BUILDING STUDY COMMITTEE FINAL REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS

BUILDING STUDY COMMITTEE FINAL REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS LANSING UNITED METHODIST CHURCH October 14, 2014 INTRODUCTION: Historically, the congrega...
Author: Guest
0 downloads 0 Views 1MB Size
BUILDING STUDY COMMITTEE FINAL REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS

LANSING UNITED METHODIST CHURCH October 14, 2014

INTRODUCTION: Historically, the congregation at LUMC has been very focused on community and greater ministry. It started in the early 1960’s when five small congregations, led by some forward thinking individuals, decided that one larger church made more sense than five struggling, smaller churches. Those churches merged, built our current sanctuary, education wing and Fellowship Hall, and thus established the Lansing United Methodist Church. They individually sacrificed, worked hard with dinners, a bazaar, and chicken BBQ’s to pay the mortgage as quickly as possible. When that was accomplished, they asked themselves again -“What’s Next?” A vision for older adult ministry in the community was realized and acted upon. Led by Rev. Ralph Williamson, Bob Baker and others; this ministry flourished and grew into a communitywide ministry. Ultimately, Woodsedge Apartments for seniors resulted. Again, “What’s Next?” The congregation realized a new vision was needed. Christian education for all ages was the result. Eventually a building addition was constructed to provide offices and classrooms for education and meetings. It seemed that the building had something going on 7 days a week. When this building addition was paid off, the congregation again responded with -- “What’s Next?” In 2004, with a new vision in place, our church focused on financing paid staff to coordinate youth, adult, and outreach ministries. It’s 2014 and all the goals of the 2004 vision have been met or attempted. Some didn’t work, but most did. Now is our church’s 50th Anniversary and we are at that point again -- “What’s Next?” To answer that question, the Church Council initiated a 7-month visioning effort called “LUMC Forward” to see what you, the members, envision for our future. Over that period of time, we as a congregation came together numerous times in small groups to share our ideas, hopes, and dreams with each other. After reviewing your responses, it was clear that a majority of you believe our current building is at capacity and that if we are to grow, or even adequately maintain, our numerous ministries, we must consider an expansion to our current infrastructure. As such, the Church Council formed a committee supported by three task forces and asked them to study your feedback, discuss it with the key leaders and stakeholders of our church’s ministries, and ultimately determine what is recommended in order to better serve the needs of our congregation and community, now and for the next 25 years. This process is governed by the Book of Discipline, which the committee was charged to follow. This report presents the committee’s findings and has the endorsement of the Church Council. We now ask the congregation to join us after worship on November 2 and 9 where we will review these recommendations, answer questions and determine together “What’s Next.” Yours in Christ,

William R. Hinderliter Page 2 of 29

PURPOSE: The purpose of this study is to fulfill the requirements of The Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church 2012 (The Discipline) paragraph (¶) 2544 section c. Specifically, this study will: (1) Analyze the needs of Lansing United Methodist Church (LUMC) and the supporting community, (2) Project potential membership with average attendance, (3) Write up the church’s program of ministry, (4) Develop an accessibility plan, and (5) Make recommendations OBJECTIVE: to determine if the current church infrastructure is sufficient to effectively accomplish the church’s professed program of ministry over the next 20-25 years, and if not, make recommendations on what building and infrastructure improvements should be seriously considered in order to maximize the church’s program of worship, education, fellowship and other activities going into the future. METHODOLOGY: Section I. The needs of LUMC and supporting community were assessed by analyzing the extensive feedback provided by the congregation to the Church Council during its seven month “LUMC Forward” visioning effort conducted as part of LUMC’s yearlong 50th anniversary celebration activities. Section II. Determining the church’s potential membership and average attendance was based upon a review of the last three years of church maintained statistics, a review of the growth projections of the supporting community compiled by the Program of Applied Demographics at Cornell University, and an analysis of key contributing factors affecting the local community and church populations. Section III. The program of ministry was written up and assessed by the Pastor. Section IV. The accessibility plan was developed by accomplishing the Annual Accessibility Audit for United Methodist Churches with the church Trustees. This checklist was developed by the United Methodist Committee on DisAbility Ministries in order to help churches comply with the accessibility review requirements of The Discipline ¶2533.6. Section V. To determine how adequately current church infrastructure meets the needs of the church’s program of ministry, and to make recommendations on how the infrastructure might be improved to better support those ministries in the future, three task forces were formed to support this study. The Task Forces reviewed all the feedback provided by LUMC Forward as well as Sections I through IV of this study and then validated the results of those efforts with the key leaders and stakeholders of all the church’s ministerial efforts (see Appendix A). The results are published in Section V as the ultimate recommendations of this study.

Page 3 of 29

Section I. Analysis of the needs of Lansing United Methodist Church (LUMC) and the Supporting Community With approximately 560 professing members, LUMC pulls most of its adult membership (over the age of 21) from the Town of Lansing with additional members from Ithaca, Groton, Dryden and Freeville. 99% of the youth and confirmed members under the age of 19 are enrolled in the Lansing Central School District. LUMC has a fully engaged congregation. According to our latest published statistics, average weekly attendance at worship services has been 156, which is almost 28% of professing members. The number of children and youth regularly engaged in Christian formation and other small group ministries is 67, more than 12% of the congregation. Almost 20% of the adult and young adult population of the church is similarly engaged, and collectively members of the congregation successfully lead more than two-dozen distinct ministries. Analyzing the current needs of LUMC and the community began in early 2013 as our church began to prepare for its 50th anniversary celebration. As noted in the introduction to this study, the Church Council identified that LUMC no longer had any comprehensive goals to guide our congregation’s programs of ministry for the next 10-20 years, as the congregation’s goals from 2004 had effectively been met. After brainstorming and coordinating with the numerous leaders of the church, the Church Council reviewed and revalidated LUMC’s vision and mission statements: LUMC Mission: The mission of the Lansing United Methodist Church is to invite, connect, equip, and send out disciples of Jesus Christ for the sake of the world. LUMC Vision: All persons at every stage of their spiritual journey are helped to grow into Christian maturity through the worshipping, caring, learning (education), tending (administration), and outreaching ministries of Lansing United Methodist Church. The Council then conceived and carried out a multi-month visioning effort they named “LUMC Forward.” Essentially the Council asked the congregation to prayerfully dream about the future of both the church and the community and then asked, “What’s Next?” That visioning effort ultimately took more than seven months. It began by developing a list of key questions the Council created to help focus the congregation on the visioning task and then training 12 facilitators to lead in-home, small group meetings. These in-home meetings focused on: 1. What would be missing from your life if LUMC did not exist; and from the community? 2. After reflecting a moment on what your spiritual needs are; and also considering the needs of others within the congregation…Are those spiritual needs being met? 3. How can LUMC be a greater contributor to the Lansing Community; and to the world community? 4. What are your hopes and dreams for LUMC?

Page 4 of 29  

5. What fears or concerns do you have about the future of LUMC? In addition, the Council put together an on-line survey in order to reach people who might not be able to attend in-home meetings or might prefer to give their feedback anonymously. Ultimately, approximately 120 members met face-to-face in 15 small group meetings. In addition, 51 members responded to the on-line survey. More than half of the on-line survey respondents indicated they had (or planned) to attend an in-home meeting. Therefore, all told, ~140 members of the congregation actively participated in this visioning effort which represents nearly 89% of the active congregation and perhaps 25% of the total congregation. This was an outstanding participation rate. A copy of all LUMC Forward materials can be made available upon request. The Council reviewed the collective results (more than 48 pages of meeting minutes alone, plus survey statistics) and after considered discussion and debate, they determined the key needs of LUMC and the community to be the similar to what they were in 2004. However, some of the focus and priorities had changed. Specifically: Needs of LUMC: a. The Church’s education ministry is the most important aspect of LUMC’s mission. But more specifically, Christian Education for the children and youth are of paramount concern. The congregation felt that the church should take steps to improve the classroom experience and expand the opportunity to grow in Christ to the Junior and Senior High School youth. Recommended actions include additional classroom space, partial modernization/automation of classrooms, dedicated storage space, dedicated fellowship space for Junior and Senior High School youth outside of the parsonage, expansion of LUMC’s relationship with All-Saints [Catholic] Church, and increased contact and coordination with Camp Casowasco. b. Improve the overall maintenance and pursue a limited expansion of the church’s infrastructure. The congregation is overwhelmingly in favor of renovating the kitchen, renovating and enlarging the bathrooms, developing multi-use space when able, adequately maintaining our current structures, building storage capacity, and improving our general worship experience. There was a consensus that the current sanctuary limits our overall worship experience and that steps should be taken to provide the choir with more flexibility, develop the space to better allow for special worship events (bells, performances, etc.), and allow for a modest expansion in capacity. Half of the congregation was concerned that the sanctuary not be altered to the point where it loses its current feel and atmosphere. Needs of the Community: c. Do more to meet the needs of the less fortunate in the greater Lansing Community. The congregation would like to see the food pantry, the clothes horse, and the ability to offer socialservice related-type counseling space all expanded. This reflects a greater desire to see LUMC assume more of an active/central role in the Lansing Community. There was also a strong desire to meet the child daycare needs within the community (there are currently no organized daycare facilities in the Lansing-Groton-Dryden area). However, the Council affirmed that this would Page 5 of 29  

have to be a longer-term goal as the resources and the coordination required to establish such a facility would be significant. ADDITIONAL FINDINGS: 4. While the vast majority of the congregation was strongly united behind meeting the goals associated with these three areas, many were also concerned about the financial commitment it would require. Therefore the Council committed to pursuing these goals in a manner that does not assume an “uncomfortable” level of financial risk. Noting how many of the congregation’s priorities for the future involved potential changes to the church’s infrastructure, the Church Council created a Building Study Committee supported by three task forces and charged them to follow the Book of Discipline and refine these priorities into a set of recommendations for the congregation to consider. Section I Assessment: The needs of the community and needs of LUMC are being met, but not as well as they might be. Several enhancements, especially to our facilities, should be considered in order to improve our church’s ability to carry out its mission and vision in the broader community. See Section V for specific facility recommendations.

Page 6 of 29  

Section II. Projecting Membership and Average Attendance TOMPKINS COUNTY OVERVIEW: Lansing United Methodist Church is located in the Town of Lansing in the heart of Tompkins County. Tompkins County is located in the South-Central portion of New York State at the southern end of Cayuga Lake. Upon its founding in 1817, the county was named after Daniel D. Tompkins, the fourth Governor of New York and the sixth Vice President of the United States.

 

As of the 2010 Census, the County had a population of 101,564 and was situated on a landmass of approximately 460 square miles.

 

The County is composed of nine townships – Lansing, Groton, Dryden, Caroline, Danby, Newfield, Enfield, Ulysses and Ithaca; six villages – Cayuga Heights, Dryden, Freeville, Groton, Lansing Village and Trumansburg; and one city – City of Ithaca, which is also the county seat with a population of approximately 30,000. As reported in the Tompkins County Performance Measurement System Manual, “Unlike many other counties in New York State, Tompkins County has enjoyed population growth over the last decade. The presence of several large institutions of higher education, including Cornell University, Ithaca College, and Tompkins-Cortland Community College, has provided a degree of population and economic stability that distinguishes the county from other areas of the state.” “The county has an extensive transit network anchored by a public bus system, Tompkins County Area Transit, and the Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport. Several major state highways serve the county. The Ithaca Bus Terminal also connects the area to the surrounding regions and has direct service to New York City.”

 

“Within the county, there are five local newspapers that are published from a daily to weekly basis. These include: The Ithaca Journal (1814, daily), The Cornell Daily Sun (1880, daily), The Ithacan (1932, weekly), The Ithaca Times (1979, weekly), and the Tompkins Weekly (2006, weekly). The Cornell Daily Sun and The Ithacan are studentrun publications through Cornell University and Ithaca College respectively.” According to the best available analysis compiled by Cornell University’s Program on Applied Demographics (PAD), the population of Tompkins County will remain essentially flat for the next 25-year period.

Page 7 of 29  

Total  population,  Tompkins  County,  1940-­‐20401    

98,606  

100,893  

101,732  

101,564  

96,501  

94,097  

87,085  

77,106  

66,164  

59,122  

42,340  

                     1940                  1950                1960                  1970                1980                  1990                  2000                2010                    2020                2030                  2040    

Decennial  Census    

PAD  projections  

While the population of Tompkins County is not expected to grow, the age demographics are predicted to shift slightly. The population of 5-14 year olds is expected to remain relatively stable, while the population between 25-64 is expected to decline approximately 3.7%, and the population 65 and over is predicted to grow an estimated 4.1% TOWN OF LANSING PROFILE Shifting focus from the County to the Town of Lansing where ~95% of the congregation lives, a custom analysis perform for this study by a PAD researcher indicates the Town will likely grow 1.6% by 2020. This data is consistent with the strategic plan provided by the Lansing Town Board. Accurate projections past 2020, however, are not possible due to the uncertainties that affect the available data. Actual growth (or decline) in the near term will likely be dominated by the success of several real estate projects currently approved by the Lansing Town Board as well as whether the nearby electric power plant is renewed or shut down. List of approved real estate development projects in the Town of Lansing2: Cottonwood

21 lots

(Drake Rd.- Beesmer)

Lansing Commons

15 lots

(Woodsedge Dr. - Seacord)

Village Circle Village Solars Woodland Park Woodland Park Cayuga Farms Cayuga Way/Lake View Stormy View Drive Whispering Pines Extension Novalane Town Center

138 units 174 units

(Warren Rd. - Lucenti)

48 town homes (Warren & Hillcrest - Cardamone) 25 single homes 102 Units 29 lots 6 lots 30 lots 7 lots

(R. Weinstein - Triphammer) (J. Stevens) (Thayler) (J. Young - between East Lake & Lake Watch)

Potential for 340 units + 23,000 sq ft. Retail/Commercial

                                                                                                                        1  Source:  1940-­‐2010  Decennial  Census  and  projections  by  Cornell  Program  on  Applied  Demographics   2

 Source:    Lansing  Town  Board,  August  13,  2014.  

Page 8 of 29

Based upon the 2012 American Community Survey (latest and best source of data), the median household income reported for Lansing is $68,426; 82.3% of residents are white; and the median age is 39.6 years old. The nominal unemployment rate for Lansing is 4.7% with 3.4% of families/6.2% of individuals living in poverty. LOCAL SCHOOL DISCTRICTS With Cornell University, Ithaca College and Tompkins-Cortland Community College all located within 10 miles of Lansing, and another 34 higher education institutions within 50 miles, over half of the Town’s residents work in the field of higher education and value post-secondary school educational opportunities. According to the latest American Community Survey, 25% of the Lansing community (over the age of 25) has achieved a Bachelor’s degree with an additional 32.5% of residents holding a Graduate or Profession degree. The two most highly rated school districts in the area academically are the Lansing Central School District that serves the Town of Lansing, and the Ithaca City School District with serves the neighboring City of Ithaca. When moving to the area, quality of the local schools and affordability of housing are the two greatest factors affecting whether a family chooses to live in Lansing or in Ithaca. Regarding the local school district, Business First publishes an annual ranking of the academic performance of 429 public schools in 48 counties of Upstate New York based upon four years of test data from the New York State Education Department. For 2013-2014, Lansing Central School District was rated 37 while the nearby Ithaca City School District was rated 60. Likewise, U.S. News and World Report in its “Best High Schools” rankings for 2014 reports Lansing students as 97% proficient in English and 96% proficient in Math, with Ithaca Schools listed at 94% and 93% respectively. According to the 2012-2013 New York State School Report Card (latest available), Lansing Central School District grades K-12 racial composition is 87% white, 1% native American, 2% black, 2% Hispanic, 4% Asian and 4% multiracial. The percentage of economically disadvantaged students in grades K-12 is 24% with 14% eligible for Free Lunch and 4% eligible for Reduced-Price Lunch. 91% of all students graduated with a Regents Diploma and 58% of those students earned a Regents Diploma with Advanced Distinction. Further, 15% of graduates also achieved a Regents Diploma with Career and Technical Education endorsement. 40% of those who have graduated plan to attend a 4-year college after graduation and another 43% plan to attend a 2-year college. Looking at specific needs, despite being relatively affluent compared to many towns in Tompkins County, 6% of Lansing children under the age of 18 live below the poverty level, while 8.6% of adults 18-64 and 6.8% of adults age 65 and over live in poverty. When adding the nearest towns to Lansing, these numbers increase.

Page 9 of 29

LOCAL CHURCHES: According to the Association of Statistics of American Religious Bodies’ (ASARB) membership study of 2010 (latest available), Tompkins County has 11 Methodist congregations, with 3,866 adherents and 882 attendees. In Lansing, there are seven significant churches to include LUMC. The other six are: Asbury Church (Assemblies of God), All Saints Church (Roman Catholic), Holy Apostles Orthodox Church (Orthodox - Evangelical Catholic), the East Shore Christian Fellowship (Evangelical, Non-denominational), Faith Bible Church (Non-denominational), and St. George Church (Reformed Orthodox Christian Church). Of these Churches, LUMC is the largest and most active protestant church. While actual membership of the other churches are not exactly known, using the size of LUMC as a yardstick coupled with what is generally known about the other churches, then the total professing membership of all the churches in the area combined would be under 25% of the local population which is in line with the ASARB report that notes that 22.8% of the Tompkins County population regularly attend services. Looking at LUMC specifically, membership appears stable; however, national trends regarding the worldwide United Methodist Church clearly show the population of Methodists is declining in America while simultaneously growing in Africa and the Philippines.3 Despite the national trends, however, vital congregations are still able to grow. According to Methodist Bishop Mike Lowry, who has been successful at increasing overall membership in Central Texas Conference, "There has to be an answer to the 'why bother,'" he said. "If I'm merely coming to church for community, I can get that at the local civic group. If I'm coming to church merely to do a social service project ... I can get that 100 other ways. You have to have some theological reason."4 To ensure our church remains healthy, it is clear LUMC leadership must not allow our congregation to become too inward looking and stagnant. Significant opportunities exist to spread the Good News deeper into the local and surrounding communities. In addition, determining how to more effectively reach and connect with minority members of the community could also yield not only more Disciples for Christ, but also help our congregation understand and minister more effectively to the community. Key statistical data for the congregation from 2011 to 2013 (latest available) are listed on the next page. The figures confirm that over the last three years our church’s membership and participation in key ministries have remained stable. The authors of this study selected the last three years of data as the best benchmarks to assess future trends for two primary reasons. First, our current Pastor came to LUMC four years ago and congregations often experience a change in                                                                                                                         3

 “Mixed  blessing  in  new  U.S.  church  numbers,”  A  United  Methodist  News  Service  Report  by  Heather  Hahn,   www.umc.org/news.../mixed-­‐blessings-­‐in-­‐new-­‐us-­‐church-­‐numbers     4  “Despite  declines,  signs  of  vitality  in  2012,”  A  United  Methodist  News  Service  Report  by  Heather  Hahn,   www.umc.org/news-­‐and.../despite-­‐declines-­‐signs-­‐of-­‐vitality-­‐in-­‐2012  

  Page 10 of 29

membership patterns (usually short term) during the first year of receiving a new Pastor. Second, the local economy seemed to stabilize within the last three years and currently represents a baseline “or bottom of a curve” from which future membership projections might build. Select Category

2011 2012

Total Professing Members

564 558 187 118 6 33

560 554 176 125 0 15

560 553 156 118 4 27

40

38

40

0

8

7

85

88

103

158 67

149 69

177 75

20 52 7

11 50 8

16 62 8

4

6

12

0 0 0

0 0 0

0 1 12

7

8

3

45 0

35 0

22 0

0

0

0

5

5

5

Number of persons served by community ministries for outreach, justice, and 3,032 mercy

2,882

3,074

Racial/Ethnic Membership - White Average Attendance at Weekly Worship Baptized Members who have not become Professing Members Total Enrolled in Confirmation Classes Number of CHILDREN in all Christian formation groups and other small group ministries Number of YOUTH in all Christian formation groups and other small group ministries Number of YOUNG ADULTS in all Christian formation groups and other small group ministries Number of OTHER ADULTS in all Christian formation groups and other small group ministries TOTAL number of persons participating in Christian formation groups Average weekly attendance (all ages) in Sunday Church school Number of persons (all ages) active in covenant discipleship groups Number of participants in Vacation Bible School Number of ongoing classes and other small groups (all ages) in Sunday Church School Number of ongoing classes and other small groups (all ages) other than Sunday Church School Number of UMVIM teams sent from this local church Number of persons sent out on UMVIM teams from this local church Number of professing members engaged at least once per month in hands-on ministry to those outside of congregation Number of other mission teams sent from this local church Number of persons sent out on other mission teams from this local church Number of community ministries for daycare and/or education Number of persons served by community ministries for daycare and/or education Number of community ministries for outreach, justice, and mercy

2013

Reviewing additional factors, there seems to be two trends developing: a) that the number of mission teams sent out from the church has begun to decline, b) while the number of people participating in Christian education and formation groups is trending upward. The decline in mission teams is considered a false trend because the number of teams sent from our church spiked in 2011 as a result of nearby local flooding. This downward trend is an indication of returning to our pre-2011 standard.

Page 11 of 29

Regarding the potential for growth, one statistic in particular stands out – racial composition. Our congregation is 98.75% white while Tompkins Country and the Town of Lansing is approximately ~82% white. That gap is statistically significant and should be investigated as a potential opportunity for growth in our congregation. The largest minority group in Lansing and Tompkins County is the Asian population. In 2010 just over 10% of the Lansing population (including Lansing Village) reported to be of Asian race. Many of them are recent arrivals and connected to Cornell, either as a student or as a Professor. But according to the American Community Survey there are also many Asian persons working in mining and in medical professions. According to the U.S. Religious Landscape Survey from the Pew Research Center 9% of the Asian population in the United States attends mainline protestant churches, compared to 23% of Whites and 4% of Blacks. Our church should attempt to determine if there are any barriers that might prevent minorities from attending LUMC. Separately, while a long-term national economic recovery is hotly debated, as a practical matter wages and unemployment rates in the local Lansing area seemed to have stabilized. No major industries in the local area have announced, or are rumored to be considering, additional layoffs or closures that would signal a potential outflow of members. The only significant uncertainty is whether the local power plant (Cayuga Power Plant) will be closed. While closure of this plant would affect only a few jobs of congregation members, it would greatly impact the local school tax rate as the power plant currently provides ~1.7M in taxes to the Lansing area. Some estimates indicate the average school tax bill in Lansing would increase ~$516 per year if the plant is closed based on an average home value of ~$222,346. While these cost projections are also debated, it is clear that if the power plant closes, either individual tax rates will increase significantly or services in the local schools will have to be reduced. The quality of our local schools is central to our congregation’s membership. If educational quality were to suffer, many people considering a move to Lansing would likely divert to Ithaca as the Ithaca School District is subsidized by Cornell University and would not be significantly affected by the power plant’s shutdown. Assessment: if the power plant closes, overall membership would not immediately be affected, but the amount of giving by the congregation would likely decline. Over time, however, membership would also likely decline as the cost of living in Lansing would not appear more favorable than living in the City of Ithaca especially if Ithaca area schools become notably superior to Lansing schools. Section II Assessment: Minor fluctuations in demographics will occur from year-to-year, but barring an unforeseen and significant economic impact (good or bad), the composition (race, education, income, unemployment, poverty levels) and associated needs of the local community will be very similar in 20 years as to what is seen today. In the coming years the baby boom generation will pass retirement age and therefore in the coming two decades there will be more demand for ministries for elderly members. Major shifts in the composition of LUMC membership will depend more on the focus and effectiveness of its ministries rather than external factors. Therefore, as long as LUMC remains committed to its Mission and Vision, our church’s membership and attendance is projected to remain stable and healthy for the foreseeable future.

Page 12 of 29

Section III. LUMC’s Program of Ministry and Pastor’s Assessment CHURCH’S PROGRAM OF MINISTRY: In accordance with The Discipline paragraphs 201 to 204, the Pastor submits the following: Lansing UMC is a vibrant and vital congregation with many program areas, but are we fulfilling our purpose as a United Methodist Church? The Book of Discipline defines this purpose in ¶202, “The function of the local church, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, is to help people to accept and confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and to live their daily lives in light of their relationship to God. Therefore, the local church is to minister to persons in the community where the church is located, to provide appropriate training and nurture to all, to cooperate in ministry with other local churches, to defend God’s creation and live as an ecologically responsible community, and to participate in the worldwide mission of the church, as minimal expectations of an authentic church.” ¶204 goes on to say, “Each local church shall have a definite evangelistic, nurture and witness responsibility for its members and the surrounding area and a missional outreach responsibility for ministering to all its members, wherever they live, and for persons who choose it as their church.” So, how are we doing? Are we living up to our potential? What are the areas we need to address as the United Methodist presence in Lansing, NY? Worship at LUMC is very traditional as is our worship space. We currently have no capability for video projection in worship, primarily because there is not sufficient space. Our choir, which is fantastic, operates out of a small choir loft and choir members often sit in the pews because there isn’t enough room for the entire choir in the loft. Our pulpit and lectern are permanent fixtures, which limits flexibility. We do two major dramas during the year and find working around the altar, pulpit and lectern difficult. We do have one space for a wheelchair in the sanctuary, but it is difficult to access. Many of our elders find maneuvering their walkers awkward and cumbersome. On the plus side, our worship is not limited to one demographic… we will see infants to elders every week. Our children are welcomed in worship and are an integral part of the worship experience. Overall, I would rate our worship experience at a B-. We at LUMC are very good at welcoming people once they come through the door, but are not as comfortable taking our witness beyond our walls. We are not good evangelists (which does NOT mean knocking on doors, rather it means sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ). We need to learn to be more invitational in all that we do. When it comes to helping people accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior, I think we would get a C+. Being in ministry with the community is one of LUMC’s strong suits. We house the Lansing Food Pantry and offer food to anyone in need. We do clothing giveaway through the Clothes Horse and truly reach hundreds of people through our semi-annual Rummage Sale. There are other things we could be doing, though. We could offer meeting space for seniors, recovery groups, or parenting classes to gather. We could offer cooking classes for our Food Pantry clients. We could offer childcare during the holiday season for parents to be able to shop without their children. I would give LUMC a B+ in the area of ministry to the community.

Page 13 of 29

Providing training and nurture to all is, I believe, what we do best. Educational opportunities abound. We have grown beyond Sunday School for children to educational opportunities for all ages. Our classrooms are full and have spilled over to the parsonage basement and the fellowship hall. There are growth options on Sunday and throughout the week in the form of small group studies, youth group and ministry opportunities. Our confirmation program is the most comprehensive program I have ever witnessed. Are there problems in this area? Yes, we have outgrown our space and our ability to grow is limited by our space constraints. We know that the training of disciples is of utmost importance, but the constant jockeying of classes on Sunday morning to accommodate those who want or need to gather is a detriment. Our grade in this area would be an A…which could become an A+ if we had no issues concerning space! LUMC is the only mainline protestant church in the Lansing area. There is no formal “Lansing Churches Association” and the clergy do not meet. We do an annual Thanksgiving Service, but that is the extent of our cooperation with the other area churches. We work extremely well with All Saints Roman Catholic church…we have worked cooperatively for many years; sharing a Youth Mission Program and Vacation Bible School. LUMC is, by far, the largest church in Lansing and is probably the busiest. It is also the only denomination that ordains women in the area. It is currently unrealistic to expect that the ecumenical “push” should be initiated by the LUMC clergy. There is no animosity among the clergy, but there is no collegiality either. Overall, the lay members of the community work well together in other areas, but not in an organized ecumenical effort. We would probably get a B- in this area. We support our concern for defending God’s creation and living as an ecologically responsible community in a nominal way. We use real coffee mugs for fellowship time and compost fairly regularly. On several occasions we have used compostable disposables for dinners. But, we also heat our building with electricity, which is not terribly responsible at this time. The building is 50 years old, built to exist in a time when insulation and heat loss were not grave concerns. Facing our future with a building that uses so much energy is cause for concern. We are ideally located and suited for solar or wind power, and could work cooperatively with our neighbor, the Lansing Central School District. This is an area that has not been explored and may not receive widespread support, but if we are to care for ALL of God’s creation, this is a good place to start. I would give us a grade of C in this area. In the area of worldwide missions, LUMC has an exemplary history. We have a long standing relationship with Haiti, have supported our Youth Mission teams to Guatemala, have long history of paying Shared Giving fully and have actively supported Church World Service and UMCOR. If we were looking at just worldwide missions, I would give us a grade of A, but we could do a great deal more outreach locally and nationally. We are working on a plan to make this possible and hope to see more involvement in the future. We would love to have shower facilities to enable us to host mission groups in our building and to allow us to be able to offer emergency housing for local people in need. With these things in mind, our current grade is a B. Overall, our grade would be slightly under a B. We are doing a good job of offering Christ to the congregation, the community, and the world. We touch the lives of many people in

Page 14 of 29

many ways. We are able to laugh together, cry together, work together and play together. Our ministry is absolutely making a difference. Lest we become complacent, we need to recognize and embrace the reality that we can and should do more. Much of what we are about has to do with mindset over facilities…but facilities do matter. We are limited only by our own inability to reach for the stars! Section III Assessment: The support for LUMC’s program of ministry is robust and currently self-sustaining. Opportunities exist, however, to improve our core areas of excellence that, in turn, could significantly increase the effectiveness of our numerous ministries. Many of these opportunities also involve improving or enhancing our facilities and infrastructure.

Page 15 of 29

Section IV. Accessibility Assessment and Recommendations Contained within The Discipline are the Social Principles of The United Methodist Church. Paragraph 162.I, Rights of Persons with Disabilities, affirms: “We recognize and affirm the full humanity and personhood of all individuals with mental, physical, developmental, neurological, and psychological conditions or disabilities as full members of the family of God. We also affirm their rightful place in both the church and society. We affirm the responsibility of the Church and society to be in ministry with children, youth, and adults with mental, physical, developmental, and/or psychological and neurological conditions or disabilities whose particular needs in the areas of mobility, communication, intellectual comprehension, or personal relationships might make more challenging their participation or that of their families in the life of the Church and the community. We urge the Church and society to recognize and receive the gifts of persons with disabilities to enable them to be full participants in the community of faith. We call the Church and society to be sensitive to, and advocate for, programs of rehabilitation, services, employment, education, appropriate housing, and transportation. We call on the Church and society to protect the civil rights of persons with all types and kinds of disabilities.” To meet the intent of this Principle, a member of the Study Committee teamed up with an appointed member of the church Trustees to accomplish the Annual Accessibility Audit for United Methodist Churches developed by the United Methodist Committee on DisAbility Ministries. This team examined the buildings, grounds and facilities to discover and identify what physical, architectural, and communication barriers exist that impede the full participation of people with disabilities in LUMC’s program of ministry. A copy of the completed audit is attached as Appendix B. Overall, the church did well on the accessibility audit. Due to the church's single-level floor plan and nearly ground level entry it is a very accessible facility from the standpoint of assisted and wheelchair bound people. The audit, however, did identify a few areas for potential improvement. Building related issues are listed below. ! The sanctuary only has one pew cut/wheelchair space. Current church pews are one continuous piece of furniture. Therefore additional wheelchair space would require removing full section(s) of pews. This should be studied with an architect during the next phase of the building/renovation process and solutions implemented as part of any church renovation of the sanctuary space. ! The dais and choir area at the front of the sanctuary have no accessibility features. If renovations to this section of the church are being made to make its use more flexible, this should also include consideration of changes that can be made at the same time to make this area more accessible to person with disabilities.

Page 16 of 29

! The designated parking spaces across from the main entrance of the church are located such that members are required to navigate across one lane of parking lot traffic to reach the sidewalk. The parking area is actually a continuous lane ~85 feet wide. It might be possible to relocate this section of parking against the sidewalk to eliminate the need to cross potential traffic. ! The church has no visual fire alarms. Inclusion of visual fire alarms will be considered as part of future building renovations. ! The church needs to investigate better signage and placement of accessibility aids such as large print bibles, hymnals and bulletins, as well as hearing assist devices. While the Trustees are currently reviewing a possible solution, additional options should also be discussed with an architect if the Narthex area of the church is affected by a potential building renovation. ! Finally, a few of the church’s accessibility hindrances could be improved in the context of a major building renovation. These include the width of side aisles, better placed handrails, redesigned bathroom facilities, etc. Section IV Assessment: Most of the identified barriers to accessibility could be addressed by a modest set of enhancements to existing facilities. These enhancements should be implemented if the church undertakes any significant capital improvement effort of church facilities.

Page 17 of 29

Section V. Recommendations and Conclusion The Study Committee makes the following assumptions in this report: ! The LUMC Mission and Vision Statements are valid and the LUMC congregation will remain fully committed to accomplish them both. ! If LUMC becomes stagnant and does nothing it may begin to lose members and consequently reduce its ability to accomplish its mission and vision. ! LUMC facilities and infrastructure are not the objects of our program of ministry, but they enable and enhance most of what we undertake. They are therefore important and should, if needed, be enhanced or expanded if those efforts might reasonably improve the effectiveness of our various ministries. In making our recommendations, the Study Committee considered the feedback provided by LUMC Forward; reviewed the church’s program of ministry and Pastor’s assessment; considered the needs, statistical data and projections related to the surrounding community; discussed these matters with the chairs, stakeholders and members of the numerous ministries carried out by the congregation (see Appendix A); and prayed. Recommendations (not in any order of prioritization): ! TO ENHANCE WORSHIP: a. The current space is meeting the worship needs of the congregation; however, some enhancements could potentially improve the overall worship experience. First, accessibility features could be improved with a different pew arrangement that is more welcoming and useful to worshipers with mobility issues. In addition, interpew armrests would be useful for senior members of the congregation when they need to rise. Further, a ramp or other solution is needed to overcome the two steps to the dais. This would allow access to the altar rail for communion (rather than taking communion by intinction). Also, mobility would not be a barrier to being a liturgist or easy participation in other activities that often take place on the dais. Finally, because the choir sits on the dais, lack of easy access is an impediment to volunteering for that important ministry. b. Next, the dais is not flexible. The podiums are fixed. In addition, the space for the choir is at capacity and cannot accept additional chairs. The communion rail can be moved a few feet, but it is not designed to be repeatedly taken down and put back up, and it is therefore not easy to negotiate when special events take place such as pageants and plays. This space should be re-imagined and crafted so that it can easily and flexibly be adapted to the needs of the worship service, whether a conventional Sunday, or a special event like “Lord Is It I”, a wedding with special music, a funeral, etc.

Page 18 of 29

c. It must be noted, however, that LUMC Forward participants were split on the issue of removing several of the fixed pews and replacing them with individual chairs. While most would agree the dais space and even the seating area could benefit from both increased accessibility and flexibility, many congregation members did not want to lose the current look and feel of the current sanctuary. d. Seating overall is often “full” to “crowded.” It is an unwritten rule that when a sanctuary is at 80% of useful capacity 80% of the time, the space should be expanded to allow for growth. LUMC has met the intent of this wisdom for the last several years, so overall additional space should be investigated while simultaneously minimizing the impact on the current space’s look and feel. e. Acoustics in the sanctuary are fully adequate. Both lecterns have microphones and the Pastor wears a wireless microphone. The ability to easily insert a microphone stand when special music is performed, or for speaking away from the lectern, would be helpful. The church has this ability, but access to microphone connection boxes are cumbersome and not well placed for many routine functions that take place over the course of a year. f. For people who are visually impaired as well as visitors who are not familiar with LUMC’s order of worship or traditional responses, a visual aid system would be an improvement. This would allow lyrics to be projected. The main objection to such a system is aesthetic. If a cosmetically acceptable way to incorporate such a system could be devised, this would enhance the worship experience for many worshipers and allow for more intergenerational worship elements to be considered by the Pastor and others. g. Finally, congestion in the Narthex Sunday mornings prior to the start of worship pose a possible physical barrier to the sanctuary for newcomers. Location of historic artifacts and furniture, waiting space for choir members, traffic flow and dedicated “welcome desk” for information, welcome packets/pamphlets and accessibility aids need to be considered to allow the Narthex to be a welcoming space. ! TO ENHANCE OUTREACH MINISTRIES: a. In addition to providing for a dedicated youth space for youth group, additional meeting and storage space would offer more capacity and flexibility for current and future outreach activities taken up by LUMC (e.g., rummage sale, expanding VBS by marketing it to unchurched) as well connecting LUMC to people in the wider community by offering space for others to host activities that build up families and offering healing to those who are hurting (e.g., scouts, after-school tutoring, AA meetings, parenting classes, divorce/separation group). b. Expansion that would facilitate enhancement of outreach ministries: the addition of one or two multi-purpose rooms with storage closets, including one capable of hosting of at least 25 people, an additional storage room, and additional bathrooms, or

Page 19 of 29

expansion of existing bathrooms. At the same time, this would entail a commitment from the LUMC family to actively participate in, and support, existing and future outreach ministries that were suggested at the LUMC Forward small group meetings held earlier in 2014. c. The idea of offering a space for a daycare or preschool program also appealed to many in the congregation (the most frequently mentioned community need at the LUMC Forward meetings). Consideration should be given in the design phase as to whether or not it is feasible and cost effective to have any expansion or building modifications meet the code requirements of a day care center or preschool even if the eventual decision about hosting such a program is deferred to sometime in the future. ! TO ENHANCE CHRISTIAN EDUCATION MINISTRIES: As expressed by the Church Council in its charge to the building study committee as well as by many of the congregation during LUMC Forward, the Church’s education ministry is the most important aspect of LUMC’s mission. While the mission of educating our membership has not significantly changed, best practices of delivering education and promoting learning and development have evolved over time calling for adaptation and change. As we seek to provide the very best experience for all, an overwhelming concern focuses on the facilities available to carry out the programming, gathering/fellowship and overall education of our children, youth, adults and families and must be addressed. In general, recommended actions include a full assessment of existing use of space (specific to education ministries), expansion or development of multi-functional spaces, upgrade of existing classroom and nursery spaces to include partial modernization and technological enhancements, climate optimization, appropriate storage space, as well as dedicated fellowship space for Junior and Senior High School youth outside of the parsonage. a. In carrying out the mission of the education ministries program, it is clear that current facilities are marginally meeting our needs and must be addressed to more fully realize our intended vision. Specifically, we are currently operating with at least one less classroom than needed. Reconfigured or expanded spaces, offering enhanced and additional accommodations, should be considered in all future facility planning in the following areas: (1) Children’s education programs currently average 42 children and 10 adult teachers within our Sunday morning classes (nursery included). Classrooms are limited in the ability to meet the respective needs of each age group. For example, the nursery room is not currently configured to offer best practices for safety and security of our infants and toddlers, and for that reason we have created a barrier that discourages families with very young children to attend our worship service and Sunday programs. Best practices include, but are not necessarily limited to, entrances that have the ability to be locked from the inside; space

Page 20 of 29

configured in a way to separate babies from mobile, active toddlers; and a safe place to change diapers. Of paramount concern is also the location of the nursery in proximity to the parking lot and building entrance, especially given the current lack of security. Additionally, there is no private space for nursing mothers. With larger numbers of children at various levels of PreK-6, classrooms (especially the smallest two classrooms) limit the ability of teaching various and more creative methods such as incorporating multiple activities within a class. Furthermore, the number of fixed classrooms restricts our ability to group classes with educational objectives and developmental considerations as the primary determining factors rather than artificially grouping specific ages together so we can fit into four rooms. (2) Our combined youth (7-8/9-12) program averages 16 students and 4 adults. Youth education classes and fellowship groups do not have a permanent space. Senior high youth currently utilize the parsonage basement, graciously made available by the Pastor, but this is not a guarantee or an optimal recommendation in future arrangements. Junior high youth utilize a room as their space that serves as both their classroom as well as meeting space for others. To facilitate meaningful youth education and group activities, personalized, permanent space promotes a true sense of belonging and being valued, particularly essential during teenage years, when competition for their time and attention here in Lansing is intense. (3) Adult education and ministry programs primarily utilize a classroom that allows for a divided space. While the size of the space seems sufficient for many offerings, it cannot adequately be sub-divided due to sound constraints. Additional classes or groups often need to meet in an office or find other space within the church, many times creating a conflict with other administrative needs and general use of the facilities. (4) Common themes – Barriers to growth within Sunday School offerings include each respective program vying for space and looking for locations to hold permanent or temporary classes. Classrooms, as currently configured, offer limited opportunities for creative or more active-based instruction, ability to combine classes, or meet multiple or competing needs/conflicts (primarily on Sunday mornings). Most current rooms offer only one electrical outlet, inconsistent climate optimization, and are extremely limited in the technology that can be used to compliment teaching and learning. The facility thus limits our ability to grow our Christian Education ministries, especially during the Sunday School hour. In addition, enhanced outdoor spaces and recreational opportunities–playground, open spaces for organized activities, and possibly a fire pit–will help to compliment the unique needs of each respective group.

Page 21 of 29

b. As we consider and plan for the future, including growth in membership and optimal programming in the area of Christian education ministries, the following should be considered to realize new opportunities and/or a new level of Christian education for our children, youth and adults at LUMC: (1) LUMC offers a rich array of learning and mission opportunities for members, from educational events and meals on comparative religions; to a robust confirmation class; to pageants, musicals and special productions; to KAN (and many more!). However, we are limited by functionality and flexibility in our common/larger spaces–the Sanctuary and Fellowship Hall. For example, our summer vacation bible school (VBS) program in partnership with All-Saints Catholic Church regularly experiences space constraints each summer, limiting its capacity for extended outreach into the greater community. Beyond the traditional worship service, the Sanctuary is limited to a formal and more lectureoriented environment and offers limited technology. The Fellowship Hall strives to fulfill many needs, often competing or concurrent–e.g., after worship coffee, Sunday school classes, special events, and set up for various outreach or community activities–and functions as the “hallway” between classes, offices, and restrooms of the respective wings. With the diversity of requirements called for, our Fellowship Hall is not sufficient to house the programs or activities for the full complement of worshippers on an average Sunday morning. (2) While each respective education/ministry program consistently calls for additional and multifunctional space, it is very clear that such space(s) need to offer a high degree of flexibility in order to meet the varied needs and future program opportunities. Any building renovations should include a careful assessment of the limitations associated with the Sanctuary and Fellowship Hall as well as opportunities for additional and multi-functional space(s). (3) Common themes – All multifunctional spaces must offer a wide degree of flexibility for programming and be well-equipped spaces with infrastructure supporting technology, climate optimization, lighting, storage, and appropriate furniture and décor. Location of classrooms and common spaces should be considered as to best align with central storage, restrooms, kitchen, offices, children’s playground and to allow for optimal flow of traffic through and throughout the church building and grounds. c. Beyond our current program and immediate future needs, we envision several areas that we might consider as we look ahead and imagine growing our Christian Education Ministries at LUMC. Such ideas might include a comfortable area designated for parents/caregivers with infants (e.g., crying room) where they can view and or hear the service without distraction; attractive social and recreational spaces that welcome students from our schools/community after school and weekends; a small scale library and resource area; a daycare or preschool; showers and laundry facilities; performance and storage space for a praise and worship band; and even perhaps a youth conference hosted at LUMC.

Page 22 of 29

! TO ENHANCE CARING MINISTRIES: The majority of the Caring Ministries activities occur in the community. Our facility currently meets their space needs for 8-12 people to meet monthly. However, dedicated full-size closet storage space would be ideal for access to yarn supplies, patterns, shawls/blankets in lieu of current storage at members’ homes. ! TO ENHANCE MUSIC MINISTRIES: a. While the current facility meets the basic needs of the music ministries, it is not ideal. A dedicated rehearsal space would enhance this ministry. Rehearsal in the sanctuary is problematic when other activities occur in the room. Instructions from the music director are difficult to hear when an unintended audience is present. This occurs on Sunday morning and during rehearsal for special events. Acoustics in the front of the sanctuary are not conducive to musical performance; choir, bell members and the accompanist(s) would all be more effective when they can properly hear each other and the instructions from the director. While the choir does an excellent job, changes that improve their experiences as choir members will positively enhance the worship experience. b. In the sanctuary, it would also be helpful if the piano was on the same level as the choir so that the accompanist can see the choir director. Similarly, changes in the configuration of the sanctuary and dais would provide better space for performances by the bell choir. The best performances occur when the entire bell choir can see and hear each other and the conductor. Currently, tables required for bell choir performances fit only in the choir area which forces the choir to relocate into scarce pew space, or below the dais in the narrow space in front of the first row of pews, which limits mobility in the sanctuary and prevents bell choir performances when communion is part of the worship service. c. Storage. The church has made a significant investment in bells, drums, sound equipment, sheet music, etc. For a multitude of reasons, these items need to be secured in locked cabinets and locked rooms. ! TO ENHANCE FINANCIAL MINISTRIES: a. The predominant facility requirement for the financial ministries is governed by the needs of the Committee on Stewardship and Finance, which is the largest group involved with financial ministries at LUMC. The main requirements of this group are a suitable meeting space that accommodates 10-12 people as well as proper space to maintain required financial files. b. Regarding space, LUMC’s large adult Sunday School classroom adequately meets the base need for meeting space. Looking toward the future, the size of this committee would not grow significantly even if the number of people and associated funds

Page 23 of 29

doubled over the coming years. As such, the financial ministries do not present a compelling need to expand the current infrastructure. Looking beyond base needs, however, the fact that the church only has one main meeting space that can adequately accommodate the larger committees of LUMC means that none of the major committees can meet on the same night of the week. Otherwise, one of the committees would need to meet in Fellowship Hall, which is not conducive to confidential discussions of church topics. In addition, Fellowship Hall is separately scheduled and not always available as an overflow space. Also, if utilized, Fellowship Hall would require properly heating a much larger space than needed for the committee in the winter months. Bottom-line: while not a key driver for expansion, church planning and organization could be enhanced if another space the size of the current adult Sunday School classroom were available. c. Regarding storage space, current space requirements are driven by the maintenance of paper copies of required records until no longer needed at which time they are destroyed. Because of the nature of these records, the storage space or cabinets must be secured. In this aspect, the current needs of the financial ministries are not adequately being met. While copies of important records are being maintained, the associated file cabinets are not located in the main church, but in the parsonage as well as individual parishioners’ homes. Further, backup copies of important documents are not maintained in a separate location. The solution to this need, however, in not an infrastructure expansion of storage space, but rather the digitalization of the current records set. This process is planned and with cloud computing, adequate backup of records should be achievable without expanding the current infrastructure as long as the current building offices can be supplied with a robust and reliable data network and computer data storage devices. As such, the physical space associated with data storage is expected to shrink, but the technical backbone of the church offices will need to be improved to support this digitalization of our church files. d. Future concerns. Although current infrastructure meets the base needs of the financial ministries now and for the foreseeable future, it must be noted that our church does not current possess the ability for committee members to easily display presentations and other documents like agendas, etc., without producing a printable copy for all committee members. This generates a lot of waste and frustration for committee members. Most would rather be able to connect to a projection system via Bluetooth or a network login and display their data to the rest of the committee. This would not only foster LUMC’s sustainability goals, but also makes meeting preparations much more efficient.

Page 24 of 29

! TO ENHANCE BUILDING CARE AND SUSTAINABILITY: a. Kitchen (1) LUMC Forward identified a general consensus from people who use the kitchen that it needs some work. The issues, however, were mostly related to organization, cleanliness and updated appliances, not additional space per se. (2) A member of the task force met with individuals who have organized the Harvest Dinner event in the past, plus other slightly smaller scale functions. Overall, the size of the kitchen is judged to be appropriate for our functions. The person who organized the Harvest Dinner also cooks professionally and has identified further improvements that may be considered. These include the addition of a gas fired 6 burner stove with integrated griddle area, in place of the paired electric and gas ranges currently installed; a high capacity vent hood; the installation of a deep three bay stainless steel sink and adjacent cutting board in place of the double bowl sink; and dishwasher. (3) To date most of the kitchen projects identified can be accomplished through a dedicated improvement emphasis on the part of the Trustees. The large stove installation would become a separable project for approval due to the additional infrastructure likely required and the associated cost. b. Bathrooms (1) LUMC Forward identified several concerns regarding bathrooms. These included size, odor, temperature in winter, location of baby changing stations, hot water availability, and difficulty to navigate with a walker. In addition, several people noted a need for a bathroom at the office end of the building. In addition, a few people noted a shower facility to house church/youth groups visiting Central New York would be a desirable enhancement. This would also allow our church to serve as a temporary shelter for displaced people due to a local disaster. (2) Except for the size issue, most of the items noted about the current restrooms have, or can be, fixed by minor improvements handled by the Trustees. The addition of more stalls at the sanctuary end of the church; a “family restroom” where families can help their young children or where elderly members can receive assistance in privacy; a handicapped accessible restroom at the other end of the church; as well as the potential for a shower facility for emergency shelter and visiting overnight groups would require an expansion or renovation of existing facilities.

Page 25 of 29

c. Storage ! LUMC Forward identified those items of church property stored in people’s homes or barns. Some members believe that if a renovation of the church occurs, additional onsite storage space should be considered to reduce or eliminate this situation. ! Separate from general storage, a specific mention was made for the need of additional music storage. In addition, many ministries believe they would benefit from additional space outside of the individual room closets. ! Storage locations within the church are many and varied. The larger ones that are not usually visible to the casual observer exist above the choir room, above the kitchen, and above the storage room off the Fellowship Hall. Over the choir room, this attic area is completely full and utilized for rummage sale storage of shelving and smaller set up supplies. Over the kitchen is a similar area that is well controlled for storage of banquet supplies and trustee's building components. Over the storage room off the Fellowship Hall is an attic area in the process of being cleared of unnecessary items. The addition of plywood across the ceiling rafters would create a more useful and inexpensive storage area. Additional storage cabinets could be added to either side of the doors into the Fellowship Hall storage area. These could be constructed similar to the cabinets to the right of the door into the Office/Education wing. ! With the Food Pantry moving to a different location, additional storage will open up. Care should be exercised to optimize this area with proper warehousing shelving practices. ! The task force investigated several of the offsite storage locations starting with one member’s barn, which is used for storage of the rummage sale tents, tables, and clothing racks. That member has indicated that we should pursue an alternate location to be ready by the Spring rummage sale 2015. The process of locating another offsite storage area has started and will be ready. Other locations visited included the church records at Church Historian’s home, and the stage set up at another member’s home. Two other locations still need to be visited. Dimensions were noted and storage location photos taken as needed at each location. In all cases, these volunteers have been most accommodating and, to date, indicated that the current practice is not a burden and can continue for the foreseeable future. However, many of these spaces should not be expected to remain continuously viable for the next 20 years, therefore some additional space should be considered. Before committing to building significant on-site or off-site storage, however, the cost and operation of the space should be considered against renting local storage to determine the least overall cost option.

Page 26 of 29

d. Sustainability. The Social Principles of the United Methodist Church remind us that "all creation is the Lord's, and we are responsible for the ways in which we use and abuse it" (¶ 160). In support of these principles, we should endeavor to include design attributes contributing to environmental sustainability in areas where substantial alteration work is carried out, as part of a building improvement project, if the building process is approved to go forward. These design attributes would apply to on-site water conservation, insulation practices, window design, heating system design, passive solar utilization, air circulation considerations, lighting design, etc. e. In addition, the grounds, parking lot, street signage and building exterior should be looked at in the context of a renovation. While these elements could be done as stand-alone projects by the Church Trustees, if any are areas are greatly affected by a renovation project, upgrades in these areas should be incorporated as appropriate. ! TO ENHANCE LEADERSHIP AND ADMINISTRATIVE MINISTRIES (MINUS PASTORAL CARE AND SUPPORT CHURCH STAFF): a. The predominant facility requirements for the leadership ministries are governed by the needs of the Church Council, which is the largest constituted leadership group at LUMC. The main requirements of this group are a suitable meeting space that accommodates up to 20 people, as well as mailboxes and proper space to maintain a small set of required files. b. Regarding space, LUMC’s large adult Sunday school classroom adequately meets the base need for meeting space. Looking toward the future, the size of this committee would not grow significantly even if the number of people and ministries grew in the coming years. As such, the leadership ministries do not present a compelling need to expand the current infrastructure. Looking beyond base needs, however, the fact that the church only has one main meeting space that can adequately accommodate the larger committees of LUMC means that none of the major committees can meet on the same night of the week. Otherwise, the other committee(s) would need to meet in Fellowship Hall which is not conducive to sensitive discussions, the sanctuary which is not conducive to face-to-face interactions, or one of the smaller Sunday school rooms which would require set up (as desks and chairs are not adult sized) and would be cramped. While not insurmountable, this limitation does reduce flexibility. As such, planning and organizing meetings would be enhanced if another space the size of the current adult classroom were available. c. Regarding storage space, current storage space requirements are driven by the maintenance of paper copies of needed records until no longer needed at which time they are destroyed. Because of the nature of these records, the storage space or cabinets must be secured. Current needs of the leadership ministries are adequately being met. However, offsite backup copies of important documents are not maintained in a separate location. The solution to this need, however, in not an infrastructure expansion of storage space, but rather the digitalization of the current records set. This process is planned and with cloud computing, adequate backup of

Page 27 of 29

records should be achievable without expanding the current infrastructure as long as the current building offices can be supplied with a robust and reliable data network and computer data storage devices. As such, the physical space associated with data storage is expected to shrink, but the technical backbone of the church offices will need to be improved to support this digitalization of our church files. d. Future concerns. Although current infrastructure meets the base needs of the leadership ministries, it must also be noted that our church does not current possess the ability for committee members to easily display presentations and other documents like agendas, etc., without producing a printable copy for all committee members. This generates a lot of waste and frustration for committee members. Most would rather be able to connect to a projection system via Bluetooth or a network login and display their data to the rest of the committee. This would not only foster LUMC’s sustainability goals, but also makes meeting preparations much more efficient. ! TO ENHANCE PASTORAL CARE AND SUPPORTING CHURCH STAFF: a. The Pastor’s Office and administrative assistant areas are fully adequate to meet LUMC’s needs for the foreseeable future. Size and privacy are excellent. The main deficit with the current office arrangement is that the Pastor’s office is located in the most remote part of the church. People do not know if the Pastor is in, nor is there sufficient signage to lead people, especially newcomers, to the Pastor’s office door. A small, but suitable space exists as a waiting area for back-to-back appointments. Better signage is a key improvement that should be pursued. In addition, the signage should include general office hours or be electronically updatable when the Pastor is in and available. Even better would be a solution that updates the church website and signage simultaneously. b. Separate from the offices themselves, the copier and church mailbox system are functional, but sit in the hallway which is cramped and unsightly. While this situation does not drive a facility enlargement, if an enlargement is undertaken, these standard items should be relocated into the church library or other space as part of an administrative support area. This is not currently a viable solution because the church library serves as an office for the Adult Education Coordinator. c. The office for the Christian Education Coordinator is properly sized, well located and adequately outfitted. The office for the Adult Ministries Coordinator (AMC), however, is not ideal. The AMC office is currently located in the church library. As a temporary fix, this works well-enough to meet LUMC’s needs, but it should be fixed if an expansion is undertaken. The library is intended to be accessible to the congregation 24/7. As an existing office space, however, it must often be locked to protect valuables inside. Also, the office is small such that more than 3 people in the office would be cramped. This also means that the AMC cannot easily spread out materials and work with/coach adult Sunday School teachers in this office space. Also, because the office must often be locked, it prevents this space from being

Page 28 of 29

utilized as a flexible space during other events like weddings, etc. The office also lacks any technological hook ups and presentation devices, therefore the AMC cannot screen videos and other materials unless it can be accomplished via a laptop computer. Separately, all offices have access to rudimentary wireless via an outdated, homegrown solution. The entire office section should be wired for a closed-loop, high speed Ethernet network with access to encrypted storage. The remainder of the church should have access to an office-quality wireless capability with strong signal in all parts of the church. CONCLUSION: It is apparent that additional space is needed to support and enhance the current and future ministries of our church. The Building Study Committee therefore recommends the Church Council secure the written consent of the Pastor and District Superintendent to a potential remodeling project, submit this study to a Charge (or Church) Conference for approval, and if approved, elect a Building Committee of not fewer than three people to serve in the development of the project in accordance with The Discipline ¶ 2544. SUMMATION: If we take the actions outlined above, LUMC will have the capability to physically grow the congregation in number, provide the opportunity for all persons at every stage of their spiritual journey to mature as Christians, meet the needs of those less fortunate within our community, and maintain LUMC as a vibrant and active partner that is central to the life and welfare of the surrounding community. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: In producing this study, the committee wishes to express its deep gratitude to Steve Alexander and all the members of the congregation who assisted with the LUMC Forward initiative. In addition, the committee would like to single out the assistance of Jan Vink for his statistical analysis of the local community, Jase Baese for his assistance gathering Lansing Town Board projections and data, and to Paul Southard for his active involvement in all aspects of the process. We are also grateful for all the church committees and members who met with our task forces to ensure nothing significant was overlooked. Finally, we express our sincerest thanks to Bill Hinderliter, Pastor Jane and the rest of the Church Council for their encouragement, feedback and support during this entire process. Respectfully Submitted,

James N. Blair Jim Blair

Karen Bishop

Mike Coles

Mike McGreevey

Dave Stoyell

Karen Bishop

Mike Coles

Mike McGreevey

Dave Stoyell

Page 29 of 29

APPENDIX A SUMMARY OF LUMC’S MAJOR MINISTRIES AND ACTIVITIES The following outline lists all the major committee’s organized and staffed by members of LUMC as well as some of the major activities conducted under each area. These are active committees, meaning that all efforts reflected below are fully staffed and appropriately resourced. A review of LUMC’s current Lay Leadership list confirms that while some members of the congregation serve on more than one committee, outside of the Pastor and 4-5 others, that is generally an exception. More than 120 separate congregation members serve on these committee’s and associated efforts. Unless specified otherwise, the number in parenthesis after each committee is the number of people serving on that committee. Items without numbers usually have a coordinator who solicits and organizes volunteers to carry out that activity. Where applicable, the relevant paragraph from The Discipline is listed. Where appropriate, additional information has been provided regarding size and scope. A. LEADERSHIP MINISTRIES Church Council (16)…to provide for the planning and implementing of a program of nurture, outreach, witness and resources in the local church. {¶252.} Nominations Committee (on Lay Leadership) (7)…to identify, develop, deploy, evaluate and monitor Christian spiritual leadership for the local congregation. {¶258.1} Committee on Staff-Parish Relations (9)…to assist the pastor and staff in assessing their gifts, maintaining health holistically and work-life balance, and setting priorities for leadership and service. {¶258.2} B. FINANCE MINISTRIES Committee on Stewardship and Finance (11)…to give stewardship of financial resources as their priority. Also plan, strategize, and implement ways to generate more resources for mission and ministries. {¶258.4} Memorial Committee (1)…to oversee the stewardship of memorial gifts to LUMC {¶258.5} Permanent Endowment Committee (5)…to oversee the stewardship of LUMC endowment funds. {¶258.5} Special Events Committee (1) Harvest Bazaar Thanksgiving Dinner Fundraiser [serves ~300 dinners] C. FACILITIES MINISTRIES Board of Trustees (10)...to perform the duties detailed in The Discipline ¶¶2525-2551. {¶258.3}

Page A-1

Parsonage Committee (2)…to assure proper maintenance and to give immediate resolution to parsonage issues affecting the family’s health and well-being. {¶258.2g(16)} D. OUTREACH MINISTRIES {¶252.2b} Outreach Committee (local missions) (11)…to provide for attention to local and larger community ministries of compassion, justice, and advocacy. {¶252.2b} Clothes Horse (2 coordinators) - offered in conjunction with Food Pantry; may relocate with Food Pantry to The Rink; offers gently used clothing once a month October January. Food Pantry (1 coordinator) - run once per month inside Fellowship Hall; plus mobile distribution by truck once per month; will be relocating to The Rink by January 2015. Rummage Sales (1-2 coordinators organize ~50 volunteers twice per year) - serves numerous members of the larger community and congregation. Giving Tree (1 coordinator) – offered once a year prior at Christmas time; reaches ~ 20 families. Haiti Connection Committee (33, including members of other churches) Haiti Mission - supports canteen in the city of Verettes and sponsors the education of students in the Verettes School. The Mission also supports other projects including agricultural projects and emergency response. Haiti College Scholarships - supports the tuition for university students from Banique. Haiti Fundraisers - holds the annual dessert auction fundraiser, as well as solicits contributions and sponsors for scholarships. Church World Service (School, Health, Baby Kits) 1 coordinator; usually 3-4 major events per year; items collected at LUMC; coordinator stores all at her home and takes care of shipping all items. Youth Mission - ~18 youth from LUMC and All Saints Church plus adults Mission - generally alternates between domestic and foreign (Guatemala) mission trips, every two years, but occasionally more often. Fundraising - annually the team conducts various fundraisers such as the Valentine’s Day Sweetheart Dinner, Goods and Talents Auction, Cross Cayuga Swim, Chili Cook off, and Turkey Trot fun run.

Page A-2

E. CARING MINISTRIES (Hospitality) Membership Team (6) (name will soon change to “Fellowship”){¶252.2a} Administrative - Gathers weekly worship attendance sheets for LUMC office; issues name tags for worship attendees; coordinates “Care Cards” wall brochure display in Fellowship Hall; organizes Church Pictorial Directory project every ~ 5 years Social - Hospitality - Coordinates after worship Coffee Hour - 1 coordinator leads ~3 volunteers; serves coffee, tea and snacks to 60-75 each week. Includes purposefully connecting face-to-face with new attendees. Social - Welcoming - Coordinates Apple Pie Ministry - 1 coordinator leads 4-6 volunteers in making apple pies & delivering apple pies to new worship attendees. Social - Teambuilding - Organizes seasonal Ice Cream socials; enlists host families for 23 summer dish-to-pass picnics. Caregivers Team (11) - Visits shut-ins, hospitalized and nursing home residents; sends get well and sympathy cards to LUMC members; provides extended support (i.e. phone calls, transportation to appointments, literacy assistance, etc.); mMeets monthly with the Prayer Shawl Ministry. {¶252.2a, ¶257} Prayer Shawl Ministry (16) - 1 coordinator with core group of 8 members. Meets monthly with Caregivers Team; knit or crochet shawls are handmade in symbolic Christian patterns and distributed to others at times of illness, loss, grief, and joy. Keeps a cumulative log of shawl recipients; limited quantity of yarn and shawls stored at LUMC; rest at coordinator’s home. {¶252.2a} F. WORSHIP MINISTRIES {¶252.2a & c} Worship Committee (7) Creative Arts Director (1; part of the main committee) Acolyte Training (targets 3rd grade) [1 coordinator trains ~4-6 children each year] Musical Ministries Adult Choir [~25 members] Youth Choir [~8 members] Handbell Choir [~12 members] Special Music

Page A-3

G. EDUCATION MINISTRIES {¶256.1-.3} Adult Ministries Adult Sunday School [usually 2-3 simultaneous classes; 15-35 total people per Sunday] Adult Disciple and Christian Believer classes [usually 2-3 active groups] Women’s Bible Study [20-30 women; been meeting more than 20 years] “Lord is It I” production [1 Director leads 15 adults; 2 performances] Annual Sadr Meal [~32 participating each year] Children and Youth Ministries (8) Sunday School Senior High Sunday School (Grades 9-12) [avg attendance ~8] Junior High Sunday School (Grades 7-8) [avg attendance ~8] Children’s Sunday School (Grades K-6) [avg attendance ~35] Sunday Church Nursery [avg children under age four ~6-7] Youth Groups Senior High Youth Group [avg attendance ~8] Kids in Action Now (3rd to 5th grades) [1 leader organizes ~3 adults; ~15 active children] Crop Hunger Walk – organized by youth/KAN kids; once a year fundraiser for food banks Pancakes and Prayers [weekly during the school year; ~10 youth per week] Christian Outreach and Confirmation Confirmation Program [4 month program; avg 6 confirmands] Vacation Bible School [in partnership with All Saints Church; avg ~60 children] Special/Holiday Youth Related Programs Easter Sunrise Service [run by the Jr and Sr High Youth; ~10 youth] Children’s Musical [2 coordinators lead ~16 children] Children’s Christmas Pageant [2 coordinators lead ~20 children] Fall Festival Special Activities Annual Lock-in (Sr High) [~15 youth] Annual Lock-in (Jr High) [~18 youth] Camp Agent (1) [Traditionally have 20-25 LUMC campers plus another ~20 from the local community per year]

Page A-4

H. OTHER MINISTRIES Blood Drives (Coordinated by Church Secretary) - Run by the American Red Cross; LUMC hosts 4-5 events per year. Church Historian (1) - preserves the history of the local church. {¶247.5, ¶258.5} Communications/Informational Ministries {¶258.5} Sun Beam [monthly] Church Bulletin [weekly] Church Website, Facebook Page, and Twitter Feed [as needed] I. Areas NOT well engaged Civic Youth-Serving agencies and scouting ministries {¶256.4} United Methodist Women {¶256.5} United Methodist Men {¶256.6} Other Age-Level Councils {¶256.7} Day Care Pre School/After School Programs Prison Ministries Substance and Alcohol Abuse Meetings

Page A-5

 

APPENDIX B ACCESSABILITY AUDIT

Page B-1  

ANNUAL ACCESSIBILITY AUDIT FOR UNITED METHODIST CHURCHES (¶2533)

Church

District

Lansing United Methodist Church

Date Form Completed September 6, 2014

Finger Lakes District

Charge Conf. Date November 16, 2014

GETTING INTO THE CHURCH YES

NO

N/A

Description / Guidelines Clearly visible signs direct people to accessible entrances

X

Designated parking spaces on level ground are close to entrance and do not require crossing traffic or moving behind parked cars

x

X

At least 1 per 25 spaces is clearly marked with access symbol on 6 vertical signs and on pavement (# of accessible spaces:____)

X

Accessible spaces are 8’ wide with adjacent 5’ access aisle. At least one 11’ space is van accessible with adjacent 5’ access aisle

X

36” wide curb cuts (curb ramps) are provided

X

Sidewalks are smooth, flat, and at least 36” wide providing an access route to an accessible entrance into the church

X

Ramp has maximum incline of 1:12, preferably 1:20 (length:____ rise:____ ratio:_____) with no more than 30’ between landings

X

Ramp has minimum width of 36” between handrails (width:___) and has non-slip surface

X

X

Handrails are 34-38” high on both sides of ramp/ stairs and extend 12” beyond; lower railing is no higher than 4 above deck

X

There is a 60” x 60” level platform at entry door and at least 18” on pull side of door

COMMENTS Explain “NO” Answers East Entrance Issue crossing traffic and moving behind parked car. A row of handicapped parking parking ~85 ft wide. Not all spaces are on pavement.

Even with sidewalk.

Sidewalks are generally 48"

Entrance door is 36” wide; threshold no more than ½” high

1/6

Audit revised Nov 2013; Used with permission of the United Methodist Committee on DisAbility Ministries

Page B-2

GETTING AROUND THE CHURCH YES

NO

N/A

Description / Guidelines

X

Corridors are at least 36” wide with 60” passing spaces every 200’ and non-glare floor surface

X

No objects protrude more than 4”, and lowest part of protruding object is no more than 27” above floor height to allow a person who is blind to detect the object with a cane and avoid injuries

X

Multi-level building has interior elevator, lift and/ or ramp to allow access to all common/ program areas

X

Doorways have a minimum of 32” clearance and thresholds are level or no more than ½” high and beveled

X

Door handles are easy to grasp and operate with one hand/single effort, using no more than 5 lbs. force

X

Carpet pile is level and no more than ½” thick, with no or firm padding; all floor mats have rubberized backing and are stable Fire alarm controls and extinguishers are no more than 48” from floor; visual and auditory fire alarms are in place

X

X

At least one accessible marked unisex restroom (or both male and female restrooms) per floor has 60” turning space

X

Sink has 29” clearance from floor, controls easy to operate (lever style, automatic, etc.), drain pipes insulated, soap and paper towels no higher than 48”, bottom edge of mirror 40” or lower

X

At least one stall is 66”x 60” with 33” – 36” high wall-mounted grab bars next to and at back of toilet; toilet height 17” – 19”

X

Drinking fountain is no higher than 36” with easy hand controls and wheelchair clearance or paper cup dispenser

X

Stairs have handrails on both sides; surface is non-slip; leading edges are marked with a contrasting color

2/6

Building is single level.

No visual fire alarm; some extinguishers in kitchen too high.

There are no stairs.

Audit revised Nov 2013; Used with permission of the United Methodist Committee on DisAbility Ministries

Page B-3

SANCTUARY, CLASSROOMS, FELLOWSHIP AREA YES

NO

N/A

Description / Guidelines Level pew cuts/ wheelchair spaces are next to aisles and distributed throughout the room for choice in seating. Spaces are 33”x48” forward approach, and/or 33”x60” side approach, with view of screen/ pulpit when others stand

X

Chancel area and choir loft are accessible (via ramp, or platform lift if needed)

X

Spaces are not distributed throughout the room; no view when others stand.

Dais and choir area at front of church have no accessibility features.

If there are steps to the chancel, handrails are provided

X

Aisleways are at least 36” in common areas

X

Side aisles are occasionally 32"

Fellowship area and one work area in kitchen are accessible

X

In fellowship area and classrooms at least one table has Tables have 27" minimum of 29-30”clearance on underside; some chairs have clearance. armrests and height of chair seat from floor of these chairs is 18” or more

X

COMMUNICATIONS AND ENVIRONMENT YES

NO

X

N/A

Description / Guidelines Members sensitized about need to minimize use of fragrances All soaps, cleaning products and other chemicals fragrance free; candles are unscented and non-petroleum-based

*

Not announced or posted. * Yes, but this is not written down, announced or posted.

Lighting adequate for reading in meeting areas, for safety in halls

X

X

Large/bold print bulletin, songbook, and Bible available or large print words are projected on the screen; Braille bulletin or alternative media available upon request Microphone used by all speakers or comments repeated; assisted listening devices provided; ASL interpreter provided upon request

X

X X

Large print Bibles are available, but were not located during the inspection. No ASL interpreter; a few assisted listening devices now available, but not compatible with all hearing aides; signage for visitors not well posted.

Printed copies of sermon are available if requested Videos and other media are clearly captioned

3/6

Not used in worship; Sunday School materials not captioned.

Audit revised Nov 2013; Used with permission of the United Methodist Committee on DisAbility Ministries

Page B-4

ATTITUDES YES

NO

N/A

Description / Guidelines

X

Access described in church phone message, website, signage, etc.

X

Pastor(s)/ ushers/ greeters/ leaders/ members have had training in disability awareness and etiquette

Pastor, yes; others no.

Disruptions are accepted and incorporated into worship

X

*

Service animals or guide dogs are permitted within the church building including the sanctuary

X

Worship leader invites people to “rise in body or in spirit” and to “be in an attitude of prayer” or uses similar inclusive language

*

Educational programs are adapted as needed for inclusion of children and adults with disabilities

X

* Yes, but nothing is posted.

* Everyone does what they can; but formal training is not consistent.

Disability Awareness Sunday was celebrated during past year

X

Persons with disabilities serve in worship and leadership roles and help plan ways to improve access

*

Needs of those on special diets considered when food is offered, including gluten free communion elements

*

Transportation; valet parking assistance; Buddy System (for those needing 1:1 assistance) offered if needed

4/6

* Yes for Gluten Free communion; Spotty otherwise. We avoid peanuts, but don't have good signage, training, or procedures for group events.

* Done as needed, but not well publicized, so visitors would not know.

Audit revised Nov 2013; Used with permission of the United Methodist Committee on DisAbility Ministries

Page B-5

GOALS FOR ACCESSIBILITY IMPROVEMENT FOR THE UPCOMING YEAR

Target Date

1. To address those deficiencies noted in areas where substantial alteration work is carried out as part of a building improvement project if the building process is approved to go forward.

2.

3.

4.

5.

✔ Request consultation from Conference Disability Concerns Committee YES __ NO __

Comments:

Date Signature of Pastor:

N/A; for Building Study Purposes only.

Signature of Trustees chair:

N/A; for Building Study Purposes only.

Signature of District Superintendent:

N/A; for Building Study Purposes only.

[email protected] S. Hardie & P. Southard Form completed by_____________________________________ Contact information:______________________

607-533-4070 P. Southard Contact person for church________________________________ Contact information:_____________________

5/6

Audit revised Nov 2013; Used with permission of the United Methodist Committee on DisAbility Ministries

Page B-6

PLEASE NOTE:  

  

This form is for use on existing buildings only; please refer to current ADA and state regulations for new construction or major remodeling projects: http://www.ada.gov/regs2010/2010ADAStandards/ Anyone can complete the audit, e.g. it can be done by a youth group or the trustees, and does not require specialized skills. The best results come when you include persons with disabilities, especially someone who uses a wheelchair and someone with low vision, in the audit process. Interview individuals with disabilities and family members of children and adults with disabilities to learn how welcoming your congregation is and to help set priorities. This is not an all-inclusive listing of ADA guidelines, but rather represents basic first steps that a church may take to begin to implement accessibility measures. Resources are available through your conference Disability Concerns Committee and through the United Methodist Committee on DisAbility Ministry (at http://www.umdisabilityministries.org/2000.html#4) to help you plan and carry out improvements.

6/6

Audit revised Nov 2013; Used with permission of the United Methodist Committee on DisAbility Ministries

Page B-7

Suggest Documents