Dear Hope Church Family,
We have heard a common refrain over these past 20 months of pandemic – both on our lips and those of our community: many feel stuck in a holding pattern. We hesitate to look too far ahead, let alone make plans, because of the inevitable disappointment that ensues from tweaks or cancellations. We plug along in maintenance mode intent on knocking down the next domino yet not free to dream much or reach beyond our current grasp. We wonder, “How do we overcome the inertia?” The abiding encouragement is that God is not in a holding pattern. He is at work!
Today, we are eager to announce one thrilling way God’s mission is advancing at Hope: the construction of an outdoor pavilion and covered fire pit on our campus!
This project combines and builds upon 2 keys from the pandemic. First, the outdoor service was a key to forward progress in our worship. Many of us enjoyed a renewed sense of friendship and connection with one another as we unfolded our lawn chairs or picnic blankets and worshiped together. Yes, guitars fell over and wind-blown donuts were tragically lost. Yes, shade was at a premium when it was blazing hot and the sun was in demand when it was bitter cold, but through it all the Lord grew us together as a community through the outdoor service. The second key is your incredible generosity, particularly in a season which has caused financial strain for many both within and outside of our congregation. Our giving remained so steady throughout the past year that without interruption we have continued to fund our own ministry initiatives while also remaining faithful to the commitments we have made to ministries and missionaries around the world.
Both of those tangible evidences of God’s work come together as we now pursue this exciting opportunity. Earlier this year a family within our congregation (who wishes to remain anonymous) approached the Session with a desire to donate a matching gift of up to $250,000 towards the construction of an outdoor pavilion to bless and further the mission of Hope Church. What a remarkable gift! In response to this gracious proposal, we contacted Jeff Gibbons, who designed our existing worship hall and education building, to begin drafting plans for the pavilion. After presenting those plans to the Session, we have voted to move forward with this exciting project!
Three motivations animate our decision to move forward with this unique opportunity:
- Making room for relationship: One of the most pressing needs for our congregation and our community is a place for connection, fellowship, and hospitality. This functional, beautiful pavilion will provide a space for gatherings, meals, and services. We are envisioning congregational picnics, VBS, RUF gatherings for Wake and WSSU, Young Life clubs, Vespers services, Summer concerts, weddings, and these only scratch the surface of possibility.
- Growing in Stewardship and Development: Rather than allow inertia to keep us stuck, this project allows Hope to move forward in stewardship of our campus and to develop aspects of the Master Site plan envisioned by and entrusted to us from the earliest members of Hope. The anonymous gift which was a catalyst for this project will hopefully inspire generosity for us all.
- Unifying in Mission: With so much splintered connection over the course of the pandemic, we can often feel that there is little we can accomplish together as a church. This project can galvanize us in ministry.
- Pray – As dearly loved children of God, let’s give thanks for, beg his guidance upon, and ask for his blessing with this project. Let’s ask God for wisdom and creativity in the ways we can use this space for the good of the church and the good of the community.
- Give – The total cost of the proposed project is $650,000. The Session unanimously approved to match the anonymous gift out of our healthy reserve account, and those combined resources account for $500,000 of the work. The balance for the project would be approximately $150,000. Our goal is to raise $150,000 to complete the pavilion and the covered fire pit. Ideally we would raise or have pledged the entire $150,000 by the end of January and before we break ground. Please consider how you can unify in mission with others at Hope and together make room for more!
- Serve – We need a team of folks to oversee the project, to consider how to furnish the space, and to communicate with the congregation about the progress of the project. This team will help us make the space uniquely Hope’s and uniquely equipped for offering hospitality to our community. Consider being a part of the team.
The timeline for both structures is 18 weeks once ground is broken. That means by as early as late May we could be enjoying the finished project!
Along with this message please access some of Jeff Gibbons’ renderings of the proposed project. We hope that they will begin to give you a glimpse of the beauty, function, and possibility of the project. We also hope to display some of the plans and renderings in the Worship Hall beginning this Sunday.
In response to God’s grace and his provision of this opportunity, we invite you to make a gift now to the Hope Church Building Fund. You may give directly to this project as you would to the General or Mercy funds. Please denote “Building Fund” so that we know which account to credit with your gift. There is a link below to give online or you may visit hopechurchws.org/giving for a complete list of ways to give.
Proverbs 16:9 reminds us, “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” We are not in a holding pattern. We have agency as God’s image bearers. We also have God’s sovereign care, grace, and provision. Let’s move forward with anticipation of God’s care and follow where he leads by his grace.
Grace and peace,
David Speakman and Davis Mooney, on behalf of the Session