Our Turn Update #1
If you weren’t with us in corporate worship on Sunday, I began by spending a few minutes giving a quarterly update on the progress of the “Our Turn” initiative. If you want to watch the video version of the update, we have that available for you online to watch when you get time. We are going to build quarterly updates into our natural rhythm and routine as a way for you to stay informed and track the progress of the campaign. Every update will be accompanied by a quarterly statement, which is included in this letter, for anyone who made a commitment to the campaign (some of you have likely received this before the update on Sunday, which is great). Each update will focus on two key areas of interest: giving progress and how things are developing on the construction timeline (we will also include any other noteworthy developments in these updates, so please make sure to stay informed and aware of how things are trending).
Since we’re essentially three months into the “new normal,” I’ll just spend a few moments on each topic, starting with how things are going on the giving front. The overall message I want to stress here is that we’re off to a good start. By our calculations, we need to see approximately $50,000 per month to our adjusted giving in order to meet the goal of what was pledged during the campaign. Right now we’re seeing $44,000 per month, which is obviously slightly off pace. In saying that, there are a couple of caveats that are important to consider:
- This number may be healthier than it appears when you take into account how successful our “Big Give Sunday” was in December. In other words, people may have given more up front rather than adjusting their monthly or regular patterns of giving.
- Generis has told us that we need to track data over the course of six months in order to call it a trend and really gauge how we’re doing. This means we should have a clearer picture to share with you by our next quarterly update.
One other statistic we thought would be important for you to hear is that we’ve seen 79 new giving units follow through with a financial commitment for the first time at Harris Creek. This group has already given over $70k towards the project since our “Big Give Sunday.” That is amazing and is a huge development for our church!
Overall, the message you need to hear is, “Keep it up!” We are trending in the right direction and off to a fantastic start. It’s important to realize that every additional dollar we get helps us grow our savings and puts us in a strong position with banks and helps us more effectively manage the project costs. In fact, at this moment we have $1.1 million in the bank. Obviously, we can’t use all of this for “Our Turn,” but this is leverage we need and is a positive sign. Keep up the great work!
CONSTRUCTION AND LENDING PROGRESS
Before we can talk about construction, we need to be able to secure financing in order to cover the cost of the project. The lending conversation is understandably a sensitive subject because we’re still in the process of nailing down our lender and the terms. What we can tell you is that, after meeting with eight different banks, the conversation has narrowed down to two different lending institutions. Our elders are involved in the conversation, and we plan to have this landed by the next quarterly update.
On the construction front, we have entered into a new phase with our architects and are meeting bi-weekly with them to talk through the scope of the project. There are members of the elder board and members of the congregation involved in these conversations that bring different types of expertise to the table.
Probably the biggest development on the construction front happened a few months ago when we met with a friend of Harris Creek who happens to be an expert in a unique line of work: he builds waterparks and commercial swimming pools. His daughter, son-in-law, and grandson are covenant members of Harris Creek, and he loved the concept of the outdoor baptistery/splash pad. He has offered his company’s services to design the water feature for free and has also offered to help build this portion of the project at cost. This is huge and is one of the ways we believe the gap in giving is going to be made up over the course of the project. I’ll put it another way: if a story like this—a person with a specialized skill coming to the table and offering to build something like this at cost—happened a few thousand years ago, we would be reading about it in the Bible.
Clearly God is already working in some amazing and exciting ways. This process will continue to require us to live by faith in many ways, but that grows our trust in God. It is also providing opportunities for us to rely on the gifts, talents, and skills of one another in a unique way, which can cause us to grow closer to each other, as well. All of this, I believe, if done with the right heart, will be a great testimony to the power of the Living God. Let’s keep our lives open to His Spirit and continue to ask for wisdom and provision as we continue to walk forward into this new season together.
If you missed the update on Sunday, check out the video below.