CASE STATEMENT – Why A Capital Appeal Now

Theme:  For Such a Time as This

A strong beginning

A vision for a Lutheran church on the north side of Grand Rapids with a passion for inviting people to Jesus began to take root in July 1984.  It was then that Pastor George Gilbertson was called as the first pastor to start a church particularly for those with no church home.  The passion, faith, and commitment of the early nucleus of members was that St. Andrew’s would be a church where everyone would be welcomed into the love and grace of Jesus Christ.  

  • It was a stretch, but nevertheless they bought land on the shores of Lake McKinney.
  • It was a stretch, but nevertheless they began a building project to provide space for worship and fellowship.
  • It was a stretch, but nevertheless they completed the new building in 1990.
  • It was a stretch, but nevertheless they completed another building project in 1994, primarily providing space for education.
  • It was a stretch, but for the sake of the gospel, they sacrificed, and made commitments to grow a staff to lead and support the many ministries St. Andrew’s was becoming known for.

The church plant known as St. Andrew’s has grown and flourished; people have come to faith and have grown in the faith; countless lives have been changed; and we are a community that loves and serves God by loving and serving others, because 33 years ago people responded to God’s leading to plant and to nourish this congregation.  We are who we are because of the joyful, sacrificial, faith-filled, forward-looking commitment and passion of those who have been part of this congregation.

Now is the time

It is now time for this generation of the family of St. Andrew’s to continue to provide for the next generations. 

We are at a significant moment in our history –one that calls us to stretch, and to rise up with faith and commitment like those who started St. Andrew’s.  Our facility, while structurally sound, is in need of much overdue upkeep, including roof repairs, repair of damaged ceilings, new floor coverings throughout, a repaved parking lot, repair and re-staining of siding, and completion of the Sight and Sound project.  At the same time we still have a mortgage of approximately $180,000 with payments of $45,000 annually.  Being freed from this debt would enable us to grow an even stronger ministry base.  And of course, if we are to continue being a welcoming, hospitable presence in Grand Rapids our facility needs must be addressed.  

Our top congregational priorities (from our MAP survey) state clearly that we feel called to grow.  Taking care of our church—this center for ministry and discipleship—is key to this.  Yet, right alongside this is the importance of having a strong financial foundation for our 2019 ministry. 


In light of all of this we believe that now is the time – a Kairos (right, critical, opportune, Godly) time – to strengthen our ministry and to act boldly in holding a three-year capital appeal, so that our church building continues to be a welcoming place for all, and our congregation is able to provide for impactful ministry in order to welcome more and more people into the love of Jesus and a grace-filled life, for years to come.

An Exciting Future

It is important to step into our 2019 Ministry Year with the optimism and opportunity we feel that God is stirring in our midst.   Thus, we are inviting support for both next year’s ministry plan (budget) as well as this capital appeal.   Strong staffing that invites renewed volunteerism/service will help us to advance the gospel.  Renewing our outreach into the community will engage all of us more deeply in Christian discipleship.   Creating a strategy for evangelism will help us to grow more intentionally, knowing that St. Andrew’s warm and genuine welcome will receive all who come. 

Our capital appeal to accomplish the objectives of tending to the facility and eliminating our debt has a goal of $550,000. Because we don’t want anyone to take away from annual ministry giving, we hope to enter into 2019 with at least as strong a financial base as we have had in 2018.  Therefore our Estimate of Giving for 2019 will be done in conjunction with our response to the three-year appeal,.

God is calling us to grow in making a difference in Jesus’ name.  It is for such a time as this that together we are being called to step boldly into the future!