NEW SANCTUARY Q&A
1. Why do we need to build a new sanctuary?
We do not have sufficient space to implement our vision and mission. Wayside’s current sanctuary was built in 1946 with a seating capacity of 130, and a membership of 38. All that we enjoy today resulted from the efforts and sacrifices of those who came way before us, creating a legacy for the future. By 2012, membership was at 98, and thus began a decade of rapid growth, as God brought more and more people to Wayside. By 2016, membership had grown to 176 and by December 2021 to 270. Space and COVID-related issues drove us to multiple services, online streaming, and multiple overflow rooms. These conditions divided our congregational community and dissuaded those visiting Wayside from returning, both undermining Wayside’s vision and mission. Wayside leadership evaluated various options, prayed for wisdom and guidance, and concluded that a new larger sanctuary was the best solution for today and for future generations.
2. How does a new larger sanctuary support Wayside’s vision and mission?
By God’s grace, Wayside’s vision is to be a worshipping covenant community of equipped, mature, and joy-filled disciples of Jesus Christ. Wayside’s mission is to make disciples of Jesus Christ through the means of grace that He has established; namely, God’s Word, prayer, the sacraments, worship, service, and gospel community. A sanctuary provides that sacred place for the gathered people of God – the worshipping covenant community – to avail themselves of these God-ordained, most-essential means of growing by His transformative grace. In light of the Great Commission (Matt. 28), we desire to see more men, women, boys, and girls come to saving faith in the Lord Jesus through the proclamation of the gospel. The new sanctuary allows us to welcome new people to hear this good news of Christ.
3. Are donations to the new sanctuary project deductible on federal income taxes?
Since the project has been approved by the Wayside Session, donations to the project are tax deductible. The IRS requires that donors transfer full control of donated funds to the non-profit organization for the donated funds to be tax deductible. Wayside will provide documentation of these contributions to donors for the year in which the donations are made.
4. Will donations to the new sanctuary project be used for anything other than a new sanctuary, and are donations considered restricted or unrestricted funds?
The intent of the session is that project-related donations will be designated and used for a new expanded sanctuary and any associated facility changes, as part of the broader Wayside mission. Should future conditions warrant a change or adjustment in the plan in the best interests of our mission, accumulated funds may be applied to other mission-related ministries. Examples might be a decision not to build, to reduce the scope of the build, or to address a critical emergent mission-related need, etc. In this light, donations are unrestricted funds, unless some type of restriction is applied.
5. Will there be an objective dollar amount that we need to have given or pledged by a specific date to determine whether to proceed with the project? How much needs to be raised?
There is not an established amount to be raised by a specific date to proceed with the project. Wayside leadership would like for this to be a shorter-term project (e.g., 3 years), but it may end up being longer. In that event, donated funds would remain in the building fund, as those raised over the last few years have remained.
The cost estimates for earlier conceptual drawings indicated a project need on the order of $3.5M. As of July 2022, a total of $2.8M in donations/pledges had been raised. The campaign is targeting to raise $3.5M by June 1, 2023, to support critical construction activities and minimize debt.
6. Is there a target amount that leadership is expecting each member to donate or pledge to reach a specified goal?
No. Illustrative donation analysis has been done to better understand the magnitude and potential characterization of giving that would be needed to support current construction and completion estimates. Such analysis should not be construed as any type of requirement or expectation. Leadership is not asking for a specific amount to be given by members. Members will need to pray about their decisions regarding support of this part of our mission. While the total funds needed is very high, and we do not know where they will all come from, we know that the Lord is capable of supplying the monies needed.
7. Can non-cash donations be made to the project? For example, real property, stocks, etc.
Wayside’s treasurer has set up an account with Generosity Trust (GT) to provide the ability for people to donate stock shares. This allows Wayside to realize the entire gift and the donor does not pay capital gains tax on the appreciated value of the stock. Stock donations or other non-cash donations should be discussed with Wayside’s Treasurer, Brent Bowman.
8. Are there conditions under which pledges can be rescinded or made void?
A pledge is a member’s commitment, not an enforceable contract. While follow-through on pledges will be critical to Wayside’s future and to project success, Wayside leadership would consider voiding a pledge if requested due to extreme changes in personal situations. If a decision is made to cancel the sanctuary expansion project, outstanding pledges would also be considered void.
9. Under what conditions would Wayside return donated funds to donors?
If restricted donations are made, and the terms are not satisfied, the associated funds would be returned. Wayside would be required to issue a 1099 federal tax form reporting the funds transfer and the donor would be subject to associated taxes.
10. What is the general timeframe planned for raising funds and what type of timeline might exist for starting and completing construction?
As stated, leadership would like to see the needed funds raised within a relatively short period of time, and to avoid substantial debt, but the path is not known. An example (purely illustrative) might be substantive donations/pledges completed within the first half of 2022, detailed construction drawings completed by late 2022, a construction loan in place to parallel multi-year pledges and construction by late 2022, readiness to break ground fall of 2022 or early 2023, any initial awarded grants received early 2023, full project cost fundraising largely complete summer 2023, and completion of construction in 2024. Fundraisers and further grant applications could continue throughout the entire construction period. Again, all of this is illustrative of a potential target timeline, subject to many unknowns and uncertainties.
11. Will current Wayside services, activities, spaces and ministries be adversely impacted by this project?
It is Wayside leadership’s intent that the current state is not degraded by this project. That includes effectively working around future construction activities, continuing to support current ministries, and factoring other key needs into the plan as possible, such as fellowship, Bible study, and children’s playground/basketball spaces. Music/audio elements will receive specific focus.
12. If members have questions, who should they contact?
There is a sanctuary steering committee (SSC) led by Chip Fellers and reporting to the Session. Chip or any of the three other committee members (Bill Bowman, Marci Cooper, and Matt Hamilton) are maybe best positioned to address questions or get answers to them. However, questions may of course be addressed to any member of the Session or Diaconate as desired.