Concepts and Conversation

Dear Community Friends,

On Sunday, many of you attended our annual Potluck luncheon. The event included a review of the survey results and a discussion of redevelopment options. In an attempt to be clear and complete in our communication, here’s an overview of what was discussed with action steps to move forward.

For your reading convenience, it’s organized into four sections 1) Survey Results Summary, 2) Guiding Principles, 3) Redevelopment Concepts, and 4) Next Steps.

1. Survey Results Summary

• We had 63 responses (fyi, our membership includes 59 households and 179 individuals, including children). Awareness of our church redevelopment is high (9/10) and when asked to write one word expressing feelings of redevelopment, 25 people (40%) said excited, excitement, or exciting. Four people replied optimistic, three replied concern, and there were several unique responses ranging from scary and wary to fabulous and hopeful.

• What excites members most? 33 people (52%) responded that the opportunity for community outreach or being a community hub excites them most. Nearly 30% of respondents said the opportunity for growth and positive change excites them most.

• When asked about the top one or two concerns, 27% said cost, sustainability, and use of resources is a concern. Another 25% said dividing the congregation is a concern. Eleven participants (17%) mentioned the concern of staying aligned with our mission and God’s will. Eleven participants also mentioned the concern of losing our identity, control, or history. There were mixed concerns around moving too fast or too slow, and having too much change or not enough change.

• When asked about how we can play a bigger role in serving our community, 30% of respondents said no comment or maintain the status quo. 16 people (25%) replied using our facilities to tie into the community and 15 people recommended relationship building. Another six said listening and six others said service.

• It was hard to quantify the question about living into our mission. That said, a majority of the comments were about service, relationship building, stimulating discussion, being active, and engage with the needs of the community.

• Most members expressed an interest to be involved with an average of 7/10 involvement. Presenters expressed that the opportunities for involvement will be significant once we have a clear path forward.

2. Guiding Principles

Before moving forward, it’s important to know our mission, Micah 6:8: Do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with our God. The guiding principles listed below were formulated over several years through many formal and informal congregational discussions (particularly the “Refresh” meetings). These guiding principles will help direct our actions during the redevelopment process:

Place: Create a dynamic, interactive space for dialogue, play, and relationship

Community: Be a visible, relevant source of life for the people of Ada

Hub: Be a place that creates faithful conversations with people all over the world

Fiscal Responsibility: We will incur no added debt or burden; rather, we will seek sustainable revenue

3. Redevelopment Concepts

Please note: as you read these options, keep in mind our mission and guiheadley aerialding principles.

While the redevelopment process has been ongoing for at least ten years, more recently, an 8-member panel consisting of strategic  advisory board members, co-pastors, consistory leaders, and a special adviser have been meeting the past year exploring viable options. The following concepts were presented on Sunday. The pros and cons are not intended to be an exhaustive list, but a starting point for reflection and discussion. We are asking you to consider the impact of these options for our congregation and our community, as well as the financial impact. Pray, reflect, discuss, ask questions, and write down your thoughts, so that you are prepared to share your input after worship on Sunday, September 25.

Concept 1: Hold for Now

This concept is a “wait and see” option. By not making any moves now, we maintain control of the property and future options; plus, the value of the land might increase. The downsides are: this is not consistent with our expressed intention when we accepted the donated land (meaning, we can’t hold it for an extended period). Also, we could miss current opportunities. This option also doesn’t address existing facility issues, existing financial issues, or existing ministry needs.

Concept 2: Develop on our Own

In this scenario, we take complete ownership of any redevelopment and re-envision our land and building as we best see fit, engaging in the construction ourselves. The upside is, we maintain full control. The cons are: it would require significant focus on building (potential mission drift?); there is no current clear vision, and; we’re lacking significant capital, requiring substantial debt or fundraising.

Concept 3: Sell Headley Parcel

Two developers have approached us with an interest in purchasing approximately 0.8 acre along Headley to develop and build either housing units only or a combination of retail/commercial space and housing units. The amount of the purchase prices increases or decreases depending upon the number of units we allow them to build. The pros are: it’s a simple transaction (cash for land); it provides immediate cash to eliminate debt and fund some facility improvements. The cons are: insufficient funds to fully redevelop existing facility; likelihood of increased operating expenses going forward; no change in ongoing financial fundamentals; no change in missional fundamentals, and; it creates a 2-3 story barrier between the church and the village center.

Concept 4: Development Partnership

In this option, we form a partnership with a developer to reimagine and reconstruct the entire portion of our full 2.8 acres. It would be a “no cash” exchange. The developer would, in essence, own approximately 0.5 acre of the property (we’d maintain ownership of the remaining 2.3 acres). The developer would demolish our current building and construct: 1) a 3-story boutique hotel and restaurant, and 2) a new church/assembly area with offices and classrooms. Both buildings would have Headley street frontage. The pros: a new, efficient, flexible worship facility; little-to-no debt, and; significant perpetual income. The cons: complexities of sharing with the developer; accommodations for further growth, and; a sense of loss connected with our building.

Concept 5: Sell Entire Lot

In this alternative, we simply sell the entire 2.8 acre lot to a developer. The upside to this is it’s an easy transaction. It will also likely maximize the value of the property, and it provides us an opportunity to construct a new facility at another site. The downsides are: it would likely require an exit from the Village, and thus, a change to our mission. Also, a sense of loss of the existing building as well as location.

For visuals, click here:

4. Next Steps

In the following weeks, the congregation is being asked to pray, talk with each other and the leadership, and write down thoughts regarding these options and the redevelopment process in conjunction with our mission and guiding principles. Here are the proposed next steps going forward:

• Thursday, September 15: Consistory will meet and discuss all options, the congregational input to date, and steps moving forward.

Sunday, September 25: The congregation will meet to ask questions, engage the development options, and share input.

Tuesday, October 4: The 8 person panel will meet to pray, consider congregational input, and create a recommendation to Consistory for a redevelopment plan.

Sunday, October 9: SAB will share their recommendation with consistory. Consistory will consider the recommendation and decide whether to move it forward to the congregation or recommend other next steps.

Sunday, October 16: Consistory presents their recommendation to the congregation.

Sunday, October 23: Depending on the consistory recommendation, this date is reserved for a potential congregational vote on redevelopment.

We trust that God’s plan for this church, its people, and our community will be made clear over these next several weeks. Please pray for wisdom and a shared vision for our entire congregation, and please engage in this process. This opportunity will not come again in our lifetime. Our God can do something extraordinary as we lay aside our own agendas, seek the leading of the Holy Spirit, and keep our hearts open to God and each other.


The Strategic Advisory Board

  • Sunday Schedule

    10:00 am – Service
    Nursery - infants through age 3

    Partway through Service - Children’s Worship: Ages 4-10

    After Service – Cookies and Coffee Social Gathering