You may remember way back at the Annual Business Meeting this past January the elders communicated we are striving this year to take a hard look at what we are doing as a church, consider why we are doing and if what we are doing can be improved upon in order to more effectively serve and minister. One result of this effort was the revising of our Statement of Faith last month in order to more clearly communicate the basic tenets of the Christian Faith, to alleviate some confusion that existed, and to provide comprehensive scripture references such that the Statement of Faith would serve as a ministry tool as well. We continue to look at many aspects of our ministry here.
One area on which we are currently focused is our physical plant; our facilities and property. In order to be faithful stewards of the resources here at The Chapel, we must have a focused, deliberate plan for utilizing our buildings to meet The Chapel’s ministry priorities. The elders are in the process of determining that plan both for the immediate and long-term future. As we have communicated in the past regarding the need for the new education building, our ministry priorities are corporate worship, Christian education, and fellowship such that we want to ensure we have facilities appropriate to fulfill those functions and that our maintenance and upgrades follow those same priorities. We also have buildings that have allowed us to provide a parsonage for our pastor and his family, and we have other residential spaces that enable temporary missionary housing, etc.
To develop this working plan, we must have accurate assessments of the health of our facilities, so we have commissioned a Facilities Evaluation team chaired by Jesse Frederick. This team will assess each of the CBTS facilities so that we may gain an understanding of the health of our facilities, safety concerns that may need to be addressed, current and potential maintenance needs, etc. Jesse and others on the team may be asking others in the congregation who have particular expertise in construction, HVAC, engineering, electrical, etc to assist and we are grateful for everyone contributing to this assessment. The elders have asked for a report by the end of November in order to weigh the results and incorporate any findings into the 2022 budget and plans beyond. Of course, we will communicate these findings and their impact on the usage of our facilities as that information comes available.
We continue to assess the status of our Education Wing building project and should have updated cost estimates in the next few months. We are seeing lumber prices slowly trend toward “normal” after the recent spike as well as supply chains catching up with demand. At present, we remain approximately $1.6M shy of covering the full cost of the project. As you know, we have discussed a loan of up to $1M to allow building as soon as practical without over-burdening this congregation. We will be running numbers again regarding loans, interest rates, terms, etc and will provide that information as well. Our current permits are effective until July of next year, though there may still be room for extensions…much will depend upon coordination with the Municipality.
Another action the elders are taking of which you should be aware is obtaining a market value appraisal for The Haven property. Please do not read anything into this. We are gathering this information so that we, as a congregation, can explore together every conceivable option for either the funding or collateral toward securing funding for the new building. Many may also be aware that when The Haven was purchased in the Fall of 2006, a CBTS family, who shall remain anonymous, donated a significant sum to allow the purchase of that property. Recently, two who were members of the leadership during that time did discuss this appraisal and the reasons for it with the donor family out of respect for their gift. It was clearly communicated to them as we re-iterate now, this appraisal is only to provide information, and they do support this appraisal and exploring options. We desire to have the appraisal completed within the next two months.
This is a lot to digest, so please do not hesitate to contact any of the elders with questions you have. Remember, we are simply gathering information necessary to explore options available to us so that we can focus our ministry efforts and prioritize the properties with which we have been blessed. The elders will keep you updated as to the status of the efforts described above, and we plan to provide a comprehensive update when all of this data comes together. As always, thank you for your patience and your prayerful support.