Feeling the end of a long journey
Last October I was chosen as a part of a team/ committee to work on the relocation of the church that I serve. We are a newly chartered Presbyterian Church that had been sharing facility space at Westminster Presbyterian in Port Hueneme for the past four years. Our leadership felt the call to move on, but it raised a question of how and where. In the early days of meetings there were so many questions that were raised. Those were from whether to attempt to purchase property or lease, how do we afford it or can we, what the vision of our church was, and what did Word of Life look like five or ten years down the road. Were we looking for the status quo or were we to do something more. There were more than a few disagreements among the committee members on what direction we were to take. By December we finally brought about a vision to our leadership and we started to narrow down the steps in which we are to take.It all started by launching a Capital Campaign, something that has never been attempted in our church. While some churches look for hundreds of thousands in these drives, we were looking much smaller. We were looking for forty to fifty thousand dollars with definite hopes for much more. In looking at these numbers we had to take into consideration who our congregation is. There is not much if any extra income for the majority of our families. There is no such thing as disposable income. Most of our congregation fights week in and week out to pay their bills, and we as a church had to honor that. There was no way that we were going to ask our members to sacrifice their own rent or food for the sake of a new facility. It needed to be approached in a much different way. “Building God’s Legacy” was a mantra that we took from another drive put together by a church in South Carolina that we found on the Internet. Asking our members to sacrificially give what they could to being a part of God’s Legacy in Oxnard is what we did. For some it could be a thousand and others a couple of dollars, and we made sure that each was honored the same way. A dinner was done and we invited fellow churches from the Presbytery to come and share in what God has done through Word of Life and what we as a congregation saw it going into the future.Now armed with pledges and money from the Walton Grant our group was now charged with finding a new facility. Through this searching process we have learned more about church, city, and business bureaucracy than I could ever image. We have run into potential owners of property that have been shady (to say the least) and into a city political system that makes me wonder how we even operate sometimes (now I know how to vote in November). Needless to say we are on the verge. We hope to announce to our congregation in the next couple of week the launch date at our new facility. All the permits that are required, prayerfully are getting taken care of. Now to move to the next phase…getting it up and operational.These past ten months has been a learning experience that I am glad that I traveled with some good friends. Sometimes I wanted to throw my hands in the air and give up, others sitting a wanting to strangle somebody, and others of sheer victory. We can see how God has led us to where we are. Stay tuned for launch day information.Coming to a theater near you…. WORD OF LIFE PRESBYTERIAN. Oh yeah.