Tuesday, July 7, 2015

The Cathedral Campus Redevelopment Plan: Questions and Answers (4)

This blog, by the LLC managers and Dean Penny Bridges, is the fourth in a series of Questions and Answers about the Campus Redevelopment plan.  See all entries here.


Q. How will development affect our Mission?

A. The first step to answering this question is to remind ourselves of our Mission and Vision statements, adopted by Chapter as the first installment of the Vision for Mission strategic plan, currently under development and due to be completed in the fall of 2015.

B.  St Paul's Mission Statement, adopted by Chapter in February 2015
     Love Christ, Serve Others, Welcome All
  Our Vision Statement, adopted by Chapter 2015
St. Paul's Cathedral serves as a center of transformative love, faith, and service: an inclusive, Christ-centered community that welcomes all people on their journey of faith. 
 So the question becomes, how will the planned development empower us to love Christ, serve others, and welcome all? And, how will it facilitate our efforts to be a center of transformative love, faith, and service, inclusive and Christ-centered, welcoming all people on their journey of faith?

The Vision for Mission committee is currently engaged in articulating measurable objectives and strategic actions in the service of six functional goal areas:
  • Worship 
  • Music and the Arts 
  • Outreach and Service 
  • Cathedral for the Diocese and the City 
  • Formation 
  • Community
These goal areas were identified as we prayed over the values, hopes, and desires expressed by members of the congregation during the Dean search and in gatherings that took place in late 2014. Each goal area will have two or three objectives, each with one or more associated strategic actions. Each objective will carry an approximate annual price tag (both capital and ongoing) and have a completion date that falls within five years beginning January 1, 2016. Every objective will have been scrutinized for its consonance with our vision and mission statements.

The Vision for Mission Committee has drawn scores of Cathedral members into conversations about the objectives and actions, and you have all dreamed big dreams! At this stage, the objectives include a number of exciting innovations. Here's a partial list, showing some of the actions alongside the elements of our mission and vision that they support:
  • A weekly, non-traditional worship service, designed to appeal to those outside the current congregation. Our worship expresses our love for Christ, and this innovative service will provide an entry point for seekers and 'nones', welcoming those who might not feel comfortable in our beautiful, but traditional, Sunday morning services, and leading individuals to transformative encounters with God. 
  • A suite of dedicated classrooms for all ages,  providing expanded space to support children, youth, and adults in their journey of faith. 
  • Space set aside for artistic expression - welcoming all, offering transformative opportunities and growth of faith through the arts 
  • New and much improved bathroom facilities - a true ministry of hospitality, welcoming all, expanding our reach to those who live on the margins, and providing safe facilities for visitors and members alike, while making the most of energy-efficient technology to save water and power. 
  • ADA-compliant public spaces throughout the campus (including new elevators) - a crucial element in welcoming all regardless of ability, as well as families with young children. 
  • A series of speaker programs and discussion panels for the city - honoring the journey of faith and serving others by giving opportunity for thoughtful discussion of important issues as a city and diocese. 
  • LEED-certified facilities - expressing our love for Christ by honoring the creation and reducing energy usage. 
This list represents just a few of the actions which will require capital investment and additional office and program space. Several of them will require additional staff support. Other program initiatives will nurture small groups and coordinate pastoral care to strengthen community and ensure that all feel fully welcomed, loved, and encouraged in the journey of faith.

Our current income is sufficient for the programs and staff we currently support. The proceeds of last year's sale of the Nutmeg parcel will cover some renovation of our existing space, including new bathrooms and (one) elevator, but we cannot conjure additional space out of thin air, and the former diocesan offices will provide only a portion of what is needed, especially as the new bathroom facilities will be carved out of some of that space. Without the proceeds of the Olive parcel development, we will lack the resources to complete the renovation, provide dedicated classrooms, expand our staffing, or underwrite an outstanding guest speaker program.

The current administration building is inefficient and inadequate to our needs today, an aging structure which doesn't easily lend itself to providing the technological support we increasingly need for effective ministry. In short, without the campus redevelopment, we will not be able to fulfill our mission as the Vision for Mission has planned, and we will be constricted by the limitations of our current facility.

You may wonder if the income derived from the development proceeds will replace current pledges from members. The answer is a thundering NO! It is crucial, for the spiritual health of the congregation, that we all continue to practice generous giving as a discipline of our faith and as a strong symbol of our individual and corporate commitment to the mission of the Cathedral. Churches that depend entirely or mostly on investment income for operating costs are at great risk of spiritual decline and institutional death. The additional income (that is, interest income only) from the proposed development will supplement our giving and allow us to launch new initiatives on a declining basis over several years, so that we can gradually absorb the additional ongoing costs into our operating budget, as the congregation grows due to the expanded offerings and stronger community presence that the Vision for Mission's priorities will provide.

Love Christ, Serve Others, Welcome All: the Cathedral Campus Redevelopment Plan will provide the foundation we need to carry out this comprehensive mission in our city and our diocese.


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