New, yet the same
“The pandemic didn’t alter history; it simply advanced it.”
“Stop the world; I want to get off….”
While the first statement gives us a rational explanation of the changes in our world, the second statement explains our emotional experience. More recently, however, I have reflected on God’s words to Habakkuk in response to his tremendous disappointment with the state of the world he lived in.
“Look at the nations, and watch – and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you wouldn’t believe even if you were told.” - Habakkuk 1:5
All of us can agree that, even if we were told about this pandemic two years ago, we likely wouldn’t have believed it. Even so, our faith teaches us that this pandemic is under God’s control, and He is acting in ways that will one day amaze us.
Though much has changed, our mission has stayed the same.
We still believe that the gospel of Jesus Christ is what changes lives and that our mission is simple:
Help.People.Find.Their.Way.Back.To.God or #HPFTWBTG :)
The values we have leaned on from the beginning of Project 938 are the cornerstones of the kind of church we want to become – one that is a part of the healing and renewal of our world. In the face of increasing loneliness and isolation, we will build community. In the face of exhausting despair, pain, and hopelessness, we will strengthen faith. In the face of division and the increase of contempt, we extend compassion.
So, we believe it is time to begin again.
We celebrate four new things in the life of our church:
1. We have new facilities
We have a new ministry HQ in downtown West Chester at 17 South Church Street (come see us). And, we have a new place to worship on Sundays at the Knauer Uptown Center for the Performing Arts (226 N High St). There, in this fantastic facility, we will have five in-person gatherings this summer leading up to our Homecoming on September 12, where we begin weekly gatherings.
2. New Team Members
We have grown our commitment to the next generation with Graham Bowen (Students) and Kristin Kondratowski (kids) leading out to build ministries to disciple the next generation. Walter Kondratowski has moved to full-time status and will serve as our Director of Worship, building music teams for Sunday and our production teams for 938Online. Zach Bennett is now anchoring our staff as our Operations and Communications Director. On Sundays, you will see him assisting with Connections (formerly Impressions) and assisting in Worship Ministry at the drum set.
3. We have a new name (Wait, what?)
Yes, let me explain. We have discussed the possibility of shifting from the early days, when our “project” hit a place of maturity, to change to a more long-term name. We began chatting this up in the early spring of this year. It became a pretty solid consensus that we were ready to take this next step. So, on September 12, we will officially become 938 Church. When we invite people to be a part of our community, we want them to undoubtedly know we are a church – a church where they can experience the love and compassion of Jesus. We are holding onto 938 because we believe that the story of Jesus must be our guiding story.
4. We have a new logo and icon!
We chose this icon because it demonstrates how we believe the cross is the hope for our world. Set into a pallet of varying stones that remind us of our historical community, the bright blue cross expresses our hope in the renewal of all things through the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Your giving has made this and so much more possible. Yet, there is still much more work to do:
Your faithfulness in giving in the most challenging season of ministry has kept services running online, pastoral care flowing, and a renewed passion for serving our community with the love of Christ. As we turn the corner into the next season of the life of our church, will you consider giving to 938 Church to bless our community in one or more of the following ways:
● Become a regular giver. Regular givers enable us to strategize with the confidence of increased capacity.
● Increase your regular commitment: If God has blessed you with more, would you consider investing more deeply in Jesus’ work through 938?
● Fuel our outreach towards our Homecoming in our new location: We gather weekly at Uptown starting September 12th, and your one-time gift can enable us to fund our efforts to connect to our community in the following ways:
● Postcards – Many of you joined 938 because you received our postcard. Make new friends by investing in one, two, or three postcard mailings - $4,000 to mail one postcard to over 15,000 homes
● Yard Signs – Fund the purchase of 50 yard signs to be placed throughout our community - $1000
● Banner over Market Street – One extra-large banner can be used 2-4 per year - $1000
● Google Ads – Many people looking to go back to church will go to Google and have the opportunity to experience us through 938online or our other online offerings before attending in person - $500 campaign
● Posters – Posters hung at local businesses and community centers throughout our community - $250
● 938 Church Website – We will refresh our website with new colors, photos, videos, language to help people find their way back to God - $3000
● 938 Church Swag – Fund the next generation of 938 church pens, T-shirts, stickers, and magnets - $500 per swag
● 938 Online Ministry Director – Yes, this is pricey. Still, our next step to taking our digital impact to another level is hiring the right person to passionately pursue Jesus’ harvest who are connecting with us online - $20k per year
As we study the book of Acts this summer, I hope this becomes a summer of hope for you and that you see in 938 Church a place that gives hope to you, your loved ones, our communities, and our world. To all who are local, I look forward to seeing YOU in person on a Sunday very soon.
With great hope,
P.S. Project 938 is a 501(c)3 organization. To make an end-of-year tax-deductible donation to Project 938, you can mail a check (made payable to “Project 938”) using (101 East Gay St. Unit 3465, West Chester PA, 19381). You can also give online at 938give.com and make a note in the online memo which fund your donation will go towards.