Thursday, November 3, 2011

Presbytery vote for property

This Tuesday, the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area is voting on a Purchase Agreement for a piece of property that will locate Chain of Lakes Church for their future ministry. I am thrilled that this action will be taking place and encourage the Presbytery to vote in favor of the motion.

The property is located at the northern edge of the Lakes Housing Development—adjacent to County Highway 14 (125th Ave NE) in Blaine. The picture above is an aerial view looking north.

Hundreds of houses are near the property. When started the Lakes Housing Development and adjacent developments were the largest housing development in the history of Minnesota. During my first year as an Organizing Pastor I met with a realtor who sold houses in these developments. He shared that when the development is fully built out it will have 10,000 residents and 3,000 housing units. Since that meeting I discovered that over 107,000 people live within five miles of the property and the growth rate within five miles is expected to be 5.55 percent a year until 2015.

I still remember the first time I took my daughter, Hannah, to see the property. As I drove near the property all we could see were houses. She remarked to me, “Daddy, if you had a church here a lot of these people could come to Chain of Lakes.”

For the last year the Property Task Force—a sub-committee of the Church Development Team—has worked to worked to secure a property and develop a finance plan. It has been a treat to work with the group. This group is a demonstration of the power of our Presbyterian connectionalism. The Task Force has been made up of Chain of Lakes people and folks from other Presbyterian churches.

The Property Task Force developed some ways to finance the property that passed through the Board of Trustees, and the Presbytery Council. The Church Development Team is in favor of the Purchase Agreement.

The Property Task Force has made presentations at many Presbytery meetings in 2011. In March three lay folks from Chain of Lakes shared their excitement about our new church; in May Ward Sessing, the chair of the Property Task Force, explained what the Property Task Force was doing; in July a pre-Presbytery gathering was held and then a detailed presentation was shared during the meeting.

Providing a piece of property for a new church is a longstanding tradition within our Presbytery. New Presbyterian churches in Apple Valley, Columbia Heights, north Minneapolis, Rochester, the Philips neighborhood, and Plymouth were given land and also buildings in some cases.

At Chain of Lakes we are encouraging folks to attend the Presbytery meeting on Tuesday to share our excitement about this property purchase.

The Purchase Agreement contains some very reasonable contingencies that we at Chain of Lakes requested. If the Purchase Agreement is approved a team of people will immediately gather to fulfill these contingencies.

The bottom line on the property decision is this—the location is excellent, the price is right, and the folks from Chain of Lakes are excited about this exciting step in their journey of ministry.

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