Space for Grace: Case

“See to it that no one misses the grace of God.”  Hebrews 12:15
The story of First Pres has been about living this call. For nearly 140 years, God has worked in and through our church to sow the gospel of Jesus Christ in Berkeley, the University, the Bay Area, and the world.

Space for Ministry
With this vision, we broke ground in 2003 on additional physical space, now Geneva and McKinley Halls. Dedicated in September 2005, these buildings increased classroom and meeting space by 70% and expanded our capacity for everything from youth ministry to Emmaus Communities, university outreach to the Global Church Conference. In joy and gratitude, we daily utilize and share this resource for the sake of God’s kingdom.

"Space for Grace" could allow us to...

  • Further our University ministry, including the Housing Vocational Experience currently funded by a 2015 Lilly Endowment grant. 

  • Nurture gospel growth in the East Bay through sharing our resources and developing relationships with local churches and ministries. 

  • Deepen our investment in local and global mission partners by responding to present needs and emerging opportunities.

…and this is just the beginning.

Space in Our Finances
Through three capital campaigns from 2000 to 2011, our building projects were sustained by the faithful generosity, sacrifice, and prayers of many. Still, a significant $10.5 million mortgage remains; each year we spend more than 20% of our annual budget, or approximately $900,000, to service our remaining loans. We hope to reduce this debt by half over the next three years, before we are required to refinance in 2018. This could free up nearly $500,000 in our annual budget, allowing us to use these funds to shift our ministry focus from sustaining to growing, caution to creativity, and constraint to generosity. While there is no perfect time for a capital campaign, when better to commit to our future together than when we are keenly aware of our dependence upon God’s leading for the present? It is precisely now, that investing in this effort is a tangible expression of earnest faith and expectant hope for all that God longs to do among and through us for his glory.

Space for the Grace of God
In Christ, we who were far off have been brought near to God. In gratitude, we are privileged to share his mercy and grace with others so that none would miss out. Will you, through God’s generosity, help us make even more space for grace at First Pres?