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Friends,

Thanks for all the great questions about our vision for 2020 and our hopes to launch CHS Downtown. We received over 200 questions so we hope you won’t mind if we don’t answer every single one of them. Below you’ll find answers to the most common questions and repeated themes. We look forward to continuing the dialogue as we trust God to reveal next steps.

What is the location?

Though nothing is final yet, we are considering renting the property at 434 Church Ave. for a period of 18 months in the hopes of purchasing it at the conclusion of the lease. If that does not work out we would consider the YMCA, Dumas Center or other venue, but right now 434 Church seems to be the best facility (when considering rate, location, condition of space and usability) – it is ready to worship in with no hauling of chairs, sound system, communion table, screens, bibles, projectors, etc., etc.

When would the service be?

The third service will be on Sunday evenings at 7pm. It will be a 70-75 minute service virtually identical to what we do at our main campus.

What is the launch date?

We are tentatively hoping to launch in March. We would have a soft start with special times of prayer and worship on March 8, 15 and 22. Our first formal service with teaching, communion and full worship would be held March 29. This is pending approval to lease the property.

Is this really a church plant?

No! We are very firm that our vision is not to plant a new church, but to hold a third service of Church of the Holy Spirit, in a new location, at a new time. We have neither the capacity nor the desire to plant a new church in Roanoke. Rather, we want to extend the work of our current church to a new location in the hopes of reaching a new audience.

Can this property become a new urban ministry outreach center that feeds the homeless and provides special services such as a low cost laundromat?

We are big fans of the mercy ministry done by others in the city such as the Rescue Mission. Because we recognize the expertise they have to fulfill these crucial services, we are honored to partner with them in spirit, work and financially. We currently donate $63,650 a year to the Rescue Mission and plan to increase that in coming years. We are in dialogue with them about ways we can continue to partner. We don’t envision that partnership will include attempting to duplicate what they do so well, but rather will focus on our specific mission and calling, namely to offer a third worship service where the Word is taught, the Lord’s supper is served, the people can gather and the Lord is worshiped.

Will there be childcare? 

We plan to offer a family friendly service where families, including small children, can worship together. We hope that families will come and bring their kids of all ages. The property has a large beautiful balcony where we anticipate some families might choose to sit so the more wiggly among them might have a bit more freedom. We do not anticipate having a separate room where workers will watch children. We will continue to offer our excellent childcare at the main campus.

What about parking?

The property itself doesn’t include a parking lot. However, there is ample parking nearby in multiple directions, especially on Sunday evenings. We are in dialogue with owners of the existing lots to seek permission to use their lots for this Sunday evening service.

Won’t this burnout our staff?

It definitely would if all of the ideas suggested in some of the questions were implemented! But our goals are a bit more modest. We aren’t planting a church, and we aren’t starting an urban ministry center, we are simply adding a third service. A large portion of the work will fall to Eric as he will lead worship, and Tim as he will be the primary teacher. They will be supported by the entire CHS staff team in numerous crucial, less obvious roles. Also, we are making some adjustments to Eric’s and Tim’s current responsibilities to create more bandwidth for them. The final reason we aren’t worried about burnout is you! As has always been true at Church of the Holy Spirit, the real work is done by the congregation as each one uses his or her gifts for the good of the body and the world for whom Jesus died.  

“Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.” Romans 12:4-8

How can I help?

Thanks for asking! We will need to work together to pull this off. Stay tune for opportunities to sign up to help in specific ways.

Will we be able to use the property for other events?

We anticipate that down the road we will use the facility for other ministry events such as Alpha, weddings, etc. The Lord may provide enough resources (money and personnel) to oversee the renting out of the facility to help defray our expenses, but auxiliary services and functions require much more oversight and work hours from our already busy staff. We want to guard our staff from the burden of having to run a separate ministry center. The priority in leasing is to provide a third worship service in the downtown area.

Who will oversee the offerings from the third service?

Financial oversight for the third service will be no different than the other two services. All giving, whether online, stock, check, cash or gifts in kind will be overseen by the CHS administrator subject to a yearly review or audit as well as monthly oversight from the finance Committee and vestry.

What will be the impact on CHS?

We pray the impact is to happily reclaim our original DNA of being a church that prays for, invites and brings unchurched and formerly churched friends to “come and see” Christ. 

We also want to prioritize our original practice of everyone in the church actively serving. We want these important parts of our original DNA to be for all members and attendees no matter what service they attend. Like Eric Liddell in Chariots of Fire who said: “God made me fast. And when I run, I feel His pleasure,” we believe that the more every man, woman and child at CHS lives into their call to be a Great Commission disciple, the more we will feel God’s pleasure. More importantly we will put a “smile on the Lord’s face” as His kingdom grows in number and depth. 

We do not intend to disrupt or diminish what we are doing at 6011 Merriman Road in any way. In summary, the desired impact will be what the Lord, through St. Paul spoke to the Thessalonians:  “And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all.”

Will the new service be different?

The location and timing will be different! The order of service, scriptures, sermon, liturgy and length will be the same . . . or at least as similar as the current services are to each other. The only difference we see is that the pastors may choose to wear collars rather than robes at the Sunday evening service. This is not to be cool or to make a theological statement but to minimize the work of the altar guild and to be in harmony with the venue setting.

That seems plenty long for one eNews! We will continue to keep you updated and will be excited to hear your thoughts as we trust the Lord to grow Church of the Holy Spirit into

ONE church, with TWO locations, and THREE services.

Tim