A Stewardship Campaign is underway to raise the necessary funds for the restoration and repair of the historic 1865 church building at 1120 Washington Street in Gloucester, Massachusetts. The goal of the campaign is to raise $350,000.
We welcome the support and encouragement of our entire community. Our historic building has been part of the streetscape in Lanesville for 154 years. Its steeple serves as a navigational aid for mariners. It has ministered to our community for more than century and a half and has witnessed the comings and goings of countless generations.
The Orthodox Congregational Church in Lanesville was organized on August 25, 1830, and has been worshipping in the building on Washington Street since 1865. For almost 200 years we have been steadily proclaiming the word of the Lord in our community. We have been a beacon of light and hope in a dark world that is crying out for the truth of the gospel.
The building we worship in has seen changes over the years, the most recent being the addition of the parish hall in 2010. We hoped this new multi-purpose space would allow us to increase our outreach to our neighbors and invite more people to share in the message of salvation. When we look at how the parish hall is being used today we have been blessed beyond what we had dared to dream. This should not surprise us, for when we step out in faith, as we did a decade ago, God will walk beside us. He will provide for our needs.
Today, we are facing the urgent need to restore the deteriorating facade of our church structure and the replacement of the furnace. Years of deferred maintenance have resulted in a shabby facade with peeling paint, rotten clapboards and crumbling doors. “Touching up” is no longer a viable solution to maintaining the exterior of our historic building. Through our seeming lackluster stewardship of the building, and its continuing deterioration, we communicate to our neighbors a lack of care for this unique architectural resource that is dear to many. We need to improve our witness. It would be wonderful to bring the building we worship in, the building that has been a symbol of our founders’ faith and sacrifice, and remains an ongoing beacon on Cape Ann, to a point where it reflects our stewardship and care of this historic, faithful building, and allows it to be more easily maintained.
Through our witness, we are called to regularly refocus on who we are, what we do and how we do it. We are to attend to the regular upkeep of both body and soul, our building and our gospel outreach. Caring for both is the mark of a healthy church.
After due diligence, the joint boards are ready to implement our plans to protect and more effectively steward this venerable resource for current and future generations. It has been estimated that it will cost $350,000 to complete the work. We already have a special gift of $30,000 earmarked for that purpose.
Please accept our invitation to participate in a stewardship campaign in the fall of 2019 to restore the exterior of our building and attend to other important improvements. As in the past, the joint boards have asked God’s people to support the expansion and modernization of our physical plant in order to facilitate the ministries we feel God calling us to. He has blessed us abundantly.
We ask God’s blessing as together, the Elders, Deacons, Missions Committee and Congregation, participate in the renewal of our body’s vision for purpose and mission. We want to be a renewed people of God, hospitable and welcoming in the building that has long represented the Christian community in Lanesville so that its sole purpose will be to bring glory to God.
Floyd B. Grace
The Stewardship Campaign Leadership Team is planning an event on October 5, 2019, called “Presentation, Celebration and Commitment”. You are warmly invited. Please save the date and watch this space for further news.
Please pray for the efforts of those planning and supporting the stewardship campaign. In addition to a leadership team, we have a team of prayer warriors, as well as a construction team in place.
As initiatives to contemplate and meditate on your involvement are announced, please consider how you can respond.
Please contact us to find out how to give. We are soliciting donations and pledges over a 3-year period. Construction will begin as funds are made available.
Alex Mattera – Campaign Chair
Sally May Levesque