Q: When will the renovation be complete?
A: We anticipate beginning the renovation when Loaves and Fishes vacates (no later than January 2021) and anticipate renovations taking no longer than 6 months. We hope to be using the newly renovated AOC for new programming by Fall 2021.
Q: Why are we focusing on children, youth, and young adults? Isn’t our congregation mostly older?
A: Growing old happens naturally. It is our default. We see the effects when we look in the mirror and when we look around our congregation. With age comes wisdom and beauty, maturity and deep roots. We value these qualities. Prioritizing young people and their families does not mean that we ignore senior adults or sideline relevant missions, but sometimes it does mean making tough choices about resource allocation. For a church to remain vital requires effort and the energy that young people bring. The truth is, every church needs young people. We need their curiosity, authenticity, freshness, and fruitfulness. For our church’s sake, we must engage people ages 15-29 like never before, so that we can all continue to grow—spiritually, emotionally, and missionally. More than this, Jesus, who is our pattern in ministry, went out of his way to heal and minister to children specifically (See Mark 5:21-43, 7:24-30, 9:14-29, 9:37, 10:13, etc.).
Q: Why "Young Life; " isn’t that Baptist?
A: No. Young Life isn’t Baptist; it was founded by a Presbyterian pastor. But more to the point, the world in front of us is not like the world behind us. We live in a world in which denominational distinctives are becoming less important, and where partnerships with sisters and brothers of differing theological convictions are becoming more important. Strong ministry to millennials means strong partnership with Young Life (non-denominational), Chi Alpha (Assemblies of God), and Tapestry (United Methodist, Episcopal, and Presbyterian), among others.
Q: What about college students? Shouldn’t we be doing more with APSU?
A: Though our connection to the APSU campus (and, prior to that, Southwestern Presbyterian University) was once strong, in recent years we have lamented our lack of active ministry to APSU students. Now, without intention or coordination, we have begun to provide a home to a growing number of APSU interns, who are using their varied gifts and talents to make valuable contributions to FPC, augmenting their academic studies in a real-world ministry context. With some intentionality, we believe that these interns, along with new partners like Chi Alpha and Tapestry ministries, will develop into a vibrant cohort for spiritual growth and service, providing a mutual blessing to the students, the wider community, and to the FPC congregation.
Q: The AOC looks fine. Why does it need to be renovated? Isn’t this just a waste of money?
A: Yes and no. The amount that we have allocated for renovation of the AOC recognizes that "build it and they will come" works best, perhaps only in baseball movies. We do not have to have the biggest and best and most modern facility to create a vital ministry for children and youth. (In fact, our plan is to rejuvenate our ministry with children and youth before the newly renovated AOC becomes available for new ministries in late 2021.) However, the facility is 20 years old and has had constant, heavy use. It needs a facelift—and in some places more than that. The renovation will be simple. It will add windows, a more aesthetically pleasing and inviting facade, and a more welcoming entrance. Some of the space on the main floor will be redesigned and repurposed for life after Loaves and Fishes. Upstairs restrooms, which have been destroyed through constant, heavy use and abuse, will be completely renovated; all of the floors, walls, and fixtures will be refreshed. It is clearly important, especially for youth, to feel ownership of a particular space and it is important for parents of young children that the facility be safe. It is with these requirements for expanding ministries that we will plan the renovation.
Q: How will the congregation be involved in decisions about how to renovate the AOC?
A: Marshall Duncan, a member of FPC and an architect with Lyle Cook Martin Architects, will lead a process for defining the architectural program and designing the renovation. The sketches that accompany the campaign are an initial conceptual rendering and floorplan, but no decisions have been finalized and the congregation, especially those involved in ministries to children and youth and their families, will be invited to provide input at various points along the way.
Q: Will we still maintain a commercial kitchen at the AOC?
A: We have not yet made this decision. If we do, it will be because we have identified specific needs related to ministry and mission that would require a second commercial kitchen.