Dear Members and Friends of Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd,
Our mission is Living and Sharing Jesus. Good Shepherd has been living and sharing Jesus for 68 years! In 2017, we will celebrate the 70th anniversary of this congregation, which was planted in this community in 1947. This is a perfect time to establish a capital improvement fund.
We paid off our mortgage in the last couple of years. Unlike many congregations, we are debt free. However, in the last few years, we have had increasing costs to repair our boiler, our AC units, and our roof. Rather than reacting to emergencies that take a larger and larger percentage of our yearly expenditures, let us be proactive, and establish a fund that can be used for capital improvements as needed. Think about it: each of us has invested money, time, and talents in building this community and the building that is our community center. It is time to put the stewardship of this property on a more solid footing.
As a congregation, we are aging (as we all are!), but we are also beginning to welcome new members, and that will increase over time, as we continue to reach out with the love of Christ to our neighbors. We want Good Shepherd to be a strong, healthy congregation in 5, 10, 20 years and beyond. An essential part of our health is to continue to have a functional, attractive building for worship, education, and community events.
The urgent need, of course, is for a new boiler to replace the one installed when the building was built in 1959. A new heating system will be much more efficient than our old one, so in the long run, it’s a good investment anyway. Eventually (hopefully not for several years), we will need to replace some of the AC units, again, for more efficient units. In a few years, when our large, flat roofs need replacing, let’s explore the possibility of solar panels, as a way to lower our electricity bills. That technology is developing so fast, who knows what will be available then! Being green, and lowering our energy footprint, is a way of being good stewards of the resources God has given us to do God’s mission today and into the future.
This capital improvement fund does not replace the LCGS Endowment Fund, which is an endowment that will empower ministry in years to come. The Endowment Fund has about $53,000 in it. The interest from that endowment can now be used for special projects and non-budgetary needs, as specified in our constitution. It will continue to be important to grow the LCGS Endowment Fund for more long term mission needs.
Living and Sharing Jesus in 2015,
Pastor Eric Lemonholm