In the year 2000 St. John’s embarked on an ambitious building project which included new construction of 20,000 square feet of office, classroom, and meeting space; renovating 20,000 square feet of old office and meeting space including the parish hall; a new kitchen; a new roof for the church; a completely rebuilt organ; the enclosure of the entire city block along with landscaping; and an expanded parking lot. The Vestry and parish leaders at the time looked into the future and tried to develop a plan that would carry us for many years. Rather than doing the project piecemeal, the parish devoted itself to the entire project and the results have been even better than we ever could have expected. Had we built the complex in stages, the price would have been much higher and would have detracted from our other programs.
The total cost of this building project has been a staggering $15 million and our remaining debt currently is $350,000. For such a huge undertaking this is relatively little debt but it is now time to commit ourselves as a parish and completely retire this debt so that our focus can be more totally on the mission and outreach of our church.
One of the great successes of St. John’s is that our building has not been paid for by a few large donors but by the entire parish working together. Again, as we seek to retire our debt, we will ask each and every member of the parish to be part of the effort.
Another success of the project has been that none of the building costs have been taken out of the operating budget. Everything that has been built and all costs associated with debt have been paid for by capital campaign gifts. In order for that success to continue we must now ask for more gifts to the building fund.
Of the $350,000 that we now owe on our building, we have $150,000 in pledges. We now seek the remaining $200,000 from the parish. Our hope is that those who have not been able to participate in a capital campaign in the past, as well as those who have given generously before, will make a gift or a pledge so that our debt may be completely retired in two years, by the end of 2020.
Please begin to consider the amount you and your family could give to St. John’s so that we may be debt free. We hope that you will either be able to make a gift before the end of this calendar year or a pledge that would be paid off by the end of 2020.
We will be conducting this campaign through the end of the year or until we have received enough gifts and pledges to equal the goal. In the coming weeks, each family will receive a letter and a card to return indicating your level of support. We are grateful for all the generous support we have received thus far and for your consideration of this special request which will make our parish completely debt free.
Robert C. Wisnewski, Jr.