Broad Street Ministry Update 10/17/15

After a church-wide vote, the church council tasked us to find a space on Broad Street to pursue a new ministry endeavor for Rome First. We’ve been in negotiations for several locations. In each case, it was either not fiscally feasible in a model of good stewardship or did not fulfill the vision or mission supported in that vote. The Broad Street Ministry team is asking to suspend our search for a space on Broad Street.

In the meantime, Allison Watters and Renee Webb have negotiated with The Rev. Dr. Brown and the Trustees for the interim use of the former UMC Children’s Home for the Do Good store. This was the retail component that was part of the original vision for the Broad Street ministry.

We have continued to be in prayer and to seek discernment throughout the process as some doors have opened and others have closed; however, we have encountered a number of obstacles that need to be addressed before we pursue this ministry endeavor or anything that may arise in its stead.

While we have faithfully pursued this ministry, we’ve come to the realization there’s not a clear consensus of a vision for the future of the congregation of Rome First. Because of that, we are no longer certain whether the Broad Street ministry would be helpful or harmful to Rome First. This group wants a ministry that is both a supportive and complementary partnership with Rome First.

If, after a visioning process and a new path, you were to ask us to continue pursuing the Broad Street ministry, we would like to request your consideration of the following:

·         A clear vision for the church, communicated to and supported by the membership.

·         Commitments in place to the capital campaign in the minimum amount of $900,000 to enable the achievement of all the campaign goals.

·         Completion of the planned renovations to the Wilder Center with the goal of improving the overall worship experience for both the regular service as well as any future Broad Street Ministry worship.

·          In order to achieve the above two items, we ask that you consider re-prioritizing the campaign priorities by moving the Broad Street Initiative from number 3 to number 5. As well, we recommend focusing attention on the Wilder Center and accessibility improvements as both of those will allow better use of our facilities, which will help the church serve and minister to our community.

We specifically request the following action from Church Council:

·         Motion: The Broad Street ministry team moves we be allowed to suspend the search for a new space and ministry previously identified as the Broad Street Ministry Initiative until such time as this goal of a new vision has been articulated and we have been given clearer direction about the best and most fruitful ministry goals for Rome First.

We believe this is a unique opportunity for the leadership of the church to set a clear, exciting vision for Rome First.