My hope and prayer is that there was much Joy and Peace in your Christmas celebrations.
Remember, the Christmas season continues until the baptism of our Lord, the week after the Epiphany.
As we begin this New Year, Christ the King is blessed to be marked as a stand-alone parish effective January 28th. This is a great opportunity for our parish family, but with any change there are many questions and concerns, and I thank you for sending in your surveys expressing this. 98%, of the replies have been very positive concerning the future investing in our facilities, and we have received over $22,000 thus far, which has been deposited into our savings account. Although I cannot directly address each and every concern, following are the most commonly expressed concerns and our response.
From the surveys, the number one concern voiced is after investing in and building a new rectory, what happens if the decision is made not to have a full-time priest in the future? This is a valid concern, but it is something that could happen at any parish. If we choose to not invest in the future of our parish, we are sending a strong message to the bishop that we, the parish community, feel we are not ready to have a resident priest and are unsure if we can support ourselves. My friends, there are stand alone parishes smaller than Christ the King that are flourishing, and I am confidant, from the support already demonstrated, we will and can flourish as well. If for some reason this happens in the future, we will have a building that has offices for the secretary and for a priest to meet with parishioners; a rectory for the priest to stay at on weekends and Holy Days; a maintenance shop as things are always needing repairs in any parish; as well as storage for parish records, Christmas decorations, Vacation Bible Week supplies, and any other materials we don’t have room for now, all of which we do not have now except for the secretary office.
The next most common concern was slowing down the process and renting while we do more research. The councils have researched many options, including remodeling of the current rectory. To bring the office up to code, which would be required, would include a complete removal of the sub floor, a handicap entrance, a handicap accessible bathroom, construction of an office for the pastor in addition to other requirements. In addition, it would result in a total rebuild on a small lot not allowing for a garage. The estimates to go this route is only about $10,000 less than building on a bigger lot with the facilities we need, and does not include any unknowns that may come up during remodeling. Renting would also mean paying someone else while we try to raise money for our own building project. This is a minimum of $500 a month going up to $750. If we do not build this year, we are looking at 16 months to complete the project, which is $8000 to $12,000 going to rent which we will not recoup.
Using the Seaton center as an option for offices was considered as well. The main issue with this is space. Although the Seaton center is a large building, its primary function is for the students of our parish, and will continue to house our DRE, Deb Mlsna. There may be room for the secretary but not room for a pastor’s office or all the files we are required to keep for the diocesan records.
Lastly, there is a question about why we are only counting on 200 contributors when we have 300 families. Out of our 300 families, we currently have 200 active envelope users. We are not intentionally excluding any members of our parish family, but experience throughout the diocese tells us that those actively using envelops or ACH donations are more likely to participate in a capital campaign. All parish members have received the survey and the invitation to join in this opportunity to build and strengthen our parish. If an individual is not financially able to make a commitment at this time, we ask for prayers for our parish, for without a strong spiritual foundation, no amount of physical structure will provide for the needs of God’s people. We simply used the 200 active families as a means to make an estimate as accurately as we are able, without engaging an outside campaign manager, which we do not feel would be a good investment of parish funds. If more than 200 respond, we will meet our goal much quicker, and will rebuild our emergency fund account in a timelier manner.
Moving forward, we have received 6 bids from contractors, all very competitive with each other. This has given us confidence that we are not over-extending ourselves. The plans also include selling the current office/ rectory, but with a first refusal clause to purchase back the property if the situation presents itself at a later date.
It is my prayer that a majority of our parish family sees this as the opportunity it is. Although there are no guarantees, together we can become the parish envisioned by the founders of Christ the King. I’m very excited in becoming your new pastor and look forward to many years of working together and serving you.
Please feel free to reach out should you have any questions,