Grateful for the Partnership
I have often thanked the Lord for the privilege of pastoring a congregation adjacent to a thriving Christian college campus. Pearce has been blessed by its partnership with Roberts Wesleyan over the college’s 150-year history. That partnership has been expressed in many ways over the decades; a new expression of it will begin in May 2017. At the conclusion of the spring semester, Roberts will no longer be renting classroom space from Pearce. This has several implications, two of which I want to highlight here.
First, this will significantly impact the hours of operation for our Common Grounds Café. Since its inception, the café has been open on weekdays to service the students attending classes in our education wing. Although the café’s hours next September are unclear, I anticipate they will be reduced.
Second, our church’s budget will be impacted as well. The rental revenue from the college has funded nearly 10% of our Operational Budget for the past several years. It is my hope that the Pearce family, by their generous support, will help offset the loss of this rental income.
I realize this was not an easy decision for the college to make; and I appreciate their expressions of concern for us when they relayed the news. I ask for your prayers as we navigate this new stretch of our congregation’s journey. I pray that the college will experience such growth in the coming years that they will, once again, be asking for classroom space at Pearce!
Our administrator, Honna Curtis, summarized her email informing Pearce’s finance committee of this development with these thoughts:
The Lord will get Pearce through this and He will provide. It will take prayer, discretion, stewardship, and humility on our part to strive for the things the Lord would have us do, even if it means pushing our ‘druthers’ aside. Let’s not turn to fear and trembling, but in all things and in all circumstance, praise and thank the Lord for his continual and abundant goodness to us!
As you may already be aware, Pearce has recently completed its annual payments to Roberts Wesleyan College for the properties at 65 & 67 Orchard Street. The Official Board spent much of its 2016 Board Retreat in discussion about the two properties and what Pearce should do with them once they would come under Pearce ownership.
After much listening, prayer, and dialogue, the Board determined that the properties will be an asset to Pearce, but the structures themselves do not fit Pearce’s ministry purposes. We do own other buildings, which would be available for future use if we experience a new or growing ministry which could benefit from a separate building. In addition, keeping the buildings will be more costly; and without a clear vision for them, Pearce cannot justify the estimated expenses. The current ideas for 65 & 67 Orchard Street include additional green space and/or a potential parking lot expansion, if viable and necessary in the future.
So the houses will be coming down. The abatement process is under way right now, as there were small amounts of asbestos found in both buildings. Once that is completed, air monitoring reports must come back clean so that demolition permits may be obtained. The sewer line must be disconnected by the County, which may take 6 weeks; but we are hoping and encouraging this piece to move more swiftly, as it must be completed prior to demolition. Pearce Director of Facilities, Bob Antes, and the entire Property Committee have been invaluable in the process of obtaining many quotes, determining best steps forward, and learning about each piece which must be addressed along the way.
We are expecting the houses to be demolished by the end of October, given the potential holdup in regard to the sewer line disconnect. Be prepared for a much clearer and more open view across Orchard Street!
Pearce’s Newest Board Member
At last week’s gathering of Pearce’s Official Board, a new face was at the table in our church’s conference room. Ardis Tucker assumed the unexpired term of Nicole Berg, who reluctantly submitted her resignation due to scheduling conflicts.
Ardis was one of the nominees presented at last February’s Annual Meeting and is well qualified to serve in this capacity. Many years ago, I had the privilege of serving on the conference’s Ministerial Education and Guidance Board with Ardis and quickly grew to appreciate her leadership gifts and her heart for serving Christ and His Church.
I am grateful to Nicole for her year and a half of service on the Official Board. When you see Nicole, please express your thanks to her.
An Honor to Represent Pearce
This past Tuesday evening, I had the privilege of leading the Monroe County Legislature in a time of prayer at the opening of their evening session. At the invitation of Tracy DiFlorio, I made my way to the beautiful Monroe County Office Building in the heart of Rochester and was warmly welcomed by Tracy and given a brief tour of legislature’s offices.
Tracy and her family are an active part of our Pearce family. I am grateful for Tracy’s service to our county as she represents the town of Chili as a legislator. I am sure she would appreciate your prayers on her behalf as she serves in this key position of leadership in our area.