In 2004, members of Zion Lutheran church merged with Prince of Prince, designating use of their 1.9 acre church property and building on Payne Ave in San Jose for Pueblo de Dios, a Lutheran spanish speaking mission congregation. Prince of Peace agreed to supplement Pueblo’s funds to pay the mortgage for the first five years of operation. After 12 years, Pueblo was unable to support mortgage and maintenance of the building on their own, the attendance had declined significantly after their founding Pastor left the congregation, and the ELCA was no longer able to subsidize the Pueblo Pastor’s salary. This left Prince of Peace with a land asset and crumbling building. Pastor Sara’s hours were increased to full time (from 75%) to manage the process of closing down Pueblo and preparing the building and property for next steps.
The Prince of Peace congregation voted to sell the property in 2016. After a long process, the sale closed in July 2017, resulting in approximately $4.7 million “windfall” for Prince of Peace. The Windfall Committee was formed to make recommendations to the congregation how the funds should be used. The congregation still votes on distribution of funds.
After a series of focus group studies the Windfall Committee recommended that the congregation use the funds from the sale of the Payne Ave property to purchase a parsonage (home for Pastors to live in). Currently we are meeting to plan how to achieve a similar level of engagement and cohesion around both the savings/use of the remainder of these funds. We believe this is an opportune time for some work examining and articulating our shared mission.
The group’s name has been changed to Godsend Task force to emphasize that these funds are not just a happy accident.
We are organizing and will be hosting a series of conversations during Lenten worship services, encouraging us to focus on the mission this church has for this valley and the world. We will be collecting information through these sessions with the goal of creating a vision for the use of these funds which has the support of this congregation. We are aiming to have this project completed by the Congregational Elections Meeting in late May or early June. However, congregational buy-in must be achieved before any voting will be requested.
Listening Station Questions
Task Force Mission
Our role is to do the research and community consensus gathering around the best, long-term, sustainable use of fund from the sale of the, former Zion property.
Task Force Members
No regular office hours due to mandatory self-distancing.
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