Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

Why are we considering selling the existing Ministries Center and building a new
Ministries Center?
Twice in the last two years the Church Council voted to unify all of our
worship services, ministries and congregational activities on a single
campus to aid in our fellowship, ministry growth, evangelism and spiritual
growth (and practically speaking to also reduce our significant maintenance
costs now and going forward.) Council, and later the Visioning Task Force,
looked at several options as to how to accomplish this. Of our two
locations, only the Pacific Street location offers enough space to accomplish
this as well as an opportunity to fund a portion of the project with a trade
and equity from the library. The building of a new Ministries Center on the
Pacific campus is a cornerstone of the unification proposal.

How can we commit to such a large debt when we are just getting by?
Clearly capital campaigns are required no matter which path we go down.
The church will have to pull together to raise needed funds.
 A status quo path (stay in the buildings we have) requires
approximately $400,000to $500,000 be raised due to the significant
maintenance required now and in the near future.
 The unification path requires ~$1.3M in Phase 1 but results in new
facilities on a single campus. After speaking with a financial advisor
that helps churches, the VTF felt this amount is attainable as it falls
within the advisor’s recommendation that the most successful capital
campaigns are usually around 2.5x operating budget.

In addition to pledges the church will seek outside grants, hold fundraisers,
etc. It is our belief that the new, inspiring campus and facilities will also
attract new members as well as reduce costs due to increased efficiencies.

Why is a phased approach necessary and how were the phases selected?
A phased approach is necessary to be financially feasible. The phases/steps
will be laid out based on priority, funding, and architect recommendation.

Why do we think a beautiful building will bring more people to our church?

It’s the members that bring in visitors.
First impressions make a difference – right or wrong! If the facilities look
declining, the assumption perceived is that the church is declining.

How can I participate in this transaction/vision if I’m on a fixed income?
Many opportunities other than financial gifts will present themselves.
Creative minds will offer up unique opportunities such as bake sales, garage
sales, festivals, Lord’s Acre, etc. as fund raisers where you can give your
time and talent. Assistance in the transition by participation in work days to
refurbish the Education Building and Sanctuary (e.g. cleaning and painting)
and assistance in packing/moving.
The support and positive influence of each of us is a major factor in the
success of any endeavor. Continue to support and assist in our
ministries/activities and pray for our church to remain loving and unified.

How will the new Praise Court be better than the existing Praise Court?
Our current Praise Court is wonderfully accommodating and we will have
no less in the new facility. The new Court of Praise is designed to seat ~ 300
and includes a larger stage for better movement and accommodation of our
Praise Bands and allows for larger productions in future ministries. Better
storage areas for band equipment are planned. We will also be able to plan
for a higher quality visual/sound experience.

What can I do to help this vision come true?
Each member of our congregation plays an intricate roll in the vision –
whether it is in giving of money, talent, time or other gifts and graces. Our
prayer is that each will continue to pray for God’s hand and direction as we
go forth. We have been blessed through the years with a membership that
is actively supportive and we seek your continued participation. See where
God is working in our church and be involved. The blessing is in experiencing
God’s activity here.

Will we lose the ability to perform any current ministries in our transition time?
We should not. The VTF looked at current facility usage and determined
that we can make the transition and not lose existing programs. By utilizing
the Education Building and Fellowship Hall (approximately ~15,000 square
feet) we should have ample room to be able to accomplish all of our current
ministries. The church could partner with the community (Mineola Civic
Center, the school district, etc.), if additional space is required for specific
things such as storage of canned goods for Caring and Sharing.

If trade is made with the library, we won’t have a Court of Praise and there is no
way we can do all we do at the Ministries Center at the old library. Right?
The library building is not part of the transition or the unified campus plan.
We will use the Education Building and Fellowship Hall (~15,000 square
feet) during transition to house our administrative offices, classrooms and
ministries. The library and small house will be demolished and, in their
place, in Phase 1 the new Ministries Center will be built which will house the
Court of Praise, kitchen, nursery and classrooms.

Is the Education Building handicap accessible?
Only the first and second floors are handicap accessible. The VTF
recommended putting administration and adult education classes on these
floors, while putting children, youth, etc. on the upper floor. Some work will
need to be done on existing ramps and door entries before the transitional
period to improve access. We are currently examining how to best meet this
need.

Why would we spend money on the Education Building and Fellowship Hall if we
will eventually tear them down?
Only light refurbishment is planned to make the building handicap
accessible and reasonably pleasant during the transition. In addition to
replacement of mid 90’s HVAC units and resolving handicap access, the plan
calls for only cosmetic renovation including painting, wall dent/ding repair
and target flooring repair and cleaning to the Education Building.

What are we going to do to the Sanctuary interior?
Appendix II of the VTF report provides detail regarding the ~160,000 set
aside for Sanctuary Renovation Costs. Approximately $110,000 was
allocated for needed maintenance including window restoration of the side
windows and replacement of tower windows, deep cleaning of the exterior,
a new roof and new carpeting. Additionally approximately $50,000 was
allocated for cosmetic renovation to be determined by the Building
Committee, but could include: painting of the exterior trim, painting of
interior non sanctuary spaces, uniform chancel furniture, landscape work,
and other cosmetic enhancements in key locations.

The ramp and entrance/doors on the Johnson Street side of the Fellowship Hall
don’t offer easy access for seniors or those with disabilities, will this be
improved?
The appointed Building Committee will address access to the Fellowship Hall
and Education Building as preparations are made for the transition.

What about the asbestos and mold in the Education Building?
Asbestos is only a danger when it is disturbed. Material in good condition
and left undisturbed during renovations is not a problem. Mold can be
treated and controlled with bleaching agents or other cleaners; however,
we don’t know of any current issues.

When does the conversation with the Library take place?
No formal negotiations with the Mineola Library will take place before the
church membership votes on whether to accept a consolidation to one
campus on Pacific and a successful capital campaign is completed.
However, in the effort to be a good neighbor, brief contact with the Library
Board has happened by way of expressing and confirming ongoing interest
in a possible trade. The Library has also been made aware that FUMC has
several steps of approval/veto before final negotiations can take place, i.e.
Church Council approval, membership vote, capital campaign success, and
District approval.

What about parking at the Pacific street campus?
It is understood there will be issues with parking spaces for members,
handicap, and elderly. This will be one of the concerns addressed in plans
and designs made by the Building Committee appointed by the Church
Council. The Vision Task Force proposed renderings include additional
interior parking on the lots between the Knight house and the current
Education Building.

Is the Education Building equipped with the necessary wiring to supply all the
power needs of administration in the transition phase?
The office equipment and devices currently used by administration are
considered low current and pose no problem for the Education Building
electrical needs.

How much money will we receive from the Library? Does the Library have the
necessary funds for an anticipated trade?
For vision purposes only and to enable an estimation of costs, the VTF used
the independent appraisals conducted for both the Library and our Ministry
Center. The difference between the two is $700,000 and is only a beginning
point for any future negotiations. Final negotiations and exact trade values
will not be known until those negotiations take place.

The Library has indicated they have the money and resources to carry out
any trade/negotiations.

Have we verified we will have permission from the city to tear down the
Library? What about the Historical marker?
The Landmark Committee of Mineola will review any structure renderings
presented to them for buildings and the city approves or denies. We have
been told if it represents the era structure already there, it shouldn’t be a
problem with approval. The City Council has ultimate authority of any
decisions should the need arise.
The Historical marker located at Mineola Memorial Library is not a marker
for location, but for the establishment of a library consisting of the
business/contents within the building. The Library will take the Historical
marker with them wherever they go.

Are demolition costs of the Library included in the $1,335,000 estimated total
cost presented by the VTF?
The Phase 1 construction costs of approximately $1,800,000 shown on
Appendix I in the VTF Report is inclusive of costs expected in the tear down
of the Library.

How smooth will the transitions be? Will we be in one room at the Ministries
Center on one Sunday and have a prepared room in the Education Building
awaiting us the next Sunday?
Thus far in the vision only broad plans have been discussed on the overall
transition required to make a move to the Pacific campus. Addressing all the
finer details of that transition will be coordinated with the formed Building
Committee. However, as always, every effort will be made and planned in a
way to least disrupt the daily/weekly flow of activities of our church.
Historically, we have a wonderful membership that steps up when a need
arises and we feel confident in efforts by everyone to assist in making any
move/adjustments as smooth and seamlessly as possible.

How are members of the Church Council selected?
Church Council members include Council Chair, Pastor, Lay Leader, Director
of Music, Director of Senior Ministry, Director of Youth Ministry, Children’s
Ministry Coordinator, Staff Administrative Assistant, Staff Financial
Assistant, Chair Finance Committee, Chair Board of Trustees, Chair of SPRC,
Chair Memorial Fund, Treasurer, Evangelism, Missions, Fellowship, UMW
President, UMM President, Council Secretary, Sunday School Class
Representatives, and Youth Representative.
With the exception of staff positions, Sunday School Class Representatives
and Youth Representative, all committee chairs are voted on by democratic
process after being nominated by the Nomination Committee. Class and
youth representatives are selected in each Sunday School Class.

Did the Vision Task Force examine all possible options?
The VTF was charged by the Church Council to pursue one option, uniting
the church at the Pacific Street location and initiating a trade with the
Library. In June 2016 the Church Council held an all-day Facilities Workshop
and explored four options for uniting the church at a single location. In July
2016 they then appointed a Trustee Facilities Work Group to further explore
those four options. In May of 2017 the Church Council met to hear the
report of the Work Group and selected the option with a Library trade and
uniting at the Pacific Street location for further exploration. In August of
2017 the Church Council then selected a Vision Task Force to explore this
single option. However, the VTF looked at all the original options to further
verify the pursuit of what they deemed the most appropriate. In further
review, the architects also reviewed all other options to validate (again) the
Church was pursuing the best possible choice.

If the church approves this vision, will the move end the 8:30 service?
No. Our worship services are an integral part of the ministry FUMC has to
our membership and the surrounding community. The church will make
every effort to accommodate each service. The 8:30 praise and worship
service began in the Fellowship Hall and had a regular attendance of about
200 at the time of our relocation to the Ministry Center. Attendance at this
service is less than 150 today; therefore, we are confident the Fellowship
Hall will accommodate the seating, but the Sanctuary is also available if
preferred.

How will moving to this location reduce operating costs?
The Trustees have provided a future (5-10 years) expected maintenance and
repairs list for the Ministry Center, which include parking lot restoration and
seal ($100,000) AC replacement ($10,000 year), roof replacement
($143,000), and minor renovations ($6,000). The recommended date to
perform these repairs, with the exception of undetermined AC replacement,
is in 2018. By relocating temporarily to the Education Building the church
will experience a decrease in monthly energy bills, as well as future
maintenance on the Ministry Center. The savings experienced will redirect
our future expenditures to a more energy efficient building, sized to our
specific needs.

Why do we believe being on a major traffic artery is vital to our church future?
One of the major principles of selecting a church site is “location, location,
location.” Placement of a major church on a highly traveled, major artery of
traffic in town aids in the immediate visibility to possible visitors. It allows
the entire community, as well as those just driving thru, to see an alive and
energetic campus actively involved in ministry.

Are the renderings we have seen exactly what will be built?
The Vision Task Force has offered up a possible vision of what can be done if
the church chooses to go forward. However, these are not the final
renderings. A final plan would be decided by the appointed Building
Committee.

Since office staff will be located in a separate facility, how will requests for use
of our facilities be observed and handled? How will security be maintained and
handled in the new location?
These concerns are valid and will be addressed by the appropriate
committees and individuals involved as needed, i.e. Building Committee,
Trustees, etc.

How much money is required to upgrade the Sanctuary and Ministry Center?
Trustees have determined that an estimated $400,000 to $500,000 is
anticipated in maintenance for the current facilities (both campuses, all
buildings) in the next five to ten years. A repair list for the Ministry Center
includes parking lot restoration and seal ($100,000) AC replacement
($10,000 year), roof replacement ($143,00), and minor renovations
($6,000). The recommended date to perform these repairs, with the
exception of undetermined AC replacement, is in 2018.
These costs differ from the renovation costs projected for the Sanctuary and
Education Building if the church chooses to go forward with the Library
trade. Sanctuary renovation costs are anticipated at approximately
$161,000, to include restoring Sanctuary widow frames and replacement of
windows in the tower, exterior cleaning, new roof, new carpet, paint, etc.
Education Building renovations are all cosmetic and AC replacement at a
cost of approximately $45,000.

Why aren’t town hall meetings being held prior to the Church Council vote?
The Church Council is elected as an administrative board and is responsible
for the overall function of our church and is accountable to the membership.
In its capacity it is responsible to make decisions for the betterment of the
church. The called Church Council meeting held on Saturday, April 28th, was
an information meeting where the Vision Task Force presented the vision it
had been working on for eight months. This meeting allowed the Church
Council to ask questions and have an open dialog prior to their vote on
whether it is in the interest of the entire church to proceed with the vision.
At that time the Church Council agreed to move forward in presenting the
vision to the church body for their vote on whether to move forward with
this vision.  The town hall meetings are a necessary opportunity to inform all church
members of the vision and allow them to ask any and all questions they
may have in order to be informed prior to conducting a church-wide
membership vote.

How many town hall meetings will there be before a congregation vote is taken?
As many as we need. The Church Council initially scheduled three, primarily
informational, sessions to present the Unification Recommendation and to
answer initial questions. These are scheduled for May 6, 13, and 20 at 9:45
a.m. – 10:45 a.m.
Follow-up town hall meetings with more of a Q&A Discussion format will be
scheduled at varying times (not during Sunday School) until we feel that all
members have had the opportunity to see and understand the unification
proposal and to present all concerns and questions. Not until we reach that
point will we schedule a church-wide membership vote.

Is there an alternative plan if the proposed option is not accepted by the
membership?
There is not an alternative plan at this time. If the decision is made to not
go forward with the vision presented, a capital campaign will still be
required to fund the necessary maintenance and repairs that has been
presented by the Trustees. Our church cannot continue to productively
function without addressing the needs of our facilities.

What is the sequence of voting that will take place?
There are several steps where approval/termination of the vision can take
place:
 Church Council vote
 Membership vote
 Capital Campaign
 Library Negotiations
 District Superintendent Approval

Who can vote?
According to our Book of Discipline, all full members present (regardless of
age) at the church conference may vote. Associated or affiliated members
do not have a vote. You must be present to cast your vote; no proxy voting
is allowed. Voting is conducted by a secret ballot and controlled by the
District Superintendent.

Where will the Sunday morning services take place?
The 8:30 service has the option of using the Sanctuary or the Fellowship Hall
and every effort will be made to accommodate their choice. The 10:50
service remains in the Sanctuary and the 11:00 service will take place in the
Fellowship Hall because of the current use of the Sanctuary at that time