New Church Dedicated
Archbishop Sample dedicated and consecrated the new church on October 13, 2013 with a large number of parishioners. During the bilingual celebration, Archbishop consecrated the church, the altar, the walls, and the various items used in worship. The consecration and dedication speaks in ritual to the purpose of the church and how it will be used in our worship and adoration of God. The church isn’t totally complete and still needs the stained glass, crucifix, statues, and some other finishing touches. It is expected to be mostly done by Christmas. The church is the house of God, but when we come together in Christ, we are the church as we allow him to live in us and through us. It is our prayer that this new church will further inspire us to live in a manner worthy of our calling as Christians. It is our hope that it will provide us for many years to come and help us to complete our mission to bring Christ to the Rogue Valley in new and powerful ways. The space and flexibility we now have allows us to use the parish hall and additional classrooms for other uses.
Before the Dedication
In 1978 Shepherd of the Valley Catholic Church began meeting at Mae Richardson Elementary School and then moved to a converted fruit stand where the church has functioned for the last 35 years. Fr. Elwin Schwab was the founding pastor followed by Fr. David Janes, Fr. Vincent McGarvey, Fr. Jim Clifford, and the present pastor, Fr. Mike Walker. As the church grew, more Masses were added to accommodate the increase in parishioners. In early 2001 it became apparent that the converted fruit stand was no longer sufficient to meet the needs of the growing congregation. The first steps began for planning the building of a newer and larger church to accommodate the parishioners and serve the community more effectively. In 2011 a committee was formed and formal plans were agreed upon. In 2012 the capital campaign began to raise the funds necessary to complete the project. The overall cost was $3.5 million and the fundraising efforts planned to use a combination of a capital campaign with savings and grant money. The building began at the end of 2012 with an estimated completion date of October 2013. There were various factors and design considerations included in the building of the new church. First of all, in order to support the local economy, we wanted the entire project to remain local and employ local workers as much as possible. Therefore, we searched out a local contractor and architect and selected materials, subcontractors, and equipment to reflect the values and hard work of Southern Oregon. For the design, our goal was to have a building large enough to accommodate future growth, practical so that the services could be easily seen and heard, and aimed at fostering the intimate and family feel that reflects our mission as a church. Finally, we wanted the final design to fit in and reflect the beauty of Southern Oregon. Now that the project is nearing completion, we will be having our Mass of Dedication and Consecration. Archbishop Alexander Sample will be coming in to celebrate the First Mass and Dedication. This will take place on October 13 at 1:00 pm. Regular Masses and services will begin on the following week. We are all looking forward to opening the doors and beginning our new chapter and continuing our mission in the new facilities. All are welcome to visit, worship, and celebrate with us in the new church any time as we continue our to serve God and his people.
New Church Update – Fall 2013:
The dedication of the New Church is coming soon. On October 13 at 1:00 pm, Archbishop Sample will formally dedicate and consecrate the church. It is close to done but we will still be doing some finishing touches as time goes by. For example, we will need to install the stained glass, crucifix, statues, and much of the naming. Still, it will be functional and will be our place of worship going forward. Since the dedication is an elaborate and longer ceremony with some challenges and logistical considerations, I’ll be putting some basic information about that below. Thank you to all who have made this possible. Logistics and Considerations About the Dedication of the New Church: 1. There will be a lot of people. Even with the new parking it will be difficult. Please use the overflow parking first if you can and allow the closer spots for those who might not be able to walk so easily. 2. The Mass will start with everyone outside the main doors. The Archbishop will bless the doors and enter first. Then everyone else will enter through the two main front doors. We will need to be orderly as possible and do our best to allow the elderly, disabled, and sick to have priority. We cannot enter the church early, save seats, or even have assurance that there will even be enough seats. 3. Keep in mind that this is a long ceremony. It will probably be close to three hours. It will be difficult for kids and some adults to make it that long. I am not discouraging anyone, but keep in mind it is not an ordinary Sunday Mass.
Building Update – Summer 2013:
The weekends of May 26 and June 2 we had our “signing” ceremony. After the Masses people went into the church and signed their names to the pillars and beams of the new church. At this time many saw the inside of the church for the first time. I heard all kinds of comments but the most common one was one of awe and praise by the beauty and because we are on our way to achieving our goal. The completion date remains by October and Archbishop Sample is slated to dedicate and consecrate it on October 13 at 1:00 pm. In the meantime, we keep praying and moving ahead with our parish mission. As the pastor of the church, I am happy to see the progress and look forward to holding our first Mass in the new church. In the meantime, however, we need to be moving ahead with the church mission and planning. Since we will have a lot of new seating capacity, this brings up some questions. One question that people have had is the number of Masses once the new church opens. My consistent answer to that question is that we will have the same Mass schedule. Yes, it is true that we could consolidate a couple of Masses but I would rather attract more people to go to Mass and fill in the pews at our existing Masses. This is where we all come in. In the Fall we will be putting a lot of focus and energy into attracting new parishioners. Now that God has blessed us with a bigger church, we can welcome more people to share in it without the stress of thinking that we wouldn’t have a place for them to sit! In the meantime keep praying and looking forward to will be exciting times in the near future.
Building Update – March 23:
As we draw Close to Holy Week the new church is taking shape. At this point it looks a little like something out of National Geographic when wooly mammoth bones are uncovered pointing up out of the ground. This this case it is the steel and cement supports that make up the support structure of the church. These will be enclosed in what will become the the walls and roof. According to the contractor estimates the church is 25% done. There is a lot left to do but we are still headed for the late September completion date. In the meantime we are doing our best to make sure that we can complete the project without going into debt. There are variables in this but we are confident that we can achieve this. Part of the plan is to encourage people to pay off their pledges as soon as possible so that we have less interest. In addition, we are going slow and conservative and outfitting the church with the essentials until we are comfortable that we have a sufficient revenue stream to complete it. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Building Update – January 6:
This picture shows the outline and the building pad but doesn’t give a full indication of the work that has been done. It might not seem like it right now, but we are making progress and keeping on schedule. The good weather has helped. At this point we have raised the entire site by almost two feet, did the groundwork, poured the footings, and formed the perimeter. In the next few weeks we will be finishing the pad and adding the steel beams that will be our main support beams for the structure. I’ll try to keep the updates coming as it progresses.
New Construction Begins:
We have reached our Goal! In order to begin construction we needed to be able to reach approximately $3.3 million with pledges and savings. By of the end of November, we passed the amount needed to begin construction and complete the essential project. In the meantime, will continue to welcome future pledges so that we will have some cushion and avoid digging too deep into our savings. During November, we have also received the final approval from the Archbishop, the archdiocesan Liturgy Commission, and the Archdiocesan Building Committee. We have submitted the final plans to the City of Central Point and should soon have that final approval as well. On Sunday, December 9, we held our groundbreaking ceremony and formally blessed the grounds and kicked off the new construction. It’s official. We are beginning the first stage of construction before Christmas. We are still on target to complete the project by summer of 2013. You may have noticed that our parking has changed to accommodate our building process. From now on we will be parking on the east side of the property. It will mean a little more walking and some minor inconveniences, but we have also instituted a traffic flow that will simplify the process and help those who are less mobile to have close parking. In the meantime, please use caution since it is darker and people are still getting used to the new system. Please continue to pray for the continued success of the campaign and the new building. Thanks to all of you who have contributed to the planning, praying, and implementation of the new church. I look forward to seeing some good and visible progress in the months to come.
Completing our Campaign:
Last weekend I came to the parish and explained our new church situation. In a nutshell, we have about a $250,000 gap between what we really need and what we have. We are so close that we want to bring our situation before you and the parish and make a final push to overcome the shortfall and complete the project. Would you be willing to add another year to your pledge or make another sacrificial gift to help us to accomplish this? Doing so would enable us to move forward and avoid making major cuts that will put off or eliminate essential elements of the project. To answer a few questions you may have: 1. Why didn’t we raise enough money to begin with? We actually did meet our goal as a parish and had great participation, but there are many parts to a campaign and other areas like the grants and foundations didn’t really come through as we hoped. We did have some generous contributions, but not to the degree that we were hoping for. This left us about $250,000 short. 2. What if we don’t make up the difference? We will still build the new church but we will have to make some serious cuts to do it. These cuts would put off building some aspects until later and would increase our costs in the long run. For example, if we don’t build the daily Mass chapel, we will have to heat the entire church instead of a smaller space for daily Mass and have increased constructions costs at a later date when add on the existing church. 3. Is $250,000 really all we need? Yes, it is what we need to finish the essential project. We will have other things that we may want to improve in the future like the courtyard between the church and the hall, adding parking, and adding liturgical items, but this will enable us to build and furnish the church with a functional campus. 4. Can’t we just be more efficient and still get everything we need for what we currently have raised and pledged? No. From the beginning we have been trying to be as efficient as possible and still build according to the regulations of the Catholic Church and the City of Central Point while accommodating our true needs. We have done that faithfully, but there are limits to cost savings and small changes will not be enough to make up for the shortfall. So, again, we come to you asking you to do what you can to help us overcome our last hurdle to get this church built in a way that provide us for our needs and give us a clear sense of satisfaction knowing that we achieved what we set out to do. May God bless you for your commitment and thank you so much for what you have already done to make this dream of ours a reality. God bless you, Fr. Mike Walker
New Church Update: August 23
I know it seems like things have been sitting still lately with the new church but that is not true. Like a good old-fashioned percolator, things are brewing and starting to happen. I wanted to give you a brief rundown of where we are at and what we have to look forward to in the upcoming months. 1. As you probably have heard, our land swap is complete. We have finished the title report and signed the deeds. It’s all done. 2. A few weeks ago we started the process to be formally annexed into the City of Central Point. This was necessary so that we could work with one entity and complete the permits and planning that we need to do. We had our meeting with the city council and the annexation was approved. 3. We have official approval from the Archbishop and the Archdiocesan Liturgical Committee. The Liturgical Committee has to approve any new church floor plan so that it functions well and conforms to the latest guidelines and liturgical norms. After the committee approved the floor plan the Archbishop met with me and after answering a few of his questions he formally approved it. 4. In June we met with the Archdiocesan Building Commission with our site plan and proposed design. We were expecting more conversation about what we were trying to accomplish with the design and how it will help us to function as an engaged and faithful congregation of Catholics, but, in the end, we did get preliminary approval. At this point we move forward from the design stage toward the build stage. 5. We have been meeting with the Loan Commission from the archdiocese and had a preliminary approval for the bridge loan that we will need to move ahead with the building. At this point we are fine tuning the amounts but the good news is that we are only paying interest on the money that we actually withdrawal from the approved amount. This is a substantial savings over a loan that charges us interest on the full amount of the loan since we can manage the cash flow by taking out only what we need to pay our most immediate. 5. We’ve been working quite a lot at the interior of the church and putting some touches on the exterior planning as well. There are many details such as finalizing the needed rooms in the sacristy, coming up with a workable baptismal font that will function well without being a tripping hazard, and selecting colors and fixtures that work well what we are trying to do. We also have enlisted professionals in some of these areas. 6. We are trying to nail down costs so that we get all of our essentials without breaking the bank. This has been more difficult than we first thought. One of the drawbacks is that we were counting on getting some grant monies from various foundations, but those haven’t really panned out. The other difficulty is our total cost. We can go “bare bones”, “essential needs”, or “what we’d love to have”. We have been shooting for “essential needs” which is a balance of finding the best value possible. Comparing our fundraising and savings with our “essential needs” brings us a gap of about $300,000. We believe that we can save some money from in kind donations but even so we are still looking at a $250,000 gap. We will have to make a hard decision. Do we do some major slashing and make it happen with a “bare bones” project, or do we pitch in a bit more and finish what we truly need. Both options can work in the long run, but this September, we as a parish will need to decide which option we want. 7. The tear down of the old church is scheduled for Tuesday after Labor Day, or September 4. After each Mass on Labor Day weekend we will be doing a goodbye blessing in appreciation for the blessings God has worked through the old church building. It is remarkable that we have gotten the years of use that we did and the blessing acknowledges he many gifts and graces that God has brought our way in these church walls. 8. Very soon after the tear down of the old church we will be laying down the rock to prepare for the site plan and foundation. The good news is that we will have additional parking! The bad news is that it will be a type of gravel that will not be so nice with high heals. We will need the gravel to settle for a few months as we prepare for the building in the wintertime. 9. The ongoing work we are doing with the site plan now is finalizing our design to move it to a build plan. We have broken off and formed sub committees to help be efficient. We have also elicited professionals to help with the more tedious aspects of selection and design – most of whom are doing so without being paid. 10. At this point, I would like to thank the numerous people who have contributed to this project and work. Many people working behind the scenes and dedicating themselves and their goods and services have made it possible. You may not be aware of this, but almost everyone I talk to who has done or is doing a similar project is spending significantly more than we are. People are amazed at how well it looks and what it is projected to cost. This has been possible because of a spirit of frugality, but also because of so many people who have been so generous. We are also blessed to have S&B James heading up our project. Tom Hall’s attention to detail and expertise has already saved us hundreds of thousands at a quality that will ensure that we will have this church for decades into the future. So thank you all who have contributed to getting us to this point. My God be with us as we move forward.
The Campaign is Finishing Up:
We are now in the process of completing our Capital Campaign. Besides our “in church” campaign we have also been working to get funding from some outside groups. The combination of the two combined with our savings forms our overall goal of around $3.3 million. It appears that when all is said and done, we will be about $300,000 short from doing “everything” that we wanted. Not to fear! Although we will need to scale back a little, we can still accomplish everything we need. We are at the point where we need to move forward with applying for our bridge loans and planning for our building according to the funds we have available. From the beginning we have said that we will do our best to raise the money and after that we will build within our means. We have accomplished much more than many predicted we could and I really am grateful and thankful for so many of you who have sacrificed and committed to the project. In the next few weeks we’ll be gathering the different committees and moving forward so we can finalize our planning. It’s really going to happen everyone, and it is an exciting time. I’ll keep you all posted as things progress. Again, thanks to all of you who have helped to make this dream of our new church possible.
The Capital Campaign Update:
Just $200,000 to go for our “in church” campaign! We began the capital campaign for the new church in November and our goal was to get the majority of the campaign done before Christmas. As you realize, things don’t always go as quickly as planned, but I can say that we are doing well to finish the campaign in a thorough and speedy fashion. At this point we have done most of our stages and the last one to remain is our follow up. The follow up is simply doing our best to receive pledges from parishioners who have not given yet. This will happen by making follow up calls to those who haven’t yet participated. We hope and expect to complete this process by mid March. Another part of the campaign is what we call naming (or sponsoring) opportunities. These are donations that are given as memorials for loved ones, as a family sponsoring an area of the project, or as a show of support for some aspect of the Church. We have a list of these items available in the parish office that range from sponsoring particular rooms in the church to memorials connected to particular liturgical items. We also are continuing our applications to various foundations that might apply. At present we have around $2.3 million in pledges with about $200,000 remaining to meet our “in parish” goal. After combining outside contributions, savings, and our campaign, we feel that (with the conclusion of the follow up and the naming opportunities) we can meet this goal. Of course, the sooner we can do this the better so if you haven’t contributed yet and you wish to do so, please call the parish office for information on how you can be part of this exciting project.
And We Have a Contractor!
Part of the process of designing a new church is selecting a contractor that can do the best possible job for the best value. On September 19th, the RFP Committee (RFP = request for proposal) developed the proposal. After developing the RFP and submitting it to the Archdiocese of Portland and the greater committee, the proposal was sent out to the four largest builders in the Rogue Valley that could complete the project. The due date for returning the proposals was October 20, 2011. The three commercial contractors that returned offers were Adroit, Batzer, and S&B James. The criteria for selection included: Local Knowledge (0-15 pts), Team Qualifications (0-20 pts), Approach to Design and Build Process (0-45 pts), and Rates and expenses (0-20 pts). The RFP committee studied the responses individually and then met as a group to see if they could come to a consensus. The committee felt that the proposals were all good and in particular Batzer and S&B James had very strong proposals. After scoring and discussion, the subcommittee came to the unanimous conclusion that our New Church be built by S&B James. The RFP committee recommended S&B James to the New Church Committee and they confirmed it. Our selected contractor is S&B James Construction.
New Church Update: (Beginning of Capital Campaign – November, 2011)
The weekend of October 22-23, we began our Capital Campaign. We are looking at raising approximately $3 million to fund the building of our new church. We will be doing the campaign over the next three months and hope to finish it up by mid January, 2012. The essential part of the campaign is that we (parishioners of Shepherd of the Valley) will be making five year pledges. The total amount of those pledges will be used to help us to secure a bridge loan from the archdiocese so that we can begin construction before we actually collect the total of the pledges. At the end of the Masses during the kickoff I gave a presentation of the history, who is involved in the process, how much we need, and how we hope to accomplish the goals. I’m including a link to the presentation below, but if you have any additional questions please feel free to contact me at the parish office. Capital Campaign Presentation: New Church Update (August, 2011): A lot has happened since the last update. We completed our feasibility study and we presented our concept design and master plan to the Archdiocese of Portland. These are two very important steps in our process and both went very positively. I wanted to give you a summary of the latest events and let you know where we will go from here. 1. Feasibility Study: We have received the feasibility study last Thursday and presented the findings to the Pastoral Council, Administrative Council, and New Church Committee. If you wish to see the study it is available in the parish office, but here is a summary: First of all, the Cosgriff Company that did the feasibility study was very impressed with the participation of the parish as well as the overall spirit of the parish. The bottom line is that the study found that there is more than a 90% agreement that we are in need of a new church. People are also positive with the plan and willing to help. Our parish is described as positive, involved, and we can roll up our sleeves to get things done. We are also a practical and realistic parish and know that we can’t afford a Taj Mahal. We want a nice, functional, and affordable church to meet our needs. The Cosgriff Company said that it is a conservative and realistic expectation for us to be able to raise $2.5 Million for the project. In addition we have savings that we can apply to the project that would raise our possible target to be between $3.2 and $3.4 Million. Our projected costs with our current master plan are within the same range. We may be looking at scaling the overall plan back a bit so that we are in a safe place financially, but our project will remain in essence what we presented to the people in the feasibility study. If anyone wishes to see the study or plans in detail they are welcome to stop by the office to review them. The plans also can be found on the links below. 2. Presentation of the Master Plan to the Archdiocese: As you may know, we also need to get approval for our plans from the Archdiocese of Portland. The Thursday before last, members of the committee and designers of the plan went north to present our concept to the Archdiocesan Building Committee. They approved our concept design and gave us the green light to move to the design phase. We will continue working with the archdiocese at each stage as we fine tune our master plan. This is the normal procedure in any large project like a new church and includes the areas of liturgy, finance, and working with the architect and design team. The good news is that after our presentation the head of the Archdiocesan Building Committee said that “It seems to me that this is one of the better plans and presentations that we have had in a while.” 3. Where do we go from here? On a broad scale our next step is straight forward. We need to select the companies that will work with us in the capital campaign and the construction of the new church. In the next couple of weeks we are reviewing the proposals and selecting a capital campaign company based on price, quality, performance, and service. The architect and commercial contractor will also be selected. We will be sending out an RFP (request for proposal) to several commercial contractor companies. The various companies will receive our concept plan and they will then be able to submit a proposal. The New Church Committee in conjunction with the Archdiocese will select a company based on a set of weighted criteria. Once we have selected the capital campaign company and the commercial contractor and architect, we will begin the capital campaign and take the design phase to the point where we have the plans and are ready to build. Once we have enough pledges and assurances we will take out a bridge loan from the Archdiocese and begin construction. 4. What does this all mean? It means we are getting closer. I realize that it has been a long time coming and many of you are a bit impatient because we have been talking about it for years now. Now things are coming together and the day will be here soon enough. At this point I am asking the parish – and all the parish – to consider making this new church a priority in their giving. It means that we are asking for sacrifice. I am planning in my own life ways that I can raise the money necessary to be a strong contributor to the project. I will be saving, selling things, and working extra to be able to make a donation that I hope to be generous. I’m also asking everyone to start praying about how you can be a strong part of the success of this project. If we all stay positive and do our part, this new church will be a new reality that we will all enjoy with a sense of accomplishment because we all had our part in it. These are exciting times coming up in the next few months and I hope that you all will join me in supporting this necessary and beautiful project. New Church Floorplan New Church Siteplan New Church Elevations New Church Overview (May, 2011): The weekend before Palm Sunday I explained the situation with the plans for the New Church and gave an overview of the process. I’ll recap a bit but want to also end with a more detailed description of what we are looking at doing in the upcoming months. Summary: Shepherd of the Valley’s New Church project began with a committee that did a lot of groundwork already. In 2003 the committee and the parish drew up plans for a new church and identified the principles that made up that plan. It was done through a committee, a survey, and a joint meeting with an architect. Rather than start all over and reinvent the wheel, we wanted to validate it and adjust it for the present needs. The largest challenge was the change in property. Since the 2003 plan, we traded and acquired new property and traded the old one. This left us with a two fold advantage of having a larger piece of land and the ability to use our existing buildings. However, that also meant that the old plans would no longer work with the new property. Our process was to distill out the essential wants, needs, and desires of the old plans and apply them to a new set of plans designed for our current land. We also wanted to update the function and design when applicable. The Process: In the summer of 2010 we started up the committee again. We took the old committee members and invited them to continue. Some did, some where unable to, and some moved. We added to the committee by inviting additional parishioners to be part of the committee. We ended with 20 members and settled in with 16. The first job was to identify the need. Next we reviewed the prior committee’s work. Then we extracted the principles that led to the old plans. We reviewed the prior principles and amended them as we needed to. Then we surveyed different groups of the parish to confirm or to adjust our findings. The next step was to do the research. We visited different churches and made field trips so that we could get some pointers and ideas of what we might want to incorporate. Little by little we began to get an idea of a church design that would meet our needs and be faithful to the necessary principles that were identified earlier. The next step was to come up with a rough draft that we could work with. We made an appeal to the entire church for anyone who wanted to be part of the design committee. We got a few new members to assist with this committee from our open invitation. With that committee we worked and reworked several options until we had a rough idea about where the church would be located and what components it would have. At this point we needed to select a commercial contractor or an architect to put some ideas on paper. It’s one thing to have ideas, but the ideas have to work according to code and architectural principles. We selected S & B James to do the first stage of plans. They took what we had and worked out a possible sketch. We then worked with them over several weeks to develop a working model that we could bring to the people. This is where we are at now. Feasibility Study: A feasibility study is a parish survey to find out if and how well the parish would support the building of a new church. In order to do this, we needed to have at least a rough idea of what the church would look like. In other words, even if we didn’t have a final design, we need to bring SOME workable design to the people and ask if the parish would support it. We selected the Cosgriff Company and they will be beginning the study in early May. Process of the Feasibility Study: The process will begin by the Cosgriff Company interviewing a number of parishioners. The names of those selected to be asked to be interviewed are a cross section and sampling of the parish. This means we are including parishioners from the English and Spanish speaking communities as well as other financial and demographic factors. There will be a little over 100 parishioners asked to take part in the individual interviews. The interviews will be confidential between the Cosgriff Company and the parishioners with particular comments, but we will use the information as a whole to reach conclusions as to the feasibility of the overall project. The next stage is to offer a survey to the parish at large by mail, at the church, and online. The combination of the interviews and surveys will give us the information we need to make an informed decision about whether to move forward with the overall capital campaign and continue improving upon our rough draft for the new church design. The total time to complete this phase should be no more than six weeks. This means that by early June we should have the information we need. Where do we go from here? If the feasibility study comes back saying that we have the support to move forward with the overall project, we will target the overall capital campaign to begin in September. This means that the summer will be used to get our ducks in a row and continue to work on our new church design. During this time we will also be offering some all parish meetings and presentations to keep everyone informed as well as helping us in some of the overall decisions we will need to make. Completing the feasibility study and rough draft of the building will complete our first stage. After that we will need to submit our proposals to competing commercial contracting firms for the building and capital campaign companies for the overall capital campaign. Once we select the commercial contracting firm and capital campaign company, we will have everything in place to begin the overall campaign that we hope to start in the fall. Assuming our feasibility study comes back positive and we get the pledges we need during the overall capital campaign, we hope to have enough pledges to cover the cost of the project. We will then take out loans from the Archdiocese of Portland to finance the project. We hope to be able to build by spring of 2012. How can you help? First of all, if you are selected to be a part of the interview process, please take the time to complete the interview. If not, please fill out a survey. Remember that those selected to are a random sampling of the parish as a whole and it has no bearing on who’s opinions are better or more important. Secondly, please pray for the process. We will be making a lot of decisions as priests, as committee members, as parishioners, etc. that will affect Catholics in the Rogue Valley for years to come. Pray that our overall desire to have a new church that reflects the area and the people in a way that is efficient, beautiful, practical, and God centered lives up to our expectations. Also, pray that we as a parish support it with the sacrifice and work that will be necessary in the years to come to bring it to fruition. Thirdly, please be praying and considering what you might be able and willing to do to help in the project. The more people we have who are motivated and involved in the process, the greater the probability will be that the new church will truly be the blessing that we all want it to be. May God bless you and us all as we move forward in faith and trust. I look forward to the months to come and hope that you also will be excited about the work and blessing that lies ahead of us. Fr. Mike New Church Overview: 1. Land Exchange: A while back I submitted a letter to the archdiocese to get permission to do a land exchange. Our current properties include the two acre lot where the church presently is and an additional lot at over four acres. In between these two lots is one that we do not own. We entered into negotiation to trade land so that we could consolidate our properties on one piece of land that is about a six acre square. The land trade enables us to use our existing buildings and build a new church on a large enough site. It has been a long process and it is nearing completion at this time. We have agreed upon the terms, drawn up the property exchange, submitted a lot line adjustment, and are now finalizing the plan through our lawyers. I’m expecting it to be completed and signed within the next couple of weeks. 2. The Design: The design of the new church was formulated by a process that includes different elements. a. Use of former committee work: We took the plans that were developed between 2000 and 2003 and studied them. Since they were designed to conform to the old piece of land, they won’t work with our current site. We did, however, take the important aspects of the old plan and integrate them into the new site plan and new church design. For example there was a desire to have the church fit the area, accommodate growth, look like a church, have a welcoming feel, etc. We included the underlying principles of the design even if we didn’t include the physical structure of the design. b. Formation of the New Church Committee: We included past members of the old committee when we formed the new one. The new committee consists of 16 members and has been meeting for about a year. We included some committee members from the prior group and added new ones to try to get a good cross section of the church to aid in the implementation and design of the new church. c. Work of the New Church Design Subcommittee: The design subcommittee has the responsibility of combining the wants and needs with a workable plan that will be the rough design to submit to the architect. The basic plan was to develop a design that not only fit our needs, but did so with a design that looks like a church, fits the area, and is elegant yet not overdone. We spent a good deal of time looking at existing churches, consulting experts, and combining elements that fit our needs. Once we had a rough model we were ready to submit it to an architect so that it could be fine-tuned and made into a model that is architecturally feasible and fits into a site plan. d. The Design Submitted to the Architect: The design subcommittee’s rough design was submitted to the architect and is now being fine-tuned and refined. We have chosen David M. Thruston, AIA, NCARB working with S&B James Commercial Contracting Company to draw up the initial plans that we will then send out for bids or RFP. We continued to fine tune it until we get it to the point where we were able to have a solid and predictable model for what we will be building. The design is a somewhat cruciform design but wide enough to accommodate more parishioners and keep the homey feel that the committee wants to accomplish. We brought that Conceptual Design to the church for the feasibility study and will be bringing it to the Archdiocesan Building Commission as well. Here are some highlights: * We are placing the church on the SW part of the lot. This will be where the current “fruit stand” church is. The plan is to tear it down before building the new church and hold the Masses in the hall (where three of our five Masses are anyway). This location will increase visibility and access. * We will increase parking from (X) to (X) and use the existing buildings for additional classroom and meeting spaces. * Our thought is to not fill the whole back of the church with pews but keep it open for the short run and bring in chairs for special liturgies. This will keep people together and keep the homey feel that the parish wants. The current plan has the church able to accommodate 500 people on a regular basis. Adding chairs in the back for larger liturgies will enable us to easily fit 850 parishioners. With slight modifications the church could even accommodate more up to around 1000 parishioners. * We are planning to have some additional rooms, a drive under drop off, a large vestibule area, a social area to the side, and a smaller attached daily Mass chapel. The daily Mass Chapel will have accordion style glass and wood doors to close and open it up with the main church. The vestibule will have glass to enable people to see and hear the Mass from there. * The design is somewhat traditional but also trying to tie in the Northwest look as well as fit the Southern Oregon area. * We did get initial approval from the City of Central Point to pursue the project. 3. Capital Campaign: We began the feasibility stage of the capital campaign in June. The company we have hired is Cosgriff. We will be doing the standard six week study to assess the feasibility of raising the money for the campaign. If we receive a positive outlook for the feasibility study and approval from the archdiocese, we will use the plans to begin the parish wide capital campaign. The parish wide capital campaign may or may not be the capital campaign company that did the feasibility study. The Archdiocesan Capital Campaign amount has been agreed upon and will be paid separately from the New Church Capital Campaign. 4. Sending out the Request for Proposal (RFP): Assuming we get the approvals and the green light from the feasibility study, we will then send out the plans for bid. The proposals will be judged on criteria developed by the selection committee and a commercial contracting company will be selected based on the criteria. The company selected may or may not be the company that drew up the initial plans that led up to the RFP. 5. Future Plans: Once we finish our plans and feasibility study we will need to select the commercial contractor and capital campaign company. At that point we will be able to move forward with raising the money to begin the project. We may also be taking out some loans from the Archdiocese to enable us to begin building of the project. If all goes as well as possible, we could expect to begin the greater capital campaign by September and groundbreaking by Spring of 2012. Of course things will need to also fall into place but hopefully that will be the case.