Frequently Asked Questions:

What does the Orchard Project include and why now?
  • Nursery: Our nursery facility is, in a word, inadequate. The space we presently have for newborns and crawlers quickly becomes filled up. The nursery does not have enough space for our current needs and certainly no space for potential growth.  Located just inside the doors to our parking lot, our nursery is not located in the secure space young parents want for their children. We have received feedback from young families who want to attend our church but do not feel comfortable putting their children in our nursery. Our nursery facility is hindering our growth.
  • Children’s Ministry Space: We have a make-shift space of a small conference room, the lobby where people walk through, and the space between the entrance doors. Our current space is wholly inadequate to meet the needs of the children presently attending The Orchard. Our current space fails “big time” in communicating “Welcome” to new families with younger children. The Phase II Children’s Ministry space also allows us to offer a Christian Preschool to our community during the week.
  • Small Group Space: The Orchard is known within our community to be a place where people can gather in small groups and find support, encouragement, and hope. The spiritual growth of adults in the life of The Orchard focuses upon meeting together in small groups. Presently, our small group spaces are maxed out almost every night of the week and during many days.
  • Offices: The pastoral and administrative offices of The Orchard are currently housed in a leased building, a renovated home up the hill from our building. The present cost of $27,600/ year will increase over the life of the lease. These lease payments can be re-assigned to ministry and outreach when Phase II is completed. Our present office space does not lend itself to the “private conversations” that comprise pastoral care and counseling.
  • Warming Kitchen: The people of The Orchard love to gather together around a meal! We do our best now by bringing foods from home and icing up the coolers. We run extension cords for crock pots and griddles. A warming kitchen in Phase II will allow us to better serve the meals which provide fellowship and comfort to many.
  • Parking: Our parking problems have become urgent, especially at our 9am service.  Each Sunday we have people parking along the curbs in traffic lanes.  Additionally, there is not enough parking for our guests and seniors.  At present, in order to make room for cars, our Parking Lot Ministry - 30-40 families - find another place to park on Sunday mornings. Yet, any parking that is not on our property cannot be counted on in the future. Our parking lot addition in Phase II will speak “Welcome” to guests and all who regularly attend The Orchard.
How much are we trying to raise?
  • We are praying to raise $2,060,000
Are there any savings we can realize by raising this amount?
  • We can save $81,000 annually by reaching our campaign goal of $2,060,000.  By raising funding for the new addition ($1,500,000) we eliminate annual lease payments for the Farmhouse of $27,000.  Eliminating our existing mortgage ($560,000) will save us an additional $54,000 annually.
Won’t the building project take money away from ‘ministry’? From more staff people?
  • The money we spend on the building expansion is a down payment to what we pray and anticipate will be a substantial return on investment.  We are not building this new building for just us.  We intend to fill it with many more people who are as excited to know and follow Jesus as we are.  If we can increase the number of families we serve, we will have the necessary resources to increase our staff in the service of His mission here in Londonderry and beyond.
How much will it cost us to operate the new addition?
  • Approximately $15,000 annually.
How soon will we break ground?
  • We are currently planning to break ground in 2021.  However, it could be as soon as Spring 2020 if the financial commitments made during the Capital Campaign and the timing of those gifts allow us to start sooner.
How much will it cost?
  • The current estimate we have from a Northpoint Construction, the firm that designed the original project as well as the Phase II addition is approximately $1.5 million.  We won’t know for certain until we finalize the plans and put them out for bid.
Do we have to have all the money in the bank before we build?
  • It will be up to the Session to make a recommendation to the congregation on borrowing money.  If we have pledges to cover the cost of building, we could decide to take out a bridge loan to cover the gap between when we start building and when all the pledges are paid.  Such a loan would require the approval of the congregation.
What is a Capital Campaign?
  • A Capital Campaign is a church-wide endeavor that seeks pledged donations from members of the congregation.  For The Orchard it will be used to pay for a major construction project and debt elimination.
What if we do not get all the money?  
  • The church cannot make its best decisions about how to make the projects happen until we have a real picture of what financial resources are available.  Once we know what resources we have to work with, our leadership will adjust the plan to bring to the congregation.  Projecting a definite plan is speculation until we know what resources we have to work with.  The decision before us is what resources can we provide over the next three years?  Obviously, as more money is raised, more options and better options are available to us.
What about the annual budget?  
  • Capital giving is, by definition, above and beyond what people give to support the annual ministry and mission of the church.  Other churches, however, have found an increase in annual giving after a capital campaign!  God unleashes our generosity and it becomes contagious.  Obviously, it is important that we keep up our regular gifts so that our ministries and missions don’t suffer during the building campaign.
Will I be pressured to make a pledge?
  • No. Participation in the campaign and how much you give will be entirely up to you.  All members and friends will be given the opportunity to contribute if they wish to do so.
How does the pledge thing work?
  • We are asking you to make a 3-year pledge.  You will then make the donations as soon as you are able, and no later than by the end of the three-year period.  These gifts will be applied to the campus expansion and debt elimination.
Where does the money come from?
  • For many of us, we will need to reach into our savings and other assets to make those meaningful gifts.  Other churches have seen their members give up monthly subscriptions to newspapers, stop drinking Starbucks for three years, work a part-time job, trade in appreciated stocks, sell an asset.  One 11-year-old boy brought his piggybank with all of the college money he had saved up and handed it to the pastor.  The bottom line is what kind of gift will be meaningful, joyful and sacrificial!
Who receives pledge cards?
  • All members, active and inactive, as well as all friends of the church will be asked to prayerfully consider supporting the church.
Why make a pledge?  
  • The church will need to commit itself to long term building plans (and possibly to construction loan terms) during the period of this campaign.  The church cannot make thoughtful, wise decisions without thoughtful, intentional pledges from the congregation.  If everyone in the congregation intentionally underestimated their commitment, the church might under-build (costing more money in the long run).  If people significantly overestimate their pledges, the church could easily take on more than it could handle.
Why should I participate?
  • Why wouldn’t you want to be part of a really exciting piece of our ministry and growth as a church?!  Why be left out?  When our children, staff, and small groups are in the new space for the first time, we can all look around with excitement and know that we each had a key part in making it happen.
Do you have to be a church member to participate in the campaign?
  • No. Participation in the campaign is a personal decision for each of us, and anyone may contribute to God’s work in our church.
When do I get a pledge card/make a pledge?  
  • Pledge cards will be mailed to members early in the week before commitment Sunday (June 9th) as well as being available in the church bulletins on Commitment Sunday.  We want the members of the congregation to have plenty of time to prepare for their decision in prayer and to make their commitments together as an act of worship.
When am I expected to give the amount pledged?
  • Pledge cards will be turned in on Commitment Sunday on June 9th, and pledges can be received shortly thereafter.  You may pay your entire pledge in one contribution or spread over the three-year period. Pledges can be made by cash or check. “Gifts of Kind” can also be given, such as marketable stocks, bonds, real estate, etc.
Is it possible to give money from an IRA?
  • Those of us over age 70½ may make tax-free charitable contributions from an IRA and the gift can satisfy part or all of the minimum withdrawal requirement.  If you are in this category and think you might be interested, you should discuss this option with your tax advisor.  Your tax advisor is a great resource for other questions or ideas on charitable giving options. Obviously the church is not in a position to give you tax advice.
When do we know the totals?  
  • The announcement will be made two weeks after Commitment Sunday, on Celebration Sunday, June 23th 2019, in the worship services.
Can my commitment/pledge change?  
  • Yes.… a pledge is not a contract. You may update your commitment at any time.  If your circumstances change significantly, then your commitment pledge should also change.  Good surprises happen at least as often as difficult surprises. We will have the opportunity annually to adjust pledges, or you can see the Church Treasurer at any time.
If I can’t give a large amount, does my pledge really matter?
  • Absolutely! All pledges matter, regardless of amount, because we all participate according to our ability.  God multiplies our giving. The foundation for our campaign is the principle “equal sacrifices, not equal gifts.”  We want everyone to pray and to support this project regardless of the size of their gift.
How long will my commitment be?
  • You are asked to make a three-year commitment.
How are we paying for the campaign?  With all the printed materials, mailings, videos, popcorn, luncheons and dinner, couldn’t this money be used on the new building?  
  • As a congregation, we have been blessed with a surplus more than adequate to cover the costs for this campaign.  It does cost money to send out the information packet and print the brochures, but it is important that we make every effort to inform everyone as to what’s happening.   A couple families have given the money to cover the church dinners so that we would not have to worry about that cost.
How may I prepare to participate?
  • Pray for discernment, inviting God to show you what He wants to do in and through you to accomplish His will and vision for The Orchard.  You will be provided a devotional as part of the campaign that will provide the scriptural and spiritual guidance needed to help prepare your heart for what God wants you to do in support of His mission!
I like the way we are … why should we change?  
  • Again, the issue is how do we best respond to the calling and opportunities that God has given to this ministry?  The questions are not just "what do we want to be" or "what are we most comfortable with” the questions are “What does GOD call us to be?” and “What is GOD leading us to do?
Why are we using a fundraising company, couldn’t we have done this ourselves and saved a bunch of money?
  • That was certainly an option, but after doing lots of research we found that professional fundraising companies can raise several times more money than when congregations go it alone.  This is an ambitious project and we wanted to the best opportunity for success.  Jeff Newlin has been doing this work for many years and his references are impeccable.
“Gifts in Kind”
  • These can also be given, such as marketable stocks, bonds, real estate, etc.  Your financial advisor and our office staff/treasurer can help you make a donation “in kind”.
What is an average gift?  What should a capital gift be?  
  • Stewardship is not about equal gifts but about equal sacrifice.  There is no formula for determining that pledge, nor is there an "average gift" kind of benchmark.  Instead of measuring your gift by the dollar amount, use the "measures" below
    • Does this investment make a difference to me? Does this gift change me, change my whole commitment level?
    • Was this a prayerful decision seeking God's will … did I even invite God to be a part of this decision process?
    • Did I have a real conversation about this decision … with my spouse, children, family, church family, etc.?
    • Did I learn something about commitment and giving? Did I take a step of faith that deepens my own discipleship?
    • If everyone else in the church made a sacrifice equal to my own (in terms of commitment rather than dollars), would God be honored by that level of commitment/investment?
 What if we raise more than $2,060,000?
  • To the extent there are substantial additional funds raised during the capital campaign, the Session will decide if there are other priorities in the project or the church operating budget that should be addressed as a result of additional funding.