ends. One half of that 10% will be generally available for local/international mission needs; the other half will be directed toward a church-planting effort, either directly by CHPC, or in conjunction with ECO church-planting work.
A designated percentage of all funds collected (10%) will be devoted to outside-our-walls missions, as discussed in the previous answer.
We desire Christ-followers of all ages, races, and ethnicities to join us in God’s mission at CHPC. Young families is a demographic where we have significant room for growth. A welcoming facility that feels comfortable, safe, and is easy to navigate will provide more of what young families desire and need in a church home. Along with our hospitality ministries, we believe that an improved campus will reinforce and add to the message that we welcome new folks into the fold.
We have already committed to being a multi-generational, multi-ethnic community committed to reconciliation with God and one another. The campus improvements will reinforce that mission and make more people of more backgrounds and stations comfortable in a common place to learn from one another and help each other follow God’s leading. Current events may play toward that as well, as larger segments of our society become fed up with the current atmosphere of confrontation on every front and every corner, and begin to seek reconciliation and understanding among all people.
It is our intention and belief that this Campaign will cover the needed repairs and upgrades for many years to come. We will continue to budget for regular maintenance and major repairs going forward. However, Capital Campaigns are a common way that churches and other not-for-profit organizations address needed major upgrades and facility changes. As such, it would be unrealistic to suggest that CHPC will never conduct another such campaign as this. As the needs of our ministry change and the never ending process of aging and wear present themselves, we will require funding for changes in the future as we require them now. We believe that this Campaign will realistically address many of the current necessities at this time.
We plan to have a team in place with staff and covenant partners who have gifts, skills, and professional experience in construction projects to oversee each of the projects.
The campaign has a 3 year commitment that begins on January 1, 2017. Our goal is not to impinge upon the normal operating budget, so this campaign commitment would be above and beyond our normal tithe.
Our campus is a hub for the community, providing a place for people to gather and connect. During a normal week, there are a variety of activities and groups (in-house ministry teams along with community groups) that utilize all parts of our campus from about 7am until 8pm most days. Ministry teams such as Deacons, Feast of Love, IHN, 3C’s Preschool program, Ignite, Megablast, and more, along with community events like the Cincinnati Super Choir, Farmers Market, various support groups, Suzuki lessons, fencing, karate, NECCO, etc. ensure that no part of our campus goes unused. Postponing maintenance would not be a viable solution since it will increases costs in the future. In addition, there is little market for our north lot (and we still make use of it), and our mechanical systems are far too intertwined to consider selling any part of a building. Even renting to someone else raises tax problems without significant benefits to us. Ultimately, our campus is used, not only by covenant partners, but by people from around the community, which provides an excellent opportunity to expand our ministry reach.
The Finance, Facilities and Administration Team (FFAT) welcomes your feedback and ideas. Send your questions or concerns to firstname.lastname@example.org and FFAT will receive them. You are also always welcome to talk to anyone on that team or any session member.
As a community of believers, it is incumbent upon all of us to reach out to those within our sphere of influence and invite them into our community here at CHPC. Our prayer is that the Holy Spirit will be moving in our congregation to embolden each one of us to reach out to our neighbors, friends, colleagues, etc. Here are some of the more specific tactics in place as we focus on becoming a more welcoming community for newcomers:
Pastoral staff in concert with the Global Missions Team would decide where the 5% for global efforts would be used. We believe this will support current endeavors by CHPC missionaries. For the 5% for local efforts, the Pastoral Staff would be in discussion with the ECO Church Planting Team.