About this time last year, conversations with Jeff Coppage, pastor of Covenant Moravian Church, York Pennsylvania, were really beginning to point in the direction of a capital campaign. We actually started talking in 2014, dreaming about a plan to celebrate the congregation’s renewed interest in mission and outreach. And a very important 50th anniversary would occur in 2015. In 1965, two congregations of modest means, Bethany and Olivet Moravian Churches, joined to form a new congregation, Covenant, a name to reflect their shared commitment.
As with most small congregations, finding the money to underwrite new ministry and mission is hard to come by. The church leadership began to think about resources that would be freed up if the church didn’t have a mortgage payment every month. Could their small congregation pay off the remaining $50,000 mortgage and begin the next 50 years debt free?
In June of 2015, I met with the church leadership and we began to make plans for a feasibility study to find out if this was possible. Over the next few weeks we worked to craft a Vision Statement for the project and schedule interviews with congregation members. In mid-September I had the privilege of meeting with nearly thirty members to hear their opinions, suggestions and best ideas for the future ministry of Covenant. And the important question: “Can the members of Covenant Moravian raise $50,000 to pay off the mortgage by the 50th anniversary celebration in November?” The answer was a resounding “Yes”. The other important information gathered in the feasibility study underscored the vitality and creativity of the Covenant members who love their church and their pastor, and are excited about what the future holds.
I quickly opened an email from Jeff that arrived at 1:36 pm on Sunday, October 25. These words only: “Capital Campaign is now $50,005”. Well Done! The New Covenant Capital Campaign was a success on many levels but most of all it was an opportunity to experience gratitude and generosity.