Sacred Places Fall 2011 - Page 3

TABLE OF CONTENTS Board 3 Update on Partners: Profiles of New Success Members; New Dollars/New Partners FROM THE PRESIDENT It’s fair to say that a congregation’s work to broaden its funding base, share its building in new ways, partner with the community and, ultimately, ensure its future, can be complex and challenging. No argument there. That is why the depth and comprehensiveness of Partners’ New Dollars/New Partners for Your Sacred Place training program and other resources have such value to churches and synagogues across the nation. Story 15 FEATURE STORY: A Friend(s Group) Indeed 19 Funding Brief: Lessons from Friends of Trinity Cathedral Professional Alliance Spotlight: Church Restoration Group 22 23 Professional Alliance Directory ABOUT PARTNERS Partners for Sacred Places is the only national, nonsectarian, nonprofit organization dedicated to the sound stewardship and active community use of America’s older religious properties. Partners’ Programs and Services Include: • Training. New Dollars/New Partners for Your Sacred Place is an intensive program that gives congregations with older buildings the skills and resources to broaden their base of support. • Regional Offices. Partners offers training, technical assistance and capital improvement grants through its Pennsylvania, Texas, and Chicago Offices. • Workshops and Conferences. Partners’ staff speaks on a variety of topics at national and regional conferences. • Publications. Some of Partners’ books include: - Your Sacred Place Is a Community Asset: A Tool Kit to Attract New Resources and Partners - The Complete Guide to Capital Campaigns for Historic Churches and Synagogues • • Information Clearinghouse. This web-based resource provides information related to the care and use of older sacred places. (www. sacredplaces.org/information_center.htm) Advocacy Initiatives. Partners works with civic leaders, funders, and policymakers, urging them to adopt policies and practices that provide new resources to older religious properties. COVER PHOTO: Friends of Trinity Cathedral (Miami, FL) hosts its annual fundraising gala and silent auction in the cathedral’s soaring nave. Photo courtesy of Al Ricketts Photo. THUMBNAIL PHOTO: Church Restoration Group works to repair the damage caused to St. Andrew’s Episcopal Academy in Ft. Pierce, FL. Photo courtesy of Church Restoration Group. On the other hand, congregations can take some important steps that are simple and highly effective. One of those initiatives is the creation of a friends group. Every congregation has natural friends and allies – they may be former members who have moved away, neighbors who don’t attend worship but care about the church or synagogue, others who care deeply about the outreach of the congregation, and community leaders who want to keep the neighborhood vital. Each and every one of them may be willing to become a “friend,” connecting to the congregation in a new way and contributing to the care of its building. A friends group can be assembled in a day. It doesn’t require incorporation, legal work, or expensive consultants. It only requires a congregation to articulate the purpose of the group, identify a leader, and invite people to join. A friends group can host events or issue newsletters that help the public appreciate a sacred place, and it can encourage gifts that support its repair and restoration. Our New Dollars/New Partners training program includes a very lively exercise that asks each congregation to spend a few minutes identifying 10 or 15 people who could be invited to join a new friends group. We find that congregations are highly energized by this experience, and have no problem coming up with lots of prospects. I bet that your congregation – or one you know – could do the same! It only requires that someone gets the conversation going. Many of the congregations we have helped have created friends groups, and this issue tells several of their stories. We also have publications that get into more detail about such groups, so if you’d like a copy, just ask us. Sometimes an easy step like this will help you undertake a longer journey that will ensure the future of a sacred place you care about! BOB JAEGER Sacred Places • Fall 2011 • 2