Building Connections

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April 2017 Update

Thank you for your generosity to our Capital Campaign! We just wrapped up the first year of our three-year campaign! We hit the $1 million mark in contributions in January. Below is an update on giving through the end of March! The Connection Center will help us connect people, projects and missions to better serve our community and Christ!

Total Project Cost $3,600,000

Total pledged $2,328,303

Total # of pledges 351

Average pledge $6,633

Total amount of money received so far $1,127,682

Total expenses to date for the project $2,231,517

Loan balance 3/31 $996,471

The main lot off Forest Road is fenced off creating a construction zone. The Welcome Center and the Preschool entrances are closed, however on Sunday mornings, the large wood doors to Fellowship Hall are open. You can also access Fellowship Hall by entering on the west side of the building.

To get to Traditional Worship, park in the front or west side and come in the west doors.

Families with children should park in the lot at Christ Hospital Outpatient Center, cross Forest Road and enter through the North entrance on the front drive into the children's wing. There will be a crossing guard to help families safely cross the street. 

Other parking will be available in the parking garage, Annex lot, and south and west sides of the church. 

Click here for a detailed campus map.

Building Connections at AHUMC from Anderson Hills United Methodistp on Vimeo.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are we building?

Our mission is to make disciples for Jesus Christ. To accomplish that, in 2008 we developed a Campus Master Plan that would prepare this church for future growth, a church that would attract and retain the next generation. We have been working to complete this project ever since. The Fellowship Hall, Children’s Ministry area, Annex, and Sanctuary have been completed and paid for. Now it is time to complete our Welcome Center.
 The Welcome Center is the ‘living room” of our church. It’s where we greet our guests, fellowship with friends and inform people about important upcoming events. It’s a place to connect to others to the ministry and mission of AHUMC. When we surveyed the congregation in preparation for the Campus Master Plan, the number one need expressed by our congregation was for a bigger Welcome Center. Our current Welcome Center does not create a connection between contemporary and traditional worship. It is only 900 square feet, a third of the size that church experts say it should be. When young people walk into our church, it does not give the impression of relevance to a new generation. We believe that future growth will be very difficult until we enlarge this space.
 The design approved by the building committee addresses all these concerns. The space is located in the heart of our church – creating a connection point between traditional and contemporary worship. It is the appropriate size, able to accommodate the congregation on Sunday mornings as well as other mid-sized church events. And it is designed to fit the traditional look of our church but with technology and fittings that communicate relevance to a new generation. Some local churches that have built the right size welcome center are Armstrong Chapel UMC in Indian Hills, Parkside Church on Salem Road or Horizon Church in Newtown.

What are we building?

We are creating a new front door and entryway to the church, a place of common fellowship, and the living room for our church. We are enlarging our Welcoming Center, building an addition to relocate two preschool classrooms, adding 38 parking spaces in the front of the church, and improving our technology. It is essential to our building team that the space connects our Sanctuary, Fellowship Hall, adult area and children’s area. The only suitable place to do that is the current Elevator Lobby. So to enlarge that area we will need to expand in to the garden and relocate two preschool rooms. The preschool rooms will be moved to the end of the preschool in the parking lot. This will create a plaza that will make the Forest Road entry the obvious “front door” of the church. An added cover will make it more convenient in inclement weather. 

Why are we replacing the two classrooms we are tearing down to enlarge our welcome center. Isn’t our Sunday school and weekly Preschool attendance down from recent years?

During the week, all seven of our preschool classrooms are full in the morning preschool programs, and we have a waiting list. On Sunday, we currently use all but two of the rooms, but have hopes that next year we will be able to split the largest class into two groups, and add back in a program called "Take Two" at the 11:00 hour (for preschool children who attend both sessions on Sunday morning). If we get enough volunteers to accomplish this, it means all seven rooms will be used on Sunday.

 This age group, 2-K, is where we have been experiencing the most growth in our Sunday attendance over last several years, and these families are our target to reach. We have to build for the future of this church! Ideally we would like to have two classrooms for each preschool age group, which would actually mean eight rooms.


Why are we building now?

The needs are now. The existing Welcome Center will continue to provide a capacity problem to the rest of the church, being the most congested location on our entire campus. We can improve capacity and attendance throughout the church with an expanded Welcome Center and we believe it is the next step in fulfilling God’s dream of our congregation. From a financial perspective, construction costs are currently reasonable and interest rates are low.

How long will it take?

Parts of two construction seasons, the first one being for the parking and relocation of two classrooms. We will break ground in June 2016 and finish April 7, 2017. The first part of the project will be adding parking to the front, and then moving the two preschool rooms. These need to be completed in time for the 2016-2017 preschool school year.

How much will it cost?

3.5-4 million dollars. Tearing down and rebuilding is more expensive than a new building. But we believe it is worth the additional cost to have a Welcome Center, located in the heart of our church connecting both contemporary and traditional worshippers.

How will we pay for it?

We will do a three year capital campaign using Transforming Christian Ministries as our campaign consultant.

Will we incur debt?

Not necessarily. According to our financial consultant, we are confident we can raise the money. According to church financial experts, in a normal economy a church can raise 2.5 to 3 times its annual income. Our annual income is over $2 million, so raising $4 million is actually a reasonable to conservative goal. While we don’t believe that debt is a good way to run a church, if we do not raise the amount needed, we are willing to incur reasonable debt to invest in our building for the future. We did this for our Fellowship Hall Project in 1999.

How much debt are we comfortable taking on?

According to church financial experts, the rule of thumb is that a church can take on debt up to 40% of the total project. We would not want debt that exceeds that amount. So if for some unexpected reason, we raise only 60% of the $4 million total project – the number would be $2.4 million. Then the maximum we would be comfortable to borrow would be the balance of 1.6 million. We honestly hope that won’t be necessary. This is a church with a history of excellent and conservative money management. Currently we are debt free and in a strong financial position.

How much should I give?

That’s a personal issue that you and your family will need to pray about. Ask God what sacrifice God wants you to make over and above your regular giving to the operating and mission budget. You can give online here.

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