25th Anniversary Capital Campaign
As our church turns 25, we believe we are being called to invigorate and sustain our call to Jesus’ Beloved Community.
Campaign Cost: $1.4 million
- We pay off our 2004 mortgage ten years early, becoming a debt free community.
(Our end of 2023 mortgage balance pre-campaign: $1,155,000).
- Over the next 10 years, we release a brand new revenue stream — the $200,000/year we’ve been spending on mortgage principal and interest — to invest in new Beloved Community work, helping us better realize our vision in the city and world.
- We attend to a few mid-sized infrastructure projects we haven’t had the funds to complete. Some will cost us more down the line if we don’t address them today. Total cost in addition to our annual building budget: $245,000. This work includes:
- Major subterranean plumbing and drainage repairs.
- Important structural work on the shorter of the two sanctuary towers.
- Energy system improvements, for greener and better heating.
- Upgrades to bathrooms, including gender neutral and family friendly facilities.
- Long-term Engineering and construction planning estimates.
- We’re asking members and friends of Reservoir to make a gift above and beyond
regular offerings that support the current ministry and operations of the church.
- Board members and some of our largest givers have already pledged
approximately $600,000 to the campaign.
- Gifts of any amount are welcome! While some households will give less and some more, if 250 households contribute, the average gift to reach our goal will be $5,600.
- We’re announcing this campaign at our Sunday services on Palm Sunday and Easter, 2023, and we’ll invite people to submit pledges on Sundays, April 23 and April 30.
- Gifts to the “25th Anniversary Campaign” can be made through all the usual channels, and we can receive these gifts in 2023 and 2024.
Frequently Asked Questions
We’re collecting answers to frequently asked questions we’ve heard. We’ll update this as is needed and possible!
What principles will guide us as we decide how to launch new ministries?
We will be guided by our mission and values and by our vision for the Kingdom of God and the work of the people of Jesus as nourishing and growing Beloved Community. Specifically, that work is radically generous and anti-racist and promotes profound belonging for all people. We are interested in ministry that also empowers wholeness, love, and justice in people and communities, promoting whole life flourishing. And we are called to innovate in a post-Christian world, nurturing healthy, renewed expressions of Christian community and church that bear good fruit in our generation and the generations to come.
What exactly will we do with the new revenue stream over the next ten years?
We have some hopes and ideas but are also still discerning which new projects and ministries we will embark upon together.
A few things we know how to do and are excited for more resources:
- Our Beloved Community Fund connects personal needs in our community with resources. Over the past two years, we have helped people avoid homelessness. We have helped people access food and therapy and training. We have learned about parts of our community that don’t have access to as wide a net of resources, and believe that the Spirit of Jesus invites us to change this dynamic. As we expand the Beloved Community Fund, we are particularly excited to better resource the vocational dreams and needs of women of color.
- In our short history, we have a lot of experience coaching and supporting smaller and newer churches and other forms of Christian community that share many of our values. A new and very promising post-evangelical national collective is forming. Through it, we’ll have opportunities to connect with, learn from, and support a wider range of like-minded communities that are Jesus-centered, fully inclusive, gospel-oriented, and committed to the growth and formation of followers of the way of Jesus. Having funds available for this work will make a big difference in the impact our church has beyond Cambridge and Greater Boston.
A few things we don’t yet know how to do or if we can do, but people have asked about:
- Community mental health needs are larger than the professional mental health care that is accessible. Can we do anything about this?
- What would it look like to have small seed funds and coaching for Reservoir members who have vision for fulfilling Beloved Community vision in some way?
- We have sponsored a vibrant Soccer Nights program for over a decade. We are expanding our commitment to leadership development of our alumni. What other community work is possible in North Cambridge? Our Indian partners in the work of Asha have extraordinary models of organizing women and children for personal and community well-being. Is this work we can contextualize and replicate in our church’s neighborhood?
- We have made extensive commitments to greening our church. We are still heated by natural gas, though. Can we convert to geothermal energy or otherwise have a bigger impact on loving God through loving God’s creation?
This fall, we will also ask all who give to this campaign about your input on the new ministry you would love to see our church engage in and be involved with. We expect that seeds of good work are already planted in the minds and hearts of our community, waiting to be watered and given the opportunity to flourish!
Who will decide how the funds are spent?
Our staff, under the guidance of our senior and executive pastors, make our day to day spending decisions, in keeping with our values and our budget. Our Board sets and oversees budgets and discusses and approves all new positions and ministry. Both the staff and board solicit and listen to the longings and needs of the entire community’s input. This balance of leadership and input will continue.
Most households who have a mortgage can’t pay it off early. Why should our church?
Commercial mortgages like the church has are not as borrower-friendly as personal home mortgages. The rates aren’t as low and are reset every several years, leaving us at risk now for higher interest rates in the future. A non-profit organization like a church also gets no tax or other benefits through property debt. As a result, our debt is 0% blessing, 100% burden. The faster we pay off the mortgage, the less money goes to interest payments as well, so our funds are used for ministry to which we are called, not supporting a bank.
What will we do if we don’t raise all the money this spring?
We are hopeful that our community will pledge the full $1.4 million dollars in Spring, 2023. If not, though, we will take this stock this summer and determine whether it makes sense to come back to the community later this year with new requests and clarity or to make the most of the funds we do raise and delay full implementation of our goals. If we raise over $1.4 million dollars in pledges, we will transparently commit the overage to the beginning of specific projects that are part of this campaign.
How often does this church raise money?
Not often at all. We don’t solicit donations from our guests and count on our members and friends who love and value Reservoir to give regularly and generously to sustain and grow this ministry. Our last (and only) capital campaign was twenty years ago, when we raised over three million dollars to purchase our property (while taking on over three million dollars in debt as well.) No one can predict the future, but we don’t anticipate another capital campaign for more than ten more years as well. We are financially responsible, save money for building needs and repairs, and plan for the future.