Recently, some of you (141 to be exact) filled out a survey to help us understand the support you have for this project. The results were helpful and meaningful – thanks! See the bottom of this post for more context on this project if you’re not sure what all this is about.
Some highlights from the survey results include:
- Estimate that together you may support this project to the tune of $425,000 in cash
- Estimate that together you may provide expense offsets to the tune of another $500,000
- The project as it is conceptualized is well supported among you, specifically these ideas:
- Additional rainy day space
- Winter space that allows campers to get and stay warm during winter program
- Ability for staff to do their jobs well, with less stress
- The continuation of the pavilion concept (rather than a traditional building)
- The possibility of a “Barn Raising” meaning, lots of opportunity for volunteer help and labor
- Support for the current leadership, vision and mission of BBC
- Diversity around the importance of “Green” construction
- Diversity around the term rustic and just how rustic BBC ought to be and remain
The cost estimate for the total project including all related expenses and fundraising for normal operations is estimated to be between $1,600,000 and $1,800,000. Bear in mind that there are many factors that go into these estimates and the project cost and the estimated revenue could change quickly depending on any of those factors.
So here we are. At a cross roads. How much faith do we put into these estimates? How big of a problem is it that there is a $700,000 discrepancy between what is needed and what might be raised?
These are extremely tough questions to answer. We know we don’t want a mortgage. We know we need to move forward with this project. We know God has done unusual things at BBC in the past.
We as a board are looking closely at whether we can overcome the perceived money gap by phasing the building from the outside-in. If this is possible in a way that is desirable, we will be able to proceed.
A little context:
For years we’ve been planning toward a more sustainable Bethany Birches (BBC). One that relies deeply on the wisdom and guidance of our gracious God. And at the same time, a Bethany Birches that doesn’t need to raise quite so much money for annual support. A BBC that understands deeply the heart of it’s ministry and is consistently able to find the right people to carry out the work of it’s mission. And this is the ongoing lesson in humility – to do this work while at the same time recognizing God as the giver and sustainer. It’s something we’ve been working out for over 47 years now.
Our planning and probing has revealed various things and sparked passionate conversation. The immediate next step in our work is replacement of our program head-quarters… the Pavi! It was the first building on site in 1966. It was added on to in 1968. The building has lived well and been used well. It’s old, broken and in many ways can’t do what we’re asking it to do. For more on the intentions of the project, see this post.