Before the COVID pandemic changed our lives, FLPC had determined that our congregation needed some significant capital improvements and repairs to continue and to expand our reach into the world and into the hearts of our members and guests. Session approved a Capital Campaign which was paused when COVID shut down much of our normal in 2020. In 2021, the Session moved to begin the Capital Campaign in earnest and a goal of $1,001,000 was set to address 17 identified projects. Ten percent of this goal was set aside for benevolent use.
The cost of the delay (inflation plus time lapsed) resulted in higher-than-expected costs for the capital projects. So, Session voted to prioritize the capital projects and delayed 4 of the 17 projects. In addition, in July 2022, this congregation voted to allow the Session to pursue the completion of capital projects that could leave the congregation in debt not to exceed $250,000.
All approved capital improvements were completed by SEPTEMBER 2023. The description and final cost of all of the capital projects is available here. The “Before” and “After” results are amazing.
The Session voted to invest the benevolent component of the Capital Campaign in two ways. First, they set $30,000 aside to assist in completing the renovation of the Community Room and bathrooms. That money, plus what had already been estimated, combined to provide handicap accessible bathrooms and a lovely meeting space that is given, free of charge, to many community groups and that supports the many 12-step groups that call FLPC home. The remaining $61,000 is being invested in our long-term partnership with Serve & Connect. This partnership is now called The Decker Collective: Bridging the Boulevard.
"Our mission is to promote safety in the Decker Boulevard community by building trust, strengthening connections, and increasing access to local resources."
We are working to ensure that life in and around the Decker Corridor will be and continue to become better for all of God’s children. We are privileged to invest in our community for the good of all, and to do so in a way that does not directly benefit us. We want to be and to become Good News for our own neighborhoods.
The construction projects are now complete, and our partnership is growing. But what is not complete is the payment for all of this good work. The pledges from the Capital Campaign are set to be completed by the Summer of 2024. The payment of these pledges is critical for our quest to minimize our debt. The Capital Campaign is still open for gifts. And, in addition to pledges and gifts from members and guests, the Church has received two bequests – given through planned estate gifts – that will be used to reduce the church’s debt on this capital improvement work.
In the summer of 2024, once all pledges and gifts have been received, the Session will update the congregation on the residual debt. The Session knows that the projects that were delayed have not gone away, and that a plan to address issues of aging HVAC units and carpet will be needed. We know that the upkeep of our property is important to our members, and we will continue to evaluate how best to ensure the integrity and beauty of our church facilities. And we also celebrate and are grateful for the important improvements and repairs that have been accomplished through our Capital Campaign.