With God All Things Are Possible
When we got the news a few years ago that our sanctuary was “one good snowstorm away” from collapsing, the first thought among many of us was that we would never worship there again, which brought on a great sense of sadness. One-third of the ceiling joists were either cracked or broken and the walls of the sanctuary had been bowing out for years. The structural engineers that we consulted were amazed the roof had not already fallen in. After much discussion and consultation among our church family, we decided this should not be the end of the story. The people of Hebron UMC vowed to somehow find a cost-effective solution to worship once again in our beloved sanctuary.
After a lot of prayer and church conferencing, it was decided that new post and beam construction along with sistering the damaged joists would provide the needed tructural security to hold a new roof.
The estimated cost of the project was $220,000. And thus was born the capital campaign: Claiming Our Future, Living Our Faith.For Hebron UMC that was a big number. Donations and pledges from members, constituents, friends, and others with a love for Hebron poured in (a list of those donating is at the bottom of this article). Although short of the $220,000 estimate needed for the project, we were amazed by the generosity of the donors who have given to date a total of $112,000.
Stepping out in faith, the church asked itself what sweat equity could be put into the renovation to trim the budget? Turns out a lot. Demolition, digging and pouring of footers…well you get the idea.
The sanctuary roof is now secured with 24 new 2’x10’x16′ ceiling joists, 6 wooden columns that extend from 6 poured concrete pads seven feet beneath the floor to 2 laminated beams each fifty-three free long attached to the rafters above.
All this would not be possible without the volunteer work of James Hampton, Jen and Zeke Nickels, Zach Nickels, Kate and Grant Johnson, Chela and Steve Johnson, Luke Moore, Stephanie and Bob Claussen, Ben Leedle, David Menge, Natalie and Bill Elverman, Dick Ackerman.
Much work remains as does much of the donated funds. We still have $100,000 to tackle the big-ticket items. We’ve got to install a new roof, tear off and raise the pitch of the Wesley Room roof (a multi-purpose space attached to the sanctuary). And then there’s insulation, drywall, electrical, floor repair/refinishing, and painting.
We now project optimistically that there is enough money available to complete the project. Much like God leading Moses and the people of Israel through the wilderness to the promised land, it’s been a long and winding journey. But we can see the finish line on the horizon and know God has blessed our efforts. The dream is that we celebrate in the sanctuary near year’s end…if church leadership gives the all clear from COVID-19.
There has been no quit in this church known for a huge welcoming heart and a passion for service and mission beyond its doors.
The people of Hebron UMC ask for your continued prayers for our church members and families as well as those in the community – including our contractors and volunteers – who are generously giving their time and talents in order that our sancturary will be ready for opening by the end of the year.
Two years ago, member Shirlee Cornell spoke for all of us about the importance of Hebron at a capital campaign kickoff dinner. Those words are even more compelling and prophetic today.
Listen to Shirlee Correll discuss the importance of Hebron at the February Capital Fund Kickoff Dinner.
Thanks be to God!
Barb & Dan Slavin – in Memory of Red & Jeanette Latham, Barbara & Richard Hinzpeter, Larry & Bonnie Johnson, Lorraine Gerhardt, Eugene Correll, Wendy Schaid, Bob & Stephanie Claussen, Bill & Natalie Elverman, Jeff & Debbie Arnold, James & Charlene Wilson, Nora Winn, Zeke & Jennifer Nickels, Kathy Dickerson, Steve & Chela Johnson, Grant & Kate Johnson, Erin Engelhardt, Bob & Mary Williamson, Walter & Florence Eichman, Dan Staten/Hebron Animal Clinic, Darneather Murph-Heath, William & Mildred Luallen – in Memory of Bruce Gethen, Philip Troyer, Shirlee Correll, Linda Zeien, Luke Moore, Bruce & Donna Adams, Charles Beard, Ginger Katzman – in Memory of Ervin & Margaret Norgard, Holly Schneiderman, Mabel Rice, Marge Lopeman, Margie & Dave Moore, Deidre Moore, Dave Dickey, Roy Bailey, in Memory of Priscilla Kienzell, Kris Bottlemy & Sharon Smith, Ray & Myrna Hoeft, Bonnie Seeberg, Ken & Kathleen Spooner, Eric & Michelle Linner, Renzo & Irma Calegari, Chemung UMC, Alice Johnson, David Menge, Scott & Lori McClellan, Dawn Nelson, Linda Lopeman, Alberta Austin, Bill & Diane Crockett, Catherine Knull, Jay & Gail Schwarz – in Memory of Martha Tibbetts and in Honor of Marge Lopeman, Randy & Lianne Calegari, Curt Norgard – in Memory of Ervin & Margaret Norgard, Harold & Juanita Bailey, Jodi Reins, Katie & Dennis Elverman, Gabriel & Kate Johnson, Brooke Maule, in Honor of Helen Smith, Lily Johnson, Rita Richardson, Nick & Shannon Moore, Matt & Michelle Westoby (as of 9-28-18).