|Your Input Needed For Possible Fundraising Campaign
|Dear Christian Church in Ohio Members, Friends, and Supporters,
You most likely are aware that the primary physical asset for the Christian Church in Ohio is our Regional camp and church offices property at 10335 Maple Dell Road in Marysville, Ohio. The first purchase of land was in 1949 to create Camp Christian, and now we own 93 acres and have modern facilities for camps, conferences, and retreats as well as for our Regional Church meetings, administration, and archives.
It has long been our desire to utilize these facilities more fully, not simply for existing programs, such as our Summer Camp Program, but for greater mission and ministry throughout the year and for many more individuals and groups. Starting over two years ago the Camp Christian Committee began imagining in earnest what could be done to improve these facilities so that more of our congregations, clergy and lay leaders (children, youth, young adults and adults) as well as our ecumenical, interfaith, and even corporate neighbors would find Camp Christian to be a place of inspiration, nurture, rest, and renewal.
And while the first impetus was to bring a swimming pool back to the camp (both our previous pools were closed and filled in because they were in poor condition and would be far too expensive to repair), the idea has broadened significantly from that first idea. The Camp Christian Committee engaged a “Pool Exploratory Committee” to do some research to discern the broad parameters of what the costs and requirements would be for a pool. Then, with the urging of the Regional Church Staff, the Committee named the need for a full-time staff person whose job it would be to market the entire facility, oversee registrations and reservations for all groups using the facility, as well as to be the primary programmatic manager for the facility. Also important was the inclusion of other capital improvements to the property, especially to enhance the accessibility of the facilities for use by more and diverse individuals and groups.
Taking these ideas from the Committee, the Regional Church Council then named at their annual meeting in November of 2022 the need that any significant fundraising must include the broader ministries of the Regional Church office, which are severely understaffed and in need of personnel in charge of new ministry directions. With this in mind, we engaged the services of Disciples Church Extension Fund to lead us in a Feasibility Study to determine the willingness and capacity of individuals across the Christian Church in Ohio, as well as former members and friends, to engage in a possible $2.5 million fundraising effort to expand the capacity of mission and ministry for the Christian Church in Ohio, primarily by increasing the usability of our what is essentially our Regional Church offices and conference center.
And that is where you come in. We need your feedback to determine if this is the right direction for us to be headed. The results of the survey (linked below) along with data from interviews and previous campaigns will be analyzed by the Feasibility Team and a report will be written and presented to the Regional Church Council for their deliberation at their November 3-4 annual meeting.
Attached are two items to help you in filling out the survey: 1.) a “case statement” prepared by the Feasibility Study Team to offer some initial broad parameters for the financial campaign and, 2.) an explanation of some of the improvements in financial and leadership accountability and transparency made by the Regional Church Council in recent years.
You can access the anonymous survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CCIO2023. The survey will be open through Friday evening, September 15 at midnight.
Please feel free to forward this email to other persons whose perspective you feel would be helpful for the Study Team and Regional Church Council to consider.
And please note: Part of our covenant with the larger church is that whenever a major fundraising campaign is launched a portion, or “tithe,” of the amount is raised for ministries beyond that of the Regional Church. These ministries and amounts have not yet been determined, but we are deeply committed to honoring this covenant and the Regional Church Council will have the opportunity to designate the recipients should we decide to move forward with the campaign.
Thank you, so very much, for taking the time to complete this important survey.
The Fundraising Feasibility Study Team of the Christian Church in Ohio
Rev. Terry Bartlett, Mrs. Jackie Compton Bunch, Rev. Roger McKinney, Rev. Laureen Roe, Mrs. Brittany Stricklen-Hillyard
Ex-Officio/Staff: Rev. Allen V. Harris (CCinOH), Mr. Brock McCracken (DCEF), Mr. Erick D. ‘Rick’ Reisinger (DCEF)
Within our walls …
We regularly collect egg cartons to be given to the farmers at the local North Union Farmer’s Market as a way of supporting local food and recycling. We invite everyone to join us by dropping off your cartons at church. Now we are collecting yarn and unused Christmas cards as well, to be used with prison inmates through Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry.
We gather new winter gear items for distribution on a Wall of Love at Lomond Elementary School. This provides warm hats, mittens, gloves, and scarves to children who need them – meaning they will be able to go outside for recess safely.
We buy and donate items for Wish Lists (household supplies and Holiday Gifts) for Family Promise of Greater Cleveland, an organization that provides families facing the crisis of homelessness with a safe place designed to engage, inspire, and guide them toward a future where they feel empowered to control the course of their lives.
…in the community…
Since the spring of 2007, we have given a Peace Award to a deserving junior or senior at Shaker Heights High School. This scholarship award of $1,000 is in keeping with HCC’s designation as a “Shalom Congregation” dedicated to teaching, working and witnessing to “peace with justice.”
We work with the League of Women Voters to educate, advocate, and help people participate in fair elections and civic issues.
We partner with other congregations and agencies in refugee resettlement, including contributions of funds and supplies, and potentially a chance to provide transportation and tutoring.
…and around the world
Heights Christian Church’s Outreach Committee distributes four percent of the church’s income budget each year. Information regarding our Community Outreach Grants is available here.