While it has always been a part of our hope for Christ Redeemer Church to have an adequate facility, God has instead created a thriving ministry “out of a box” over the last 18 years (despite conventional church planting wisdom that a fledgling church without its own facility after 3 years will not be sustainable). So, in one sense, we do not need a building! However, we believe a building would be a helpful tool to facilitate the ministry we do and give it longevity. We would like to see the time and energy that go into the logistics of running this church out of a box repurposed towards the broader vision of Christ Redeemer Church. We look forward to the increased opportunities for hospitality and community outreach that a facility would provide. This project demonstrates our commitment to this area. While we are grateful for the town authorities who allow us to rent public facilities, it makes a strong statement when one purchases a home and puts down roots in a town. We are invested here because we care about this particular place. In this process, we consider the incarnational nature of Jesus, who put on flesh and lived among the people he loved.
Christ Redeemer Church exists to “honor God by fostering a movement of Christ’s Kingdom through the proclamation and practice of the gospel that serves and transforms the people and communities of the Upper Valley, and through the Upper Valley, the world.” We have long prayed for a facility central to the Upper Valley. This Greensboro Road property could not better; it is one mile from Dartmouth College, one mile from Dartmouth Hitchcock, and one mile from most of the other major employers and institutes which are culture-shapers here and around the world. As a fun fact, some years back our elders did a map study and found that the location most central to all the addresses of CRC attendees would have been only about half a mile up the road on Rt. 120.
Our hope is to break ground in the Spring of 2020, and we anticipate that construction will take around a year.
CRC is undertaking a substantial fundraising initiative. This three-year vision-driven initiative will focus on contributions from within our church family, but look to external sources as well. Funds raised will support construction costs for a new facility as well as other aspects of CRC’s mission: church planting & revitalizing, and the pastoral residency program.
We have been intentionally planning for this opportunity for over a decade. In 2004, CRC created a building fund with the goal of having $1 million on hand in the event an appropriate facility or land became available to purchase. At the close of 2016, this fund had reached $1.1 million, very close to the amount for which we were able to purchase the Greensboro Road properties. Early on, we added a line item in our annual budget for the building fund, so that we would be adding to our savings while creating space in our budget for anticipated facility operation costs. We have diligently increased this over time. A stewardship team is assessing carefully how much is reasonable for us to raise from within the congregation, potential outside support, options for financing, and how owning a facility will affect our budget in future years, all to ensure we commit wisely and thoughtfully to this project. At the same time, we acknowledge that we depend on a God who is able to provide more than we can ask or imagine!
There remains a long road ahead before a building is built; a thorough approval process with the town of Hanover, funds to be raised, many decisions to be made as a church family. We look back and see clearly God’s provision for the work of His gospel here in the Upper Valley and through CRC for almost two decades. As we have searched for a facility or property to build one, we have seen many closed doors. At this moment in time, God has opened a door: He’s provided an appropriately sized property in an ideal location, for a very reasonable price. The on-site rental properties produce enough income that we have the freedom to walk slowly and carefully through the planning process. We are stepping forward in faith, and trusting that at each step He will open or close the next door.
Our vision for the building is that it would capture the personality of the CRC community. We want to create a space for worship and fellowship that is both beautiful and usable, a place that is welcoming to people from diverse backgrounds and that honors the character of the local area. This will not be a classical New England church (a large steeple is not permitted under Hanover zoning law), but other elements will be incorporated that communicate, “this is a church.”
We are still in the planning process, and many decisions are still to be made. Stay tuned for congregational meetings, as well as communications via email and on Sunday mornings, for details on the design and ways you can have input.
This is overseen by the elder board, who have convened a building committee to more directly manage the building process. The Building committee is: Don Willeman (ex-officio), Lauren Groves (chair), Chris Audino (pastoral staff liaison) Lindsay Whaley (elder liaison), Eric Bish, Noah Crane, Pete Gundermann, Vincent Mack, Christine Rogers, Rich Rogers, Abrm McQuarters, Kathleen Peters, and Joel Wilmot. Please feel free to reach out to us at any time with questions!