A Miniature “Stretch” Campaign for Capital Improvements
When you pull into the parking lot at Southminster on any given day, have you ever asked yourself why you’re here? Perhaps, it’s to refill your spiritual cup during a worship service. Or, maybe you’re swinging by to drop off donations for our Grace Jordan shopping cart. Are you arriving for choir rehearsal or to attend a PW Circle meeting? Or have you decked out your car to welcome neighbors during our Trunk or Treat?
Church parking lots are often overlooked and even completely ignored… that is, until they’ve fallen into disrepair. Such is the story of the parking lot at Southminster. It’s easy to ignore a parking lot if it’s seen as a place of boredom – merely somewhere to park a car and not much else.
The reality, though, is much different! Just consider the outreach and ministry that utilizes our campus (and thus, our parking lot!) each week. In addition to the many ways our members and friends enjoy our space, our parking lot acts as a welcome mat, of sorts, for a women’s chorus, seven different support and recovery groups, a medical coding class, and lots of parents/guardians taking their children to and from Grace Jordan. And… do you remember the basketball hoops that were a popular attraction for neighborhood children in the not so distant past?
Here at Southminster, we are well-positioned for a parking lot – yes, a parking lot!! – to be an intentional extension of our mission and welcome to the community.
As you’ve heard in our recent Annual Congregational Meeting, our parking lot infrastructure has come to the end of its lifespan and requires immediate care. As a result, your Session has approved a new “stretch campaign” to address this need, as well as a couple of essential security upgrades too. Rather than embark upon a full-fledged capital campaign, our vision is to invite and encourage us all to stretch… to stretch just beyond what our annual operating budget could handle on its own.
The Session has compiled the information below as a way of explaining this stretch campaign in greater detail, and to answer your questions. For more information, I encourage you to contact Bruce Walters (who is helping to lead this campaign), anyone on our Administrative Committee, or an elder on Session.
By God’s many graces, we are well-situated for innovative and inclusive ministry on our campus and beyond. Our parking lot is not just storage for cars… it’s a part of our mission. With our faithful contributions of every size, we can all take part in making sure our building and grounds remain a vital part of our ministry and outreach for years to come. Thanks be to God.
“Paving the Way & Securing our Future” Campaign Goals
Think of this “Stretch Campaign” as a miniature capital campaign which addresses a couple of critical infrastructure needs that are beyond the scope of our annual operating budget.
|PAVING THE WAY — Parking Lot Restoration
|Comprehensive restoration and repaving of the parking lot to eliminate tripping hazards and provide for ADA compliant accessible parking spaces, ensuring that our exterior space is welcoming and usable for the congregation and community.
|SECURING OUR FUTURE — Security System Installation
|Upgrading door locks and installation of recordable CCTV security cameras covering the parking lot, building perimeter, and entrances to ensure the faithful stewardship of our physical resources and provide for the safety of our staff, members, and visitors.
By The Numbers
We estimate the total cost of our projects to be $99,000. By God’s Grace and some truly faithful stewardship of our financial resources in recent years, we do not begin with nothing! Instead, we will seek to build our current capital improvement fund to reach our total.
|Capital Improvement Fund – Current Balance
|Pledged Gift from Southminster Presbyterian Women (SPW)
|TOTAL COMMITTED (62% of the total!)
|Remainder Needed to Fund Projects
Financial studies of congregations of similar size tell us this stretch goal is quite realistic, even without committing to a formal capital campaign. If each of us stretches as we’re able, we will be positioned to exceed our total and even start to replenish our Capital Improvement Fund – all without taking on any debt.
- Restoration and Repaving – $75,000
- Restriping, Bumpers, Signs, and Basketball Poles – $2,000
- Installation of Upgraded Electrical/Communications Conduit for the Grove – $4,000
- Installation of Security Cameras and Video Recorder – $13,000
- Upgrade Lock & Install Intercom for Office Door – $5,000
If the Stretch Campaign concludes with a surplus, any remaining funds will be returned to the Capital Improvement and Repair fund to replenish for future maintenance needs.
Anticipated Timeline of Projects
- April 2023 – Launch the Paving the Way & Securing Our Future Campaign (4/2, 4/16, 4/23)
- June 2023 – Preparatory Site Work
- July 2023 – Install Conduit for the Grove; Repaving & Striping of Parking Lot
- TBD – Installation of Security Cameras and Narthex Door Upgrade
What Can I Do?
- PRAY for the success of this stretch campaign.
- SPEAK about the campaign with others in the congregation. This stretch campaign will help to ensure we can continue to welcome and serve our community in meaningful ways.
- VOLUNTEER to assist with some preparatory work (e.g., installing new basketball poles)
- MAKE A GIFT to the campaign. Each and every gift is important to our efforts, and we could never do it without you.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
I’m New Here
- How can I receive the Church Newsletter?
Church updates, pastor musings, and more can be found in our monthly newsletter, called The Messenger. To be good stewards of church resources and the environment, folks receive a digital newsletter via email by default. (Paper copies are available at the start of each month in the Narthex/office. We also mail physical copies of the newsletter by request.)
To receive our church newsletter by email attachment, click here!
- Who can be a member of Southminster?
Interested in learning more about joining the community of faith at Southminster? Anyone may become a member, regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnic origin, or class. If you are interested in becoming a member, please contact Pastor TJ for information and details.
- When and how does Southminster worship?
Please join us for Worship in-person or online on Sunday mornings at 9:30am. The second Saturday of each month, however, worship is at 5:00pm and we take the following Sunday morning as a day of Sabbath rest.
Our congregation values intergenerational community, so all ages are warmly invited to participate in the worship service. Children’s bulletins and a “prayground” are available with age-appropriate activities to assist families in worshiping together with children 5 and up. There’s also a staffed nursery (we call it “The Nest”) with plenty of toys and a live video feed of worship for children ages 0-4. For more information, click here!
A note on our dress code: in short, there isn’t one. A few people do dress up for worship, but most come in casual attire. Come as you are, and know you will be welcomed.
- Will I have to be recognized as a visitor?
We get it. Visiting a new church for the first time can be equally exciting and terrifying, so you may not feel like drawing extra attention to yourself. Don’t worry! If you’re visiting our worship service, we promise not to make you stand up to introduce yourself or perform any unexpected liturgical dance moves. That said, we’re a friendly bunch! So we encourage you to stick around after worship for coffee hour to get to know folks. (We also hope you’ll include some contact information on our Friendship Pad so that our pastor and staff can be in touch!)
- Will I need to give an offering when I visit?
As a visitor, we consider your presence among us to be an offering to God! Please do not feel like you should give an offering or make a donation during a worship service. (By the way, most of our members give online or by mail, so you definitely won’t be the only person passing the plate without dropping something in).
- What about accessibility and inclusion?
Our sanctuary, fellowship space, and bathrooms are all located on the ground level and are universally accessible for people with disabilities. Ramps and lifts are available to access other parts of our building. Additionally, our church building has several all-gender bathrooms so people of all gender identities may be fully welcomed and included in our space.
- How has Southminster responded to COVID-19?
Southminster’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has centered on the intersection of science, medicine, and theology, sharing Jesus’ special concern for those who are most vulnerable and marginalized. Specifically, even now as the pandemic seems to reach “endemic” stage we will continue to monitor the Idaho Crisis Standards of Care, current hospitalization and infection rates, and the particular needs of immunocompromised individuals.
While we are now worshiping in-person, we are fully committed to livestreaming all of our worship services so that those who, for any reason, desire to worship from home are able to do so. While the use of face masks is no longer required, anyone who wishes to wear one will be warmly received.
- Where is Southminster located?
We are located at 6500 W. Overland Road (between Cole and Curtis) in Boise, Idaho. You’ll find plenty of parking in our lot on Hummel Road. For major events, overflow parking can be found at Grace Jordan Elementary School next door. If you prefer public transit, our church is located next to a bus stop for Valley Regional Transit’s #29 Overland route. (Note that at this time, the route does not operate on Sundays).
- What is Southminster all about?
Southminster is an open and affirming community seeking a caring and just society. We are a progressive and slightly irreverent congregation on Boise’s South Bench. You will often find Southminsterians out and about in the community. We volunteer at our neighborhood school, Grace Jordan Elementary. We also pray at the Capitol and speak out in the community on behalf of others.
We attend the PRIDE festival each summer and many of us are working to make Idaho a safer place for all Idahoans, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation. People of all gender identities and sexual orientations are welcome here, in both worship and in leadership.
- How can I find out more?
Talk to Bruce Walters, who is helping to lead this effort; a member of our Administrative Committee (Larry Andrews, Steve Bancroft, Evan Chambers, Bruce Mohr, Andy Winkle); any of our elders on Session; or Pastor TJ.
- Why now?
Our parking lot has outlived its intended life, and has all but deteriorated. If we are able to successfully restore and repave the parking lot in the immediate future, we will be able to make use of the base layer and repave over it. If we were to wait even a few more years, the project would require total reconstruction (to include permitting, engineering, and stringent new drainage requirements), with costs estimated to be more than four times higher. Clearly, the time is now.
The Session has discussed installing security cameras several times over the years, but it typically remained a low priority. Recent vandalism to our church building alerted us to new local law enforcement policies that prevent police from investigating property damage when no cameras are installed at the location of the crime. This, coupled with a noticeable uptick in hateful rhetoric toward progressive mainline congregations like ours, has made these upgrades a higher priority.
- When will the work begin?
Thanks to the generosity of the congregation and the faithful stewardship of our Session, we ended our 2022 fiscal year with a significant surplus. When added to capital reserve funds already saved, this means we are able to commit to our parking lot project immediately. Our timeline for repaving will be largely dependent upon weather and the contractor’s schedule. The work is likely to be completed during the summer months.
- How long will the work take?
Our paving contractor assures us that restoration of our parking lot will take less than one week. Some preparatory work will be necessary beforehand, and we will need to install underground conduit between the milling and paving steps. It is unlikely that parking lot closures will impact our worship schedule. Security upgrades will occur as funds are made available.
- How much should my commitment be?
Your commitment to this stretch campaign is a decision you’ll make through prayer and discernment. Not all gifts will be equal in size, but they can be equal in sacrifice. We hope that each person will commit to a donation that makes sense for their overall financial picture.
- What if I don’t think I can make my annual pledge and give to the stretch campaign?
As is true when undertaking any capital project, your annual stewardship pledge must come first! Our annual budget is how we are able to fund all the missions and ministries of our congregation. The stretch campaign is designed to be above and beyond our general operating budget. We hope that many of us might be able to (on a short-term basis) do both, but we ask that your annual pledge come first.
- How do I make my commitment?
Due to the nature of these infrastructure projects and our congregation’s history of faithful stewardship, we anticipate being able to fully fund this project without acquiring any debt. To this end, there is no set timeline for making gifts.
We anticipate that many folks will opt to make a single donation to fulfill their pledge to this stretch campaign, while others will prefer to break their donation into several smaller installments over the coming months or year. For your convenience, a simple commitment card is available in the Narthex. There’s also a fillable form available here that will enable you to complete the card online, save it, and email it to the church office as an attachment.
- Will there be a mission/tithing component to this stretch campaign?
Best practices for capital campaigns encourage congregations to allocate a significant portion of campaign pledges to mission projects. Indeed, our Building on a Legacy of Love campaign in 2017 donated $26,000 to the ministries of Life’s Kitchen. This campaign, however, is structured to be a miniature version of a true capital campaign, and does not include a monetary tithe.
At its best, a church parking lot is not just a place for the temporary storage of vehicles, but also an avenue for community outreach. (To get a better sense of what we mean, picture the children dressed in costumes during our popular Trunk or Treat event, or families who use our parking lot, The Grove, and our free Wifi connection as they take their children to and from Grace Jordan).
In lieu of an allocated monetary donation for mission, we see the reconstruction of our parking lot as a charge and commitment for our congregation to use it as a tool for increased community outreach. Let us ask ourselves: how might we utilize our parking lot (and our campus!) to welcome and care for our neighbors, to the glory of God?