I’m Nick Cusick who along with my wife Ann and Craig and Patty Marmie, have the distinct privilege of serving as co-chairs of St. Michael’s Our Family, Our Faith, Our Future campaign.
For many of you, the effort to raise the funds necessary to continue to satisfy our growing parish’s needs began a short nine weeks ago. At that time, Fr. Borowiak and I spoke at all Masses outlining the case for moving forward with our ambitious plan to expand parish facilities.
In reality, the current vision began on February 12, 2013 at a joint meeting of the Parish Council, the Parish Finance Committee, the Parish Stewardship Committee, School Principal Denise Ray and Fr. Borowiak. A unanimous decision was made that for St. Michael to satisfy the facility needs of our parish, we must plan now for our future. That decision has led to our current plans and this campaign.
In April 2013, permission was granted by the Diocese to interview and hire architects to lead us though a parish input and planning process that resulted in the preliminary schematics, drawings and budgets not only of the proposed church but also the ultimate build out of our entire Worship, Education, Parish Life and Administrative space in multiple phases. Architects Clark Enersen of Lincoln and RDG of Omaha were hired and began working with us that same month.
In September, 2013, four members of our parish, Jill Jensen, Doug Curry, Patty Marmie and I began meeting regularly with Fr. Borowiak plotting our pathway.
As a part of the planning process over 200 parishioners attended Town Hall meetings and over 300 completed online and hard copy surveys in October 2013.
As you might imagine with over 775 parish families, there was a wide diversity of input on how and when we should proceed. Over a six-month period beginning in November 2013, 60 fellow parishioners took on the difficult and time consuming task of reviewing, sorting and consolidating all the input, with the guidance of the architects, into a Programing Report that was presented to the parish at Town Hall update meetings and made available on our website in June 2014.
Armed with a long term facility vision, in July 2014 the difficult task of deciding how to proceed was assigned to a Prioritizing Committee consisting of approximately 16 parishioners, all who had been active participants in the prior subcommittee efforts.
It was the unanimous recommendation of this committee that St. Michael move forward with planning for construction of a worship space worthy of our growing parish and its 108 year history, and to satisfy our educational needs with quality portable classroom space which now is in place overlooking our sports fields.
In August 2014, St. Michael received permission from the Diocese to begin a combined Capital Campaign to include participation in the Diocesan wide Campaign.
We soon after hired CCS, a campaign consultant firm, who has a long history of organizing capital campaigns in the Lincoln Diocese and who is currently the consultant on the Diocesan-wide Joy of the Gospel campaign.
So where are we now almost 25 months since that first meeting?
- Over 400 parishioners have provided valuable input into the process in a variety of forums.
- Over 60 parishioners have served on facilities planning sub committees.
- Approximately 70 parish families participated in one-on-one campaign study interviews.
- 14 parishioners including Brad and Lori Koehn, Tom and Marty Novotny, Jill and Dave Jensen, Ted and Janna Sasse, Doug Curry, Loren Kampschnieder along with Patty and Craig Marmie, Ann and myself and Fr. Borowiak and Fr. Clark have served as the Campaign Leadership Team.
- Over 160 parishioners have made their own sacrificial gifts and have spent thousands of hours reaching out to fellow parishioners seeking additional input, answering questions and requesting their spiritual, emotional and financial support for our efforts.
- 14 parishioners have, in many cases stepping outside of their own comfort zone, spoke of their personal passion for our efforts at Masses the last eight weeks.
- In addition to the time and talents of parishioners already mentioned, over 420 or 53% of our parish families have stepped forward and said “yes” to the call to financially support our campaign.
- Today, March 22 pledges not equal in size but hopefully equal in sacrifice now total over $6 million of the $10 million needed to begin actual construction of St. Michael, The Archangel Church. Our Campaign has come a long way from the first sacrificial pledge to the campaign made by Father Borowiak to me on September 15, 2014.
Were you a member of St. Michael in 2010 before our current facility became a reality? Ann and I were, and we remember that the five weekend Masses (especially the two Saturday night Masses and the two late Sunday morning Masses) were standing room only with some parishioners and their kids actually standing in the small kitchen without any ability to actually participate actively in the Mass. Ann always encouraged me to get to Mass 15 minutes early to avoid sitting in what she referred to as the “potty lobby” next to the restrooms.
Take a look around the worship space we now use. Conservative forecasts of future St. Michael growth indicate that we will have as many as twice the parishioners by 2022. Imagine having twice as many Mass attendees in the Commons OR carrying chairs to the gym every weekend and sitting on bleachers for Mass.
I applaud Fr. Borowiak for his vision in taking on the difficult task of insuring not only today’s needs are met but also for planning for our future.
For those of you who have already made your own sacrificial gift, I say thank you. For parishioners who the campaign team has not yet reached or who are still considering a gift, I ask you to anticipate your own feelings when you are sitting in our new church having not been part of something so great as building a place of worship.
I repeat for the final time what has become our unofficial campaign rallying cry asking each of you to consider these two important questions.
IF NOT NOW, WHEN?
IF NOT ME, WHO?
Thank you for all your efforts on behalf of St. Michael parish.