A Word from Pastor John
Expanding Valley View in 2022
I have so many great memories from growing up at Valley View. God used such a variety of people and events to shape my spiritual formation. Events like Kiddo Kamp, Youth Group, Church Picnics, Bible studies, Sunday School classes, and the leaders involved all played a huge role in my growth as a Christian.
At the center of many of these formational events is one room, (or, many rooms, depending on how it is configured) and that is the Fellowship Hall. The young adult class where my mind was blown open by C.S. Lewis's Mere Christianity. The Vision Casting dinner where "Unity and Humility" were first pressed upon us. The youth Valentine banquets where we were told of the importance of purity of heart and mind. The many, many, many lock-ins, pizza eating contests, and my first Christian music concert. The Wednesday night suppers where so many informal conversations happened. Even John Isaac's baby shower (our firstborn) was in the Fellowship Hall.
It's crazy that one room, that is also many rooms, has been at the center of so much of my walk with Christ. What is even crazier is the same moveable walls and the same carpet are still there from the day the Fellowship Hall was built in 1985. Wow, that is truly remarkable. THIRTY-SEVEN years! Those walls and carpet have served us well, allowing one space to also be many spaces, both for building community in large groups, and going deeper in small groups. Those walls have served us amazingly well — until they didn't. In the last few years we've been unable to take full advantage of the Fellowship Hall because of the rapidly deteriorating condition of the walls.
Now the Fellowship Hall, a space designed to be versatile and well-used, is limiting our ability to do the kinds of ministry and community building we’d like to but can’t right now. For instance, I’d love to start Wednesday night suppers again, to have more pot-luck gatherings, training events, and other studies and socials, but none of that can happen until we make major changes to the Fellowship Hall.
Therefore, the Elders are proposing a major renovation to the Fellowship Hall, which includes replacing the moveable walls with new upgraded panels, replacing the carpet, replacing the ceiling tiles, and painting the permanent/non-movable walls.
Total cost of the project is about $440,000 (See below for a breakdown). That is a chunk of money, but it is also a pretty fair price for the amount of work needed, especially in this day and age of rapidly rising material and construction costs.
In order to move forward on the project, we need to raise the money before we start. The good news is that we already have verbal commitments of around $55,000, plus $89,000 in savings designated for new construction. That leaves us with about $293,000 to raise to be able to pay for the project.
As I discussed this with the Elders and as we prayed for wisdom, we felt the next step would be to put this opportunity before the church and see how God might prompt some to be part of this project. Would you pray and consider how God might lead you to be a part of making the Fellowship Hall a place where we can truly gather, large and small, again?
We moved all the walls for VBS, and had to cobble together parts and pieces to get them back in place again for Life Groups. I'm praying we will not have to move them many more times, because I'm praying that by the end of the summer we will be able to move forward with replacing the walls.
I thought of some great Bible verses that would help launch a "tear down that wall" and/or a "build the walls" campaign. Maybe I'm mixing the Bible up with Ronald Reagan or other former Presidents, so rather than trying to force a Bible verse, let me end by saying I know many of you give faithfully and tithe from your income week in and week out. My experience is that some people who maybe haven't been as committed to tithing find a project like this a great time to begin again or to start giving. I've also seen God provide for big projects like this in ways none of us could expect. For instance, for twenty-three years Julie and I lived off of ministry support and God always provided for us, often in unexpected ways. We once needed a new van right at the time a friend had received some extra money and had been praying about where to give.
All that to say, the Elders are trusting that if God wants Valley View to move forward on this, He will stir the right people at the right time to give. We still need to be able to pay the weekly bills, but if He prompts you to give towards this project beyond your regular giving, please let us know by the end of July.
Pray that God would provide all the funds to launch Valley View into a new season of ministry, both large and small, in 2022!
Making the Fellowship Hall a place where we can gather big and small again.
Cost of new panels plus installation which includes:
Reuse current track (clean, lubricate, repaint, and repair).
|New Carpet (est.)||$25,000|
|New Ceiling Tiles (est.)||$25,000|
|Paint Existing Permanent Walls (est.)||$5,000|
|Valley View to provide dumpsters and labor for demo.||DEDUCT $21,000|
|Savings back to Valley View from salvaged scrap metal in old walls||DEDUCT $8,000|
|Total cost of project||$440,500|
|Minus commitment and funds in savings||$144,000|
|Remaining amount to raise||$293,500|
So far we have raised $243,740 of $440,500. That's 55% of our goal!
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Why do we need to replace the walls? They look like they still work.
Moveable walls like ours usually only have a life span of twenty years or so (ours are thirty-seven years old). Our walls are moved more than the average use: often multiple times a week every wall is moved in and out (when everything is working). Because of the advanced age, each time we move the walls, one or two panels quit working all together.
Parts are no longer made for those walls, so we are limited in our ability to make repairs. The walls no longer seal properly, which means the limited soundproofing they once offered is nearly non-existent. We are now at the point where we risk running out of panels for classrooms any time we move them, because we are almost out of spares.
The next time you walk through the Fellowship Hall, you'll see that the visual condition is pretty poor (that's a nice way of saying they look awful!). When I first started as Pastor in January, I tried to look at the church through the eyes of a guest. My first thought when I walked in the Fellowship Hall was, "It looks like the church is falling apart!" That is not the impression we want to give.
Q. Were other configuration and construction options considered?
For the past six-months I have been researching options with the Elders and the Staff. Our facilities manager, Cliff Roberts, has taken the lead on reaching out to companies for bids and quotes. The Elders have explored a variety of options for best utilizing that space.
Any new room configurations with the moveable walls would require purchasing new ceiling track (instead of reusing the existing track as planned), which would add significant cost to the project. We also explored hybrid options of part permanent walls and part moveable walls, but the reduced flexibility of the explored options didn't seem to be worth the possible cost savings.
After many months of research we landed back where we started: the most cost-effective plan for making that space functional again is replacing the walls with new moveable walls in the same basic configuration and also replacing the carpet.
Q. What will the new panels be like?
One exciting part of updating the Fellowship Hall after thirty-seven years is that the technology on modern moveable walls has drastically improved. Sound-proofing is now the equivalent of a cinder-block wall. Doors are integrated into the panels with pocket handles. Seals are set with ratcheting devices, rather than cables which were difficult to operate (and the first component to break).
We are able to keep the current ceiling track, saving a significant amount of money. Cliff reached out to a number of companies, and we've settled on the company that did the original installation at Valley View. They have a wide range of experience with moveable walls in hotels, convention centers, schools, and churches all over the country.
Q. What about the carpet?
Phil Peercy (Chairman of the Elders) has requested that we find carpet that matches the current pattern. I said we would call Marty McFly and see if we could take his Delorean back to 1985 and find some. If not, we'll see if something slightly less vertigo-inducing is available. All kidding aside…. Most of us would replace the carpet in our homes at least every thirty-seven years. We explored other flooring options (like exposed concrete or other options) but decided to stick with carpet to help with noise absorption. This seems like a good time to refresh the carpet along with the new walls to freshen the entire area and launch us into a new season of ministry.
Q. How else can I help?
Besides financial contributions, we will also need help with deconstruction: Removing and disassembling old panels for scrap metal value. We will also recruit teams for painting the permanent walls in the Fellowship Hall. We will organize these teams once the funds have come in and there is a more definite project start date.