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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Why do we have to buy this property? Isn’t it already ours?
 

In the process of leaving the PCUSA denomination in 2016, Vintage Faith Church agreed to pay $414,000 to acquire the property at 350 Mission Street as part of what was called the “Gracious Dismissal Process.” The way PCUSA was structured, they have ownership over the properties of churches across the country that belong to their denomination. Thankfully, we were able to reach the current price, which is equivalent to less than 10 percent of the property’s actual value. We feel incredibly blessed by that, since many churches were required to pay much more than that.

When will all of this happen? What’s the timeline?
 

On Celebration Sunday (Dec.2nd), we will begin the work of purchasing and renovating the property based on the total amount that is committed. We are praying that, at minimum, enough is raised for the purchase of the property. We are confident this will happen. After that, the renovation components of the campaign will go into affect based on priority and the total amount given.

If the total amount of the campaign comes in, we see the renovation process unfolding in phases based on different parts of the building, with the priority renovation projects (roof upgrade and gym renovations) launching first.

 

If we don’t raise the total amount, what will happen?

As stated in the previous response, we will do as much as is possible based on the amount that is committed. If we fall short of the $414,000 it will take to purchase the property, we do have the option of taking a very low-interest loan directly from PCUSA to still purchase the property. But again, we are confident that you will be generous and we will be able to purchase the property as planned. Beyond that, which renovation projects we do and do not take on will be fully dependent upon the total raised.

 

What is Vintage Faith Church’s current overall financial situation?

We are financially sound but not overflowing with extra resources at this point. We have a healthy balance sheet - no debt, a modest “rainy day fund” of $175,000, but no extra savings to fund new projects and capital initiatives. Our operating budget is designed to break even (including the Abbey, after it pays $50,000 toward church overhead). In order to purchase and renovate the property, this campaign is clearly necessary. This process has been discussed and prayed over for several years at the most central levels of leadership at Vintage Faith Church and we feel confident that whatever the outcome, we’re moving in the direction God is leading us!

 

Can you explain how the “matching gift” program will work?

As we announced, some generous donors have already offered to match Vintage Vision gifts one-for-one, up to a total of $110,000.  This means that gifts will be essentially doubled as commitments are received – until the total donor match is reached.  In order to share this incentive with as many people as possible, regardless of their giving level, we will apply the lowest amounts first as we fulfill the matching gifts.

Those who wish to offer additional matching gifts after the “launch” on September 16 are encouraged to talk with one of the pastors about how that would work (e.g., perhaps some special matching challenges announced to the congregation prior to November 18).  In any case, we would not envision any of these additional matching gifts to count against existing matching gifts.

 

Can you elaborate on what would happen if we don’t reach our full goal of $974,000?  Specifically, which projects would not be funded?  Would we consider borrowing money to make up such a shortfall?

In the unlikely case that we don’t fully achieve our goal, the church leadership team would determine which projects could move forward, and which ones would need to wait, as described below: 

  • All gifts will be directed toward property purchase until that critical need ($414,000) is met. See separate Q&A in the brochure regarding our options if we fall short of that goal.

  • Once we cover the property purchase, we will proceed according to the priorities described in the brochure. However, some flexibility may be required. For example, if we receive only $50,000 more than the property purchase cost, we couldn’t proceed with either the meeting room project or the new roof – and would address smaller projects like the bathrooms. If we were to receive $200,000 over the property purchase cost, we’d probably move forward with the new meeting rooms, but not the roof – unless the roof begins to fail and needs immediate attention. In other words, donors are encouraged to assume some discretion in the use of their gifts, depending on circumstances.

We would most likely avoid borrowing to make up for a possible shortfall in meeting our goal.  The church currently has no debt.  This is a great blessing for at least two reasons: (1) all of our Worshipful Giving goes directly to support the ministry – with no funds diverted to cover debt service, and (2) the church is in a much better position to withstand a major economic downturn with no debt – e.g., not faced with the prospect of laying off staff to avoid bank default.  Having said that, the church leadership team may determine in unusual circumstances that debt is the best short-term option, but only if there’s a clear plan for timely repayment.

 

What if we raise more than the $974,000 goal?  

It seems entirely possible that this could be the case, and if so, we would start by celebrating God’s goodness and your generosity!  Then, as you might suspect, we would turn our attention to important repairs and improvements that did not make it onto the initial list.  Given the age of our facilities, there are many opportunities for putting extra funds to good use.  We would share some of those with the congregation on December 2 if the total results exceed the $974,000 goal.

 

Is it OK if we redirect some of our regular giving to support the Vintage Vision initiative?

The General Giving fund is what covers the church's basic day to day operational budget. Utilities, supplies, staff salaries, equipment and the ongoing ministry program costs.  A shift of giving from general operations to property purchase and capital projects would force us to make cutbacks in what our basic budget and needs are now (and we keep them extremely frugal) and would then definitely impact our basic week to week ministry.  

For this reason, we urge everyone to make their pledge commitments above and beyond their normal giving levels. The purpose of the Vintage Vision is to raise funds to purchase the building we do ministry in. The General Fund covers the cost of the ministries - this is why shifting giving from the General Fund to the building would not allow ministry to continue the same. Giving toward the Vintage Vision is meant to be above and beyond what is given to the General Fund to cover the basics of ministry. Please contact alden@vintagechurch.org if you have any questions about this.