A Church of the Brethren since 1892
Ron Faus, pastor
Circle of Peace Church of the Brethren is committed to its future, but
cognizant of its past. Formerly the Glendale Church of the Brethren, Circle
of Peace was founded almost 108 years ago by pioneers intent on living
their lives in discipleship to God and each other. That devotion remains
just as strong today, as the church embarks on a building project that
will take it through the next 100 years.
"Taking up the cross is active," says Pastor Faus. "Its
something you choose to do, rather than something that happens to you."
In the late 80s and early 90s, the Circle of Peace congregation
seemed to be coasting. It was hard to attract visitors to the building
that had served them well for so many years. Church leaders began imagining
what a new building in an expanding part of the Phoenix metro area might
require. In 1996, after much discussion and debate, they decided to gather
the resources to purchase a piece of land as an investment in the future.
The only problem: the church had never conducted a capital campaign.
"We knew we needed to move," explains Shawn Merrifield Carothers,
campaign chair. "But finding a location and the funds were our biggest
Realizing they needed help, church leaders contacted Myers-Bowman Consulting.
With the generous support of a major donor, they then hired us to direct
the churchs first campaign.
We started with a set of parameters to guide our work:
- The campaign
should be done in a way that would make future campaigns more successful
(in other words...no shortcuts).
time to listen to members of the congregation about the possibility
of moving was important.
- In the
close-linked community, trust was already high, and open communication
would be our strongest persuasive tool.
expenses would be kept to a minimum.
With our help, campaign volunteers invited the members of the congregation
to participate in the project with gifts of cash, stock and other devices.
Our responsibilities included:
the committee process to develop the fundraising plan
in the creation of potential donor lists
the rating and cultivation of all prospects
position descriptions for all leaders and volunteers
and coordinating the selection of top campaign leadership
and implementing volunteer and staff training
and establishing procedures for the collection of gifts and pledges
and preparing campaign strategies and materials with staff support
and supervising the preparation of all campaign materials
with the solicitation of lead gifts
Our impact on the campaign was two-fold, as Pastor Faus explains. "Myers-Bowman
Consulting provided us with the tools to do the job ourselves, while also
providing a great model of how to conduct ethical, responsible and compassionate
fundraising. Their approach was ideal for our situation and will help
us succeed with our project."
At the conclusion of the first campaign, over $170,000 (105% of goal)
had been raised from 63 donorsan amazing feat given the giving history
of the church. Even more amazing is the second phase of the project. Kicked
off in April 2000, it has already surpassed the $700,000 mark from just
53 church families. Pastor Faus summed it up best when he said that "taking
up the cross means doing more than you think you can on behalf of Christ
and the church."
The Circle of Peace Church of the Brethren has indeed chosen an arduous
route, but because of their tenacity and vision, success is assured.
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