Comments submitted by members of the congregation to Dianne Maia - Holy Cross Autumn 2018

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Comments submitted by members of the congregation to Dianne Maia

Congregational Meeting November 2018
Submitted by George Pennie
I was very surprised that the council is again bringing up the receipt of an offer to sell the church.

Selling the church means that we disband since if we can not make it go in this location, how do we expect to survive in another location.

I have kept mentioning that the church needs a finance committee. The pastor should not be involved in any negotiations. We have a number of excellent members to be the advisors to the congregation.

The amount of the offer should not have an effect of encouraging selling. If we were to sell the asking price should be $6 Million. to-day.

Holy Cross is in good financial health and being on a main artery of the city has opportunities to serve the community, which is being done. We must look to the future with a positive outlook and when the time comes if we can no longer keep up the high expenses, there are ways to cut expenses to match the budget. The first thing that has to be done is hold a meeting and have the congregation decide the future.

Alternative Mission if we decide to sell
For 15 years I was on the Missions committee of the Lutheran Church in America as a member of the Canada Synod. I purchased the properties in Eastern Canada for mission development. For 30 years I was on the board of Inter Faith Homes. And we developped 1500 housing units under the then government program.
I was one of the originators of St. Lukes Close in Burlington which has 56 seniors units.

In 2018 there is a very poor Government Program to develop new housing units.

If the church sold the present property and received the proceeds of the sale that is one half of developing a seniors building.
In Inter Faith Homes we worked with congregations who had excess lands, and developed the project. In Toronto I was an originator where we developed a new church which is adjacent to the senior's home. Our finance committee before we sell would seek a partner church who has excess land, and if the property is zoned for multiple units a joing committee would be developed to study the proposal further.

Our property will never depreciate in this location with the added flood property for landscaping. We do not have to sell now, but the joint senior's project is an alternative in the future.

George Pennie August 7 2018

Submitted by Bill Kuehnbaum
Does selling Holy Cross’ property Holy Cross mean Holy Cross disbands?
Not in my opinion!  The people of Holy Cross could remain a congregation without the property.
Consider what the annual earnings (e.g. interest) on $4.5 million could do.
Long term space which we could configure to match our needs is available for rent in different types of Burlington malls.  We could exactly replace the space currently occupied by the worship area, narthex, offices, kitchen, meeting rooms, fellowship hall and washrooms - all on a single level.
We could duplicate the current worship area if we wanted - right down to exactly the same dimensions. The stained-glass windows could be part of one wall.  We could have the same pews, organ, piano, altar, lecterns and flooring we now have.  We could even add space for instruments.
Selling the property does not mean we must lose the space current programs need.

So why not just keep our current space and avoid the hassle of moving?
The answer:  To greatly expand our ministry.
Doing the math:
Income: Estimate the annual earnings on the sale price to be $200 000/year.
Costs:  Estimate the rental costs to replace our space to be $100 000/year.
This would give us an extra $100 000/year to expand our ministry.  And this is not counting the fact that we would not be spending any offering money on a building and grounds. We now spend about $28 000/year for upkeep and maintenance.

What could we do with the extra $100 000?
Apply it to “in ministry for others”.  The only limit is our imagination.  Among other things we could hire a full-time membership recruitment director, or a youth worker, or a parish nurse. Or we could fund a homeless shelter, or fund a school nutrition program, or sponsor a refugee family every year or adopt a growing Lutheran congregation in another part of the world or ......

We would have real resources to, as Bishop Pryse often says, “do church differently”.

Selling the property does not necessarily mean the end of the congregation.  It could mean the renewal of the congregation in a whole new form.

Submitted by Patti Eix
I will be voting against the motion on November 11.
While $4.5 million is a lot of money – I feel that we are not asking enough.
Yes – we could do a lot with that amount of money but we already do a whole lot with a lot less.
  • We would displace all the AA groups that depend on us
  • We would no longer have a Community Garden
  • Good Food Box???
  • What about commitment to the environment?
  • Girl Guides?
As the congregation ages (me too) where are we going to get the bodies to do all this new cool stuff?
If we were to sell,  the heart and soul of Holy Cross would be broken.
Patti Eix
Submitted by Sheila Oehm
This is a really tough time for you Dianne as our council chair but we are very lucky to have such a level headed person to lead us.

I am in full agreement with Patti. Why would we even consider approaching someone to put our church on the market when we do such good community services. $4.5 million is in my opinion a steal for a developer considering the value of just one house across from Holy Cross. Has anyone considered having the property evaluated? This should be done well ahead of our November meeting.

I think having a meeting on November 11 to expect the congregation to vote on this very emotional decision right then and there is WRONG. Have a meeting soon with full disclosure of (actual property value) and a consensus of how the congregation truly feels and then ask for a vote on November 11 when people have had time to digest the information. It really is quite simple. A meeting without all this information is just another platform for an extensive useless discussion and or argument which just divides our small congregation.

I know and understand that we are an aging congregation but unless we have a good reason for selling (which we do not appear to) we should as a church family be able to continue worshipping together in a familiar location.

Submitted by Sheila Oehm

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