All in. I love the name for our upcoming three-year capital investment appeal! It makes me think of disciples leaving their nets to follow Jesus, signifying they were “all in,” holding nothing back. It makes me think of what happens when all of our folks unite around a common mission or effort and we can say that we are “all in.” Simple. Decisive. Bold. Depending on how you use it, “all in” signifies hospitality, community, and/or commitment. I say “all of the above”!
Six years ago, we began a series of capital appeals to raise funds for the improvement and upgrades of our facility while also raising funds for outreach. Six years ago, the building focus was on the sanctuary and its technology, which after 20 years had become dated and worn. It was a huge step that made the space more attractive and functional, and embraced the advances made in sound, lights and video. Three years ago, we set out to expand our hospitality by replacing and improving access to our parking and create new restrooms just off the atrium. The new layout allowed us to create a lock-down facility for our preschool. You spoke, and we listened, upgrading our website and database technologies with increased content and capacities, as well as ease of navigation. All of these projects required funding far beyond that which would have been available from the operations and program budget. In addition, dating back almost 30 years now, Mount Calvary has always designated a portion of capital appeals to ministries outside of our congregation. In the last six years, we have been able to partner in projects to build a teaching hospital in Nigeria, bring clean water to thousands in Haiti, support Public Safety Ministry’s outreach to our police community, and help Luther Park camp build the first stage of a long-desired retreat center for adults and families.
These next three years we will be focusing on our larger group gathering spaces, especially the atrium, to improve them functionally, acoustically, and visually. We will continue addressing the technology upgrades needed and do some refreshing of other spaces around the building. Our 50,000 square foot building is key to our grace-filled worship, programming, community service and inclusive hospitality. On a typical week, easily 4000 people come through our doors. Many are not part of our faith community, but count on us for a place to gather, learn, and serve. Our plan is to focus on a different portion of the building every three years to keep it functional, welcoming and fresh. We will also continue to designate and invest one-third of all funds raised towards benevolence outside our walls. For this appeal, rather than special projects, we are focusing the funds on our benevolence partners including Lutheran Social Services, Rezek House, Many Hands Many Meals, the Minneapolis Synod, and Gethsemane in the Camden neighborhood. While we are investing in our facility, we also believe our calling is to invest in ministries outside of our congregation locally and globally. It’s who we are.
In the next weeks and over the next three years, our goal is to have us all in. You are invited to make a pledge, a gift, or both. We only ask that you consider prayerfully and faithfully what you are capable and willing to do and let us know. It has been a great source of satisfaction to see and hear how Mount Calvary and community folks have made use of and responded to our last six years of improvements. I expect to hear more of the same for what we are investing in next and seeing the fruit of being all in.