Congregational Vote on Building Improvements

All Pilgrims’s Coordinating Council has voted to recommend an initial phase in building improvements, following two years of congregational planning and discernment.  Its recommendation will be offered for approval during the Congregational Meeting taking place June 9, following the worship service.  The congregation will also vote on a slate of officers and Council members for the upcoming year.

A priority to “enlarge or improve the physical facilities of the church to expand or enhance our ministries,” was among the top three priorities expressed through our recent congregational survey.

Through the survey, 78.5% agreed or strongly agreed that our location on Broadway is “central to our identity and call.”  When you add in those who “tend to agree,” the number goes to 92.45%.  As a result, the Council and the Building Vision committee members have identified an initial phase of building improvements that the congregation will be asked to approve on June 9.

The first round of changes to our buildings and grounds includes landscaping to improve the appearance of both the church entrance and the greenspace, a new roof and repairs to existing water-damage, work to improve the safety of the building during earthquakes, and some interior improvements in the way of more attractive signage, paint and carpet.  The total estimated cost of these improvements, $1 million, will be paid for out of the Church Development Fund.  The Council also voted to continue research on a new heating system, with the desire to replace the boiler system within the next three years.

In order to make this recommendation to the congregation, the Council retained the services of Amy Zimerman, a financial consultant, to model financial scenarios concerning the impact of using our invested assets (including the Church Development Fund) to pay for the improvements.  The Church Development Fund was created from the proceeds of the sale of First Christian Church land at the time that First Christian and Pilgrim Congregational merged to become All Pilgrims.  It was set aside by the Council specifically to pay for improvements to our current building to support the life and ministry of the merged church.

The financial contributions of our members (pledges and plate giving) cover about half of our expenses every year.  The balance of the budget is taken from the proceeds of our invested assets, including the CDF.  The Council sought to determine the impact of drawing down the value of the CDF on our ability to make up the difference between giving and expenses.

Ms. Zimerman’s scenario analysis showed that at current rates of church growth (12%) and with modest increase in average giving plus projected additional rental income we can afford to make the proposed improvements.  This will draw down our invested assets significantly, but projected increases in giving and rental income will allow APCC to turn a financial corner in as little as five years and begin rebuilding its financial reserves.

This requires a more intentional outreach to develop rental income, in addition to increased contributions from members.  The improvements to the building will make it more attractive for weddings, events, and meetings.  Eventual replacement of the boiler system will also enable currently unused or underutilized spaces of the church  — such as Lewis Hall and the Chalice Offices (on the second floor) to be made available to mission-aligned non-profit tenants.

Although the congregational vote approves a dollar amount for landscaping, a final design for landscaping has not yet been created.  Following a series of meetings during which ideas for the landscaping were explored, the architects presented a solution whose cost of implementation far exceeded the budgeted amount.   Members of the Building Vision committee are working to find a solution and hope to have a final design for congregational review soon.

Subject to the congregational vote to approve expenditures for the landscaping and the roof/seismic work on June 9, it is hoped that these two projects will be completed in 2013.

The PowerPoint presentation of Amy Zimerman’s analysis can be found here.

For additional information, please contact Kathleen Hosfeld, hosfeldk@seattleu.edu

 

Proposed Slate of Officers and Council Members

Moderator – Bob Thompson

Vice Moderator – Theresa Hohman

Secretary – Vince Larkin

Treasurer – Jared Chase

Member At-Large – Bonnie Baker

 

Building and Grounds – Ray Nutter

Christian Education/Spiritual Formation – Kathleen Hosfeld

Endowments – Norm Wells

Finance – Jay Johnson

Growing our Church – James Currin

Hospitality – Twila Meeks

Mission & Outreach – Kathy Dawson

Personnel – Vince Larkin

Stewardship – Paul Chiocco