Prayer for the Transform Campaign
We rejoice and thank you for guiding our church family throughout the
process of planning for the future. We witness to the fact that you
have never left this earth and you continue to richly bless us in every
way. Our only proper response to these blessings is to surrender all
that we are and all that we have into your care. We ask that you use
our gifts of time, talent, service and finances to transform our hearts
and lives for this generation and for generations to come.
As we embark on this journey, please renew our hearts and fill us to
overflowing with your Holy Spirit. With joyful expectation we yield our
plans and desires to your will. Help us to accept and rejoice in our
flaws and imperfections, trusting that your power and light will
continue to shine through us into the lives of others. Help us to
faithfully follow you as we extend your love and grace to others,
thereby transforming the world and making disciples of Jesus Christ.
Sign up for the Transform Prayer Vigil
The Transform Prayer Vigil will begin at noon on Saturday, March 4 and have a “remote” format. Participants will pray from the comfort of their home and then text the next person on the list. It will conclude with an hour of prayer at Marion Methodist from 7-8 am on Sunday, March 5.
A Case Statement in Support of Our Plans To Build a New Church
The mission of the United Methodist Church and Marion Methodist is “to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.” Soon we will be transforming a field that has been used by farmers to harvest grain into a new church that we pray will harvest souls for the Lord. During this campaign our congregation will also be transformed as we grow from what we have been into what we will become.
Following a successful BELIEVE campaign that raised the money to pay for the land for our new ministry facility in full, the successful BUILD campaign raised initial funds for that new facility. Now we have the joy of announcing the TRANSFORM campaign that we hope will allow us to break ground and construct our new church. In many ways, you will be invited to join us in this exciting work.
Marion Methodist has always had a passion for “making disciples of Jesus Christ.” In order to help accomplish this, we’ve changed facilities at least four times in the course of our history. As a family of faith, we’ve continuously recognized that our buildings have a primary purpose: They help us do a better job of carrying out our mission to the people of Marion.
The time has now come to construct the next building on our journey. It’s the building that we’ve believed is possible. That’s the reason we purchased 27.5 acres of land six years ago at the corner of REC Drive and Highway 13 with the proceeds from our first campaign. In our second campaign we began building the fund for our new church. Now, by means of our third campaign we are hoping to transform that piece of ground into our new church—a church that will also transform our congregation and community.
The reason we’ve been talking about, dreaming about and fundraising for a new church is because our current church limits our ability to accomplish our God-given mission. Our facilities have served us well for many years, but they present some critical needs that we must address.
A Cramped Sanctuary
The size of our current sanctuary adversely affects our family of faith and our mission to the unchurched.
- Our current sanctuary of 3,000 square feet means that we have to hold four services each Sunday. We have no room to grow as a congregation without adding even more services—an impractical solution.
- We have to rush worshipers out of church in order to get the next group in. This limits opportunities for fellowship and contemplation within the sanctuary.
- On Christmas and Easter we have to have additional services to accommodate larger crowds.
- Services that are over 80% full push the unchurched away. They like to easily find a seat and remain inconspicuous.
- Our fixed pews sometimes mean that people are often crowded in beyond their comfort zone for certain services.
- Narrow aisles make it difficult for a bride and her escort to walk comfortably down the aisle and for pall bearers to carry the casket to the front of the church.
Inadequate Fellowship Space
Currently we have very little gathering space adjacent to the sanctuary to meet and greet people before and after services in order to strengthen old friendships and encourage new ones.
- We actually request that members and guests exit the space outside the sanctuary as quickly as possible to accommodate the next group of worshipers. This makes our church unwelcoming to the unchurched and guests as well as to our members who are trying to create and strengthen relationships.
- Because the fellowship hall is located in the basement, it makes it difficult for the physically challenged to be part of any gathering that meets there.
- The small size of the fellowship hall prohibits us from coming together as one body for meals and from holding large wedding, funeral or graduation receptions in one room. At times we need to seat friends of the bereaved in classrooms and even on the floor at large funeral dinners.
- While always clean, the current fellowship hall smells and looks like a hundred year-old basement.
- Our multiple entrances can be confusing for visitors and makes greeting fellow attendees difficult.
- Our restrooms are not conveniently located restrooms. And even our “accessible” restrooms don’t meet current codes and are difficult to use for those who have accessibility needs.
Inadequate Education Space
Our current educational wing has served our congregation well for many years. However, we have outgrown the space we have.
- We need more and larger classrooms and accessibility for everyone.
- We also need a conveniently located and welcoming nursery.
Lack of Parking
As we have outgrown our sanctuary and current facility, we have also outgrown our current parking lot.
- We need ample, accessible and conveniently located parking for our members and guests.
To address these needs we plan to construct a new 30,000 square foot church facility on our land in the northeast area of Marion that is experiencing growth. The new facility will be extremely welcoming and user-friendly for all who come to be uplifted by worship, fellowship and discipleship.
A Large Sanctuary for Worship
Our new plan includes a new larger sanctuary with seating for nearly 1,000 people.
- The large sanctuary will allow us to hold two Sunday services with time in between for all of our congregation members and guests to meet and mingle. This will have a unifying effect on our family of faith as we get to know each other better and encourage one another.
- It will have wide aisles for ease of movement during Sunday services, weddings and funerals.
- Individual seats will make each guest feel that they have adequate personal space and will also allow us to configure the sanctuary in multiple ways for a variety of uses.
- The sanctuary’s large chancel platform will have ample space for our worship leaders and musicians.
Ample Fellowship Space
As members and visitors arrive, all will enter the building into the same gathering space located immediately outside of the sanctuary. The main entrance will be marked by a beautiful spire with a cross and will include a drive-thru lane for drop off and pick up.
- Members and guest will be able to visit and connect before and after services without feeling rushed.
- The fellowship space will be easily accessible for all.
- This area will include a kitchen and service counter so that people can conveniently get something to eat and drink.
- A coat room, an audio/visual equipment room and conveniently located accessible restrooms will all be located here.
Larger Education Wing
Discipleship is an important part of the spiritual growth program for our church. Our new plan includes a large wing dedicated to Christian education.
- Nine classrooms for our Sunday school and mid-week classes.
- A large classroom/conference room in the middle of the suite will accommodate larger classes and meetings.
- All of the classrooms will be on one level—the same level as the fellowship space and sanctuary—so they will be readily found and easy to get to for all.
- A nursery and a toddler room complete with modern amenities will be located close to the fellowship space. These rooms will be connected to the sanctuary via audio and video so families using these rooms can be connected to the worship service.
- Additional restrooms will be located in this wing.
Plenty of Parking
Parking lots will be located in front of and behind our facility and will have 250 spaces with ample handicapped parking and walkways for safety and ease of movement.
- Landscaping in both lots will break up the “sea of concrete” look.
- The front lot provides a convenient drive-thru lane for dropping off and picking up passengers.
- No more worries about members and guests being able to find a spot to park.
- We also have plenty of land to expand parking in the future when needed.
We plan to sell our existing church as soon as a buyer emerges. As it has served us and our community well for many years, we pray that it will be used for good purposes in the future. Our offices and some programs will remain in the former Carnegie Library on 7th Avenue for the foreseeable future.
To address our needs and plans we are initiating an intensive fundraising effort titled the Transform campaign. Our aim with this important effort is to raise the funds required to build our new church.
Our “groundbreaking goal” is $3,100,000 which will enable us to secure the funds and pledges we need to break ground and begin construction.
Our “ultimate goal” is $6,300,000 which will enable us to complete the new church without lingering debt.
Levels of Support Needed to Succeed
In order to reach our financial goal(s), we will need both a substantial number of givers and a few, fairly substantial gifts.
According to estimates from our builder, here’s what your gifts at various levels will enable us to do.
Major Building Components
Education Wing $2,000,000
Narthex $ 800,000
Worship, Fellowship and Education Components
Audio/Visual System $400,000
Chancel Platform $100,000
Audio/Visual Room $ 20,000
Worship Chairs (1000) $ 700 each
Kitchen & Furnishings $200,000
Coat Room $ 10,000
Conference Room $ 50,000
Office/Administration $ 50,000
Large Nursery $ 35,000
Small Nursery $ 30,000
Classrooms (9) $ 25,000 each
Lighting & Landscaping $200,000
Spire with Cross $ 45,000
Signage $ 75,000
Handicap Parking Spaces (15) $ 10,000 each
Parking Spaces (235) $ 5,000 each
Planting of a Tree (100) $ 200 each
All members are asked to consider gifts above and beyond what they give in their regular offerings and other contributions toward this special campaign. And there is a variety of ways that gifts can be made.
Long-term subscriptions, or pledges payable over 3 years, are easier for most and essential to meeting our goal, since it would be impractical, if not impossible, to reach our objectives with one-time, out-of-pocket gifts. Gifts may be made in monthly, quarterly, semi-annual or annual installments at the donor’s discretion. A 10% initial investment toward your total pledge is encouraged.
Non-cash gifts are an additional or alternative way you can support our cause. You may wish, for example, to consider gifts “in kind” such as labor and materials; gifts of securities such as stocks and bonds; gifts of real estate such as land, homes, vacation and rental properties or even personal property such as artwork, automobiles, jewelry and antiques.
And finally, you can also choose to support our efforts through deferred gifts. These are gifts that can be given or arranged for now, but will not be received until later, and include gifts through a person's will by bequest, gifts of life insurance policies or annuities, and trust arrangements.
Whatever the gift or your method of making it, we assure you that your support is both urgently needed greatly appreciated. Through the prayerful, volunteer and financial support of many, and the extra-ordinary support of a few, we will succeed in our task.
Won’t you please join us in this exciting and essential effort to better our service to one another, to our community and to Christ?