TABLE OF CONTENTS
4 Update on Partners
9 FEATURE STORY:
In his article on Calvary Methodist Church (p. 9)
Richard Kirk makes the observation that Calvary’s
history has been intertwined with Partners, and
indeed that is true. The struggle to identify and
pursue a new course for Calvary and the work to found
and build Partners all started in 1989. And while
it’s true that Partners has played a role in Calvary’s
turnaround, it’s also true that we have learned a great
deal from Calvary over 20 years.
Revival at Calvary
Funding Brief: Stepping Up
Rather Than Putting Off
Technical Brief: Synagogue
Restoration at Eastern State
Professional Alliance Spotlight:
Indeed, we often say that Calvary Methodist is a great
poster child for our cause. Its journey from crisis to
triumph is truly inspiring, and we include Calvary’s
story in our New Dollars/New Partners training from
coast to coast.
Professional Alliance Directory
Partners for Sacred Places is the only national,
nonsectarian, non-profit organization dedicated to
the sound stewardship and active community use
of America’s older religious properties. Founded
in 1989 by religious, historic preservation and
philanthropic leaders, Partners provides assistance
to the people who care for sacred places and
promotes a greater understanding of how these
places sustain communities.
Partners’ Programs and
But what, really, were the ingredients that were critical
to Calvary’s success? What factors made it possible for
Calvary to come all this way, and how replicable is that
success for other congregations? As an observer and early participant in the process,
here are some of those factors that I’ve seen at play:
CLARITY AND FOCUS ON MISSION. Calvary made sure that the use and restoration of
its building was rooted in the congregation’s mission and values. Moreover, the church
and Calvary Center set clear overall goals for the project and stuck with them, even
when taking on new tenants, programs and partnerships.
STRONG LEADERSHIP. Rich Kirk and Ruth Meachem were part of a small circle of
leaders who brought a high level of energy, vision, and tirelessness to Calvary. When as
few as two or three people provide strong leadership, a challenge like Calvary’s can be
Training. New Dollars/New Partners for Your
Sacred Place is an intensive program that gives
congregations with older buildings the skills
and resources to broaden their base of support.
PATIENCE AND PERSISTENCE. Folks like Kirk and Meachem brought a focus to
Calvary’s challenge that has been consistent and unstinting for twenty uninterrupted
years. A leader who fades away after a few months will have limited impact.
Regional Offices. Partners offers training,
technical assistance and capital improvement
grants through its Pennsylvania, Texas, and
ENTREPRENEURSHIP. Calvary has been open to new programs, new alliances and new
ways of doing things. A stodgy, conservative approach is usually not effective.
Workshops and Conferences. Partners’ staff
speaks on a variety of topics at national and
Publications. Some of Partners’ books include:
- Your Sacred Place Is a Community
Asset: A Tool Kit to Attract New Resources
- The Complete Guide to Capital
Campaigns for Historic Churches
Information Clearinghouse. This web-based
resource provides information related to the
care and use of older sacred places. (www.
Advocacy Initiatives. Partners works with
civic leaders, funders and policymakers,
urging them to adopt policies and practices
that provide new resources to older religious
COMMUNITY-MINDED PARTNERING. Calvary has welcomed opportunities to
collaborate with congregations of all faiths as well as other non-profit organizations,
realizing that its assets and strengths would go further when connected to other assets
and strengths. This asset-to-asset approach is at the heart of what Partners teaches in
our New Dollars program.
GOOD COMMUNICATION: Calvary has kept communications flowing with
its members, building users, project supporters, and the neighborhood. Good
communication helps create a welcoming atmosphere and a stronger community.
STICKING TO THE FUNDAMENTALS. Throughout the process, Calvary has not
permitted programs or esthetics to overshadow essential building needs, like
stabilizing walls and fixing roofs.
TENDING TO APPEARANCES. This is a corollary to “Sticking to the Fundamentals”!
Once a building has been stabilized, it’s also important to do things that are visible,
encouraging and motivating. Calvary has dramatically improved its landscaping,
erected handsome signage, and lit its Tiffany windows, lending col