NEW INFO Click here for a schedule of upcoming meetings regarding this project.
Click here to download a pdf brochure outlining the capital campaign
Click here to download a pdf showing the revised plan layouts
Trinity Lutheran Church has been committed to serving God through ministry to and with its members and through outreach to the greater Grand Rapids community for the past 120 years. Our location, facilities and faces have changed over the past century, but our mission has remained the same; a commitment to Christ, to one another, and to the care of our community here in the metropolitan area and around the globe.
Our congregation today is an active community comprised of more than 600 households. Led by a diverse Congregation Council, a dedicated senior pastor and a new associate pastor, strong teams of lay leaders, dedicated staff and many volunteers, there is an ever increasing number of ways that people of all ages can participate in the spiritual, educational, fellowship and service ministries of our church.
Because of our strong heritage of service, outreach and benevolence, we look to chart a course forward that ensures we maintain the “strength to serve.” With God’s blessing, we look to overcome obstacles and provide for the long-term sustainability of our congregation and its mission.
Our Facility Needs
Fifty-six years ago, Trinity Lutheran moved to our current location on the east side of Grand Rapids. Much has changed in the past half-century, including substantial growth in our membership, staffing, and the ministries we extend in Christ’s name. We have made things work for many years by repurposing significant areas of our facility. However, we have come to a time for action. The facility has begun to hinder rather than enhance our ministries and the infrastructure of the facility needs significant maintenance, upgrade and/or replacement. Trinity’s facilities are “corridor-centric,” with significant square footage dedicated to hallways and confusion in wayfinding throughout our facility. The repurposing of space through the years has eliminated vital fellowship areas and taxed our multipurpose space. It is time we take a hard look at our building design to make it serve our needs, rather than fitting our needs into whatever space is available.
Crumbling Cross Tower
Our cross tower needs significant remediation. It is one of the most iconic architectural structures of our beautiful church home. However, the tower and the adjacent area have become a danger zone. Poor water drainage and deferred maintenance have led to a crumbling limestone surface. Last winter the largest piece of limestone to fall off the tower weighed in at 31 pounds. To ensure the safety of our members and friends, we fenced off this area, which limits access to the Columbarium and the beautiful memorial garden that has been developed on the hillside.
Overdue Maintenance in the Old House
Lack of a Dedicated Fellowship & Gathering Space
Our building is aging and the general upkeep must be made a priority. Historically, Trinity has tasked our Property Committee with the ongoing care of the facilities. However, the state we find ourselves in with deferred maintenance and a need to update core infrastructure and systems goes well beyond the scope of this committee’s responsibilities. General upkeep of our property and grounds must be considered as part of an overall upgrade to the facility.
The largest areas of concern are:
- The 21-year old flat roofs we have on much of our facility are in need of replacement. Leaks have developed and will continue to develop with these aging roof systems.
- The glass “lantern” above the altar has been the source of water condensation over the years and has caused damage to the ceiling of our sanctuary. This detracts from the beauty of our sanctuary and could lead to much larger issues if left unresolved.
- The HVAC system throughout much of our facilities is outdated and inefficient. It will require major maintenance and/or replacement. Additionally, many of the spaces in our building are not currently air-conditioned.
- The wiring in the building is original in most areas and our modern equipment often exceeds its capacity.
A pressing need identified by our congregation is our current lack of a suitable common fellowship/gathering space to pause with friends before and after worship and during the week. With the four worship service ‘sprints’ on a typical Sunday, worshippers are nearly pushed out of the building to make room for the next worshipping group. Some say it feels like we have two or more congregations here at Trinity because our Traditional and Rejoice worshippers rarely get to see and gather with one another. Without a common fellowship space, we are hindering our ability to come together and foster the bonds which make us a more dynamic congregational community.
Cramped & Multi-Use Space for Rejoice Worship Services
Despite the separation of our services, we are truly blessed at Trinity to have two distinct and joyful worship services from which to choose. Most churches that try to provide both options fail as they either return to a single style or end up with a poor “blend” that attempts to please both styles but suits neither. With the growth of our Rejoice contemporary worship service, we have added a second service and many times we will still run out of room at the 10 a.m. service as Centennial Hall only seats 200. This overcrowding and over-scheduling contributes to the lack of fellowship space. Additionally, with the four service schedule, pastoral leaders are unable to meet and greet our members and visitors, and they are unable to be present during the education hour with our children. We are also challenged by the nearly constant need to recruit volunteers to reset Centennial Hall following worship, and the furnishings suffer from wear and tear as they are constantly being rearranged for the many uses of that space.
Insufficient Dedicated Space for Youth Ministry
Our youth team is extremely active and is a wonderful and growing ministry within our church community. Unfortunately, the space we have allocated for youth ministry is not commensurate with their needs and, therefore does not inspire relationships or encourage our youth to grow in their faith. Right now, youth are relegated to a small corner of our building in a classroom sized space. The size and layout of this room severely limit the options for its use. We have a group of more than thirty young people going on a mission trip this year, but this group would not fit in the space we currently give them. The technology and infrastructure of our building hampers their ability to connect and interact in the manner in which they are accustomed too. What message does this send to these young members of our congregation? Wouldn’t it be better if we had a spaced designed specifically for them, more in line with their needs and methods of interacting?
Inefficient Use of Space
Our building today is, again, “corridor-centric” and difficult to navigate. This not only causes confusion with new members and guests, but is also a terrible waste of space. The square footage we have for hallways is space that could be used for fellowship, education and other ministries that are currently crammed into existing rooms.
Cramped and Disconnected Offices
A half century ago, our staff was considerably smaller. Today, as our ministries have grown, we have added multiple full and part-time staff to serve those ministries. To do this, spaces designed as storage, closets and even the library gave way to “offices.” The room for choir robe storage now serves as the office for four part-time music staff members. The old church library provides office space for our Directors of Congregational Life and Discipleship. Our Parish Nurse resides in an old storage room. To make matters worse, none of these offices share adjacency which leads to confusion for members and inefficient communications among staff.
Outdated Children’s Education Wing
Finally, we need to update our children’s wing and provide better security for our children. The rooms and spaces no longer function as well for our youth and children’s ministries and those spaces need updating. There is also, currently, no effective way for us to limit access to this area of our facility, placing our children at risk from outside threats and making it increasingly difficult to simply keep track of our kids. Our staff and volunteers have done a commendable job of controlling this, but we are in need of better systems in this important ministry space.
Our Facility Plans
Through extensive planning and tremendous feedback from our congregation, we have come together with an exciting Master Plan Revision that will open up our spaces and better serve our members for generations to come. The renovation and development of new space will allow us to connect better within, making our community stronger when reaching out.
Repairing the Cross Tower
Repairing our cross tower is our first job. In late 2015, the congregation voted overwhelmingly to move forward with the remediation of our iconic tower. To do this, we have secured bids and expect to complete the project in 2016. Old attempts to seal up the surface will be removed, much of the limestone shell will be removed and a new surface will be affixed with new stone and proper systems of draining water away from the structure. When complete, we will have the cross tower restored, our Columbarium at its base properly housed and unfettered access to our beautiful hillside memorial garden.
Tending to the House
Larger and Dedicated Fellowship & Gathering Spaces
During our recent feasibility study, our congregation spoke clearly that we needed to tend to our current facility as a high priority.
- The “lantern” above the altar will be properly sealed and any damage to the surrounding ceiling area will be repaired.
- The HVAC units will be replaced. This will provide more constant climate control to all areas of our facility and significantly improve energy efficiency.
- Old wiring throughout the building will be upgraded and brought up to code.
- Flat roofs and other exterior surfaces will be improved or replaced in both the renovation and new development of space and in the areas outside that development.
A Dedicated Space for Rejoice Worship
A critical component of our Master Plan Revision is the creation of a gathering space that will greatly increase our opportunity for fellowship. The design opens up the hallways and some of the classrooms upstairs to create a larger narthex and gathering area for those attending our traditional worship service. This renovated space will be connected to the larger gathering space by a stairwell and balcony. The new lower level fellowship/gathering space will be a vibrant center in our church building.
Repurposing the existing courtyard and adjacent to the new expanded Rejoice worship space, office core, youth space, and new hospitality area off the kitchen, the possibilities for its use are many. It will allow for larger meetings and gatherings, overflow from Rejoice service, fellowship before and after all traditional and contemporary worship services, excellent adjacencies, an open flow from one space to another, and a central gathering area for our many ministries.
Open and Inviting Layout
We are fully dedicated to keeping and strengthening both of our distinctive styles of worship. To do so, we are creating a dedicated worship space designed to enhance all the aspects of our Rejoice contemporary worship service. The current stage and a storage area will be removed, allowing us to use all of that space for worship and music. Seating in the expanded space will accommodate up to 350 people. The new fellowship space, located directly behind this expanded Rejoice worship space, will allow for overflow on particularly well attended Sundays. This expansion should allow us to hold only one Rejoice worship service on Sundays which will allow for more time for fellowship between services and a less frenetic worship schedule. Having a dedicated worship space will eliminate the need for volunteers to set up and tear down, and this will also mean less wear and tear on our furnishings, not to mention our members.
Our current sanctuary will continue to be used exclusively for our traditional worship services. We will attend to overdue repairs and upkeep to ensure this traditional space continues to serve as a beautiful and inspirational place of worship for decades to come
We asked the architects to create an open layout with larger spaces that will connect the various areas and eliminate our many corridors and hallways. This will make it more inviting for both members and guests, and eliminate the possibility of getting lost circling the building. This will also lead to more usable space, allowing us to create larger areas for fellowship, the Rejoice worship service and our youth ministry without greatly expanding the overall footprint of our facility. We will utilize glass walls, both interior and exterior, to make already expanded spaces seem larger, enhance transparency, and flood the building with natural light. The layout will also place more key gathering spaces in friendly adjacency to one another.
Central Office Core
Directly off of the new west entrance will be a centralized office core. This will place all of our administrative staff and pastors in one area, greatly enhancing communication and office efficiency. Also, with most all of the staff directly off the main entrance, members and guests entering the building will be greeted with a friendly face, rather than roaming the facility looking for someone, or being led on a journey to the other side of the facility.
Our plan includes renovations throughout the children’s ministry area with a specific emphasis on security. Limiting the entrances to this area gives us better control of who comes and goes and allows us to set up systems that enhance the protection of our youngest members. We will also be adding classrooms and enhancing the layout and functionality of other rooms.
To address our needs and plans we are initiating an intensive fundraising effort titled the “Strengthen to Serve” campaign. Our aim with this important effort is to raise the funds required to renovate our current facility, giving us a more open and inviting layout with specific development of spaces for fellowship, contemporary worship, and our youth.
Our minimum goal is $3,000,000, which will enable us to complete all deferred maintenance, including the cross tower, as well as transform Centennial Hall into a new, dedicated space for
Rejoice Worship. A Challenge goal of $4,000,000 has also been set which, if met, will enable us to create a new, multilevel gathering space to improve fellowship in our congregation. Finally, a
Miracle Goal of $5,800,000 encapsulates the entire project and would allow us to redesign and relocate the office areas which will free up space to create a new, central and exciting space for our vibrant youth ministry.
All members are asked to consider gifts above and beyond what they give in their regular offerings and other contributions toward this special campaign. And there is a variety of ways that gifts can be made.
- Long-term subscriptions, or pledges payable over three years, are easier for most and essential to meeting our goal, since it would be impractical, if not impossible, to reach our objectives with one-time, out-of-pocket gifts. Gifts may be made in monthly, quarterly, semi-annual or annual installments at the donor’s discretion. A 10% initial investment toward your total pledge is encouraged.
- Non-cash gifts are an additional or alternative way you can support our cause. You may wish, for example, to consider gifts “in kind” such as labor and materials; gifts of securities such as stocks and bonds; gifts of real estate such as land, homes, vacation and rental properties or even personal property such as artwork, automobiles, jewelry and antiques.
- And finally, you can also choose to support our efforts through deferred gifts. These are gifts that can be given or arranged for now, but will not be received until later, and include gifts through a person’s will by bequest, gifts of life insurance policies or annuities, and trust arrangements.
There are also a number of very special gift opportunities available to donors of qualifying gift amounts. These opportunities allow people the unique chance to designate their gifts to a particular part of the project and dedicate them in honor or memory of those they choose for a minimum of twenty (20) years once payment for these areas or items is received in full.
Building Gift Opportunities
Cross Tower $ 600,000
Main Entrance $ 400,000
Special Sections and Selections
Fellowship Hall $ 800,000
Administration Wing $ 250,000
- Pastors’ Offices $ 100,000 ea
- Conference Room $ 75,000
- Main Office $ 75,000
- Offices (8) $ 50,000 ea.
Youth Room $ 200,000
- Youth Breakout Room $ 50,000
Children’s Wing $ 200,000
- Children’s Gathering $ 100,000
- Children’s Classroom (5) $ 50,000 ea.
Café $ 100,000
Music Ministry Wing $ 100,000
Adult Education Rooms (2) $ 75,000 ea.
Prices of the stated items are not necessarily reflective of the component’s cost. Rather they are based on the prominence of the item, our needs, and hopefully, the gift abilities of our community. Although payments for these gifts may be made over the entire pledge period, recognition will be given when the gift is paid in full and will extend for a minimum of twenty (20) years.
Donors of specific items or areas will have their names and/or the names of those they are honoring with their gifts inscribed directly on the item given or on special plaques or nameplates placed on or near the item where appropriate. These naming rights will extend for a minimum of twenty (20) years once payment for the item is fully received. Additionally, all donors, regardless of the size of their gift, will have their names listed in a special bulletin insert announcing campaign results as well as on a special “Donor Wall” or “Donor Book” that will be displayed in a prominent and visible place within our facilities.
But whatever the gift or method of making it may be, please be assured that your support is both urgently needed and will be greatly appreciated. Through the prayerful, volunteer and financial support of many, and the extraordinary support of a few, we will succeed in our task. Won’t you please join us in this exciting and essential effort to better our service to one another, to our community and to Christ?