25th Anniversary Capital Campaign - Reservoir Church
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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 $926,315 to the campaign as of 10/20/23. This represents 66% of our goal.
  • Gifts of any amount are welcome! While some households will give less and some more, if 200 households contribute, the average gift to reach our goal will be $2400.
  • 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?

UPDATE as of 10/20/23

During this campaign, we have been listening to the community’s hopes for new Beloved Community work that we can do when we are free of our debts. We have identified four areas we will be pursuing when the campaign is fully funded. Each area is now in research and development mode. We plan on allocating $200,000/year – the annual amount of our current mortgage payments – to these four initiatives.

Additional Ministry Goals  (2025-2035 Projects and Goals) 

  1. Expansion of Beloved Community Fund

Many of our 25th anniversary campaign funders are interested in how our church community will follow the early church’s example of looking to the needs of all members of communities, sharing resources freely as they are needed and required. Reservoir does this through our Beloved Community Fund, which offers funding and other support for short-term needs in the community. Needs include food, housing, vocational development, medical expenses, and other costs.. We honor people’s joy and dignity in the process. Our recipients are disproportionately women of color. 

We aim to over double the current Beloved Community Fund, from $30K/year to over $60K/year. We believe that with the expanded budget, we’ll be able to do much of the following:

  • Significantly expand the number of people we help each year.
  • Expand our advisory committee to include more professional training and knowledge.
  • Launch an annual spiritual wellness retreat for BIPOC women.
  • Deepen our ability to engage with the most pressing need we see – housing access.
  • Develop stronger bridges to people getting empowerment and help from partner agencies throughout the city.
  1. Encouraging the health and growth of vibrant, inclusive Christian ministries

Reservoir plays a leading role in the emerging post-evangelical movement in America. In the past, we have found many ways to support and encourage like-minded churches and other communities who practice a Way of Jesus that is inclusive, just, and engages fruitfully with contemporary pluralistic culture. 

Success in our campaign will enable us to invest more powerfully in like-minded partner Christian ministries around the region and country. Possible funding may include:

  • Coaching and support for emerging ministries and churches in the Post Evangelical Collective.
  • Sharing resources more effectively in forms that can be used in other churches.
  • Participating in spiritual renewal initiatives through the Massachusetts Council of Churches.
  • Short-term residences for younger pastors and ministry leaders in training.
  1. Environmental Impact Fund

With the church’s annual regular maintenance and capital funds, we seek to maintain and improve our physical buildings and property while improving our environmental impact. Many of our 25th anniversary campaign funders are interested in how our church community can more and more green our own operations, while empowering our members to participate in environmental protection and the just and faithful care for all God’s creation. 

Success in our campaign will enable us to supplement our regular budget to evaluate and pursue opportunities to honor creation and to lower our waste and carbon footprint. Specific opportunities may include:

  • A generational change to our property’s four large heating systems, reducing or eliminating the use of fossil fuels.
  • More extensive programming that equips our members for environmental stewardship in their homes and communities. 
  • Further learning partnership with indigenous communities. 
  1. Community Spiritual and Mental Wellness

Many people have identified that we are living through a mental health crisis. It calls for clinical response – greater availability and access to licensed, quality mental health care. It also calls for people, programs, and communities outside of medical professionals who have capacity and ability to invest in and support the holistic well-being of people and communities. Reservoir leaders will spend the next year researching and developing ways our community can better contribute in this arena. While we are interested in this for all people, we are also interested in historic and contemporary inequities in how faith communities and the country as a whole support the spiritual and mental wellness of people of color, LGBTQ+ people, incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people, and immigrant and refugee communities. Specific opportunities we are investigating include:

  • Expanded access to affordable mental health care 
  • Expanded access to quality spiritual direction.
  • There are a few programs that equip ordinary people to offer non-therapeutic, everyday support to friends and neighbors, such that they become community mental health friends and resources. Greater Boston’s suicide prevention organization Samaritans’ training of their volunteers in befriending comes to mind. A program called The Friendship Bench, developed in Zimbabwe, is another. We’d like to explore equipping people to be mental wellness-informed friends, neighbors, and community members. 
  • Opening Reservoir up to a wide range of recovery and support groups for the community.

(5) Spiritual Formation Resources for the Community; More Opportunities for Worship and Prayer

Interest in these areas doesn’t require new funding or staffing but does require ongoing, robust giving through the church tithes and offering so we can maintain our current staffing levels and keep expanding our programing. 

Our church wants more resources for spiritual formation, depth, and growth – those offered in person in community as well as resources available online. Work we would like to do more of this year and beyond includes:

  • Workshops offered 2023-2024 in Godly Play spirituality (for youth, parents/caregivers and others), prayer, and discipleship in the Way of Jesus. Some of these will live on as online resources people and groups can use.
  • We hope to resume our annual community spiritual retreat in Fall, 2024.
  • We will continue to produce devotional material each Advent and Lent, that can be used by individuals and groups, in and out of season, and aim to publish this in forms that are easier to access anytime by individuals and groups.
  • Continuing to equip interested community members in classes and training programs in spiritual formation and direction.

Our church hungers for more ways to worship and pray – learning to love and relate to God through these means and having a range of opportunities to do so, alone and together. Opportunities we would like to continue and expand include:

  • Continued investment in online service as a second, different type of worship service
  • Contemplative services throughout the year – Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, Christmas Eve, evening Pause services
  • Sustaining our two alternative participatory liturgies per year and making them available to other communities – house churches/home groups as well as other traditional churches.
  • Friday night connections community group for more charismatic/Pentecostal-informed worship and prayer
  • Being able to offer cohort programs that explore prayer in much greater depth, such as the Ignatian spiritual exercises.

**As a church which confesses the ongoing history of racial prejudice and discrimination in its country, and as a church that honors the image of God in all humanity, anti-racism is central to our interpretation of Jesus’ vision for the Kin(g)dom of God, which is our vision for Beloved Community. All this work will give central consideration and priority to impact on and blessing of people and communities of color.**


Mar 2023
We will 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!

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.

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.