Take Courage and Build!

TAKE COURAGE AND BUILD!

“Be strong and courageous, and do the work.  Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you.  He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the Lord is finished.” (1 Chronicles 28:20 NIV)

Our History

Back in the 1950’s Ascension Lutheran Church’s forefathers saw the need to share Jesus in their small Gresham community, population 3,049 in 1950.  They wanted a place for their children and grandchildren to worship their loving God.  Initially they made do by worshipping in the gym at Rockwood school (now PLS), and in just one year (1959) they built the first phase of our current building.  Some 10 years later (1970) they saw the need to expand into our present facility.

Our Opportunity

Now it is our turn.  Our ministry has outgrown our current facility.  Weddings, funerals, memorial services, and receptions are often held offsite. Pot-blessed meals are crowded.  Our stairs make it difficult and unsafe for some to navigate.  Parking is often an issue.  Sanctuary seating is often at capacity.  God has blessed our growth in membership, but our Sunday morning attendance has not kept up.  So in order to meet current and future expected growth, it is our turn to provide for our children and grandchildren, as well as our Rockwood and Gresham neighbors, who now number 105,594 (2010 census).

Our Plan

After 10-plus years of due diligent study our building committee has proposed a plan for expansion at our current location.  Our voters assembly has shown overwhelming support for this proposal.  This is an exciting time as we see proof of God’s work in our growing church.  Following His Commission to us (Matthew 28:18-20) and our mission to Go and Share Jesus Christ we are doing the following:

  • Doubling (almost) the seating capacity of our sanctuary (from 150 to 285)
  • Converting the existing sanctuary into a fellowship hall and worship overflow.  This will increase our fellowship area from 800 square feet to 2,153.
  • Enlarging the narthex (from 656 sq. ft. to 1,906 sq. ft.), Sunday school area, AECEC space, youth room, kitchen, and restrooms
  • Meeting handicapped accessibility standards—e.g., elevator and restrooms
  • Constructing an unfinished basement under the new sanctuary for future development
  • Increasing overall square footage from 14,810 to approximately 25,000
  • Remodeling our office space
  • Reconfiguring our parking lot to add spaces

The current cost estimate for this project is $2.2 million, which includes the entire above-mentioned package of needs. 

Our Future

For years we have been praying that God would show us His will, and we are confident that He has led us to this forward-moving decision.  It is our prayer that our new facility will:

  • Be more welcoming to visitors and guests
  • Increase worship attendance
  • Improve fellowship opportunities 
  • Expand youth ministry
  • Enhance AECEC student recruitment efforts
  • Enable wedding, funeral, and memorial services, receptions, and other functions
  • Increase community awareness by hosting events like Red Cross blood drives, AA meetings, and support groups

Our Proposed Timeline

  • September 9                         Capital Stewardship Campaign begins
  • December 16                        Campaign giving begins
  • Dec. 2012 – Dec. 2015       36-month Fulfillment for campaign commitments             
  • June 1, 2013                         Groundbreaking
  • June 1, 2014                         Dedication of our new facility

God’s Blessing

Over 50 years ago as our forefathers sacrificed for us by building our current place of worship, so we now do the same for those generations who follow.  As we trust God’s promise (read again the opening Chronicles passage), we know that He will bless our efforts as we join together to increase and improve our ministry of sharing Jesus Christ in and around Gresham.  May we respond as individuals and as a congregation as we, our children, and grandchildren grow in God’s Word and fellowship, and as we reach out to our growing community with God’s love and blessings.

To God be the glory!

 

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