(This is a class project.)
The Family Life Center of our church has been a place where we have done fellowship together had our church potlucks, trainings, business meetings, VBS, hosted Missions Conferences, had celebrated together at wedding receptions, and grieved together at funeral luncheons. On Wednesday evenings during the school year, this space is first a place for our family meal, then game time our kids' ministry, followed by open gym time for our teens.
Not only have we, as a congregation, been blessed by this building but we have opened the doors and invited the community in thousands of people have heard the gospel while attending the annual Outdoor Expo. Funds have been raised to support life by Northern Options' winter gala. Our community members have used this space for homeschool gym time, birthday celebrations, grad parties, bridal showers, sport team banquets.
Almost three decades ago the congregation of the Evangelical Covenant Church of International Falls had a vision. A vision of a place where our entire church family could gather under one roof for a time of fellowship. A vision of a commercial-grade kitchen that could be used for banquets, weddings, and funeral receptions. A vision of a gym filled with kids running about during games time during Awanas. A vision this space filled with bouncy games for teens lock-ins. They had a vision for a space where we could fellowship… not only with one another but with Our Heavenly Father.
This vision that they shared became a reality through devoted prayer, financial sacrifice, gifts of labor, and God's faithfulness. For twenty years, our family life center served us well and allowed us to live life together and be a blessing to so many others.
Like many buildings standing through three decades of Northern Minnesota winters, the roof needs to be replaced, the heating boiler is so now obsolete and replacement parts are almost impossible to find, the carpeted flooring has been worn thin, the sprinkler head of our fire suppressant system are about to exceed their life span and those commercial appliances in the kitchen are now far from being energy efficient any longer.
We are at the place of writing a new chapter in the story of our Family Life Center. Today we are announcing a capital fundraising Campaign that we are calling "Carry Forward". The financial goal is to raise $275,000 over the next 3 years, which is above and beyond our general operating budget. Just like our congregation did 30 years ago, we will have to sacrifice, individually, as a family, and as a church, to see this goal accomplished.
We ask you to pray and seek God's guidance so that your gift should represent a meaningful and proportionate personal sacrifice above your regular tithing in accordance with your financial ability to give. Because our church ministries are funded through the tithes of God’s people, this campaign should not affect our ability to provide excellent programming and ministries.
This is a new chapter of our story, where the focus toward is on revitalizing this space so that we can "Carry Forward" Christ's love into the next generation of our church and our community. Together, let us “Carry Forward”!