Important Property Update
This is Fr. Brian writing, hoping this message finds you well! As we approach the end of an unprecedented year, I want to take the opportunity to give thanks and also provide a few exciting key updates on our future at Church of the Resurrection. You’ll find here a summary of this message with further explanation below. Please take the time to carefully read this article, as it reflects my work as well as the work of the Leadership Council and our staff to provide clarity and transparency about our Church’s exciting future.
Our vision and mission remains unchanged.
Our next step is still to sell our building and move into temporary space at the Cross Timbers YMCA.
We continue to show our building, and have received an offer on our property at 2801 Morriss Rd.
We have received an unsolicited offer on our Shady Oaks Property.
We have received an unsolicited offer for future partnership with a local organization and the opportunity to consider available land at a different location in Flower Mound.
No decisions have been made, but I, our bishop, and our Leadership Council are evaluating all options.
Let’s pray together, be patient together, and make disciples together.
We will host an Epiphany Day Evening Prayer service and Town Hall on Wednesday January 6th, where I will answer any questions you submit via email by January 4th.
I want to express my gratitude to you for being such a wonderful community to serve. The challenges of this year are weighing heavy on us all, but so many of you remain committed to pursuing a genuine relationship with God, one another, and with your neighbors.
Who knew just figuring out how to meet together on a regular basis for worship or the holidays would prove so challenging? I am encouraged by the flexibility, patience, trust, and faithfulness our congregation has modeled all year. My faith has been strengthened and challenged.
Our unity is not found in a singular view of politics, race, or even the pandemic itself. Our unity is built upon the solid foundation of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and we are tethered to the historic teachings of the church, a church whom God has commissioned to go into a decaying and dark world to be his salt and light.
The Barna Research Group is predicting that 1 in 5 churches will permanently close their doors as a result of the 2020 pandemic. Given that, I am convinced that now, more than ever, a strong and vibrant church is essential. As we move into our next phase of life together my goal is to help our church move forward in strength and unity of mission.
Mission and Property Update
What follows is a reminder of our next steps, information on some new developments, and a plan for how we’re working through it.
What Hasn’t Changed
In an ever-changing world, our mission has been delegated to us by our Lord and Savior. We exist to make disciples of Jesus Christ (Matthew 28) who are rooted, restful, and relational as we pursue communion with God, fellowship in the Church, and faithful presence in the world.
In order to fulfill this mission, we believe God has called us to get on the move as a congregation. Our current building remains for sale and we continue to receive reviews from interested parties.
In fact, we received our first offer on the 2801 Morriss Road Facility last week. This is, of course, the first in a multiple step process, but it is a very positive sign. The Cross Timbers YMCA remains committed to hosting us once we have a contract in place on our building and are ready to relocate. Regardless of comfort or familiarity, we know we have a commission from Jesus Christ which demands for us to reach out far beyond our own comfort and inner circle of friends. Our Lord commissioned us to go and make disciples.
Some New Developments
While our mission and call to relocate remains unchanged, two interesting developments have occurred since the pandemic began in March.
Our plan all along has been to eventually relocate to the Shady Oaks property. We did not have the land listed for sale, nor did we seek out a potential buyer. Nevertheless, we recently received a substantive offer on the Shady Oaks property from an investment group who wants to utilize the 10 acres to serve the youth of our community.
Secondly, as if the offer on Shady Oaks was not enough of a surprise, we were then independently approached by a local organization with an offer to consider purchasing an attractive parcel of land from them and to partner in community projects where there is alignment in mission. The organization has requested that we keep their inquiry entirely confidential for the time being.
On the one hand, I realize this is big news. It seems the Lord has given us a very unique opportunity that could impact our long term location in a very positive way. On the other hand, no final decisions have been reached and there are many moving parts that could change in the coming months.
How are we working through it?
Thankfully, we have a tremendous parish council who, alongside our Bishop and me, is helping us discern our long-term ministry location. As you can imagine, there are quite a few complexities to consider, including site development costs at Shady Oaks, new partnership opportunities in our community, capital campaign progress, costs of construction, and more. While sound financial decisions and good stewardship must factor into the process, final decisions will not be predicated upon any suggestion of a present or perceived future financial crisis. So what actions can you take?
First and foremost, let’s pray together. Please keep our council, me, and Bishop Bill in your prayers as we seek the Lord together. We will keep you informed along the way as there is news to report and restrictions on confidentiality are lifted. Proverbs 16:9 encourages us to trust in God’s sovereign care and not our own plans. It states, “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.” Pray for wisdom, humility, and courage to follow the Lord as He establishes our next steps.
Secondly, let’s stay patient in the uncertainty together. The challenges of 2020 and the discernment regarding our property are an invitation to deepen our trust in our Father’s providential care over our lives. I’m sure this news will bring about plenty of questions, questions for which there may not be clear answers at the moment. This uncertainty should cause us to lean on God’s presence and one another even more. Recall that when God first called Abraham to follow him, Abraham was not given a particular address or even a map. In the midst of uncertainty, God will deepen our trust in Him and one another as we follow his leading.
Thirdly, let’s be confident and follow the call of God. Our parish is unified in pursuing a new season of ministry where we can reach out to our community in a new way, from a new location. We are unified in the belief that God is calling us to get on the move. Now, we are asking, "Lord, speak to us. Give us discernment about the next step on the journey, and ready our hearts to move with you."
Epiphany Town Hall
Last but not least, we have planned an Epiphany Day Evening Prayer and Town Hall Service for Wednesday, January 6th from 6:30-7:30pm. We’d love for you to attend either in-person or via livestream. Register at this link to attend in person. We’d also love to hear from you if you have any questions or concerns. Please submit questions to firstname.lastname@example.org by 5pm on Monday, January 4th. This will give us an opportunity to share the information in this letter in a more personal format and respond to questions that have been submitted as best as possible.
Let’s pray together, let’s stay patient in the uncertainty together, and let’s stay confident in the call of God on Church of the Resurrection.
Blessed to be on the journey with you,
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Never rely on what you think you know. Remember the Lord in everything you do, and he will show you the right way. Never let yourself think that you are wiser than you are; simply obey the Lord and refuse to do wrong.”
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."
"'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'"