Work Day – Saturday, Oct. 11, 9am – 4pm
As we continue to make our new space feel more like home, the next work day will include:
• demolition of walls for new Cafe area
• painting in the sanctuary
• continuing basement work for our daycare licensing.
Work Day – Saturday, Sept. 20, 9am – 4pm
We will start working on our gathering space and childcare licensing needs which will involve removing pews and carpet, build new wall in childcare space, demo walls, stairs, painting, etc. Come for all or part of the day!
Meet our Super Wow Awesome Transition (SWAT Team)
This team has assembled regularly since we knew that we might sell our building with the purpose of identifying the meeting space in Milwood that God was taking us. They have looked at real estate listings and maps, prayed and acted boldly and have helped us get to this moment on the brink of entering a new building. As we begin to focus on entering and renovating this space for our use, a few additional members have jumped on and some might be stepping back, but the team will continue to guide the process of making this new building home for the expanding Threads family.
We just wanted to introduce them to you:
[list type=unordered extra=]
[list_item]Esther Bouwman (aka pastor Esther) – ‘the child whisperer.’ As Threads’ Child and Student Life Developer and as daycare dictator director-in-training, Esther helps us keep sight of both our kids and families and the kids and families that are served by the Little Lambs Preschool and Daycare.[/list_item]
[list_item]Willis Bouwman – ‘the rock star.’ In addition to being Willis and being our Creative Arts Catalyst, Willis offers the team the 3 Hs: Height, Hair and an extensive knowledge of Heavy metal music. (NOTE: Willis is so good at transitioning, that he is currently transitioning off the transition team)[/list_item]
[list_item]Kevin Edlefson – ‘the preacher.’ Years of exhaustive and exhausting study of theology and the Bible in its original languages have left Kevin woefully unprepared for all of this. But he still tries to dominate the conversation and uses the Greek word ‘oikos’ at least three times per meeting.[/list_item]
[list_item]Amy Elston – ‘the new girl.’ The newest member of the SWAT team and fairly new to Threads, Amy brings years of experience in the construction industry and has bribed coworkers into helping us turn our ideas into actual budget numbers and timeframes.[/list_item]
[list_item]Karen Kloostra – ‘the designer.’ Wielding pencil and paper, Karen takes empty boxes and populates them with tables and chairs and bathroom stalls with a keen eye towards what it would be like to live, work and… rest… in various rooms.[/list_item]
[list_item]Jacob Lonc – ‘the new daddy.’ Jacob has a three month old son and has been in charge of Threads’ First Impressions team, so he represents the perspective of first time visitors and the sleep deprived.[/list_item]
[list_item]Jesse Mayes – ‘the plans man.’ Jesse likes teaching drafting, playing with blueprints and planting fruit trees. Jesse has made extensive three dimensional plans of the existing building and our potential changes.[/list_item]
[list_item]Kelly Meldrum – ‘the negotiator.’ Kelly works the phones, the streets and the interwebs looking for deals, connections and information to aid our transition to Milwood and our ability to serve the neighborhood there.[/list_item]
[list_item]Jon Orweller – ‘the elder statesmen.’ In addition to heading up our sound tech team, Jon’s been around Threads longer than anyone and tells us youngsters how things were “back in the day.”[/list_item]
[list_item]Dean Suarez-Starfeldt – “the cheesehead.’ Dean is using his firm grasp of function and design to help transform the building into living spaces (that will likely be Packer green and gold – “the G could stand for God”). He also has a boat where the SWAT team can discuss bathroom dimensions while water skiing (hint, hint).[/list_item]
We are grateful to God for these individuals who have been meeting together and helping to identify a new space and make it our home. However, in addition to this team, there are so many others who are offering their time, their experiences, their skills, their contacts. And we need your help in the coming weeks and months as we complete the move, have work days in and around the new building and continue to fix and maintain the new property and grounds. God has placed an abundance of resources within the Threads family and it is exciting to see so many stepping forward and working together!
“Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.”
Col. 3:17 (The Message)
Moving Dates & Opportunities to Help
- Thursday (8/28) 10am – 9pm
- Friday (8/29) 10am -5pm
Come to the Milham Threads building to help with packing and sorting items. We will be moving items around, packing boxes, and getting ready for the big move on Saturday. We will be there all day and eve on the 28th and daytime on the 29th. Bring any spare boxes or packing supplies (packing blankets, dollies, etc.) you might have. If there are items from the Milham building that are not coming with us that you may want to take home with you, then this is the best time to be there.
- Saturday 8/30: 10am-done
Meet at the Milham Threads building to pack the moving truck for transport to the new Cork Threads building. We will also be loading a truck for disposal/trash. We will be unloading into a large short-term storage container at the new building parking lot.
Sign-up online to help: http://www.jooners.com/guest?l=52850f7d-66f9-4214-9843-29e56ed827d2
Update – August 14, 2014
Wednesday afternoon, we closed on the Milham property. We have occupancy through the end of August. Our last worship gathering in the Milham property will be on August 24th.
The appraisal on the Cork St property happened on Thursday morning and we are on track to close before the end of the month. The congregation that is selling the building will have their last gathering on August 31st.
Threads is planning to have a family picnic at Milham Park on August 31st. We’ll meet at the park at 10am for a time of family fun and a shared meal. Details will follow.
Transition FAQs – August 10, 2014
Q: Why are we doing this?
A: We feel that God is opening a door for us to engage in more effective mission in the Milwood neighborhood, where we have been engaged for the last 5-6 years.
Q: Why Milwood?
A: Threads went through a lengthy discernment process and asked a lot of questions about what God was calling us to do and how we could make a tangible difference in the lives of those in need. As a result of surveys, interviews and much prayer, as well as an in-house inventory of our gifts, resources and passions, we identified Milwood as a place that is under-resourced and has a lot of needs, particularly in working with kids and families.
Q: Why now?
A: This has been a move that has been thought about and prayed about for a long time. The time just hadn’t been right. About a year ago, we were approached by a group interested in buying our building. The ways God has guided and provided have been extraordinary and have confirmed that this is indeed where God is taking us.
Q: Where is this place?
A: The new building is at 2031 Cork Street, right in the heart of the Milwood neighborhood. We are surrounded by residential areas, including some of the highest density apartment complexes. The new property shares a border with Milwood Magnet School – where one of our missional communities has been engaged and where we have held neighborhood block parties for years. And we are just across the street and down half a block from Greenwood Elementary School – site of Art and Games on the Green and our partner school for Kids Hope (our mentoring program) and the focus of another one of our missional communities.
Q: What’s the new building like?
A: It’s an older building, but very solid. It doesn’t look very much like Threads right now, but we have a team working hard to re-envision the space and we are excited about the possibilities of making it more Threads-ish (Threads-like? Increasing its’ Threadsness?)
Q: Isn’t that going to be a lot of work (and cost a lot of money)?
A: Let’s put it this way – there will be lots of opportunities to help us make the building our home. Yes, there will be some work involved. And yes, we’ll spend some money. But we are actually reducing all of our expenses related to the building with this move. In fact, we are actually purchasing the Cork St building for just under half of what we are selling the Milham Ave building for! God has been very faithful in providing for us and our family has been very generous as we practice simplicity and respond to God’s grace in our lives.
Q: I’m still not convinced this is necessary…
A: How about a couple quick stories that illustrate how God has been preparing us for this move for years:
First – As we’ve considered how we can engage and support families outside of the church, it has been part of our dream and vision to operate a preschool/daycare in the neighborhood. Our Kids Community Developer, Esther, even started taking classes in pursuit of being able to be licensed as a daycare director a couple years back. It seemed a little strange at the time, but because she started when she did, she is far enough along that she is qualified to serve as a daycare director now! Oh, and did I mention that we will be inheriting an operating daycare with the new building? Little Lambs daycare has a 20-year history in the neighborhood and an instant way to connect with and support the families we have had a burden for these last 5-6 years.
Another story – availability of good, healthy food for those who don’t have access either due to poverty or living in food-scarce areas has been a passion at Threads for some time. This concern has surfaced in many ways in the past, including the fresh food initiative several years ago and, more recently, a missional community that has focused on food as a means of a community and is currently preparing to launch a weekend backpack program to provide food for kids at Greenwood Elementary School that need it. Oh, and did I mention that Loaves and Fishes operates a food distribution site at the Cork Street building – the 5th largest food pantry in their system of over 40 distribution sites, serving 75 households a week and over 400 people, 40% of whom are children? We will be looking to maintain this vital resource for the community, as well.
So many other stories, including the missional communities, block parties and Kids Hope program that have already been mentioned that have grown up with our partnership with Greenwood Elementary and Milwood Magnet School. Also the growing partnership with other churches in the neighborhood, including partnering with volunteers from Milwood CRC for Art and Games on the Green this year. Oh, and did I mention that we have a missional community who’s mission is to provide resources and connections within the Milwood neighborhood and they have a million different ideas of what God might bring about through this opportunity, as well?
Q: Laying it on a little thick now. But let’s start talking specifics – when is this happening?
A: We are still finalizing some details, but our expectation is that we will have our last worship gathering in the Milham location on August 24th. We hope to celebrate all God has done in this chapter and pray for His leading and blessing on the new chapter, as well.
Q: What about the Milham Ave building, what will happen to it?
A: There is a group of small churches that are coming together in this space. They will do some renovating and hope to be worshipping together in this building by Christmas.
Q: What about the church that meets in the Cork St building now?
A: They are moving on to the next chapter in their ministry, redefining themselves as a community and considering where they want to be for the next period of time. We’re praying that God leads them to the right place for the short term and beyond.
Q: When do we get into the new building?
A: That’s a little trickier. We are hoping to gain occupancy towards the end of August and begin moving things into the building and doing some initial renovations to make it seem more like home and reflect more of who we are to the community as we invite them in. As soon as we can, we want to set up an open house for our Threads family where we can let you see the building, learn about the ministries currently operating out of it and start to cast a vision for what we hope to do in the coming weeks, months and years in terms of renovations and other ministry possibilities. But it will take some time to do all that we want to do.
Q: Does that mean we’ll be worshipping in a construction zone, with hardhats and dust and hammers swinging?
A: No. It might mean that we do some different things with our Sunday morning gathering times – like having a picnic in the park on a Sunday morning for fun family time – worshipping over the grill, around the table and on the playground or the volleyball court. We might also worship outdoors on the new property for a transition period while we get those initial renovations done. We are working feverishly to put details to this transition plan so you can know what to expect and plan for as the Fall approaches. Keep watching our website transition page for information as it becomes available.
Q: This sounds kind of exciting, kind of scary, kind of confusing… why are we doing this again?
A: Because we are a story-formed community that exists to help a questioning world become “love God, love others” Christ followers. The goal, as it always has been and will be, is to see lives transformed by God. We believe that this move and this new chapter will bring many opportunities for us to live into that calling as God continues to write our story.
Breaking News – July 22, 2014
Click HERE to listen to Kevin’s announcement to the church family.
Last week, we signed a purchase agreement to buy the building at 2031 Cork Street, the current site of Bethlehem Baptist Church and Little Lambs daycare! God has provided a building in the heart of Milwood, right next to Milwood Magnet School and across the street from the Lincolnshire apartments and Greenwood Elementary, site of Art and Games on the Green (which continues to grow with around 70 kids there last week)! The transition team talked and prayed and kept coming back to this location, which was not on the market and so we approached them a few months ago. They have seen God’s hand in this for our church and for theirs and have agreed to sell. We still have to work out final details after inspections and set a closing date, but we anticipate being able to move into the space around the end of the summer!
Praise God for His clear guidance and gracious provision! We are so excited for the many opportunities this location and the daycare ministry will provide for us to be a central part of the neighborhood where God has sent us. Join us in praying for all the details to work out and be watching for further updates on timing and volunteer opportunities with the move ahead. If you have any questions, feel free to contact Kevin or one of the other elders at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Update – July 16, 2014
We have submitted an offer on a building in the Milwood neighborhood. We are hoping to make an official announcement THIS Sunday! Keep praying!
Update – July 3, 2014
The Elder team signed papers today extending the closing time on 3600 W. Milham. This means we know that we will be able to gather for worship in our current building at least through the end of the summer.
Meanwhile, the Elder team is meeting Monday night to determine the details of a potential offer on a building in the Milwood neighborhood and the SWAT team is continuing to work on transitional plans. Please continue to pray for God’s wisdom and guidance… and patience for His timing and plan!
Update – June 26, 2014
Psalm 25 reminds us to trust in God (v.1), that God will guide our steps and teach us His ways (v.4-5, 9). It also teaches us that God is our refuge and strength (v.20). As we face a time of transition and uncertainty, these are timely reminders.
Update on Current Building
As we read through the psalms, we’ve seen that they come from three different seasons of life – times of orientation, disorientation and new orientation. 3600 West Milham Avenue has been our place of orientation for the past 10 years – a place where we have experienced God at work in our lives. We’ve sung songs of praise, heard God’s Word challenge us and transform us in a myriad of memorable ways. We’ve seen our children dedicated, graduated and married and walked through tough times together.
Leaving this building is a move into disorientation. As much as we say – and believe! – that the church is not a building, but is the people who are being formed by God’s story and joining together in God’s mission, the memories made in this building have shaped us. It is not easy to move forward. Yet we trust that God is at work still, that He is continuing to write a story with our lives in His church and that He will bring us to a place of new orientation, where we can praise Him and thank Him for His faithfulness. That story is being written in all the places that we live, work, go to school and play. But our story is also deeply tied to the Milwood neighborhood. God has placed us there for a reason, to be His ongoing presence in that particular place. We have engaged this neighborhood for years in various ways, but now God is opening a door for us to enter into the neighborhood and be a physical presence.
Our building has been purchased by a denomination for the purpose of having a number of congregations join together in this place. While more traditional, this will be a new experiment for their denomination. The building will continue to be a place of faithful worship and innovation. We do not have a closing date set, but we expect to close sometime in August. At that time we would need to move or work out a situation where we lease the space from the new owners for a period of time.
Update on Milwood Building
In the meantime, we are prayerfully pursuing one particular option in Milwood that would open up many exciting possibilities for ministry and presence in the neighborhood. As we have been going through this process, we have gotten feedback from many of you in leadership community and family meeting settings and have been using this information to guide us. A transition team has been in place and we’ve seen God moving and believe this is where He is guiding us. We are excited to be able to share all the details of how we’ve seen God at work as soon as we can.
However, we may not be able to move in and use the building immediately. We are considering a number of transitional options, from short term to slightly longer term if needed. As soon as decisions are made, even for a transition period, we will be sharing them. We have established this page on our website where we will post updates as soon as we have them.
Following the Spirit into the Neighborhood
With the psalmist, we place our hope and trust in God. While we wait for clarity and pray for guidance, we must also stay poised and ready to follow wherever God leads. He has great things in store for us, a plan for our good, for the gospel to transform lives and for the Kingdom to become more fully manifested in the Milwood neighborhood. Pray with us and be ready to find your place in the new chapters of our story that God is writing!
In Christ and for His glory,
SWAT (Super Wow Awesome Transition) Team
Esther Bouwman, Willis Bouwman, Kevin Edlefson, Karen Kloostra, Jacob Lonc, Kelly Meldrum, Jonathon Orweller
The Elder Team
Kevin Edlefson, Scott Goddard, Jonathan Orweller, Greg Tiongson, Nicole Tiongson