The Building Project of the Waldorf SDA Church
WALDORF SDA CAPITAL CAMPAIGN CASE STATEMENT
The Waldorf SDA (Seventh Day Adventist) church is part of the steadily growing world-wide SDA organization – a Protestant Christian denomination of about 16 million members within 204 of the 228 countries recognized by the United Nations. The following excerpt from a USA Today article published 3/17/2011 by G. Jeffery MacDonald entitled “Adventists' back-to-basics faith is fastest growing U.S. church” provides some perspective:
“Newly released data show Seventh-day Adventism growing by 2.5% in North America, a rapid clip for this part of the world, where Southern Baptists and mainline denominations, as well as other church groups are declining. Adventists are even growing 75% faster than Mormons (1.4 percent), who prioritize numeric growth.
For observers outside the Seventh-day Adventist Church, the growth rate in North America is perplexing.
"You've got a denomination that is basically going back to basics ... saying, 'What did God mean by all these rules and regulations and how can we fit in to be what God wants us to be?'," said Daniel Shaw, an expert on Christian missionary outreach at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, Calif. "That's just totally contrary to anything that's happening in American culture. So I'm saying, 'Whoa! That's very interesting.' And I can't answer it."
Seventh-day Adventists are asking a different question: Why isn't the church growing much faster on these shores, which is home to just 1.1 million of the world's 16 million Adventists? Despite its North American roots, the church is growing more than twice as fast overseas.”
In 2010 Waldorf SDA was the fastest growing church within our regionally organized conference covering Maryland, Washington DC, and Delaware. Our vision statement is “Growing, living, building together”, and we have a number of community ministry and outreach activities that reflects this vision of building up and moving forward with our community. For instance:
- During the Spring, Summer and Fall we have a yard sale on the first Sunday of each month that attracts well over 150 vendors and 1000’s of buyers/browsers at each event at no charge to anyone (although we do have a donation box that many contribute to).
- Many of our members work within health related fields, and periodically organize “health drives” that offer free basic health screenings (i.e. such as for hypertension, diabetes, and high cholesterol) and education to the community.
- Our Community Services team works with several local charitable organizations to raise funds and collect various goods in support of wide ranging community needs.
- Our ACS disaster relief team undergoes training to help in both local and national disaster relief, and organize the collection of care package items for disaster victims.
- The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) is a major international disaster relief and development organization within the SDA church with major relief presence within many countries (including the US), and is supported by all the local churches.
- Our local pathfinder program (similar to the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts combined) for our youth age 10 and above is part of our world-wide Pathfinder organization, and is open to community youth participation. In 2009 when we drove our Pathfinders to Oshkosh WI for our international camporee (held every 5 years), at over 38,000 Pathfinders and staff from all over the globe, we outnumbered the Oshkosh population. It is the largest Christian youth event in the world.
- Our local Adventurer program (similar to the Cub Scouts and Brownies combined) for our youth age 9 and below is part of our world-wide Adventurer organization, and includes children from the community that attend just for the Adventurer club.
- Through our Pathfinders, every year before Thanksgiving we collect non-perishable food items from our community to make food baskets that we distribute to needy families.
- Our church adopted a local nursing home to which we minister. Every month our Pathfinders and Adventurers and others visit the residents and lead out in an hour of praise, worship, prayer, and special performances.
- We conduct yearly VBS (Vacation Bible School) activities for church and community youth during summer vacation at which there is always heavy community youth participation.
- Twice monthly we conduct AY (Adventist Youth) programs to which we particularly try to attract community youth.
- We have free monthly community concerts with local Christian artists typically not affiliated with the SDA church that we promote throughout the community.
- Since we meet for Church on Saturdays, on Sundays we are able to rent our Sanctuary to local church groups that worship on Sundays without a building of their own. Currently we rent to one group on Sunday mornings, and until recently we also rented to another group in the afternoons.
- We also rent our fellowship hall behind the church to organizations engaged in various community outreach programs.
Waldorf is a culturally and racially diverse community, and our church reflects that. Our pastor Volodymyr Grinchenko is from the Ukraine, and we have elders from Jamaica, Guyana, and of course the US, and our Music Minister is from Brazil. There are about 23 different nationalities represented within our 120 seat church; we also have a relatively high percentage of current duty or retired DOD families. We’ve moved to two services to try to accommodate everyone, but are unable to do so when we have special programs or have many community guests. We also have many young families (about 90% of our attendees are in their 50’s or younger – most are younger), and don’t have space for the associated youth and children to meet in their various Sabbath School classes on Saturday mornings. The adults have a similar problem.
While we have many ministries and outreach activities, our core mission remains attracting everyone to a deeper relationship with our God and with each other, and helping them take to heart the fact that we are saved by faith in Christ alone, and since our outward works is an indicator of our inward faith, God expects us to grow into morally responsible beings who reflect him and attract others to Him. All our ministries are in service to being this type of shining light within the community.
Our church sits on 5 acres on Rte 228 about half mile before the intersection with Crain Hwy – essentially in the middle of Waldorf on a busy thoroughfare. In 2009 Waldorf was the fastest growing town in Maryland, and as stated above, we have been the fastest growing church within our conference. We need to build a new facility to continue adequately serving our membership and our community. We have a 4-phase plan totaling $4.8 million, the first phase of which is a new sanctuary for $1.2 million. The other three phases comprise a gym, additional church classrooms, and a school.
Having played such an active role within the community, we are inviting community members to help make our vision a reality by contributing to our building program. Respond generously to our capital campaign; it will truly be a gift that keeps on giving back to the community. We plan to have several donor recognition programs including providing layouts within a church promotional publication, providing construction phase yard signs, and providing engraved name plates on a donor plaque. Please join us.