With God’s blessings through the commitment and generosity of the church family, College View Church in Lincoln, Nebraska, has paid off their nearly $6 million renovation project.
This journey began in the mid-2000s when CVC leadership saw a need for more space for ministry. The church needed a dedicated space for youth and young adult ministries, Pathfinders, an updated fellowship hall, additional rest rooms, and space for storage.
The addition was completed in 2008 and has become an important space for ministry for the local congregation, in addition to hosting many community events. Heartland Hall—the fellowship hall added as part of the addition—is utilized 10-20 times each week in addition to usage each Sabbath.
The church family worked to pay off the addition over the past decade. At the beginning of 2018 the finish line was in sight, and members came together to pay off the remaining amount. The congregation celebrated this milestone during worship on Sabbath, Sept. 15, 2018.
One of the most exciting aspects of the campaign to pay off the loan was the willingness of young and old to participate in the project. CVC believes it is vital for young people to witness the coming together of a large church toward a common goal.
Terry Bock, retired CVC associate pastor, and Elaine Hagele, retired Mid-America Union treasurer, marked the occasion by symbolically burning the loan note.
“As we burn this note you’re going to see some smoke rising, and I want you to think of incense rising to the throne of the Lord,” said Hagele. “And this will be our offering of thanksgiving for the mercies, for the generosity of the Lord to this congregation. As we finish this debt, we’re able to more adequately focus on what we’re here for in this community.”
At the end of the service the congregation viewed a recorded message from Rachel Cruze, daughter of and collaborator with Dave Ramsey of Financial Peace University. Over the past 15 years more than 200 people have attended Financial Peace University classes at CVC, and Cruze congratulated the congregation on the accomplishment of becoming debt-free.
“Absolutely incredible!” said Cruze. “Stay motivated, stay encouraged and keep going. Congratulations and keep up the hard work.”
Mission, vision and rebranding
As part of CVC’s dedication to impacting the church family and surrounding community, the church board crafted new mission and vision statements.
Mission: To involve joyful followers of Jesus in changing our community with love.
Vision: Worshipping God, growing together, living out His love.
After the mission and vision were identified, the pastoral staff and communication committee worked on a complete rebranding. This included a new church logo and website, updated signage and a redesigned bulletin. This assessment of CVC’s core values and rebranding process have led to new opportunities for outreach.
You can see the results of CVC’s rebranding by visiting CollegeViewChurch.org or following CVC on Facebook and Instagram
When Lincoln’s Sunday farmers’ market was searching for a new location, CVC offered use of their parking lot starting last spring. The College View Farmers’ Market serves thousands of people in Lincoln each Sunday from April through October. The market fills up the church parking lot every week with fresh produce, cooking demonstrations and people from all walks of life.
Harold Alomia, lead pastor of CVC, says, “In connection with the rebranding of our mission, we have been able to provide our physical space for the local farmers’ market, which has enjoined us to the community in a different way.”
Pastor Alomia believes it has magnified the church’s presence in the community in a positive way. “That’s just a physical manifestation of our rebranding and reiteration of our mission statement.”
Potluck on Prescott
While CVC offers many opportunities for small groups to gather for social events, ministry and Bible studies, it is challenging to get the church and Union College family participating in one event together. CVC and Union College created a solution by starting an annual event called Potluck on Prescott—a fun, community-building activity that CVC has now hosted for eight years. The young adults in the Union College/College View community have the opportunity to see their church come together each year to prepare a feast.
Last September CVC blocked off Prescott Avenue to set out tables, hundreds of chairs and food for everyone in attendance. Families brought casseroles, salads, pastas, desserts and more to feed over a thousand people.
When the second worship service ended, people lined up along the stained-glass window in the lobby at the back of the church and worked their way up to the food. Approximately 1,300 people were served in a mere 33 minutes. That sets a new record for the number of people fed at this annual event, according to Rich Carlson, Union College chaplain. This event is just one more way CVC is living out its calling of showing hospitality to the community.