Letter from John
I was ordained over 40 years ago. I have served five different churches. I have been part of three different building campaigns and I can’t even remember how many capital campaigns. But until now I have never celebrated a church’s 100th anniversary.
Recently I attended a lunch hosted by the president of the Jewish Community of Louisville. He recalled participating in youth events at “Harvey” when he was a teenager. HBPres has worked ecumenically in so many ways for so many years. We are recognized for our work with St. Matthews Area Ministries, Habitat for Humanity, Cabbage Patch, Dare to Care, Project Warm, the House of Ruth and more. We participate in hunger walks, host visiting mission groups and support mission workers in other parts of the world. Our history is one we can all be proud of. I am excited about this capital campaign because it will enable us not only to honor our history but also—through a magnificent new cross—tell the world in whose name we do these things.
Years ago due to leakage problems, we had to remove our church steeple. Since then our building has, at times, been mistaken for a warehouse, a school and an educational building for the Methodist church next door. A few years ago when one of our members fell ill and we called 911, EMS went to the Methodist church because, they said, it “looked like a church.” If I had to choose between looking like a church and acting like one I would obviously choose the latter. But I would prefer for us to both act and look like who we are because it is important not only to be claimed by Jesus, but also to claim Jesus as our Lord and Savior. I want the world to know not just that we are good people but also that we are God’s people. The cross, as the centerpiece of a beautiful memorial garden, will announce to all in whose name we do what we do.
The centennial cross and memorial garden are but two things that set this campaign apart from others we have had in recent years. Unlike campaigns that seem to go on forever, this one is designed to last just 16 months, from September 2015 to December 2016. I invite you to support this historic endeavor with a one-time gift or monthly contributions. You may also make your gift in the form of stock or other investments. The church office can help you do that.
You don’t get to be 100 years old without a little wear and tear. In addition to the cross and garden this campaign will enable us to replace much of the roof on our building, which currently leaks in several places, and pay for extensive repairs to the elevator outside of Emory Hall. It will enable us to install a modern new sign along Browns Lane to share information about our many ministries and invite people to join our family of faith. It will enable us to replenish our Facilities Reserve Fund to insure against future emergencies. It will also enable us to live out the gospel by making a significant gift to Habitat for Humanity—celebrating our home for the past 100 years by helping to create homes for others. Sounds like something Jesus would do.
We have few opportunities to celebrate a 100th anniversary, especially of something that has been such an important part of our lives. Whether you have been a member of HBPres for a few months or many years, I hope you will help make this centennial celebration a huge success!