St. Andrew's by the Lake Builds New Partnership
St. Andrew's by the Lake expresses thanks for the $2000 grant that ECMN and Council made available to St Andrew's. For the last several years many of the rooms in our education wing have gone unused, partially due to the pandemic and more due to the fact that we have very few youth in our congregation. We had been exploring different ideas (such as a daycare) to better use that space. At a recent event we asked the CHUM development director Gracia Swenson if she knew of any organization that needed office space.
(CHUM is Churches United in Ministry, a non-profit whose programs serve more than 8,000 low-income, homeless, hungry, isolated, or otherwise marginalized community members each year.)
Her reply? CHUM did, and they were actively searching for office space for an expansion of their development and grant writing team.
We then began the process of discovering if we had enough space for their needs and if the members of the Bishop's Committee and congregation would support this use of the space. As many of you likely know, it can be very difficult to make big changes like this in a church. But the folks at St. Andrew's stepped up to the plate and hit a home run. After a couple of meetings and some very thoughtful questions, the members of the St. Andrew's Bishop's Committee voted unanimously to offer up a significant portion of our education wing for CHUM to use rent free for a year.
CHUM leadership and the St Andrew's leadership team signed the agreement and recently held a blessing of the office space.
What role did the relief funds play in all this? It removed the financial barrier that may have prevented us from taking this step! These funds paid for the removal of old furniture that had accumulated in that space, it purchased paint and supplies to freshen up the spaces, and it will pay for a new lock and key system to keep the building secure and allow for easy access for CHUM staff. In other words, those relief funds took care of all the financial needs to make this partnership a reality.
Our hope is that this one year relationship will be a fruitful and positive experience for everyone involved and that in about 8-10 months we will be able to offer CHUM a multi-year contract so they can continue using St. Andrew's as office space to raise funds to support the important work that they do for folks experiencing homelessness in the Duluth area.
With our gratitude and thanks!