Debby Bower, Project Management Posse
Our Making Room journey since last August has had many phases in just nine months. A high point was April's Special Congregational Meeting at which 342 members cast votes and over 87% authorized the Board to seek a larger property in our Jeffco search area to welcome all, grow our ministries, and engage our community. The energetic participation was wonderful and underscored JUC's commitment to our democratic principles and making decisions about our future and legacy together.
Today, I'm pleased to share an update of where the Making Room property considerations stand. In a nutshell, we're smack in the midst of the Discovery Phase, which currently features a slow onward march. While it is possible that a flurry of activity could burst forth in short order, the current reality is in keeping with early insights from our Stewardship Consultants and others: the process of finding and coordinating a new church home could be a multi-year endeavor.
Here's where we stand:
The Property Evaluation Task Force continues to consider all properties in the search area - both vacant land and existing buildings. Realistically, the option of moving into an existing building is the most ideal scenario. Building from the ground up is very expensive. There is also a distinct shortage of vacant ground in our search area that is near public transportation.
There continues to be a property of interest, the "leading contender" that was first mentioned last month at our congregational meeting. It's an existing, larger property that is a potential fit for our consideration. The owner appears interested, but movement is slow and the basic information that will help the Task Force to evaluate whether the property is worthy of serious consideration is being assembled. All details of this property are currently confidential. Meanwhile, the Task Force is keeping its eyes open for any and all other possible candidates.
So, what happens next?
If in the future this property, or any other, passes the basic muster of having an appropriate scope of financial magnitude and viable physical condition, the Task Force may recommend it for consideration to the Board.
If a property is recommended to the Board, they will evaluate it and possibly recommend it to the congregation. At such a time, you can be assured that a full strategy for the three strands of Making Room realities will be rolled out in detail for our inquiring UU minds! These include:
In this interim, quieter time before a specific property is recommended, we continue our commitment to excellent communication about the Making Room initiative. This includes our interactive Making Room website hub, updates through Weekly Connections and the monthly Ignite newsletter, and occasional tables after services in the commons. And, as always, feel free to contact any member of the ministerial team, Board, Shared Mission Team, or project management posse should you desire a specific conversation.
The year to date has been a meaningful time of building trust and enthusiasm to grow into our best selves as a faith community with a mission to deepen, connect, and engage. Thanks for your continued interest and commitment to Making Room at JUC.