We have come to call it "The Haggai Dream." Haggai the prophet is remembered for spearheading the call to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem, which was in ruins during his day. Why rebuild? So that the life of his community could gather around the Presence of God, for his generation and ones to follow. Grace Fellowship Church is called to the Southside of Princeton, to be a GRACEshaped community located at the intersection of brokenness and hope. We want to invite those trapped in brokenness in our neighborhood and wider city to turn the corner into the hope of restoration through Jesus. We are called to build the Church--to build individual believers and Christian families in discipleship so they become established and firm in the faith, and to build the Kingdom by inviting new people into God's family through evangelism and outreach. We are called to receive grace, grow in grace, and offer grace to those around us. We are called to ensure that our wider community has the opportunity to gather around the Presence of God, for this generation and the ones to follow.
Yet, our current facility will become a hindrance to that call rather than a facilitator of it. Our building, while not quite yet in ruins, is about to turn 100 years old. It has significant structural issues which would prove to become a black hole for financial resources in the coming years. The Church is not a building--it is a people. Yet the building where we gather is meant to facilitate the vision God has given His people for ministry, and ours will soon not be suitable for this purpose. We recognize that the formal feel of our "bell tower and stained glass windows" traditional building might communicate to some that "dress clothes are required"--when we want to welcome people as they are! The stairway access to both our sanctuary and fellowship area also mean that people with mobility issues aren't able to fully engage. These factors combined are already placing stumbling blocks between many in our community and access to the Lord's Presence in our gatherings. God has birthed a dream in us for ministry facilities on the corner of Stormont and Illinois Street designed specifically to facilitate fruitful ministry in our neighborhood.
We have discerned that the time is now to begin actively pursuing a new season of ministry in new ministry facilities designed with our context and vision in mind. Our plan is to pursue this new season in stages, the first of which being a faith promise and fundraising campaign to build a multipurpose building on our property while we continue to worship in our current building. We are estimating this initial project to have a cost of around $300,000. Thus, we are building a "model facility" as a thermometer of funding, a facility which, when completed, will be made up of 300 bricks worth $1,000 each. Through the generosity and faithful giving of our congregation, the foundation of this model is already laid along with the first wall and the beginning of a second. Might God be calling you to support our ministry vision by partnering with us in the construction of new ministry facilities? Could God lay half a brick or even build a whole wall through your generosity? You can be part of what God is doing in the Southside of Princeton! (Please maintain your email receipt for tax purposes--no end of year receipts will be sent for donations through GoFundMe).