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Growing in Community

The Project

For years we have recognized the need to update and improve our fellowship spaces. We believe now is the time to renew our commitment to hospitality, accessibility, and community-building by:

  • Transforming the Wesley Center
  • Upgrading the Big Kitchen
  • Remodeling the lower-level restrooms and providing for wheelchair access
  • Recommissioning the Sanctuary elevator  and improving accessibility 

Important Dates

  • June 23 & June 30 – Church-wide informational Open Forums following 9:00 am worship 
  • July 28 – Commitment Sunday
  • August 18 – Announcement Sunday
  • September-November – Final estimates, Bidding, Construction Plans
  • January 2025 – Renovation work begins!
     

The Need

Our lower-level Big Kitchen and Wesley Center are heavily used throughout the week and the year—from Sunday Worship Café to Neighborhood Meals, intergenerational gatherings, workshops, potlucks, funeral luncheons, Holiday Fair, and much more. We welcome members, visitors, neighbors from near and far, but our lower level hardly makes a welcoming impression.

The current configuration of the lower-level Wesley Center, Big Kitchen, and restrooms was established in the early 1980s during an extensive renovation project. While there have been some minor modifications, the spaces have remained essentially the same for more than 40 years—and they are showing their age!

Background

Since Cedar Rapids’ earliest days, St. Paul’s has played an 
important role in our community. From humble beginnings in an 1840s log cabin to our current location in Wellington Heights, our church has been making disciples of Christ for many generations. 
 
Our historic Louis Sullivan-designed church building has served our congregation well for 110 years, with an education wing addition in 1962 and various remodeling projects along the way. Our 2017 Forward in Faith project created wonderful new welcoming spaces on the main floor and a new Early Learning Center on the second floor, all while preserving and renewing the historic essence of our beloved church building. But the Wesley Center, Big Kitchen, and restrooms were not included in those renovations. 

Missional Priorities

As a people GATHERED, FORMED, and SENT by God’s grace, we are committed to these Missional Priorities:

  • Grow through vibrant ministries with children, youth, and families. 
  • Resist injustice by doing justice. 
  • Open ourselves to be a place of ever-increasing welcome and belonging. 
  • Work to develop deeper relationships, both inward and outward. 
  • Develop Communication, Timeline, and Funding Plan for several facilities projects for ministry and mission.

The Process

  • 2012 Ministry Plan concluded that “the development of facilities [appropriate] for mission and ministry in the 21st century is absolutely critical to a healthy and vibrant future of St. Paul’s.” 
  • 2017 – The Forward in Faith project resulted in extensive “welcoming” renovations, but it did not include the lower-level spaces.
  • Mid-2023 – Trustees hired Neumann Monson Architects to create schematic design possibilities aimed at continuing our welcoming vision.
  • September 2023 – Trustees and Sending to Serve conducted a church-wide presentation and information gathering session. 
  • October 2023 – Church Council approved a plan to create a building committee and conduct a capital campaign feasibility study. 
  • April 2024 – The feasibility study revealed strong support and Church Council authorized a capital campaign to raise $1.9 million.

Now is the time to create a space that truly says “Welcome” to all who enter our building.

Campaign Leadership Team

  • Thomas Sears – Campaign Chair
  • Nancy AntonJensen – Prayer 
  • Amy Bruner – REACH
  • Brad Hart – Lead Gifts
  • Jade Hart – Communications
  • Rev. Jonathan Heifner – Lead Pastor
  • Linda Henecke – Campaign Coordinator
  • Miriam Mackey – Gratitude & Ministry
  • Dale Moore – Executive Committee
  • Becca Nims – Kids & Youth Ministry
  • Jerry Oakland – Campaign Coordinator
  • Barbara Snively – Celebration
  • Jim Steggall – Advance Commitments
     

God, what do you want to do through me?  

Watch for more information on how to give to the campaign. Commitment cards will be mailed in advance of Commitment Sunday on July 28. Or call the church office for more information about ways to give.

    St. Paul's United Methodist Church
    1340 3rd Ave SE
    Cedar Rapids, IA 52403

    319.363.2058

    Office Hours:
    Monday-Thursday | 9:00 am-4:00 pm
    Friday | 9:00 am -12:00 pm 

     

    © St. Paul's United Methodist Church