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Stewardship

Stewardship & Capital Campaign News for March 2019

March Stewardship Newsletter article

 

 

Fellow Congregants,

As I write this article, we have reached a critical road sign on our path to “We Are Building A New Way.” On Sunday, February 17, we officially kicked off our capital campaign. Over 200 of you were in attendance. For those of you who were unable to be present, you missed an epic All Souls event planned by Liz Spurr and Sher Lofgren. The construction theme included hard hats, neon yellow work vests, dump truck table decorations, and work zone tape. There was plentiful and delicious food, some catered and some made by volunteers and a wonderful dessert made by You Take the Cake with our logo and slogan on the top. A special treat on Music Sunday was an inspiring rendition of “Building A New Way” with new lyrics about our capital campaign written by Danny Spurr who was accompanied by Paul Carolan, Dason Avery, and Miss Joanna Spurr in a stirring performance.

 

By the time you read this article, you will have received a call from one of our forty- two congregants who volunteered and who were trained to be visiting stewards. Perhaps you have already had a conversation with the steward paired with your household and you have given your financial commitment form to him or her in an envelope given to you. The response thus far is very exciting. To date, forty-five households have pledged $573,308!  Sunday, March 31 is our deadline for completing all stewardship visits and collecting all financial commitment forms.
 

Heidi Toala has lent her artistic and technological skills to the campaign by creating a large visual that will help us track our progress week by week. Look for it opposite the Nash classroom. A brick path leads to the architect’s most recent rendering of our expansion project. Each brick represents an All Souls household. There are 175. As financial commitments come in, Rev. Carolyn will write the family’s name on a brick. This will track our congregational individual and collective commitment to our project. To the left of the brick walkway, you will see a tape measure meandering its way to our new entrance. Yellow will be used to track our financial progress – our goal is $1.4 million.
 

On Music Sunday, Rev. Carolyn reminded us that each gift, large or small, is joyfully received as an expression of our connection to our faith community and its mission. Each gift brings us closer to building a space large enough to accommodate all the activities that make it possible for us to fulfill our goals and aspirations. This campaign really matters to the future of All Souls, we, individually and collectively have a responsibility to make this project a reality.

 

Henrietta Mountz
Stewardship Chair

 

Click here for a link to our financial commitment form.

 

Stewardship News - January 2019

Because so many members and friends of All Souls have joined us since our last capital campaign approximately 12 years ago (which made possible moving from our former church home on Huntington Street to our current Jay Street setting), many of us are new to the several moving parts involved in a building project as it evolves from conception to reality. So, in the next couple of paragraphs, I thought it would be helpful for both long-time as well as more recent additions to All Souls to recount how the various pieces or phases of the capital campaign, final program design, financing, and construction -- fit together.

The first step, program design, was initially completed a couple of years ago by architect Dan Glynn based on feedback, findings, and recommendations from the congregation. We outlined for him what we thought were the major shortcomings, expected needs, and future aspirations for our building. Dan, in turn, translated our feedback into an initial program design. Conceptual-level drawings, a video, and a miniature model were produced to illustrate the proposed scope of work: in short, “the project”. This past summer, that 2015 program design was updated to reflect recent developments at All Souls including changes in our staffing, our vote to become a Sanctuary Congregation, the need to secure more appropriate space for our youth, and our desire to incorporate “green” principles in the eventual design and construction.

As I write this column, the next step, cost estimation by a professional cost estimator, is nearing completion. We know what we would like to accomplish, and we know what the estimated cost was in 2015, but it is essential to update those estimates to account for changes since then in the cost of construction materials, labor costs, and any new regulations. Suffice to say, without having good data about the true cost of the proposed project, it would not be possible to continue to the next step, financial feasibility.

To determine whether the proposed project or program design is feasible, we have hired an experienced consultant, Barry Finkelstein, to conduct a financial feasibility study. In January, Barry will interview a cross section of 32 Souls to gauge their respective levels of understanding of and support for the program design. Based on the results of these confidential interviews -- and his experience working with dozens of UU congregations -- Barry will extrapolate from this sample how much the congregation is likely to raise in additional fi-nancial commitments over a 3-year period to realize the proposed project. If the results of the financial feasibility study – are reasonably within range of the updated cost estimates for the proposed project, then we will move into the capital campaign. If the feasibility study suggests we will fall short of the latest estimated project cost, then we will return to the Congregation with potential modifications to the initial scope of work. To state the obvious, our financial capacity, cost estimation, and the project design must be closely aligned before we undertake the next phase, the capital campaign. During the capital campaign, visiting stewards – fellow Souls – will meet one on one with other UU members and friends to learn of our collective willingness to commit the financial resources required to realize the proposed project (modified or reaffirmed, depending on the results of the feasibility study).

At the end of the capital campaign, we will once again take stock to examine the results of the feasibility study in relation to the findings of the visiting stewards. Do they closely match? If yes, then construction-level drawings will be readied, interim (also known as construction) financing will be arranged, and a temporary location for All Souls during the estimated 6-8 months of construction will be secured. If there’s a discrepancy between the feasibility study and actual commitments secured during the capital campaign, we will again return to the program design and adjust, as needed, before going forward with generating construction-level drawings and securing construction financing. It’s worth mentioning that as with approving the program design, any long-term borrowing will also require an affirmative vote of the congregation before proceeding further.

Beginning the renovation of and addition to our Jay Street building (and relocating to a temporary facility during construction), is the final step in this iterative process.

Here at All Souls, we celebrate the cycles of our congregation’s life. We celebrate those who have come before us and who did the hard work of laying the groundwork to make this a welcoming, vital congregation that has an impact on our community and our world.

Here at All Souls we practice the art of community where each person’s gifts of time, talent and treasure are important and essential and cherished.

Here at All Souls we find a way to support not only those who are here now but also those who will be here tomorrow.

Here at All Souls we plan for tomorrow because tomorrow is as important as today.

Here at All Souls Sunday attendance is robust, Sunday School classrooms are full, and we have programs and community engagement in all directions.  

Here at All Souls we are linked together you and I, to All Souls’ past, to its present and to its future.

Questions? Tom Lescoe at tlescoe@hotmail.com or 413-824-7688 or Henrietta Mountz at henrietta68@comcast.net or 860-339-5178

In faith, Your Stewardship Team