Vision 20/20: Generations of Faith.
Together for the Glory of God
To our Parish Community,
Last week Bishop Perez accepted the recommendation of the Diocesan Facilities Service Committee and approved our plans to repair/renovate our church. As you know, we have been working over the past 18 months to develop a plan that both addresses the needs of our church while updating and renovating the church for the next 35-40 years.
Thanks to the generosity of so many of our members, almost $4,450,000 has been pledged for this important effort for our community. Thanks, also, to so many of our members who have promised to increase their weekly/monthly offertory and/or make use of the Building Fund envelopes.
The total cost of this project is substantially more than anticipated (from $4,600,000 to $5,447,000). We have worked hard to engage in value engineering and identifying contractors who can help bring the costs most in line to original estimates. Despite months and months of effort, we have made only modest progress. The biggest ‘factors’ in the increase in cost is the reality that this is the ‘hottest’ construction market this region has seen in many, many years; material costs are up substantially and as the engineers and estimators inspected and our existing building and performed ‘code reviews’, several items not included in the original estimate came up. The full list and details can be found on the chart in this insert.
The Vision 20/20 Team along with the Parish Finance Council have met regularly (as recently as Saturday, August 11, 2018). As a group, we concluded that we need to repair and renovate the Church as close as possible to the plan that was presented to the community and supported by so many in our parish. Working with Marous Brothers Construction, we will continue to explore ways to save costs without compromising the design or quality needed for the House of God. We also need to continue to encourage all our members to continue to support our parish community. With strong collections, fish fry, and summer festivals, along with the Capital Campaign proceeds, we believe that we will have the funds/resources needed to address the project over the next five to seven years.
Our Finance Council has secured a construction loan with Key Bank. This line of credit, along with cash on hand, will allow us to start construction in September.
This weekend you will notice that the ‘safety fence’ has gone up on the south side of the Church. While we are not ready to begin construction (no contracts signed yet), we want to begin the new school year with the traffic and parking patterns that will be needed once construction begins. We will be communicating with our entire parish as soon as we have a firm timeline for construction. The construction plan should allow us to pray and worship in the Church until December 26th of this year. We will have Mass in Hilkert Hall in January, February and March, and God-willing, walk into a repaired and renovated Church for Holy Week/Easter of 2019.
In the meantime, please let this update serve as our way of sharing good information with you and our entire community. We will continue to keep you posted as to our progress for the good of our parish community.
Please hold this important effort in your prayer. May God guide our efforts and our progress. May Saint Joseph the carpenter, inspire all of us to build up the Body of Christ – the Church – at Saint Ambrose.
As we celebrate our 60th Anniversary as a community of faith, Saint Ambrose has been, and continues to be, a special place where people of every generation and background can come to find a deeper faith in God and the joy and hope that comes in living the life of the Gospel. Our parish is alive and vibrant. We do great work for the Lord. We have every reason to rejoice and give thanks to God for all the blessings we have received and shared.
In this special anniversary year, we give thanks to God for the generations of members who have gone before us and set such a strong foundation for Saint Ambrose and our local community. We also use this moment in our history to look forward to the future. How best can we meet the needs of our community now and for generations to come?
Over the past year, our Vision 20/20 leadership team has been meeting to develop a plan that can help us address the needs of our church. It’s thirty-five years old and has been well-used and worn. There’s a long list of things that must be done… from fixing the skylights to replacing the carpet. In our discussions, we started turning to a fuller plan beyond ‘just repair’ to create a place of prayer and worship that will address our urgent needs now, while creating a place to pray and worship for generations to come.
We’ve called this effort to repair and renovate our church worship space “Generations of Faith”. Please take some time to review the information enclosed that outlines both the need, the vision/plan, and the funds needed to ensure that God’s house – the church – is in good repair and accessible to all.
As I reflected on the theme of generations, I was struck by the fact that the word generation and generous both share the same latin root – which means large hearted – to create. I would ask you to prayerfully consider how best you can support this appeal with a ‘large hearted’ gift that will create a living legacy for you and our parish community. Your support will ensure that our generations and those to follow will come to Saint Ambrose and be strengthened in all that matters most – faith, family and community.
As always, what we at Saint Ambrose do, we do …together for the glory of God.
We celebrate Generations of Faith, hope and great love for God.
Father Bob Stec
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