Sacred Places Summer 2009 - Page 3

TABLE OF CONTENTS 4 Update on Partners 9 FEATURE STORY: 14 FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR 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 Penitentury Professional Alliance Spotlight: AltusWorks 15 17 18 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 ABOUT PARTNERS 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 Services Include: 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 overcome. • 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 Chicago Offices. 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 regional conferences. • Publications. Some of Partners’ books include: - Your Sacred Place Is a Community Asset: A Tool Kit to Attract New Resources and Partners - The Complete Guide to Capital Campaigns for Historic Churches and Synagogues • 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 properties. 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