Property Update Q&A
Updated: Jun 1
The following document includes an excerpt from our recent Epiphany Evening Prayer and Town Hall Service along with an updated set of questions and answers submitted by our parish. If you haven’t yet watched the town hall discussion, you can find it here. We encourage you to continue to submit questions to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. This blog post will be updated regularly to include new questions and answers below as they are submitted. (Please scroll to bottom of the list for most current questions and answers.)
Town Hall Update
While our mission and call to relocate remains unchanged, two other interesting developments 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 received a generous 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 partnering with each other 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 a lot of moving parts that could change in the coming months.
Thankfully, we have a tremendous parish council who, alongside our Bishop and me, is helping our congregation to discern our long term ministry location in Denton County.
As you can imagine, there are quite a few complexities we are working through (site development costs at Shady Oaks, new partnership opportunities in our community, capital campaign progress, costs of construction, etc.). While sound financial decisions and good stewardship must factor into the process, they will not be predicated upon any suggestion of a present or perceived future financial crisis.”
How are we working through it?
First and foremost, let’s pray together. Please keep our council, myself, 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. The uncertainty isn’t necessarily enjoyable, but it is precisely the path needed to deepen our faith together.
Thirdly, let’s be confident and follow the call of God on Church of the Resurrection. Our parish is unified about our sense of call to begin a new season of ministry in Denton County, reaching 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."
Last but not least, let’s stay in close communication with one another. We’d love to hear from you if you have any questions or concerns. Submitting questions to email@example.com will give us an opportunity to share the information in this document with the whole parish. Additionally, I and the leadership council are available so please don’t hesitate to reach out.
Blessed to be on the journey with you,
Fr. Brian+ and the Leadership Council
Vicky Gunning Kris Peterson
Jeremy Hansen Ken Metcalf
Ryan Perkins Jon Malden
"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.”
Questions and Answers
updated on May 6, 2021 (please scroll to bottom of the list for most current questions and answers)
Would we sell the Shady Oaks property if we didn’t have a clear alternative long term location secured?
This is not our current plan. As we live out our mission in a temporary space, it will be important for us to keep our vision and an “end zone” in view.
How quickly will we need to make a decision on this long term property opportunity?
The good news is we have some time to really do good discernment work together. We have an offer on the table that gives us approximately five months to work towards a final decision (by mid-May).
Why can’t you go ahead and tell us who the other “partner” is?
They have asked to keep it confidential for now; however, Fr. Brian, the council, and our bishop will be working closely with them in the coming weeks and our plan is to arrive at a point where we could communicate more before any final decisions have been reached.
Would the church still be committed to the style presented by David Stocker in earlier concepts?
A different piece of land and location will likely impact design choices, but yes, we are committed to being faithful to our Anglican Identity and our vision of being rooted, restful, and relational in this community.
Is the money provided during the capital campaign going to be used at the new site?
We fully respect that these capital funds were given for a specific vision. The capital funds donated to Rooted to Reach would only be used for our next capital project and we will circle back with each individual donor to have this conversation. The Leadership Council does not intend to use any of these capital funds for operational use.
Is the outdoor space suitable for congregation events? e.g. picnics, prayer garden, area of repose, etc.
It is not 10 acres of environmentally protected ranch land, but yes, we believe it fits our congregation's vision and needs. This will be part of the discernment process.
At the potential new property, would each party have separate deeds of ownership? What would that look like?
We would have separate deeds of ownership but would collaborate on ministry needs in our region. We are considering sharing some physical buildings to bless our community.
Is there enough room for parking?
Yes- this is a much better parking situation!
Do you (leadership team) foresee a need for an additional capital campaign?
This is a great question. We would certainly prefer to not immediately enter into another capital campaign once we relocate to the YMCA. However, our financial future is a dynamic reality.
Just as a reminder: our Leadership Council has set two financial goals we want to achieve before we give the green light for Phase One at Shady Oaks. They are (1) raising $2M for Rooted to Reach and (2) raising an annual operating budget of ~ $500K per year.
We currently have approximately $700,000 given towards the $2M goal and this campaign is set to end in May 2021. We expect some additional funds to come in as members fulfill their Rooted to Reach pledges. However, we do not have reason to believe we will come close to reaching the $2M goal by May 2021. Our annual operating giving currently hovers around $375K-$425K per year.
We believe the move to the YMCA will help us to create the margin necessary to multiply. We envision spiritual, numerical, and financial growth in the years ahead. We will circle back on this question with more information as we have it available this spring.
Is there a rough time frame from the time construction starts to when we would start using the building?
We do not yet have a clear picture of when construction will commence. Once all of the necessary funding is available, the estimate for Phase One of Shady Oaks is 18-24 months from start to finish. There is currently no timeline for other potential properties.
Would the new building have an impact on the music/AV, liturgy, or any types of usual practices?
We envision a new facility that will permit us to re-introduce a few practices, all of which would fit our vision and identity as an Anglican parish. This might include chairs with kneelers, an altar rail, a beautiful baptismal font, a center aisle that would work be fitting for a processional/recessional, etc. Our identity and aesthetic as an evangelical Anglican church would remain intact.
Will an added weekday evening prayer service be a consideration in the new building?
This would definitely be a consideration.
Can you please re-share the property images and/or brochure you shared previously?
Yes! Please see a few of the sketches below.
Do some of the tithes contributed as “offerings/tithes” still go to shady oaks? Would it be preferable for us to divvy up tithes one way or the other or split between the two?
Several of our families are still fulfilling their financial pledge to the Rooted to Reach campaign (Shady Oaks) which is set to end this May. Tithes and offerings given to our annual operating budget do not go to the capital campaign. We encourage every member to give generously to both, and to designate funds you give accordingly.
Is it realistic to think that a church in a strip mall, in a shared space, or at the YMCA is really going to be what people are looking for?
As mentioned during the Town Hall meeting on January 6th, regardless of our final geographical location, we do not plan to build a strip-mall style facility. Furthermore, while we anticipate collaborative ministry opportunities might present themselves which would allow other non-profit organizations to utilize our space, we envision that the church would own the land and building (vs. being in a permanent lease arrangement)
Why can't we use the money in savings and the money raised so far in the capital campaign to survey the land, pave for parking, do whatever needs to be done for utilities, and put a temporary building on the Shady Oaks property?
We considered this early on and were hoping to find a way to do so. We priced out temporary buildings but determined there would be substantial money wasted in pursuing this option. The Town of Flower Mound also has significant zoning limitations on temporary facilities. Furthermore, the upfront costs of site development are prohibitive. We would first need to raise the funds outlined in answer 9 above before giving the green light to site development and phase one of construction.
Did the original property owner agree to sell us the land because we intended to build a church on Shady Oaks?
Our relationship with the original property owner and his family has been a blessing to Church of the Resurrection. However, there was and is no expectation or even “gentlemen’s agreement” to build a church facility on the 10 acres we purchased. In fact, as the property continued to increase in value over the years, the owner offered to buy the land back on several occasions in order to bless the church financially.
With the recent downturn of the economy and multiple businesses unfortunately closing, is anyone monitoring vacant buildings in Flower Mound that could be purchased and retrofitted into a church?
Great question. We will certainly continue to monitor all possibilities and stay abreast of new commercial real estate opportunities in our town.
Why is the YMCA wanting to consider this partnership with Church of the Resurrection?
First, it started through genuine relationships in the community. Fr. Brian and Jason Walter, Executive Director of the Cross Timbers Family YMCA, have gotten to know one another over the past 3 years.
Secondly, this is a proven model the YMCA believes in. The YMCA has seen the success of church partnerships across the country. In fact, Curt Hazelbaker, CEO of the Greater Metropolitan YMCA, is a champion of this partnership model nationwide. When they realized we were in the process of looking to develop a new physical location, they reached out to ask if we’d consider something together.
As our society becomes more post-Christian, both of our organizations see multiple benefits to Christian organizations giving up their siloes and truly collaborating together for the sake of the communities they serve.
Thirdly, through shared conversations about Christian ministry in Denton County, we discovered both of our organizations have a passion to address the needs of the whole person: body, mind and spirit.
Now that we’re considering parting with the Shady Oaks land, are we open to other property options?
Yes, we are open to reviewing all opportunities the Lord leads us to consider.
Although we originally believed the 10 acres purchased on Lusk Lane would be our next step, we have been led to pray with open hands about our future location. In consultation with our Bishop, our Leadership Council is prayerfully and primarily considering the YMCA/Town Hall location.
Rather than building a campus and then trying to make it hospitable to the community, this location presents an opportunity to build in a location where the community already gathers/meets in significant ways (fitness center, youth sporting events, centrality of our new Town Hall). What has struck us about this location is the opportunity to take the church to our community vs. inviting our community to come to church.
Have we done any research on the old St. Phillips building?
Yes, we have done significant research on this tremendous church facility. It is approx. 50,000 sq/ft of buildings (875 person sanctuary, 13 offices, 12 classrooms, large Parish Hall) on 5.642 acres priced well-above our current financial means and includes significant on-going operating costs. As mentioned above we will continue reviewing this and all opportunities the Lord leads us to consider.
What is the difference in cost for construction at the YMCA vs. Shady Oaks?
We are working to determine the budget comparisons between the two locations and will share the information as it becomes available. We have been able to confirm that the initial estimate for Shady Oaks is now ~ 30-35% higher as a result of the impact of the pandemic on commercial construction costs.
We anticipate the YMCA cost estimate will require an additional 2-4 months of work to finalize. While the financial outlook is not totally clear, our current research indicates this location presents a more realistic opportunity for construction to commence in the next 2 years. One key example of a cost-reduction and partnership benefit with the YMCA is the reduced expenses for parking. As we shared in our update on April 18th, the cost of constructing one parking space is approximately $4,000, as compared to a price of $1500/space just a few years ago. To build/replicate the current YMCA parking lot would cost $1 million in current 2021 construction costs.
How much is the YMCA offering their land for, and are we negotiating the best price possible?
Because of the collaborative nature of this new location (shared parking lots, possibly sharing some utilities, etc), the Leadership Council is actively working with the YMCA executive leadership to determine a fair and equitable price for both organizations. We will share more information once this is finalized.
Which part of the YMCA property would we own?
The YMCA is proposing a total re-development of the ~ 7 acre parcel of land that stretches from their current building all the way to Milford Road on the south side and Firewheel on the southeast corner. There are several options still under consideration for the land/padsite of the church.
Does the YMCA uphold any values that may be theologically contrary to an ACNA parish?
It would be rare to find two non-profit, faith-based organizations that didn’t have some level of variance in their respective values. That being said, we do not currently see values of the Greater Metropolitan YMCA of Dallas at odds with our own, and the Greater Metropolitan YMCA of Dallas is independent of control by their national board. More importantly, our council will ensure Church of the Resurrection is not fused to the YMCA’s values or trajectory.
As we consider this new geographical location, Church of the Resurrection is seeking to procure its own deeded property which must be capable of supporting Church of the Resurrection indefinitely— regardless of any shared usage or shared ministry programs with the YMCA.
We will also seek to ensure the unique vision, identity and presence of both organizations are honored and made visible to the community. In the event either party should choose to dissolve any or all program/ministry collaboration, we will seek to ensure neither suffers a negative facility/land usage consequence.
What would partnership on a mental health program for the community look like?
This is very much at the developmental stage. Through conversations with the YMCA of Dallas, we have discerned a crisis-level need within our community, namely, the mental health of our children in Denton County.
We share a mutual passion to work with community partners to address this tremendous need together. We are in the early stages of forming a small Taskforce to work on future possibilities.
Is it okay to share the news within the broader community— that Church of the Resurrection and the YMCA are considering the possibility of being neighbors and even possibly collaborating on some programs to serve the community?
Yes. They have given us permission to talk about the fact that we are considering this possibility. Nothing has been finalized to date but both organizations are excited about what might develop.
What is the timeline for the YMCA renovation? Are they still in the planning stages? How will our church’s decision impact their plans?
The YMCA has a strategic plan over the next 5-10 years to renovate a handful of their ~ 28 locations across the Dallas region. They anticipate a major renovation to the Cross Timbers Family YMCA regardless of our decision within the next 5-7 years.
The YMCA understands that our church’s primary building program would likely operate ‘independent’ of the YMCA’s own timetable-meaning, we would likely begin building our facilities (ex. a sanctuary) before they were ready to commence their own project.
How much consideration is being given to the possibility of an eminent domain claim being made adjacent to the Town Hall versus Shady Oaks?
An eminent domain lawsuit for the Town to take land owned by the YMCA or by us as a church is not a high risk practically or politically. As part of our due diligence we will investigate whether there are any current expansion plans at the Town Hall, though that is not likely with the relatively young age of the building and the ample parking around it. Typically in-town locations are less at risk than rural locations for eminent domain. It is not any riskier to be located next to a government building.
Why is there a Special Use Permit Sign on the Shady Oaks Property?
As we shared several months ago, we are entertaining an offer on the 10 acre property on Lusk from a youth sports organization. It is a soccer club known as Dallas Surf. The special use permit sign went up on the property in late May. Rest assured, this is part of any potential buyer's due diligence work with the Town of Flower Mound.