“As you know, the special committee on facilities and mission has worked tirelessly for the past years discerning the best use of our facilities and dreaming and defining our mission. We overwhelmingly approved their recommendations and I am here today to introduce you to the next step in this process.
So – Welcome to A Boundless Home: Building Beyond Walls. This is the very fitting name of our capital campaign that officially kicks off today. Boundless is my new favorite word as it paints the perfect picture of what a successful campaign looks like. Free and unlimited come to mind first as a successful campaign means freeing us from the weight of unknown expenses and propels us to a state of unlimited opportunities. This campaign is not bound by my or anyone’s preferences. This campaign is beyond demolishing buildings and restoring sacred spaces. This campaign is about us together positioning ourselves to be “a community in the heart of the city called by Jesus to practice bold love of God and neighbor and boundless compassion for all people”. Friends – welcome to the next stage in this process.
As the campaign kicks off today, you will have an opportunity to pick up a packet of information as you leave today. For those not in attendance, there will be another opportunity to pick up the material on Wednesday night and also next Sunday. Any remaining undelivered packets will be mailed. Keep in mind this is one per family.
To help us track the deliveries, you have been given a bag exchange card. This will simply speed along the process of picking up a packet. Please fill out your name and address and exchange it for a packet. That card is our way of later tracking who has received the information.
This packet will include a brochure that gives a tremendous overview of the campaign. It will also serve as a keepsake when you see all the fun pictures we used. There will also be a prayer guide and a Frequently Asked Questions sheet that will help clarify any questions that you have. Of course, we are also always available to help answer any other questions you have.
There are some key dates I want to point out now. But, never fear, you don’t have to remember them all right now. You have been given a sheet that will outline the important dates to remember starting with the packet pickups this week. The next group of dates to remember is September 23-October 6 as everyone will receive an invitation to a gathering. These are small group meetings that will be a time of prayer for our church and each other, a time to gather information and time of fellowship. We hope you will make attending a gathering a priority. We will also use the 4 Sundays in October as campaign Sundays where the message will speak to this specific time in the life of our church. October 14th will be an Advance Commitment Lunch which will give you an opportunity to jump start the pledging process. And finally, we will celebrate on November 4th as commitment cards are gathered in worship. The amount raised will be announced on November 18th. First Fruits Sunday will begin the time of giving and be December 2nd.
Before I introduce the team working on the campaign, I want to share a story that is true and defining for me regarding this campaign. When Emily asked me to chair this endeavor, I said yes because I am not good at saying no. And then, I went home and wondered what I had agreed to. It must have been top of mind one night as I went to sleep as I woke up sweating and with a racing heartbeat. But, that was soon followed by a complete sense of peace and calm because this is what I dreamed. Emily didn’t ask me to chair this committee. No – it was MUCH worse. She asked me to sing Joyful Joyful We Adore Thee as a solo the following Sunday. And I said yes because I am not good at saying no. And then, I went home and wondered what I had agreed to. Sound familiar? By the way, I don’t sing alone in public as much as I wish I could. So, Sunday came, and I was worried sick about what I was going to do. The service started and the time for my solo was at hand. Jake started brilliantly playing the introduction and I walked to the microphone still wondering what I was going to do. And I just said – I can’t do this alone. I look at you and you all looked at each other. And one by one you joined me at the microphone and we sang together, and it was beautiful. I fully believe we are stronger together than we are individually and that together with God’s guidance and help we will get this done.
This dream really taught me the value of surrounding yourself with people who have strengths you don’t. So, I would like to introduce to you all the folks on the team who have been working on this campaign for months now. As I call your team, I will introduce the team leader and tell you the team mission and focus. At that time, if the team leader and all the team members will come forward as we are going to gather up front for a time of blessing the work we have done and the work yet to be.
We would be nowhere without our fearless leaders, Emily as our pastor and Ruben Swint as our campaign consultant.
The campaign managers who keep all the trains on the track are Nancy Baxley and Lee Ann Stiffler.
The Advance Commitments leader is David Smelcer who is working to get some advanced gifts to jump start the campaign.
Kelly King is leading the Major Gifts team who is working to secure some large gifts to support this project.
Kim Towles is leading the Administrative Team and she makes sure all the information gets to the right people at the right time.
We want to make sure the children and youth are a big part of this project.
Kim Wilkinson is leading the team for children and Mary Foskett is leading the team for youth.
Matt Steen and Anna Harris are leading the Communications Team.
Anything related to print was designed by this talented pair and their team.
And, I would like to call out the beautiful brochure was part of their work.
Mark and Alana Williams are planning all the Gatherings and Bob and Gayle Edwards are planning the celebration event on November 4th.
Finally, Chris and Meredith Smith are leading the Spiritual Emphasis Team which is the most important part of this project as it properly aligns our hearts and minds with the work ahead.
– Leslie Lowdermilk