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What’s the “why” of THIS MATTERS!?

THIS MATTERS! is a capital campaign which offers the opportunity to RENEW and REVITALIZE personal faith, connection to our spiritual home, and our church campus as a Center for Christian Mission

What has brought us to this place to make these decisions?

In April 2014, a Facilities Task Force began to assess the campus needs of Shepherd of the Hills as it related to deferred maintenance and future ministry direction. The Facilities Task Force evolved into a Building Task Force. Throughout this process there have been numerous opportunities for input from the congregation through surveys, activities at congregational meetings, forums, an all-day retreat with our architect, and Church Council presentations. This three-year process has been steady, intentional, and thoughtful, infused with wisdom and experience from many, and through prayer, the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

What are some key components of the campus renewal?

Anticipated improvements include:

  • Defining a welcoming street presence by enhanced visibility along with easier access for improved safety as cars enter and exit our campus.
  • Increasing flexibility and participation in our sanctuary through improved audio, acoustics, and new visual systems enabling dynamic and creative worship experiences.
  • Growing community through new learning, conversation, and gathering spaces such as a back entrance and terrace off the gym/activity center.
  • Creating new storage and playground areas for Butterfly Christian Preschool.
  • Updating and repurposing existing classrooms and restrooms for greater hospitality for all, including use by community groups.
  • Opening and landscaping the courtyard for multiuse and accommodation of both small and large groups.
  • Stewarding and maintaining our existing facilities and campus including improving energy efficiency. 

What is the Financial Goal of the Campaign?

Faith Goal: $3.5 million
Aspirational Goal: $4 million

For items listed in anticipated improvements, the current cost estimate is $3.5 million. The Design Development Phase, (in progress) will provide specific project costs for defined priorities. By attaining our Aspirational Goal, we honor God as creator and steward our earth with these additional opportunities:

  • Solar Energy Panels
  • Water Retention System to capture runoff for irrigation
  • Walk Path Extension to new playground area
  • Front Turn Around for parking area

Is there a benevolence component to the 3.5 million dollar goal?

Yes! While early in the visioning, we are looking to include a special focus on high-impact ministry to our brothers and sisters in Christ living in an under-resourced area of East Austin. Currently, a task force is working to shape this ministry possibility. Also included will be a designation of a portion of this benevolence for global partnerships. The amount of benevolence in our This Matters! Financial Goal is $200,000. By making this commitment we continue to live out our vision of “being a church without walls.”

When are invitations for commitments made to support THIS MATTERS!?

During the Advance Phase, households will be invited to make commitments by Easter Sunday, April 16th. Making a giving decision in Advance provides encouragement for others to participate. After Easter, all others at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church will be invited to return the commitment card by Commitment Sunday, May 14th. Prayers, commitments and gifts will be given in a procession of gratitude for the many blessings we have received from God, as we seek to bless others through our gifts.

Why am I asked to make a commitment rather than giving as I am able or moved to give?

Making and stating a plan has proven to be a valuable practice of discipline for both individuals and church leadership. It helps us all live up to our best intentions; it helps us in planning for the scope and financing of our campus renewal. And once a project has started, we have financial obligations to construction and contractors.

What happens if my life circumstances change and I made a financial commitment?

None of us know what the future holds. We live in the assurance of God’s presence and provision. If financial circumstances change, commitments can be revised by either increasing or decreasing the initial support. While financial commitments are encouraged for church planning purposes, alternative time frames can be indicated on the commitment card. We also recognize annual income is uncertain for some, and levels of support can be revisited.

When does my 4 year Capital Campaign commitment begin?

Commitments begin June 2017. Several initial “first fruits” and one time gifts have already been given, others are welcome anytime.

Why is maintaining regular giving important?

Commitments for the Capital Campaign need to be over and above one’s annual support of ministry and mission. Regular giving supports our overall ministry efforts, quality music programs, children’s and youth programs, adult education, and our ability to respond to the needs of our community through our benevolence.

What happens after the Campaign and when will renewal start?

A key congregational meeting is planned for May 7th. Construction will not begin until after the congregation approves building plans, engagement with a contractor, obtaining construction financing, and, if necessary, a fixed mortgage after construction. Ultimately, the schedule for construction depends upon the outcome of THIS MATTERS! Capital Campaign. Our collective gifts and commitments will guide the scope of the project and next steps.

In addition to increased financial support, what other results are anticipated?

The spiritual benefit of putting treasure where one’s heart is reveals one’s trust in God, one’s personal faith and sense of community, along with offering a tangible way to follow Jesus as a disciple of Christ.

How can I help make THIS MATTERS! Capital Campaign fulfill God’s purpose for Shepherd of the Hills?

By engaging yourself in the following ways:

  • Pray! Pray for our church and the Spirit to move according to God’s will.
  • Respond! Respond to God’s blessings by committing your financial blessings.
  • Return! Return the THIS MATTERS! commitment card on or before Easter Sunday, April 16, 2017.