about the campaign
This capital campaign is intended to allow us to complete the transformative project we embarked on more than a decade ago, when the Chapel of the Cross began moving forward with a plan to build a new fellowship hall, to renovate our historic chapel, to add flexible classroom and meeting space, and to overhaul and update important parts of the church’s core infrastructure (e.g., heating and air, and fire and building safety), while improving energy efficiency and providing far greater flexibility to accommodate future program requirements. The project also allowed us to upgrade communications technologies. The funds raised from the capital campaign will be used to repay money that the church borrowed to fully execute the above project. A portion of the proceeds from the capital campaign will also be used to repair and renovate parts of our infrastructure that were not addressed by the previous initiative. And, importantly, we will add a portion of the capital campaign proceeds to the church’s endowment, for use specifically in supporting catalytic-type efforts that grow and deepen our overall missional impact.
This capital campaign is the second leg of the fundraising effort that began in 2007. In 2013, when the Vestry decided to take advantage of comparatively low construction costs and interest rates, and begin construction on the new addition, it adopted a financing plan that envisioned a followup capital campaign that would begin in 2019 – now, in other words. The immediate impetus for this second fundraising leg is the need to refinance a bank loan in mid-2020.
The new “addition” has quite simply transformed the Chapel of the Cross. The fellowship hall, which replaced an aging, claustrophobic space that accommodated only 50 parishioners at a time, has been the catalyst of dramatic change for our church family. The spacious hall and kitchen, completed in 2014, is now our family room, dining room, and event space – frequently hosting gatherings of 100, 200 and more. From the pancake supper to the ABC Sale, the addition we built is loved and well used by our church family.
The new, modern choir room is overflowing with choristers. New classrooms and meeting rooms have multiplied our engagement with the local community. We host dozens of local organizations and events, from the Johnson Service Corps to addiction recovery classes to election voting. With the new facility, the Preschool at the Chapel of the Cross now welcomes children and their families to a safe, beautiful space designed for learning and play. The new facility has delivered important, environmentally-responsible operating efficiencies.
Our revitalized foundation is also enabling our transition to a new generation of leadership, beginning with the recruitment two and a half years ago of Elizabeth Marie Melchionna as our rector and, last year, Noah Van Niel as our associate rector, and Joe Causby as our music director and organist. Finally, the timing of the decision to build, initiated during the Great Recession and based on years of thoughtful planning, was fortuitous: non-residential construction costs in our community have increased by 25% since 2013, while the cost of borrowing has risen even more.