Property Update Q&A
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.
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 January 11, 2021
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.