Last Sunday members of the Posse, Board of Trustees, and staff held two Answer-Your-Questions sessions at JUC. Here are some of the highlights.
With the sanctuary so much bigger at LCN, will we have one Sunday service or two? (and related question, what are we doing about the size of our membership?)
Current thinking is to hold one Sunday service, at least at the beginning. It’d be such a nice change to fit us all into one service, and for parents to not have to juggle different ages of children into different time slots. Having one service would also allow for other Sunday morning programming that we don’t have the space for now, such as adult Religious Education, study groups, workshops and the like. AND the 9 o’clockers wouldn’t have to leave to make room for the 11 o’clockers in the parking lot -- because there’d be just one service.
We do envision growth in membership as more people discover us. For example, having the space to be a social justice convener will mean hosting more events/meetings/forums that are open to the community. “Isn’t this a cool place?” we imagine people thinking, “maybe I should come back Sunday and check it out…” We will undoubtedly be partnering with neighborhood organizations and working on friendly ways to introduce ourselves to the neighbors and learn more about the neighborhood. In other words, we’ll be intentionally working on community outreach, and we welcome ideas for ways to do that well. How much will we grow? How fast? No one can say, but we are certain it will happen.
There will undoubtedly come a time when our membership requires two Sunday services again.
As growing churches have long known – and as we know very well at JUC – church membership plateaus when visitors perceive that the church is full. And what’s perceived as full? Church growth experts say it’s actually when the sanctuary is 80% full. And it’s absolutely perceived as full when there’s not enough parking. We are living proof of this ourselves. When we remodeled the Religious Education spaces and added the chapel, we immediately saw a surge in growth. We’ve been in the 800-ish member range for years now, and as Board President Paula Reed put it at Sunday’s Q&A, “I absolutely believe the only reason we’ve been plateaued is we’ve run out of space.”
How could we use the gym?
Ideas are plentiful: a bad weather shelter, recreation for adults and kids, conferences/events/dinners, rentals, the craft faire, and fun!
What will we take to the new location?
Pretty much everything that isn’t nailed down! As attorney/board member Case Collard explained, it’s much like a residential real estate transaction. Items that are built in or attached stay, everything else can be moved. One exception – we have told LCN that we plan to remove and take the chalice stained glass window at the end of the RE wing. We will likely leave behind the sanctuary/chapel chairs.
When would we move?
If the congregation votes yes on Sunday, May 17 (a congregational meeting will take place at 3 p.m. at LCN), we’d probably move in late July. We would hire movers for most things.
What’s the operating budget for the new space?
Business Administrator Carol Wilsey and other key staff are working on this. We know many line items already, but need to see LCN’s recent history of maintenance and utility costs to plug in some final numbers. Our contract is nearly finalized, so this should happen soon. A Financial Update will be held on Sunday, April 19 at noon.
Has LCN approved the swap/purchase?
Yes, they’re just waiting for us.
Have more questions? Check out the FAQs on the Making Room website, and seek out Board members, staff or Posse members to dig a little deeper.