What is the Opening Doors Campaign?

Our church has been a tangible and growing presence in our community for nearly 90 years. We are blessed with facilities which provide for numerous UPPC ministries and in addition host scores of meetings and events for our mission partners, other community non-profits and schools.

Simply put, our building is not for us alone – it is a place of ministry, a vital connection to our community and a mission field. And at the same time, our facility needs updates and new energy. Our facilities are tired and need to be refreshed.

With this objective in mind, the Refresh Team, a small group of UPPC volunteers and staff, began to meet eighteen months ago. Over these months what started as a simple endeavor - updating carpets, bathrooms and adding air conditioning - has become a bigger, broader vision for the future of UPPC and the importance of our influence in God’s work here and throughout the world.

This new campaign in support of this bigger vision is called Opening Doors.

What are the specific projects in the Opening Doors campaign?

There are three phases to the Opening Doors campaign: (1) The spaces that are home to our children’s ministries and Sunset Christian Preschool, plus new heating and air conditioning for the Sanctuary. (2) Our common spaces – expanding our lobby/narthex area to promote fellowship and conversation for the church family as well as newcomers and guests, and (3) The parking lots and entrance providing more parking, a more prominent entrance off of our parking lot and better and safer access to our home! 

The work begins in the children’s spaces for several reasons.  Sunset Christian Preschool currently has approximately 200 students (and a waiting list!).  Their safety and security is our highest priority.  The improvements will provide for a monitored, single, locked entry.  Some of these improvements are required by code, but they’re also essential for growth and for our future. Sunset Christian Preschool is the single-greatest conduit for new members and young families who join UPPC.

How long will the work take? 

Phase 1 begins in June 2017. The campaign has already raised more than enough to complete the work on Sunset Christian Preschool in time for the opening of the school year, in early September 2017.  The first phase also involves replacing the HVAC in the Sanctuary and we hope to have air conditioning operating by mid-summer.

Phase 2 addresses the common areas in the church, removing a conference room and what is now the library to open up a large area in the heart the building for people to gather and engage. To keep the inconvenience to a minimum, the work on Phase 1 will be completed (or mostly so) before the work begins on Phase 2. 

Phase 3 will double handicapped parking and expand and improve the parking lots and traffic patterns. We’ll also enlarge and improve the entry to the church from the parking areas.

Overall these Opening Doors projects are targeted to be completed within 18 months (by Christmas 2018) if all goes well! Every effort will be made to be “tidy” and to keep the inconvenience for current members to a minimum. 

Why are we doing this now?

The last significant improvements to the church occurred nearly twenty years ago, in 1998 and 1999, when we built the gym and the youth activity center below it.  Many of the areas addressed in this campaign haven’t been repaired or improved in 30 or 40 years. 

We started planning for this update in 2008, but the severe economic downturn then made it impossible to move forward at that time.  In the meantime, our physical plant is another decade older and many necessary improvements are now crying out for attention. 

How did we decide on the priorities for this project? 

The congregation made the choices. Many conversations, multiple focus groups led by Session and Refresh Team members, and a church-wide survey identified and prioritized the many, many needs. 

How will this project create better opportunities for fellowship and ministry?

Our building is our first mission field.  Two thousand people a week use our facilities and approximately 40% of them are not members. Just as we all appreciate spending time in safe, clean, pleasant places where we feel welcome, so do our guests.  Presently our older, current members must immediately move from the narthex – with its “concourse” feel -- to the gym after worship in order to sit down for fellowship time.  The new common area will be a gathering space for all, a place where those who love the classic or the contemporary services can come early or stay later to enjoy conversation over coffee.  It’s a place for parents to meet or relax while students attend a music lesson.  The appearance of our home represents the value we place on our family and our guests. 

How much will the three phrases cost?

Current estimates are that the total project will cost $6.2M.  It’s a significant capital project (really a series of projects) because of the delay necessitated by the recession in 2008 and the well-used nature of many parts of our building.

How are we going to pay for this?

Opening Doors is the campaign to raise funds to pay for these three project phases. We seek investment by all members of UPPC, and gifts are welcomed as a single gift or in pledges over three or five years, as you choose.

“Doing This Together” is who we are. To make our vision a reality we will need to do this Opening Doors Campaign together too. We are asking each one to prayerfully consider investing in this campaign.

On Sunday June 11, 2017, everyone was invited to bring their response cards to worship. If you were not able to be with us that morning, we encourage you to turn in your commitment form to the church office.