God is on the move in Ephrata! What a tremendous sight to see and be a part of the energy, enthusiasm, and excitement in our community of faith as together we are seeking the will and direction of God. We are on this journey together, ready and willing for God to use us and this facility for His kingdom’s work. We are a family of disciples with hearts that are yearning for the harvest that God is bringing to this community. We have the passion and energy; however, our facility is in desperate need of updating as many items are falling apart and are in need of repair to meet the needs of our community and beyond. Look at this page with intent as we continue to follow king Jesus.
Communication is vital to the process we are on; however, communication, in and of itself, is not enough. In addition, transparency is vital so that all feel heard. To that end, this section will help share all of the communication about this building initiative.
We are currently at a crossroads with our facility. It is an outdated facility that needs major infrastructure updates to keep it viable for ministry; however, it is the ministry and the vision God is calling us to that is truly driving this project. We have felt and discerned that God wants to use this facility for something more in this community and deepen our relationship with him and with one another. In pursuit of God’s will, we have spent significant time in prayer and in conversation as a congregation on what is to be done. As we desire to be obedient to the strategic plan that God has called us to, we are at a good place and excited to see how God will use this facility and congregation to serve this community into the future.
In 1973, through significant time of prayer, planning, and then moving forward, the congregation of the Ephrata Church of the Brethren (which was located downtown) was obedient to God’s call to relocate. They discovered that this location and this facility would enable them to best serve the community for years to come, and thus, this current property was built and put into use. This step of faith was not without its challenges, legal battles, financial risks, and struggles to maintain congregational unity. Even during those struggles, the congregation still pressed forward with God’s vision and dream. We are so very grateful for those pioneers, dreamers, and faithful disciples for moving forward in their call from God; to purchase land in the middle of a corn field, to provide a space for ministry to happen, and to have vision for new possibilities in worship and service. God has blessed their obedience to His call!
Late last year, the congregation received 2 letters sharing about the process of the Nehemiah Project Team. This process has been one that has yielded wonderful information as to how we, as a congregation, will move forward with our facility.
If you remember, the “Define” phase intention was to seek input, have conversations, and connect with the congregation in its vision for our facility. We gathered information from home meetings, congregational information sharing sessions and a survey. We then spent time diving into the answers and visions the congregation gave us, came up with a very general scope of work, and then had more large and small group conversations about the specifics that the congregation would like to see done.
We have now moved from the “Define” phase to the “Design” phase. From those earlier conversations, we were, as a team, unanimously able to land on the building blocks that have been out lined earlier in this FAQ. We will start to work with a design/build firm to begin what, we feel, is an exciting next step to our process.
As we move forward, we have developed smaller teams to address multiple pathways forward. Every member of the team has been placed, based on their gifts, on these smaller working groups in order to accomplish the goals set before us.
The Build Team will work with the design/build firm on the actual process to design the facility.
The Communications Team will work at making sure the process and outcomes are fully shared with the congregation.
The Finance Team will work within our bylaw parameters in order to discern the best steps forward for acquiring funds to make sure the project can be completed and that we can remain fiscally responsible.
In the near future, we anticipate seeking the Leadership Team and congregational approval on the financial parameters of this project. This parameter will give authority to secure funding for the updates on the facility that we believe God is calling us to.
We recognize that 2019 is going to be an exciting year, and we are ready to move forward boldly with our mission to connect to, grow in, live out, and reflect the transformative power of Jesus – not just for ourselves, but for our world. We are ready for the journey and pray that you are ready to join us.
Congregational Letter – 10.2.18
Contains information about the process of the initiative
Congregational Letter – 10.31.18
Contains information about the Define Phase of the initiative
Beyond the Building FAQ – 2.19.19
Contains various information about the past/present/future of our facility and numerous FAQ about the initiative
4.4.19 – Congregational Forum for 4.10.19 is postponed to 5.1.19 at 7pm in the Fellowship Hall. While there is a strong sense in moving forward and that the excitement for this renovation is growing, we want to be sure that our focus right now is on the cross, Holy Week, and Jesus. More information will be coming soon; however, take rest and reflect on how God will use ECOB and so many other churches in our community to bring the light of Christ to the hearts of so many in the next few weeks.
5.8.19 – The Leadership Team approved the recommendation from the Building Team that Fulton Bank work with us in our financial parameters. More information to come.
5.10.19 – The vote for the budget parameter was held on May 1 and May 5 for members of ECOB. This vote passed at 82%. After the Building Team and Leadership discussed this percentage, they have approved and sense a strong support for this direction from the congregation.
Our Build-Out section will help everyone to see what is happening to our building from the initial planning phases to the completion of this project. Check back regularly when we begin moving forward to see pictures during each of our phases.
We have decided on our DESIGN/BUILD firm. We are pleased to announce that we will be working with AMES and are excited to see where God will use us together to create a space that will update our facility as well as encourage community involvement. You can click here to learn more about AMES. In addition, please come back soon to see the updates from the design/building process.
We are excited to share the 3rd draft of our design/build process. This IS A DRAFT!! We received this draft on Friday and there has already been some minor tweaks to it – so please look at this with soft eyes and hearts.
CLICK HERE FOR DRAFT #3
CLICK HERE TO SEND COMMENTS/THOUGHTS/PRAISES/IDEAS
The section will allow opportunities to not only give to the “Beyond the Building” initiative, but to see how we are doing as a congregation in meeting benchmark goals. Seek God’s call as to how you can support this initiative through your prayers and provision.
As we enter into a renovation process, "Beyond the Building", we desire to be true disciples - those who are not willing to stay put, huddled in a facility, but those who are going into the community to share the love of Jesus with all people. We do realize though, that our facility helps in that process and we desire to make this space, that God has given us, equipped to serve our community in many ways. Join us on this terrific and wonderful journey of not only stewarding what God has given us, but looking "Beyond the Building" to where He is calling us!
Video Produced by Jackie Yanchocik
Sound provided by Bensound