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Mortar to Ministry

Greetings! Talofa Lava! Saludos!

Welcome to our first Edition of our Newsletter, Mortar to Ministry.  

WeRosario are very pleased that this newsletter will be able to reach our congregations in the UCC, and to convey to you and your congregation the many services offered by the ministry of the Church Building & Loan Fund.  These services allow us to be a partner in your ministry to communicate to everyone that God is still speaking.

Our mission is to assist congregations younger than 30 years, as well as renewing congregations, who desire to buy their first house of worship or a land site, in the construction or renovation of their building. We work in covenant with the congregations and the conferences to provide the financial assistance they need.  In addition, we offer the assistance of Capital Campaign Services to help churches raise money to make their ministry dreams come true.

Throughout this newsletter and future editions, we will give you valuable information and tips about steps and requirements regarding the process of getting a loan and acquiring ownership of a property. For instance, in this issue you will find the article, "Funding Ministry Dreams." This article details how we analyze your congregation needs through the guidance of our Capital Campaign Services. Another article, “Why do Congregations Need an Architect,” is the first article of a three-part series. Other articles include, “Why We Buy Insurance,” and “Our Dream Became a Reality,” a testimony of the First Samoan Congregational Christian Church of Santa Rosa, CA.

We hope this information is useful for the development of your ministry. If you have any questions or want more information about CB&LF, our staff is ready and eager to assist you. You may contact us by phone, email, or visit our website (see below). Because your feedback and suggestions are important to us, please let us know what other information you would like to see in the Newsletter.

See you soon,

Toll Free—1.866.822.8224 ext.3834
Web site—www.ucc.org/cblf

Funding Ministry Dreams

So you have "Big Dreams!" But you are questioning how you will make them a “Reality.” The UCC Church Building & Loan Fund (CB&LF) Capital Campaign Services can show you how! Big Dreams begin with Big Visions! Through our faith based, spirit filled and lay led capital campaign process, the UCC CB&LF Capital Campaign Services can assist your congregation with raising revenue to make your ministry dreams become a reality. 

Moving your ministry dreams to reality requires 

Determining a Vision and Strategic Plan: Our process involves the entire congregation and church community, leaders, members and vested friends, in a discernment process. The discernment process helps your congregation determine what the collective church community would like to happen in the next 5 to 10 years in the areas of ministry development, facility improvements and outreach programs. Once the congregation has agreed upon a common vision, a strategic plan can be created.

Setting Challenging Ministry Goals: Our consultants encourage congregations to set challenging goals in the areas of ministry development, facility improvements and outreach programs. The UCC CB&LF Capital Campaign Services has over 60 years of experience conducting successful capital campaigns demonstrating that congregations usually can raise at least 3 times their total annual income to fund ministry dreams. To determine the readiness of your church to conduct a successful capital campaign our consultant can complete a feasibility study upon request. Once the congregation has agreed on the goals, the strategic plan can be implemented. 

Conducting a successful Capital Campaign: Our UCC CB&LF Capital Fundraising Executive will provide a free informational meeting, upon completion of our inquiry packet detailing the steps of our Capital Campaign Services. A UCC CB&LF Consultant will serve the church throughout the campaign period and will provide the following: 

  • Guidance in the selection and recruitment of key campaign leaders.
  • Orientation and training for members recruited to serve on the Campaign Executive Team.
  • Consultation through unlimited contacts by phone, mail, email, fax and in-between onsite visits.
  • Resources and samples for printed materials.
  • Specialized training for all Task Group members and witnessing stewards.
  • Monitor progress toward campaign goals.
  • Periodic follow up throughout the giving period.  

When the entire congregation is involved in determining the vision and mission of their church, experience indicates that they are quite likely to come up with some very constructive suggestions developing the strategic plan. Furthermore, those involved in making the plans are likely to be more interested in participating in the implementation of the plan and achieving set goals.  

The UCC Church Building & Loan Fund Capital Campaign process raises more than financial resources. A successful campaign can increase fellowship among church members; increase member participation in ministries and programs of the church; improve understanding and giving as an act of worship; and increase the number of members in leadership roles.      

So you have "Big Dreams!" But you are questioning how your congregation will make them a "Reality."  Contact the UCC CB&LF Capital Campaign Services and request your Capital Campaign Services inquiry packet by calling 1-866-822-8224, ext. 3834. We can show you how! Capital Campaign Services is a ministry of the UCC Church Building & Loan Fund.

Capital Fundraising Executives
The Rev. Priscilla Bizer/W. Coast
The Rev. Susan Mitchell/E. Coast

Why We Buy Insurance

If you knew that your church would be struck by lightning and the cost for repairs totaled $185,000, would you be putting money aside today, so that you could make the necessary repairs? How much would you put away each month? What if the cost of repairs were $1 million or more? This is where insurance comes in.   church on fire

Insurance is an essential expense to modern business practice. Few churches are able to pay for a large loss while continuing to meet other needs. Whether the loss is due to structural damage or any injury incurred by worshipers, the cost could have catastrophic consequences for your church and congregation. The concept of insurance is to provide financial security by having people (or churches) make regular payments (premiums), so that the unfortunate one(s) will have the necessary resources in an emergency. Making small, fixed payments to protect against a larger, unpredictable expense transfers the financial risk away from your church.   

When a church borrows money to build a new sanctuary or wing, the lender (such as the Church Building & Loan Fund) retains an interest in the building (a lien) until the loan is paid off. To protect its interest, the lender requires that insurance be purchased, so that money will be available to rebuild the church in the event of a loss.

Preventing losses helps keep insurance costs low for everyone. Resources are available through the Insurance Board, your denominational insurance program.
Please visit their website at www.InsuranceBoard.org  to obtain valuable information and tools you can use today.

Why do Congregations Need an Architect?

As Amistad Chapelcongregations discover that the place where they worship does not suit them, they begin to talk of building or renovating. Many congregations do not have members who have experience in building or remodeling. Building a place for worship is not like remodeling a bathroom or kitchen. The local building supply store does not have a “build a church” department. The congregation will need somebody to guide them. They will need an architect. The architect can help them with what to build, where to build, how much will it cost, and how long will it take to build it. The architect is a professional who will help you work with a zoning board, a building department, and a contractor, and will assist you in finding consensus among the members of the congregation. The architect is trained to organize a process, select the people and talents, and find creative solutions to your needs.

The UCC Architects Fellowship can help you understand what an architect does, how to hire an architect, and when should you hire an architect. Contact our web site and ask for help. We will contact you and make arrangements to visit with you and your congregation. When you want to go on a trip to a new place, you ask for help in how to get there, what to see and how much will it cost. Think of your building project as a journey and you are going to ask an architect to guide you on that journey.

Next Issue: "How do Congregations Hire an Architect"
Robert Wandel,
UCC Architects Fellowship

Our Dream Became a Reality

Historically,Samoan Church a native Samoan’s life revolves around tradition and church. It was increasingly difficult for their community to find a church solely dedicated to them.  Noticing a slight language difference as they attended other churches, they realized that it became a barrier to the “fullness of worshiping.” Decidedly, a small group of leaders formed a Samoan church with the hope of reaching out to the Samoan community.

With the help and guidance of the Church Building & Loan Fund, many volunteers, prayers and faith, The First Samoan Congregational Church of Christ in Santa Rosa, CA came to completion. “Words cannot describe how we feel,” wrote Tusi Yan Lan, the church Secretary. “God pointed us the way by affiliating with the United Church of Christ. Without them, this church would not be where it is now. We are indebted, literally to the Building & Loan Fund of the UCC for making our dream a reality.”

They broke ground for construction in March 2009. Through teamwork and dedication, they dedicated their building in March 2011, and opened its doors for the first time.

“Mortar to Ministry”
The quarterly Newsletter of the CB&LF
The Rev. Rosario Ibarra

Subscription signup:
Visit www.ucc.org/cblfsignup to receive our Newsletter by either email or  U.S. Mail, or call 1-866-822-8224, ext. 3834


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