Honorary Naming of Spaces (September 2021)
Church of Ascension’s Vestry has chosen to use the opportunity of the More Than Stones project as a time to honor and remember specific members and freinds of Ascension – some living and some who have gone before us. Each week in September we will share the honorary naming of four different spaces in our current and new buildings.
Ken and Ethel Bailey Hall
On Sunday, September 19th Ascension Rector, Jonathan Millard, announced the naming of the Ken and Ethel Bailey Hall.
Minnie Smith Education Wing
On Sunday, September 12th Ascension Rector, Jonathan Millard, announced the naming of the Minnie Smith Education Wing.
Ann Paton Contemplation Garden
On Sunday, September 5th Ascension Rector, Jonathan Millard, announced the naming of the Ann Paton Contemplation Garden.
Invitation to Pray and Give
Please pray for the successful completion of this project! We are so very close. We have just 10% to go, with $820,000 left to raise. As we have said before, reaching this goal will take generous and sacrificial giving. Over the coming weeks we will communicate how you can give and pledge to the project.
Save the Date
Please put the evening of Saturday, October 23 or Sunday, October 24 on your calendar. We will be holding two identical presentations to celebrate and, God willing, complete the capital campaign.
Letter from the Rector (August 27, 2021)
We’re Almost There…
I am delighted to share this update on our More Than Stones initiative. For those who are new to Ascension, in the summer of 2019 we embarked on an ambitious campaign to raise a large sum of money to fund three very specific goals: Essential Repairs, Refurbishment and Renewal, and Mission and Ministry. (The plans and artistic renderings of the proposals are on display in the glass hallway and copies of our More Than Stones brochure are available there also.)
The Essential Repairs are now almost complete. The cleaned and repointed exterior stone masonry sparkles in the sunshine. The new pews and refinished floor in the Nave enhance our beautiful worship space. The stained-glass windows are currently being repaired. Other essential repairs are nearing completion.
The Refurbishment and Renewal portion of this initiative is focused significantly on the plans to expand our Parish Hall, add new restrooms, improve the connection and flow of our buildings, and create a welcoming outdoor patio area with a new and obvious church entrance. The architects are continuing to work on the detailed design, and we look forward to sharing more soon.
The Ministry and Mission component was a piece that was added in response to the 20+ Listening Groups we held in the fall of 2019. This portion of the monies we are raising is to be used for additional staffing, outreach, ministry, and mission. This Ministry and Mission focus is highlighted in the tag line of our campaign: Welcoming our Neighbors, Reaching the Nations. Towards this goal, we have continued to welcome people throughout the pandemic (receiving some 58 adults into membership with their 28 children). Funds have also been directed to the expansion of our international ministry.
On Target – Just 10% to Go!
The goals of More Than Stones remain two-fold:
First, to visit every household and invite people to participate by giving towards this initiative. We made tremendous progress until things came to a halt with the pandemic. We are now beginning the process of completing this goal to the best of our abilities.
Second, to raise $8.2 million. We are working closely with our architects to stay on track and are committed to keeping as close to this financial target as possible and avoid going into debt. Currently it looks as though we will be able to do what we set out to do for about $8.4 million.
By God’s grace and through the generosity of so many people we are 90% of the way there! We have received gifts and pledges that range from $5 to $500,000. We need now to raise just 10% of the original target – that is about $820,000. This is a truly remarkable testimony to the sacrificial giving, broad participation, and generosity of so many people. Thanks be to God and to each one who has participated.
Final Push to Cross the Line Together
We are about to launch a three-month effort from September through November to raise this last 10%. God-willing, we hope to sign construction documents early in the New Year. We expect to break ground by September next year with completion of the project by the end of 2023.
Please Join Us
From the very beginning, the desire, hope, and expectation has been to see as many people as possible share in the realization of the vision of Welcoming our Neighbors and Reaching the Nations. The invitation to be a part of this More Than Stones project is to every member and friend of Church of the Ascension.
In this upcoming three-month mini campaign, we will be inviting everyone to take a fresh look at what God is doing in our midst and what we believe he is calling us to do through More Than Stones.
- If you have not yet pledged, we will be inviting you to do so.
- If you previously declined to participate, we will be asking you to take another look.
- If you have already pledged, we will be inviting you to consider whether you might be able to give again to help close the gap. Some may be able to extend their pledge for a further year or two; others may be able to make a one-time additional gift.
Honoring Beloved Members and Friends of Ascension
The Vestry has agreed to use the opportunity of this project as a time to honor and remember specific members and friends of Ascension – some living stones and some who have gone before us. I am looking forward to sharing the honorary naming of four different spaces in the renovations and new building. (I stress, these names are honorary and not related to financial contributions.) I will be announcing the names during September.
Invitation to Pray
Please pray for the successful completion of this project. We are so very close. I also appreciate that $820,000 is a very significant sum to raise. As we have said before, reaching this goal will take generous and sacrificial giving. We want everyone to participate. Over the coming weeks please take time to pray about your response and, if you are married, to discuss this with your spouse.
There will be opportunity throughout the fall to respond to the campaign. If you would like to do so now, please email Karen Gowdy, Director of Administration or Marilyn Chislaghi, Director of Ministry.