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Commitment Guide

But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare. … For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. 

–Jeremiah 29: 7, 11

Churches are never simply defined by buildings. Churches are families. Nevertheless, facilities do provide a family home where we can nurture faith, experience love, and extend hospitality to our neighbors. Our church is now in its Next Chapter campaign—a campaign that will enable us to build out our home in downtown Santa Barbara. We have chosen this title because we believe that God is writing a new chapter in the Christ Presbyterian Church story, one that builds upon everything that has come before, and yet has exciting new possibilities ahead.

This initiative is the culmination of a 4-year discernment process involving over 45 people. We assessed persisting needs, current resources, and ministry opportunities. God is giving us an opportunity to refocus and to capitalize on a strategic window of time. I hope you’ll join us!

GOD'S STORY DOWNTOWN

Since its inception, Christ Presbyterian Church has had a strong call to be engaged in God’s downtown story. The church entered the story when God moved a small prayer group to begin hosting services at the Carrillo Recreation Center. God then provided the means to buy a building to minister in this city rich with arts, culture, and people yearning to know something greater.

The church initially bought 32 East Victoria, the building next to its current location. After some encouragement, they stepped out in faith by making an offer on the advantageous, but off-market corner space. Graciously (and miraculously), God provided two buildings.

For the past two decades, the CPC community has continued to witness God’s power and love by participating in God’s story through the corner building. In fact, for nearly a decade we have exceeded that building’s capacity. We have regularly surpassed fire-code limits. Children’s programs have been forced off-campus, staff members work out of closets, and ministry teams are regularly negotiating use of the lone conference/multi-purpose room. Because we believe God calls us to be a hospitable place where ministries flourish, we also believe he is calling us to step out in faith as we expand next door.

The next chapter of CPC’s story will open with a joined and redesigned building that bring with it exciting new possibilities. People will worship in a separate, quiet sanctuary that seats 380 and has space for all our worship needs. Our large and versatile narthex and two flexible classrooms will provide gathering spaces that allow us to run concurrent meetings and events.

There will be staff offices and common space for planning, a living room for prayer and counseling, 

In short, we can continue to gather as one beloved body, on mission together, serving the city God has called us to.

Families will be excited for their little ones to enjoy God alongside the larger congregation. New comers will feel welcomed as children’s ministries remain in the building, with rooms available for children and youth, including an improved, separated nursery and cry room. Through these spaces we can build up the faith of adults, youth, and children like never before.

We will also be able to expand our hospitality to the downtown community. A commercial kitchen will support everything from church fellowship dinners, to weddings, to outreach initiatives like Alameda Park. With a more accessible art-gallery that is ready for First Thursdays we can engage people exploring life’s big questions. We will no longer have to decline the majority of requests to host city planning and community development meetings and other not-for-profit events.

The beautiful conceptual images you see were provided by Blackbird Architects, Inc. who was chosen by the Building Planning Committee for this project.

Check out their website along with some examples of their work, including Westmont’s Art Gallery, at https://www.bbird.com

EXCITEMENT FOR THE NEXT CHAPTER
STORIES OF GOD AT WORK

Phil and Sophia Beccue

We’ve been attending CPC since 2018, shortly after moving to Santa Barbara. From the beginning, we were warmly welcomed. We love so many aspects of CPC, including its focus on God’s glory in worship and its heart for the city and the world. In particular, being an artist, Sophia appreciated the unique way CPC reaches out and serves the local artists by offering its gallery space.

In early 2019, Sophia was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. Our community group and many others came alongside us and carried us through this challenging time. So many members, including Kyle, helped us move back into our house and fed us meals. Life would have been unbearable without our CPC family. God, in His mercy, heard the prayers of His people, and now Sophia is doing well managing her cancer. God has worked this affliction for good by enabling Sophia to bear witness to his story of faithfulness through her art and through CPC’s art gallery.  

In early 2021, Phil was also diagnosed with an aggressive and rare cancer that brought great physical pain and weakness. Once again, CPC folded us into its arms and has been caring for us in every way imaginable. God used His people in CPC to uphold us, strengthen us,listen to us, and walk with us on the good and bad days. As Phil continues to recover, we are deeply grateful to God for His provision through the loving care of CPC.

COMMITMENT

We truly want our community to experience God during this process. As such, we are not asking for congregation-wide commitments until after you have the opportunity to enter engage in a period of discernment. Commitment Sunday is May 1.

ONLINE COMMITMENT FORM

COMMITMENT GUIDE

FAQs

Q: Why are we doing this now?

A: The Next Chapter campaign is the culmination of a four year discernment process involving over 45 people where we assessed persisting needs, current resources, and ministry opportunities. Due to initial enthusiasm, our lease-terms, and how historically we have grown after hiring a new pastor, we believe the time is now. We believe that God is giving us an opportunity to refocus and to capitalize on a strategic window of time.

Q: Why do we need to expand and renovate our space?

A: Studies show that once a church reaches 80% of its capacity, growth slows as visitors perceive a lack of space. For 7 of the last 8 years that we have been worshiping in our building, our attendance has exceeded this number. For three of those years, we have regularly surpassed fire-code limits. That is just the sanctuary. Children’s programs have been forced off-campus, staff members work out of closets, and ministry teams are regularly negotiating use of the conference room. We want to be a hospitable place where ministries flourish. It is time to expand.

Q: What kind of financial commitments are you looking for?

A: We believe the work God is calling us to will take everyone. Therefore we are asking everyone to consider what a three year (2023, 2024, 2025), sacrificial commitment would look like for them. We are looking for equal sacrifice, not equal gifts.

Q: What if my situation changes in the next three years?

A: What we are asking for is a good-faith commitment. We understand that situations change. Some people will be willing and able to give more than their initial commitment, some less. If such a situation happens, you can connect with our follow-up team.

Q: How will I be updated on reaching the financial goal throughout this process of giving?

A: We will share our total commitment after commitment Sunday, on May 1. We will keep you updated periodically if and when we reach new thresholds, or discover new information in the building process.

Q: When can I give my gift?

A: We truly want our community to experience God during this process. As such, we are not asking for congregation-wide commitments until after you have the opportunity to enter engage in a period of discernment. Commitment Sunday is May 1.

When do we hope to begin construction?

A: The city permitting process takes a long time. If the process moves quickly, we could start construction in the summer of 2023.

Q: What happens to gifts while we await the building?

A: All gifts will be put into a fund managed by the PCA foundation.

Q: What happens if we don’t reach our goal?

A: We are hopeful that 4 million dollars will allow us to accomplish all that we need to accomplish without debt. Should God not provide us with the full amount, we will consider other options such as phasing the project or taking on debt. Yet we know that if God wills, he is able to do more than we ask or imagine.

Q: What happens if our ministry continues to expand in the future? Is there another step?

A: In 2017–18 our strategic planning team pinpointed a number of strategic needs. One is to secure housing for associate pastors as the market grows. Space for youth is also a need. There are various possibilities for meeting these needs, including but not limited to things such as the purchase of an additional downtown property, an equity share arrangement with associate pastors, and expanding onto our roof.

Q: What if I want to know more?

A: We have an information team that will be happy to engage with you and get you the answers you need. Send your questions to nextchapter@cpcsb.org.

Q: What if I am moving away?

A: We are a church not for ourselves, but for the kingdom. Living in a transient city means that we invest in people wherever God chooses to call them. We hope that mentality will be contagious, and you will likewise consider investing in this relationship even if you are leaving. Like King David, God may be calling you to resource something that you will never see, but will impact the countless numbers who come after you.

Q: What kind of gifts can you receive?

The PCA foundation is equipped to process a number of different types of gifts such as stock options, crypto currency, portions of real estate holdings, and portions of business holdings. Their advisors will help you determine the most efficient way to give to the kingdom at no cost.

Q: How will commitments be specified? (E.g., paper form on commitment Sunday or electronic form?)

We are still considering the best ways for individuals to register their committments. We will likely have an electronic and paper option.

Q: Will gifts over the next 3 years be designated by purpose, e.g., general fund, capital campaign, deacons fund, etc.? (I.e., are capital campaign gifts separate from general fund gifts?)

Yes, gift for the Next Chapter campaign will be put into a designated fund, stewarded by the PCA foundation.

Q: Will there be a mechanism for automated monthly electronic gifts for those who desire this option?

Yes, you can set up recurring automatic EFT or credit card payments through the Foundation.

Q: If I won’t be able to attend in person on commitment Sunday, should I make a commmitment in advance?

We will let you know when our website is ready for committments.

Q: Will the fund that is managed by the PCA foundation earn interest? Is the investment at risk (e.g., stock market fluctuations)?

We believe it is generally not good stewardship to let large sums of cash sit (Matt 25:14-30), and it is wise and prudent for money that will not be needed in the very near term to be at work. While this does incur some risk, the fund into which the money has been placed is actively managed and the board of the PCA foundation has been very pleased with its historic performance.

Q: Will gifts be used specifically for CPC in Santa Barbara even though the PCA foundation will manage the funds and even if the full campaign goal isn’t met?

Yes, all gifts go into a designated fund must be used for the purposes of that fund or returned.

Q: Where will we worship during construction?

We believe we will be able to phase the project so that we can continue to worship in our current sanctuary until the new sanctuary is completed. Then we can start worshipping there and begin renovations on our current space.

Q; What will happen to Art Essentials, since we are expanding into that space?

Art essentials is unsure about staying much longer, and CPC and Art Essentials previously mutually agreed to change lease terms to a 1-year term. Art essentials may already be thinking about a new location on their own. The communication is already happening. We need to make sure communication with Art Essentials goes through the right channels, rather than our congregants talking directly with Art Essentials.

Q; In what ways are we called to serve Santa Barbara Downtown?

Originally, when the church started, there weren’t enough evangelical churches downtown. Continuing/going forward, we believe it’s good for the church to be salt and light in this location. A feasibility study was done, and based on needed capacity and options for buying various buildings that might be available, it was determined that it was most cost-effective to use and modify the current space. We also wanted to maintain our unique role rather than morphing into a role mimicking that of other local churches.

Q: Did our decision to build out the facility downtown have anything to do with a trend of other Churches expanding their downtown presence?

It was an independent decision process for CPC. Ocean Hills is the main other one we are aware of, and CPC’s planning started earlier than theirs.

Q: Are the plans set, or is there room for members of the congregation to affect/modify the plans?

More work will be done on the design, but a lot of work has already been done based on a couple rounds of staff surveys and many other consultations. So a major re-design is not expected, but there may be room for tweaks. The overall form of the design isn’t expected to change. We are very happy to hear new ideas.

Q: Is there the potential to use the space for other revenue opportunities such as daycare?

These ideas could be explored. It is ultimately a Session decision. The space, as designed, does support a variety of ideas. For example, the space will be very conducive to holding VBS.

Q: If we don’t get to the full $4M, what things might get cut?

It depends on exactly where we end up with giving. Phasing options include building the new sanctuary but leaving the existing space as is. However, many of the structural changes (retrofits) will have to happen, so the cost savings may not be as large as expected. CPC is in the process of figuring out what types of loans could be obtained. CPC is trying to figure out the long-term costs of loans. It is difficult to determine this before the campaign is concluded because the loan terms will depend on the gifts received, as well as the church’s historical income. The commercial kitchen is a big ticket item that is an example of an item that could be left out in the first building phase.

Q: Are we concerned about the elimination of the passive income currently received from renting to Art Essentials?

Twelve years ago, the rent income from Art Essentials made up 50% of our ministry budget. Now all of our ministry budget is covered by giving. Funds from Art Essentials are currently helping to cover our overhead (which will decrease when we are no longer renting out the building as a commercial space). Some funding from Art Essentials is currently going into savings/equity.

GIVING TO THE NEXT CHAPTER

Before giving, please first let us first know your intentions through the Online Commitment Form.

All gifts given to the CPC Next Chapter Campaign will be put into a fund managed by the PCA Foundation. We believe it is generally not good stewardship to let large sums of cash sit (Matt 25:14-30), and it is wise and prudent for money that will not be needed in the very near term to be at work. While this does incur some risk, the fund into which the money has been placed is actively managed and the board of the PCA foundation has been very pleased with its historic performance.

 

GIVING OPTIONS

  • Online at https://pcafoundation.comFund #4136
  • Checks payable to “Presbyterian Church in America Foundation, Inc.” and indicate Fund #4136 on the memo line. Mail to: PCA Foundation, Inc. 1700 North Brown Road, Suite 103, Lawrenceville, GA 30043
  • Stocks, Bonds and Assets (visit https://pcafoundation.com/giving/)
Want free advice on how to give non-cash assets (stocks, crypto, real-estate and business holdings)? Wondering how to make the most of your giving? Contact Tim Townsend ttownsend@pcanet.org for free advice on giving in the most tax-efficient manner possible.

 

DONATION PERIOD:

The donation period for this pledge campaign starts 3/30/2022 and ends 3/31/2026.

 

RECURRING DONATIONS:

The easiest way to make sure you reach your pledge amount is to set up an automated recurring donation online. You’re certainly welcome to donate however you’d like though.