Together we weave
Keeping everyone up to date
We had our town hall on October 3rd after our service at Unity GR. The potential merge with the Ada church was the sole topic of discussion. Some of the key takeaways are:
1. All who spoke (I believe almost all did), are very much for merging our churches. Several members said that they understand that a building, new to both congregations, is perhaps the best solution moving forward.
2. The major concern is discontent with the purchase of the Cascade church. The perceived negatives to the Walker congregation are:
a. The building is not ideal. It needs repair to the outside (siding, windows, roof). The grounds are not ideal - the parking lot is inadequate, and we believe that the tree by the door needs to be removed. The sanctuary is small. The classrooms downstairs are small and musty (perhaps even mold on the walls). The fellowship hall is not accessible to those who cannot negotiate steps. The kitchen needs a major upgrade. The heating system is old. To fix all of these issues will cost a great deal of money leaving a minimal amount left for the operating budget. If we're trying to attract new (and younger) members and grow, this is an unlikely location.
b. The location is not a good choice for either our congregation and/or future members. Mention was made that it is not on a bus line, but I don't believe that any of our congregants currently take a bus to church. That aside, the preference is that a different church with fewer drawbacks closer to or in the city would be a better choice. Or a super nice church such as the Belmont/Rockford church would be better for our goals as a joint church.
3. Consensus seemed to gel around the idea that we are in no rush to choose a future home, and with the Cascade church having such significant drawbacks, waiting is the best solution.
a. Ada can meet in their building rent free for 6 months. This allows time for the final merger of the two churches, and a joint team to decide on a new location. If a new location is not readily available, services can be held at the Walker building until a new location can be identified, and modified to our needs or a neutral location (hotel of a neutral location (hotel or other meeting facility).
b. In addition, upgrades to the Walker building could be discussed as an alternative to a third location. There was less discussion around this, as some recognize that a third location may be the best solution for the most chance of success.
In summary - The Walker congregation wants to merge with the Ada congregation. The Cascade building is seen as significantly less preferable to waiting, merging, and seeking a new building as a merged church. The Walker congregation does not see a need to make a building decision prior to joining.
I do think that we need to that we very much want to merge churches, and then figure out our future joint location.
Unity of Grand Rapids
We want to keep everyone informed on the latest information about the two churches merging. This page is dedicated to all current board messages.