The dollars —
As of the end of December we had raised $281,328 (of which $58,930 are outstanding pledges). We owe some of our progress to an initiative we are calling The Circle of Ten, a new effort to identify donors who will contribute $10,000 towards the work on the steeple in particular. We have pledges and/or gifts from three such donors, two of whom have come forward in the new year.
The Jan 9th Gold Buying Party —
This winter afternoon was a party; folks visited and had refreshments and watched our video about the history of the church as they waited for their ‘stash’ to be appraised. Most everyone seemed shocked and delighted by what they were paid for the items they sold, and the fund-raising committee was delighted by the results: we earned $1,671. Of that amount, $896 were direct donations and $775 was our percentage of the purchases American Gold and Diamond Buyers made that day.
The Jan 10th Coffee Hour —
At this special coffee hour, several brief presentations were followed by conversation and questions and brainstorms at each coffee table. Attempts at outrageous suggestions for fund-raisers ensued. The informal winner of this outrageous brainstorming process was A Nude Calendar of the Consistory Members. (There have been such calendars made of women with breast cancer…) Well, you can imagine the laugh when it was discovered that some of us had understood the word new rather than nude, and thus agreed to such a project. Of course, we soon discovered the misunderstanding and had a hearty laugh over it!
Key messages of the presentations:
- The effort to restore and preserve our buildings is consistent with our sense of our place in the city as a base for worship and for Christian outreach to our community;
- The membership has been generous in their pledges and gifts to the fund. While we seek pledges from new members and will appreciate new gifts from those who previously gave, we ask all members to consider, too, the needs of the operations and benevolence budget.
- We celebrate the special recognition of our church that a capital grant from the NJ State Historic Trust represents. The strengths of our application matched the qualities they look for: architectural merit; historical significance; present-day significance.
- The projects that lie most immediately ahead are work on the soffits of the education building and work on the steeple and roof of the sanctuary. Half of the money spent on work already done on the roof and tower and chimney of the education building will come back to us from the state as the first payment of the capital grant.