Pentecost Spirit launches FCC’s 350 FUND

Pentecost Sunday, May 19, 2024, marked not only the celebration of the birthday of the church, when the Spirit of the Lord descended in wind and fire upon the followers of Jesus Christ. It also marked the launch of FCC’s new 350 FUND campaign, a six-year effort to better serve Bristol’s wider community through collaborative mission programming and the restoration of the sanctuary as a meeting place for all. Pentecost was described in the book of Acts as a day declared by God when “your sons and your daughters shall … see visions, and your old ones shall dream dreams.” And since we at FCC Bristol have been “dreaming dreams” about our future, Pentecost seemed like the perfect date to celebrate our new plans.

This spring, members of the congregation have been exploring how our church could live into our mission of serving others and expand the number and ways we were able to help people, by seeking out partnerships with other community organizations to provide spaces for needed services, or by starting new service projects run by our own church members. We also explored ways in which we could build on already existing uses for our buildings, and to explore new ones. We discovered that expanding our missions and making better use of our historic buildings held the potential for revitalizing our church and making a real difference in the lives of those around us.

The 350 FUND seeks to inaugurate new mission projects and to raise $350,000 by FCC Bristol’s 350th Anniversary in 2030 to fund the new initiatives as well as the repair and painting of the sanctuary for expanded public use. Caroline Jacobus, chair of the 350 FUND campaign, displayed our campaign fundraising tracker with the help of Chuck Ramos. Even before the official launch, almost 10% of the total goal has been pledged.

Jim Sapp, Chair of the Facilities Committee, described one of our new projects — the building of a large, light-weight model of the 1856 FCC Bristol stone church as a float for the July 4th Parade in 2025. This float will be designed so that it can be easily reassembled every year. Both parishioners and interested members of the wider community are invited to join the team. Whether you already have construction or painting skills, or want to learn a few, you are invited.

The Rev. Dr. Nancy Soukup blessed a second exterior sign, inviting everyone to join with us in our efforts to build and strengthen the wider Bristol community. This sign was hung by the congregation as one of our first acts of outreach. We have plans to reach out in other ways to learn from others what the current needs of the community are and how we might be able to help meet them.

Join us. Together we can make a difference for the entire Bristol community. That is FCC Bristol’s dream. Come help make that dream a reality.

To learn more about the 350 FUND, go here.

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