At a Charge Conference with leaders in our congregation gathered by Zoom Sunday June 27, and at a United Methodist Los Rios District meeting also by Zoom on Monday June 28, we have taken another small step toward the big improvements we are pursuing with the Welcome Project.
With support from Bishop Carcaño, First Church has adopted a plan to sell a piece of our property to the East of the church buildings at the corner of 22nd and J Streets. A Negotiating Team has been empowered to pursue this.
Nothing is done till it’s done, so this is still a work in progress. The aim is to improve aspects of our building that have been identified as impediments or obstacles to our best welcome to new people. We’ll all benefit, of course, from new bathroom options close to the Sanctuary and upstairs, from better access and space around the Social Hall (Terrace Room), and some of the other improvements.
There has been wide, even unanimous support for the facility upgrades, and already we’re just weeks away from the Sanctuary fixes to begin, depending on permits. Some people are still sending in parts of their pledge to that project, and we’re getting closer to that $500,000 each month.
The decisions on property, however, are harder. We are moving forward, but at a thoughtful and considered pace. A further Charge Conference is anticipated to see what financial package can be negotiated for the benefit of our ministry. That will possibly happen sometime within the next months or so.