10/14 - There is No Fluff

Dear Hope Friends,
As we've started the campaign to Open the Doors FOR GOOD, I've received great questions. One of them is: "In the 130K we need to raise, how much is fluff?" I wish this answer was different, but none of it is fluff.

Some of you might remember our charge conference, where we had learned that code would require a firewall (keeps fire at bay for 90 minutes) for this building, and it would cost about 35K. That is still true. And then we needed to add a fireproof door, that price tag is almost 7K. And then inspectors reflected on every aspect of the building. The doors in the front require change, the doors in the back need direct acess (currently you have to walk through storage area), the shower has to be completely removed or it kicks up a whole different set of codes, and the list goes on. In some cases, when you remove a wall to get direct access to a door, it causes a redirect of HVAC or electricity, etc. etc. etc.

Our building and location team has gone through the list with the contractor with a fine tooth comb multiple times to remove as much as possible. Our contractor has been deeply understanding. And if you have done any construction since 2021, you know that costs of materials have skyrocketed.

130K gets us the occupancy permit to open the doors. That's it. No kitchen, no new furniture, nothing fancy. It literally allows us to open the doors. Unless we get this completed, we will not be allowed by the city to open the doors.

These required codes are what our current landlord was facing, and why we are completely evicted by October 31st. These codes would have been required if we had leased a different space. These are the codes that went into effect in 2020 for occupancy for churches.

Is there any good news!? Yes, of course there is, our name is hope after all!! The contractor has let us do almost all of the demo work, saving us thousands of dollars. We were able to secure a loan through our conference to purchase this building - we are building equity AND our mortgage payment is $1200 less/month than our rent in this space was.

How are we going to get to 130K? The short answer is, I don't know, but this is requiring a deep amount of faith for me, and for you.

The longer answer: I think our congregation is capable of giving $65,000. We have recieved a pledge of $10,000 and multiple for $2500. With several additional higher gifts, and then a a whole bunch of gifts in the $100-500 range, we've got it! YOU are needed. As I say this, I fully recognize that for some a $100 gift will be deeply sacrificial on a daily basis, while a $5000 gift might be a unplanned dip in savings for another person. This will take every single one of us.

This leaves $65,000 to raise beyond our church. It is my goal to talk to at least two people/day about this campaign through the end of the year. Some will say "no thank you", but some will give. No one is safe around me right now -- I asked Ian Wilke's Dad for a donation while Ian was still in a hospital bed after observation from a car crash (Ian walked away - it is a miracle!)

If you have someone you would like to me to talk to, let me know! My parents and Ryan's parents have already pledged 🙂 Danii Greene, one of the LGBTQ+ youth Hope mentored, who is now a college grad and part-time in a church while in seminary changed their budget for three months in order find the wiggle room to give $60. THAT brought me to tears.
In It With You, Jennie

Thanks for Sharing the FB post
It has been shared over 50 times!
I know our congregation is in this, because the facebook post asking for money has been shared over 50 times. It really made me realize the team work in this! Thank you!
Those shares resulted in about $1900 from 20 different people. That is so inspiring!! I am really grateful for this!
To get to $65,000 via social media, it would take 1700 different people sharing. That might not be realistic 🙂
If you have a friend you were hoping would see the post and give, I'd encourage you to send an email or DM, if you are comfortable. The message can be as simple as "the church I attend is being evicted from our leased space, and we need to raise over $100,000 quickly to get into a new space. Of course, we have an in-house congregational campaign, with a young congregation. I thought of you as someone who might be interested in adding to this campaign. I know your passion for supporting LGBTQ+ youth (or whatever their passion), a passion our church shares". It is fine for the friend to say "no thank you" or even ignore the message. But maybe they won't!

Stick Around Tomorrow After Worship for an Info Session!
Hosted by Tanner Lack and Bryan Hinman
Tomorrow right after worship, we'll meet in the sanctuary for a informational session about this campaign. Tanner and Bryan are our co-chairs, both young professionals, both in rented apartments, one back in college. They have every reason to say, "Someone with more resources needs to give." And yet they share vulnerably what this church means to them, and why they are giving to this campaign.

Worship, Prayer and Bible Study Too!
It would be so difficult for all of us, if the only thing we talked about right now is generosity and giving.
We are emphasizes the foundational basics in our congregation, too.
Prayer: We have started a 28 Prayer Journal for everyone in the congregation. Today is Day 6 in Dynamite Prayer. If you have not received a book, either at church or through the mail, please let me know and we will get you one. We would like everyone to participate! It has been very powerful for me personally.
In addition, there is a team of people gathering to pray midweek and before worship. Please let us know if you would like to be part of that.
Bible Study: Monday's at 6pm I am leading a Bible Study. 10/16 and 10/23 it will be at the current church. Our next location is TBD!
Worship: Now is the time to gather as a community. For some it might be sense of belonging, for others it is the music, and still others it is a time to be reminded of our faith and a loving God

Watch for Info about Moving!
While we knew we needed to discontinue worship as of Sunday October 29th - our final day of worship at 1304 - we thought we could store our possessions here until our building was ready. We just learned that we need to be entirely out of this building by October 31st. Please watch for information about moving.
Likely on Sunday, October 29th, there will be moving truck outside and you'll be invited to put your worship chair in it! On Monday October 30th, Ryan (my spouse) and Anish (our tech leader) will be at the church all day to tear down the stage and all of the technology. Reply if you are able to be part of that.

One Service on Sunday October 29th - 10am
Our final service of worship at 1304 E. Empire will be together at 10am! We'll celebrate how far we've come with our campaign and celebrate all the goodness that has occurred in this space as we say goodbye.

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