Grant Award to Gethsemane Lutheran Church 07-17-2011
The Mission Investment Fund of The Evangelical Lutheran Church (ELCA) has awarded Gethsemane Lutheran Church a Poverty Grant in the amount of $25,000.
The monies will be used to upgrade commercial kitchen and video equipment in the new Hope Center, which will be completed in the Spring of 2012.
In granting the award the Mission Investment Fund had written:
“We at the Mission Investment Fund are deeply moved that your congregation is proceeding with plans to expand your kitchen as you transform the Hope Center – and expand your outreach to those most in need in downtown Seattle. Best wishes as you complete the meaningful project.”
Earlier Press Releases
The Seattle Times: Last service for Gethsemane 10-04-2010
"Last service for Gethsemane Lutheran before big changes", by Katherine Long, Seattle Times Staff Reporter
For years, parishioners at Gethsemane Lutheran Church in Seattle welcomed the needy with a variety of services: a shelter for homeless men, a free-meal service on Saturdays, an array of social-service help.
But the church, which owned a chunk of valuable downtown property, began to ponder about doing something much bigger.
Sunday, the church held a last service at Stewart Street and Ninth Avenue before temporarily closing its sanctuary and beginning a $20 million project to dismantle its offices and build a community-service center, shelter for homeless women and children and 50 units of low-income housing.
"It's an unheard-of situation, that a church could combine affordable housing on top of its own building," said Jean Anderson, a congregation member and vice president of Gethsemane's Church Council.
Since office towers began springing up in the Denny Triangle neighborhood where Gethsemane has been since 1901, the shrinking congregation has been debating what to do with its brick complex, which is about 50 years old. The land was becoming more valuable, the needy more numerous.
Gethsemane, which says it's the oldest Lutheran church in the city, could have sold its choice real estate and moved to the suburbs, said interim pastor Maynard Atik.
Instead, the members voted unanimously to remain across from the downtown Greyhound bus terminal and find a way to make a bigger difference to the neighborhood's transient population.
"When I heard this building was going to be taken apart for the homeless and the displaced, I thought, wow, these people walk the walk, they don't just talk the talk," said member Elizabeth René, who had been seeking a new place to worship. She started going to services at Gethsemane about a year ago.
René, who is blind, formally joined the church Sunday and was welcomed into the congregation along with her guide dog, Alvin, a yellow lab.
The brick sanctuary is being shuttered 15 months while the adjoining offices and meeting spaces are torn down and reconstructed. During the project, the sanctuary will get a small facelift, including a skylight and reconfigured pews.
When the five-story project is completed, it will include 50 low-income apartments built in partnership with Compass Housing Alliance.
Gethsemane Community Services, in the lower floors of the new building, will provide support services for low-income families.
Mary's Place will offer shelter for homeless women and children, and the church will continue its "Soup & Movies" program, which serves the homeless a warm meal while showing a movie every Saturday.
Gethsemane is funding $6 million of the renovation with proceeds from the sale of its parking lot.
The church has started a capital campaign to raise $4.5 million for construction and ongoing social services and expects the center to serve more than 15,000 people annually.
"We want to be a place where you can get help if you want to," said member Raymond Hedberg, 95, a retired Lutheran pastor from St. Paul, Minn., who has been a strong advocate of the reconstruction plans. "We hope it will be a bright light shining in this downtown place."
While the construction is going on, church members will worship across the street at a meeting space on the 11th floor of a Seattle Children's research building.
The sanctuary will be shuttered and its organ wrapped to prevent damage during construction.
Sunday, at the end of the service, music director David Barela sat down at the bench of the congregation's towering Fritts organ to play a toccata by Charles-Marie Widor one more time before the congregation is temporary displaced.
As the last notes echoed through the sanctuary, the parishioners stood and applauded enthusiastically. A few had tears in their eyes.
Announcing Gethsemane's $20 Million Community Service Project
Gethsemane Lutheran Church is pleased to announce its plans to move ahead with a $20 million new construction and campus renovation project, with groundbreaking set for January 2011. Capitalizing on an opportunity to extend and refocus its community service programs through the sale of its parking lot, Gethsemane set aside more than half of the proceeds for affordable housing, social services, and the renovation of the Church campus. Gethsemane has deep roots and a long-standing commitment to serving the homeless having operated both men and women’s shelters for many years.
Gethsemane was a founding member of LATCH (Lutheran Alliance To Create Affordable Housing) in 1988 and plays a significant role in the accomplishment of Seattle’s "Ending Homeless in Ten Years" initiative that is dedicated to providing the homeless with a safe, secure home. The partnership that has been forged with the Compass Housing Alliance is a remarkable expression of its commitment to serving the underprivileged in Seattle. Gethsemane is the oldest Lutheran congregation in Seattle, recently celebrated its 125th anniversary and remains committed to serving the urban needs of the Denny Triangle and Seattle at large.
Gethsemane’s Partnerships with Compass and Mary’s Place
Gethsemane’s partnerships with Compass Housing Alliance (formerly LATCH) and Mary’s Place/Church of Mary Magdalene are making a project of this scope possible. This is truly an act of mutual commitment and cooperation. Leasing the air space above the current north face of the church allows for construction of five stories of affordable housing. This project requires demolition of current structures, and affords Gethsemane the opportunity to improve and update its worship and meeting space. Providing the congregation and community with more flexible worship and gathering space is a significant benefit consistent with the overall thrust of the project.
The New Hope Center
Together, Gethsemane’s Community Services and Soup & Movies programs, and Mary’s Place, constitute the new Hope Center. This 10,000 square foot area, located in the lower level of Gethsemane’s campus, affords the opportunity to expand Gethsemane’s current social ministries to a wider spectrum of community care for Seattle’s homeless and disadvantaged.
Olson Kundig Architects
With consideration for the current re-development of the Denny Triangle area, acclaimed architects Olson Kundig are developing aesthetically stunning design considerations for the exterior and the first two floors of the new building. Teaming up with SMR Architects to design the five-story affordable housing unit and the Hope Center, CMS Keller for construction management, and RAFN Construction Company, Gethsemane is confident it has the very best partners to complete this significant project.
$20 Million: Total Cost of the Renovation and Construction Project
The total cost of the renovation and construction project is $20 million. The $11.5 million 50-unit affordable housing, through Compass Housing Alliance’s efforts, is funded largely through state, city and county funds. Gethsemane’s congregation, through the sale of its parking lot, is funding $6 million. The balance, plus a Hope Center sustaining fund, is being raised through an ongoing capital campaign.
G.L.C. Partners on $20 M. Social Services and Housing Project
Seattle – May 3, 2010 – Gethsemane Lutheran Church today announced that it is moving forward with plans for a $20 million construction and renovation project which will break ground in January 2011. This landmark project, located on Gethsemane’s downtown campus, will be developed in partnership with Compass Housing Alliance and Mary’s Place of the Church of Mary Magdalene. The project includes expanded worship and meeting spaces for the congregation, 50 new affordable housing apartments, and a 10,000 square foot Hope Center which will provide expanded social services to the downtown community.
Gethsemane, the oldest Lutheran congregation in Seattle, has a long-standing commitment to serving the urban needs of the Denny Triangle and Seattle at large, and the church has operated both men and women’s shelters for many years.
The Gethsemane congregation has long been committed to serving Seattle’s downtown community and this renovation and expansion marks one of our most significant contributions to our community,” said Jean Anderson, Immediate Past President of Gethsemane. “We are committed to ending homelessness in Seattle and together with our partners at Compass Housing Alliance and Mary’s Place we are now able to provide additional help to house, comfort and support those in need. ”
Compass Housing Apartments at Gethsemane will be located in a five story addition to be constructed above the north face of the church. The apartments are targeted to low-income downtown workers who need safe decent affordable housing that is close in proximity to jobs, services and amenities.
Housing at the apartments will be available to individuals and families with incomes below 30 percent, 50 percent and 60 percent of the King County Area Median income. Ten apartments will also be available for people with disabilities, and another ten will be available for individuals who are homeless.
“We are thrilled to have reached such a meaningful partnership with Gethsemane and to be able to provide much needed affordable housing to the downtown core,” said Beth Boram, Compass Housing Alliance Property Development Director
In addition to affordable housing, the project also includes the development of the Hope Center, a 10,000 square foot area located in the lower level of the campus. The Hope Center will expand Gethsemane’s current social ministries to provide a wider spectrum of community care for Seattle’s homeless and disadvantaged. It will include Mary’s Place and Gethsemane’s Community Services and Soup and Movies programs.
“Mary’s Place is pleased to not only continue our mission but to expand our services to match the needs of our growing population at Gethsemane Hope Center,” said JJ Mckay, chairman of the Mary’s Place Transition Team. “Our continued partnership will benefit not only our ladies, but the community at whole.”
Mary’s Place provides a welcoming and safe environment where women and children can build community, enrich their days and find resources to rebuild their lives. Available resources include vocational, housing, financial, health and spiritual services.Until the Hope Center is complete, Mary’s Place will be relocated from its current location at Denny Park Lutheran to a larger temporary home in Belltown with an expanded family center for those in need.
The project is scheduled to break ground in January 2011 and be completed by February 2012.
The total cost of the project is $20 million. Gethsemane is funding $6 million of the renovation with proceeds made from the sale of the church’s parking lot. An additional $11.5 million for the Compass Housing Apartments is funded by numerous partners including Impact Capital, the City of Seattle Office of Housing, King County Developmental Disabilities Division, Washington State House Trust Fund, and the Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program of the Washington State Housing Finance Commission. The remainder of the cost, as well as a Hope Center sustaining fund, will be raised through an ongoing capital campaign.
The project team includes Olson Kundig, who designed the exterior and the first two floors of the new building; SMR Architects, designers of the five-story affordable housing unit and the Hope Center; CMS Keller for construction management; and the RAFN company as the general contractor.