DECEMBER 2018

From the Desk of Pastor John

Friends:
As you know, Delaware County is planning a major expansion of the Home Road–Route 315 intersection. You have heard how this will affect the church – we will have two 3-lane entries/exits onto the newly constructed Home Road. We have allocated Renew dollars to pay for our part of this project when the time comes.

Part of the County’s Home Road improvement project includes expanding the Home Road bridge over the Olentangy River to four lanes. In order to accomplish this, they need to purchase property from the church (the church’s eastern border extends across the Olentangy River to its eastern bank).

Rodd Lawrence, a Delaware attorney and Liberty elder, has been working with the Session and the County to negotiate the details of the sale. You can view the Contract of Sale documents on the RENEW section of our website. The main points are:

  • The County is paying the church $10,000 (#1).
  • The County is agreeing to construct two driveway accesses for the church to the new Home Road, according to a plan and specification negotiated with the church (in conjunction with a traffic engineer employed by the Session) (#2).

Selling church property is an action of the congregation, not of the Session. Therefore, I am calling a special congregational meeting for Sunday, December 16, at 10:00 a.m. to consider this matter. Your questions and comments will be welcome, but please know this is the result of a 20-month negotiation process between the Session and the County.

On behalf of the Session, I want to express our deep thanks for the outstanding pro bono work Rodd has done for Liberty.

Serving Jesus with you,
John

It’s the season to Renew at Liberty!

  • At all times, we are called to renew our spiritual commitment to God as disciples of Jesus Christ.
  • At all times, God’s Spirit is renewing this church He loves so much.
  • At all times, God calls us to renew our commitment to His mission in our church, in Delaware County, and throughout the world.
God has been so faithful to Liberty throughout our 207-year history.

And God is very much at work at Liberty right now.

He is calling us to follow Him into Liberty’s exciting future:

  • proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ near & far.
  • sharing Christ’s love tangibly, in mission and service.
  • investing in the gift of our children and youth.
  • embracing the ever-growing population in southern Delaware County.

God is leading us to do all these things – and more – with the commitment, excellence and generosity that has always characterized Liberty.

This RENEW initiative is an opportunity for you to renew your commitment to God’s work in and through Liberty Church.

RENEW is more than a stewardship campaign.

RENEW is a stewardship campaign. Unlike in the past, this November we will ask you to make a two-year pledge to support Liberty’s operating fund for both 2018 and 2019. 

In addition to supporting the 2018-2019 Operating Fund, your two-year pledge will include supporting the completion of $1.9 million in much-needed capital improvements, including re-siding the Barn (see more on Special Projects). In addition to improving our campus, 10% of funds raised for capital projects will directly support two local missions, over and above our regular 10% commitment to missions.

RENEW is more than a stewardship campaign combined with a capital campaign.

RENEW is a spiritual campaign.

  • More than raising fund levels, RENEW aims to raise our faith levels.
  • More than asking us to stretch financially, RENEW intends us to cultivate a generous lifestyle within us.
  • More than renovating our campus, RENEW seeks to renew our commitment to God.

The pastors and the Session invite you to join this season of renewal at Liberty, committing yourself to:

  • Renew our faith
  • Renew our church
  • Renew our mission

And to Renew ourselves in the joy of the Lord.

Please join us on the RENEW adventure!

Renew is OneFund

You may have been part of church campaigns in the past in which you were asked to give a second gift over and above your usual contributions to make special projects (such as a new building) possible.  There was an “Operating Fund” for the church’s ongoing work, and a separate “Capital Campaign Fund” for capital projects.  This approach required some people to choose which fund they would support.

RENEW provides a simpler way.   In 2018-2019, everything we give at Liberty will be part of “OneFund”.  The RENEW campaign will last for two years (2018-2019) as we work together to fund Liberty’s mission, ministries, and special projects.  Throughout 2018-2019, every gift that is given to Liberty Church will go into “OneFund”.

RENEW Testimonials

Kevin Futryk, October 22, 2017

As you have heard, we have launched a new initiative here at Liberty called RENEW. As part of the RENEW Team, I want to take a few minutes this morning to talk with you about why my wife Beth and I will be participating in this campaign.

How many of you think we have a beautiful sanctuary to worship in and wonderful historic buildings on our property? Yes, we truly have a very special and unique church home. How many of you are involved in one of the many learning opportunities we have here at Liberty? Yes, our Adult Discipleship, Bible studies, and various mission opportunities provide all of us with plenty of opportunities to be better disciples of Christ. How many of you have children involved in our Youth Program or our Sunday School? Yes, we have a tremendous Christian Education program here at Liberty and it personally has been a blessing for me to see my daughter Emily go from Sunday school student to our fabulous Youth Program that is teaching her and all our children to love God and become one of his disciples at a young age. And how many of you have been through our New Members Class sometime in the past 10 years? Yes, Liberty has been blessed to be a growing congregation. As a former elder who chaired the membership committee, it has been such a joy to not only see our various new members share their faith Journeys, but to watch them grow over the years and become more involved in our wonderful church.

We are truly blessed, all of us, to be part of a very close knit church family, and have this wonderful building and all these facilities as our church home. However, like each of our homes and our families, there are times when we need to step up and address home and family issues.

When Pastor John first contacted me in September 2016, he asked if I would be willing to be a part of a Leadership Team that would begin looking at how Liberty could best address some growing issues and concerns with our church home. Session’s Property Committee had been compiling a list of needed repairs and improvements around our property that could no longer be ignored, especially if we want to preserve and maintain our church home and adapt to our growing church family’s needs. Without hesitation, I said “YES” I would be a part of the Team that would identify a solution to this problem, as generations of Liberty members have done before me to help maintain this wonderful church for my family, and for all of you. Their commitment of time, talents and treasures over the past 200 plus years allow all of us to enjoy our beautiful church home today.

Liberty has given me so much over the years, so much joy, helped me grow my faith deeper than I ever imagined, been there to comfort me in sorrowful times, help me develop new friendships and fellowship with other Christians who are growing their faith at Liberty. Every time I have stepped up to take on a leadership role, or we stepped up our financial support, God has rewarded us in ways I never imagined.

Beth and I have prayerfully considered not only how we would respond to RENEW, but how would we challenge ourselves to renew our generosity, and why doing so was important to not only our faith journeys, but also to set an example for the generations of Liberty members who will come after us. After many prayers and much conversation, we have decided to double our financial commitment to Liberty the next two years. However, we have additionally decided to go another rung up on the Generosity Ladder by donating a Savings Bond we inherited that we hadn’t yet decided how we would invest it. We couldn’t think of a better investment than our church home.

We all worry about paying our bills, making sure we’re saving for our future, and maintaining our largest asset, our homes. As we developed the RENEW campaign, I realized that this is what RENEW is all about; making sure we’re paying our bills, saving for our future, maintaining our church home, and in the process taking care of our church family. RENEW simply means we are paying forward for the needed repairs and improvements for our church home, so that this institution will continue to be a gathering place for future generations, as well as make room for our ever-growing family to have the space to continue to serve our God, our community, and ourselves, just a generations of Liberty members did in the 200 plus years before us. I would ask each of you to review the list of the specific projects we hope to undertake with your support. I would encourage you as well to read the Renew booklet from cover to cover. There is a lot of information about Renew, and the Renew Team spent several months working on this to make sure it contained all the information we felt our fellow church members would need.

I, and the RENEW Team, KC Baker, Marie Thornhill, Jill Wentz, Deborah McKain, Chris Mealer, AJ Hensel, & Pastor John, ask each of you to prayerfully consider how you can be involved and help in this campaign. We ask each of you to think about how you can challenge yourself and your generosity the next two years. We ask that you consider all the benefits you receive from your church home and what more can you do to ensure that you, your children, your grandchildren, and future generations can continue to come to the Barn to worship God and grow their faith, as individuals and families have been doing right here for over 200 years. So, we hope you will join us and renew our church, renew our faith, and renew ourselves.

Thank you, God Bless, and please continue to pray for the success of RENEW!

A.J. Hensel, October 29, 2017

My name is A.J. Hensel and I am proud member of the RENEW Team.

Not many people can say that they spent their first year of marriage away from their spouse. Indeed, I spent that first year in Iraq leading a platoon of soldiers in the War on Terror. It was a long year of ups and downs. But there was one constant: We never left a position of safety on a mission without a prayer to God to watch over and protect us from harm. Nevertheless, I’m embarrassed to admit that at that time in my life my relationship with God was shallow. I was selfish — turning to God in prayer only to serve my needs and my desires. God answered every one of my prayers that year and I vowed to be a better Christian…

In 2009, my expecting wife and I were in search of a church to grow our faith and raise our children to know God. We joined my mother and grandmother for service one Sunday and we fell in love with Liberty. We loved the Barn, the come-as-you-are attitude, the vibrant children’s ministry, and, of course, the music. We had found our spiritual home. We made the easy decision to join as members and with the birth of our son Cooper, we joined the select club of four-generation families here at Liberty. I have since solidified my spot in the club with three more kids – each one of them baptized right here on this stage. There is nothing quite like watching your babies discover God. I can’t count how many times they have told me that their God is so big, so strong, and so mighty. Thanks, John.

My faith has blossomed because of this church. Today, I am much closer to having a complete relationship with God. We are truly blessed to have an amazing place where we can worship and celebrate Jesus Christ with our friends and family. Now, is the time for us to give thanks and give back by supporting the Renew campaign.

As parents, we have a responsibility to provide for our children. Our home is one way that we provide – a shelter from the elements, a place of safety and love. My wife and I view Liberty as an extension of our home – our spiritual home where we can turn to God for shelter, safety, and love. For that reason, the choice to increase our financial commitment to the Church is an easy one for the Hensel family.

Friends: together – through the RENEW campaign – we have an opportunity to renew our church, renew our faith, and renew ourselves. Personally, I am especially excited about the youth room renovation – a needed investment to ensure that our young adults have a quality space for fellowship. Please prayerfully consider your level of support and join my family on commitment Sunday when we come forward with our pledge card.

Thank you very much for your time. God Bless.