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Capital Campaign - We Are Building a New Way

 

Click here to download a financial commitment form for our Capital Campaign. 
Thank you!

A Letter from Reverend Patierno

Dear Souls,

We are building a new way! It is a bold statement for a bold congregation preparing to embark on a bold endeavor: expanding our sacred space. Since making 19 Jay Street our home 11 years ago, we have sought to offer radical hospitality and welcome to seekers of religious spiritual nourishment and grounding and to offer safe harbor to our homeless neighbors, refugees and immigrants. We can never know what will be asked of us as a faith community but with more and efficient space we will be better equipped to respond to needs both within and beyond our walls.

At this point there is more excitement than there is confidence just as there are more questions than there is clarity. The Case Statement offers insight into why a capital project and what this project will do for All Souls and for our ministry to and with the larger community.

Congregations change over time. It’s been two years since we began working on this particular vision of our future. Some Souls have little to no sense of what this project is about or its purpose. Others may have vague memory. Many barely notice the drawings that have been hanging in Unity Hall as reminder of our aspirations. All of that is about to change and we need everyone on board: your ideas, enthusiasms, and concerns will help keep focus and your questions will bring about greater clarity. Please bring your open and discerning hearts and minds to the process.

The work between now and the glorious day when we dedicate and bless the building will be hard and rewarding.  We'll grow closer as a congregation (even through the inevitable tensions that a capital project stirs up) so that what we accomplish finally will feel that much more joyful.

In the past 11 years we have accomplished so much together. This next chapter has been a twinkle in our eyes for just about as long as All Souls has called 19 Jay Street “home”. The time has come to “build a new way” and make brighter All Souls’ liberal religious light - a beacon of welcome, caring and justice seeking in Southeastern Connecticut.

And there’s this: a community room … a kitchen … an additional classroom / meeting space! Perhaps dedicated youth space and an apartment. Just the thought of it makes me breathe a little easier!

Step into the discernment and good work, dear Souls.

Here we go,

Reverend Carolyn

Case Statement: 2019-2021 Capital Campaign

ALL SOULS UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST CONGREGATION

 

We Are Building a New Way

 

Our goal:

Now that All Souls’ mission and reach have expanded, let’s enlarge and improve our sacred space to support this and future growth, utilizing green construction principles and practices.

 

Our progress:

Over the past few years we have successfully taken steps to expand All Souls’ programming and reach both within and beyond our congregation. Our recent objectives around fostering a more robust ministry – meeting the congregation’s increased pastoral needs by shifting the Associate Minister’s portfolio to focus on pastoral care and preaching; expanding our religious education ministry -- now named as “faith formation” -- to include programming for adults and hiring a Director of Faith Formation; and supporting a strong social justice ministry – have been largely accomplished. We have enjoyed back-to-back successful annual stewardship campaigns to make possible those program and ministry enhancements. Now, we are ready to update and expand our church building to reflect the change in the scope of our services, our recent and future growth, the diverse needs and talents of our beloved community, and finally, our recent commitment to become a Sanctuary Congregation.

 

Our need:

In 2015, recognizing a number of significant limitations with our existing building – difficulty accommodating large special meetings and events; inadequate classroom/meeting spaces in relation to the range of church and community-based organizations vying for time; a dearth of appropriate offices for our expanded staff; an undersized kitchen that effectively precludes our ability to hold All Souls-wide events, host community suppers, and/or participate in potential future disaster relief operations; and, a main entrance that is anything but welcoming – we engaged architect Dan Glynn to prepare a conceptual plan for the future expansion and renovation of 19 Jay Street. The completed plan was presented on multiple occasions to and well received by the congregation in 2016. The catch? At that time, we were not ready to undertake a capital campaign to bring a meaningful portion of that plan to life. Our reach exceeded our grasp. But now, as a result of growth in both our programming and in our stewardship giving we are poised to have a successful capital campaign to accomplish a significant renovation and expansion of our building. The extent of the proposal that can be developed and constructed in the next 12-24 months – some, much, or all of it – will be up to us, all of us!

 

Key elements and benefits of the master facility plan:

  • The Community Room will allow All Souls to accommodate large-scale events such as community gatherings, memorial services, weddings, and concerts while providing flexible space for fellowship and learning and allow us to handle overflow during church services. It will comfortably fit approximately 160 chairs. As well, approximately 120 people will fit seated at tables.

  • The kitchen will be expanded and upgraded with commercial grade appliances, significantly enhancing the size and variety of meal functions that could be provided, including offering community meals, anchoring special community events, and being ready to assist in disaster relief efforts.

  • Classrooms / meeting rooms will be redesigned and repositioned to be more functional.

  • A new and inviting entrance will create more efficient traffic flow into Unity Hall and the classrooms / meeting rooms. The entrance will be aesthetically pleasing and have appropriate security technology.

  • Offices will more efficiently accommodate the Office Administrator; Faith Formation staff, Choir Director, and the Bookkeeper.

  • In keeping with our Sanctuary Congregation commitment, a modest one-bedroom apartment will be constructed contiguous to Unity Hall in which to host an individual or family seeking protection or perhaps a home to offer to refugees. If there is not a need for either, the apartment could also be utilized by an intern, thereby making All Souls an even more attractive internship site as we would be able to offer housing.

  • A dedicated youth space will be built to accommodate and build on our growing youth ministry. This space will also be contiguous to Unity Hall.

    Building Specifications & Cost:

  • The estimated cost for the 2015 plan was $1.25 million. We’ll need to update that figure to reflect inflation in the cost of construction materials and labor, the impact of tariffs, and the proposed addition of an apartment to the original plan. The size and scope of the actual building project – that is, how much of the updated plan can we implement in the near term -- will be determined by the feasibility study that will be soon conducted by our capital campaign consultant, Barry Finkelstein, and, of course, by the actual results of the campaign.

  • The amount of classroom / meeting space, new multi-purpose Community Room, youth dedicated space and apartment will be increased from 9,027 square feet to 14,430 square feet.

  • Key systems -- mechanical, electrical, audio, lighting -- will be updated.

     

    Summing up:

    All Souls is about community, mission, and service. We are all fortunate to be part of this amazing gathering – and we know it. We have made important strides in our annual giving, allowing us to accomplish the important staffing and programming goals previously set for ourselves. The stage is now set for us to commit to modernizing and growing our building so that it can more appropriately carry out that expanded programming, advance our vision of community and community service, animate our commitment as a Sanctuary Congregation, and accommodate our growing congregation. It’s time. We’re ready.

     

    10.11.18

FAQ -  Commonly Asked Capital Campaign Questions

How much money can we raise?

Our Capital Campaign consultant, Barry Finkelstein, has successfully worked with many UU congregations. In December, he will conduct a feasibility study to determine what is a realistic financial goal for our congregation. This includes a series of confidential 1:1 interviews of a cross section of our congregation and a final written report that provides a summary of the findings and specific recommendations. What is deemed to be financially feasible will determine the goal of the capital campaign. The results of the capital campaign, in turn, will determine the final size and scope of the project.

Is the campaign pledge in addition to my financial commitment to the church’s annual campaign?

Yes. It is vital that we maintain support for our day-to-day operations and programs. We recognize that the Capital Campaign will be a stretch for most people, however; we view this as an opportunity to build All Souls’ capacity and to inspire and serve for generations. Some ideas for “finding” assets for the capital campaign include savings, Required Minimum Distributions from IRAs, appreciated stock or giving from income. We will provide additional information on how you might be able to give a meaningful gift. Every pledge is important and contributes to our future.

How long do I have to pay my pledge?

Your pledge can be paid any time prior to December 31, 2021. It can be paid all at once, quarterly, weekly or any other way that works for you.

How do I make a pledge?

A visiting steward will call you – a fellow Soul – to set up visit at a time and place that is convenient for you. We see this visit as a wonderful opportunity to share what All Souls means to you and to share your thoughts about the capital project and campaign. If you choose, your pledge will be kept confidential i.e., the visiting steward will have an envelope in which you can put your pledge confidentially. The sealed envelope will be returned to the Stewardship|Capital Campaign Team where it will be opened and recorded.

What is the campaign timeline?

We will conduct the financial feasibility study in December. The campaign kickoff will be in February 2019. There will be a number of informational (and fun!) campaign events scheduled during that time period. All congregants will have an opportunity to pledge before the end of the campaign in April/May. We hope to break ground in the fall of 2019.
 

August - September Stewardship | Capital Campaign Team meets

September: Consultant hired and Board creates job descriptions

October: Town Hall Meetings to solicit feedback on project

November - December: Recruitment for volunteer infrastructure

November 18th: Congregational vote

January 2019: Financial Feasibility Study

January 2019: Visiting Steward Training

February 2019: Kick-off Stewardship |Capital Campaign with a big celebration

April/May 2019: Capital Campaign ends

September 2019: Break ground

September 2020: Project completed

March 2021: Building Dedication

Bruce, Henrietta and Tom - 3 members of our fabulous Capital Campaign/Stewardship team!

 

Click here to view our Essential Gifts pyramid for suggested giving amounts.
All gifts are needed and appreciated!

 

Job Descriptions - Committee Chairs for our Capital Campaign

 

Visiting Steward Chair:

  • Coordinate the recruiting of visiting stewards, drawing on many other people to help

  • Identify materials needed for the stewards and work with the Publications/Communications Committee and staff to get them produced

  • Coordinate the visiting steward training session

  • Assign stewards to families to visit

  • Working with the consultant and the Stewardship Campaign Committee, identify target amount (ask) for household to be visited for the capital an annual campaign

  • Oversee the visiting steward activities during the pledging phase and ensure that everything stays on track

     

Communications/Publications:

  • Develop a communications plan and schedule, noting for every planned communication, when it will occur, the key message points, who will do it, what mechanism will be involved (pulpit, testimonials, eblasts, newsletter, letters, social media, bulletin board, info table, etc.)

  • Identify and schedule all the materials need including brochures, letters, pledge forms and envelopes, thank you cards, invitations to events, newsletter articles

  • Recruit people to develop the various pieces and track that the communications program proceeds on schedule

  • Oversee the communication plan, monitor effectiveness in terms of attendance and other measures

  • Ensure consistency with logo and branding on all materials

  • Oversee production and ensure that everything is produced when needed

  • Identify resources needed and when, and coordinate with Co-Chairs for budget tracking

 

Events/Party Planner

  • Work with Stewardship Committee liaison to identify and schedule events to include major campaign events (lead donor party, congregation wide celebration kicking off the capital campaign) and other special events such as facility tours

  • Recruit any additional event/party planners needed

  • Develop a budget and coordinate with liaison

  • Find a venue for each event

  • Work with the Communications/Publication Committee to develop and send out invitations; manage the RSVP process

  • Work with the Stewardship Committee liaison to plan and develop the program for each event – agenda, speakers, materials

  • Put on the events and assess effectiveness in terms of attendance and other criteria

 

Building Committee

  • Work with architect

  • Choose a contractor

  • Develop conceptual designs that include alternate price points

  • Devise and carry out a communication strategy to engage the congregation

  • Develop a case statement for the preferred project design

  • Review the plan with the congregation and vote to develop the plan

  • Flesh out cost estimates

  • Finalize the plans following the capital campaign

  • Include plans for parking, support for physically challenged, worship center seating capacity, interior program space by age, consider green construction

  • Develop a time frame for construction

 

Alternate Space Search

  • Working with the Building Committee, determine when and how alternative space will be needed.

  • Work with the Building Committee to determine the time needed for an alternate space

  • Develop a budget for the cost of the space

  • Seek alternative options available within a reasonable distance from All Soul’s

  • Work with the Communications/Publications Committee to share the alternate space plan with the congregation