Presbyterians Today

OCT 2018

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OCTOBER Pr e s by te r i a n s To d ay builds community, welcomes the poor, provides service, has space for nonprots to come together, and lives fully the commitment that it is all about mission. It was a moment when Bultena says he saw what the Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, II, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), has been calling "the kingdom of God." Contagious passion "I believe when we really live out the call of God on our lives, then some really big and incredible things can happen. This church is not doing this project out of desperation or to stay alive. They are doing this because of their passion for mission — that passion drives all their desires," Bultena said. "As I introduce people to the building project of Sanctuary Village I often ask a question: What if a group of people passionate about mission — a church — were to take all they had and develop it in such a way that it becomes a village where everything that happens there gener- ates more mission?" One answer he offers to that question is that the church is often looking back 50 years, thinking that was the nest hour of this church, when this very moment, and living into this dream, may indeed be the nest moment in the life of The Sanctuary Church. "Other churches and pastors in the Presbytery of Tropical Florida are very interested in what is hap- pening because it touches us deep — we are ready to really do something more than decline; we know God has more in store for us," Bultena said. Groundbreaking for Sanctuary Village is expected to start at the end of this year with the construction of a $20 million housing project. Sherry Blackman is the pastor of Presbyterian Church of the Mountain in Delaware Water Gap Pennsylvania Right now, the land is fallow. There is very little public marine space in Fort Lauderdale; most of it is private, so this will open up the opportunity for the public," Gray said. "This is the kind of project that the presby- tery should support as it will provide ongoing revenue far into the future for the mission of the church." The presbytery has indeed part- nered with the session to see this dream come to fruition. "Sanctuary Church was a church in decline and then a few years ago caught the wind of the Spirit that mission is their point of contact with how God is moving in the community. In an effort to truly live missionally, the church has fully embraced its calling to live into, and even create, a place where community is for all God's people," said the Rev. Dr. Daris Bultena, general presbyter. Bultena was invited to participate in the "Master Plan Workshop" that Gray held with the church's session. During that workshop, he sat back and watched the session members express their desire for a place that establishments and restaurants, health care facilities, schools, ofces, outdoor education and a place for the celebration of the arts. Every business would give a small percentage of its prots to a mission of their choice that impacts the community. "This is how to do church — to experience God in a multitude of ways, with the church at the center," Black said of the idea. One of the rst things Black had to do was consult a land planner to see if his vision could in fact become a reality. The Presbytery of Tropical Florida provided a loan to the church for the session to work with a land planner and help them consider what God might be calling them to do with the church property. Landscape architect and urban designer Kona Gray, of the global rm EDSA (which has its world head- quarters in Fort Lauderdale), was approached. "The eight-acre campus is a valuable piece of property. Developing it responsibly is a way to be a good steward of the land. By highly utiliz- ing it, it will leave a legacy for the future," Gray said, adding, "I told Rev. Black that yes, we absolutely can do this. It's a fantastic project that will transform and provide space for the church and for the community." The Sanctuary Church borders the highly trafcked U.S. Highway 1, but the church itself is not visible from the road and most people aren't even aware the church exists. Its waterfront borders on Middle River, which joins New River that runs into the Atlantic Ocean. With climate change and global warming on the minds of most Floridians, the property will be developed in such a way as to improve and preserve it for the present time and for the future, Gray says. "We look at all the in¢uences of the land design for resilient landscap- ing, making it better than before. I believe when we really live out the call of God on our lives then some really big and incredible things can happen This church is not doing this project out of desperation — Daris Bultena

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