Session Report: A New Look at "Say Yes"

Currently the funds collected for “Say Yes” total upwards of $976,000 ($639,000 on hand and the rest in pledges). We are thankful for the 160+ families who have shown their support through their pledges and contributions. Unfortunately, the total falls short of our $1,625,000 goal needed to complete all of the planned projects in the proposed timeline. 

At this point Session must consider where we go from here. We are asking questions such as: Do we delay the timeline, waiting for more funds to come in? Put a stronger push on fundraising? Consider a commercial loan? Reduce the scope of the project? Or, more drastically, stop the project completely?

One clear option is phasing the project. We currently have the funds to put aside $50,000 to help defray the cost of the co-pastor in 2018. We also can set aside $50,000 for ministry initiatives in 2018. If we were to phase the building—do the stage, sound and lighting in 2019 (fully funded), and save the lobby expansion for a future time, we would be able to move forward.

We have heard that some of you are not in favor of putting any money into the Barclay Building, feeling that all capital money should be spent on the main building. Also, based on feedback regarding proposed enhancements to the Barclay Building, it became apparent that the many benefits to Hebron’s ministry may not have been adequately articulated or understood.

For those who want to invest in the main building ,the fact is that significant funds have been and will continue to be put into maintaining and improving our main building. During  the Going Higher Campaign more than $600,000 was invested into the main building. Additional funds continue to come from the operating budget, our maintenance escrow fund (of which $40,000 to $50,000 from the operating fund is added each year), and memorial contributions.

Recent examples of main building enhancements include designated gifts and memorial funds which were used to add the new portico entrance to the Sanctuary. Projects funded from the maintenance escrow fund include new windows, remodeled youth rooms (that include a theater room, game room, and café), and soon to be finished renovated third floor bathrooms. Memorial funds were used this year to install a patio outside the youth wing, where our teens can hang out around a fire. (An open house is being planned for you to tour that area.)

These projects exist outside of the “Say Yes” initiative and will continue regardless of the future plans for Barclay.

Why should we invest in the Barclay Building? The reality is that two-thirds of our congregation worship there on Sunday morning. The space was not originally designed for worship, and the plans would go a long way to increasing the excellence of those services and better utilize the building for ministry.

If you were fortunate enough to attend the PitCare fundraising dinner theater on Friday, December 29, you certainly enjoyed a great show and a wonderful dinner. The talented group of young people from Grace Presbyterian Church of Dalton, Georgia, made their presence known with songs, skits, and an engaging “who done it.” Although a great event, the deficits of our current stage, sound, and lighting were clearly evident:  the stage was cramped and squeaked, the actors had to wade through cables and speakers, and the sound and lighting were decidedly poor. Every Sunday morning the need is on display, but that night vividly reinforced it.

Use of the space is limited right now, and the stage could provide (in addition to enhancing worship) many more opportunities for its use—concerts, dinners, gym space—maybe even some uses we haven’t thought of.

Come to the Congregational Meeting on February 25 to hear more from Session about Say Yes plans. There will be an opportunity at that meeting for you to have all of your questions addressed by Session members.

Additionally, at that meeting the congregation will be voting to establish a Pulpit Nominating Committee (PNC) to immediately undertake a national co-pastor search. Already several candidates have identified themselves; and by March we fully expect the PNC to have begun reviewing personnel information forms and screening candidates. Regardless of capital plans, our hope is to have a co-pastor on staff by Fall of this year.

So, join us on February 25 for a time of fellowship, a great lunch of pizza, hot dogs, and fries from the “O”, and an opportunity to have all of your questions answered. Kids are welcome!