Saturday, December 2 the new Fellowship Hall was filled again with the St. Luke's BMOC (Being Men Of Christ) / St. Luke's Preschool annual Christmas dinner and auction. This event was attended by 175. It included a fantastic steak dinner prepared by the Hog Heaven team and served by preschool teachers. The Fellowship Hall was used again on Saturday, December 9 to host more than 200 neighborhood parents and kids at A Night In Bethlehem. This featured a reconstructed Bethlehem market place with pottery to make, bread to bake and many other activities for children. Most importantly there was the manger with live animals - including a camel, and it all pointed to the coming of Jesus our savior.
It has been a very blessed beginning of uses of our new Fellowship Hall to spread the good news of our Savior. Thank you so much for your patience with all the construction during this past three years. Thank you to so many that put sweat equity into this work. And thank you to all who donated so generously. There will still be a construction loan to finish paying off, but as we pay that loan down we are so blessed with a total campus that is ready for the next 50 years.
Sunday, November 12 we will celebrate the completion of our 4 year project to renew the campus. We'll have a program in the brand new Fellowship Hall following the 10 AM service.
Thank you doesn’t express well enough how blessed we have been by the response to the matching gift challenge for the St. Luke’s Next 50 Capital Campaign. More than 130 individuals and the Church Mouse donated $163,395 in our offering plates between May 7 and September 3. These gifts plus the matching gift provide us with a much needed boost of cash as we pay for the final two months of our construction project. St. Luke’s has stepped out on faith with this work and we continue to be amazed at how the Lord provides.
The new restrooms next to the vestibule are ready for the plumbing to be added and the drywall has been completed in the education wing renovation. Windows and drywall for the new "Walk of Light" which leads from the Vestibule to the parish hall is complete. The window for the new bookstore can be seen at the beginning of the walkway. We are anxiously awaiting the opening in October.
St. Luke's Parish Hall is now clearly visible from Pope and Cordillo Avenues. The new hall accentuates the architecture of the Sanctuary making St. Luke's campus stand out on the drive along Pope Avenue. The hall's main entrance faces Cordillo Avenue adjoining our new Pre School building. Parking and drop off areas there will make it easy to attend activities in the hall. Just inside the entrance is a hallway with two restrooms. Beyond that is the large new activity space with a stage, AV systems set up to support both large and small gatherings, and a spacious new kitchen with a separate preparation and serving area. We are on schedule for a late October opening planned.
Please take advantage of the wonderful matching gift that we have received. Every gift to the capital campaign that is placed in the offering plate on a Sunday morning will be matched up to $150,000! The anonymous donor wants to encourage large gifts and small. Gifts given to fulfill a pledge made prior to March, 2017 will not be counted in the match, but all other gifts - large and small will be doubled! We've been so blessed by the response to this and hope you will take advantage of it.
The Parish Hall roof is on and the interior is taking shape. Already the stage is there, the sound booth is roughed in and the serving windows from the kitchen are clearly visible. It looks amazing and is on schedule for an October opening. The remaining interior work is well underway with the old walls gone from the Education Wing and the old restrooms are torn out. This work will also be completed in October.
For three Sundays at the end of April and beginning of May we renewed our request for pledges to fund the completion of the work. We had a very good response as the total pledged grew to more than $2.8 million.
We were totally surprised just prior to Sunday, May 7 when an anonymous donor made a matching gift to the campaign. This gift is intended to encourage new gifts to the Future Fund from those that may not have given yet or want to possibly give more. The gift will match all gifts to the future fund that are by cash or check and placed in a Sunday offering plate any Sunday from now until Labor Day. The limit on the match is $150,000, so this gift could generate an additional $300,000 for the work. A restriction on the gifts are that they may not be to fulfill pledges that were made prior to April,2017.
What a blessing from God this is!
The Parish Hall is taking shape after the slab was poured and the steel support structure was erected. This new hall will be the center of our Parish life. We'll be able to have 200 sit down to dinner together and 300 for a seminar. It will have state of the art audio visual equipment to support a wide range of events. The pictures show the view of the new hall from Cordillo Avenue. There will be new parking by this entrance and also new restrooms. We look forward to a Grand Opening event in October of November and the BMOC Christmas Dinner and Auction for the St. Luke's Preschool in early December. What a blessing it will be celebrate together!