Part of what makes Habersham a special place is its priority on design. Town design and Architectural design. There were standards written to guide design when Habersham began. These standards are meant to provide predictability in the aesthetics of the neighborhood. These aesthetics put emphasis on proper proportion, scale, authentic materials, common sense sustainability, and local vernacular. Some of these priorities may cost more money when compared to budget building techniques, but the benefits include improved longevity, a building that is pleasing to the eye and respectful to its surrounding context. As a church, these benefits are in line with our operational goals. We want a sense of permanence, to reflect God’s beauty, and to love our neighbors. So, it is a way for our building to reflect who we are.
In addition, The Parish Church has been gifted a prominent location in this beautiful neighborhood, and as a civic building, we have a responsibility to be a beautiful example of the architectural principles upon which Habersham was built.
As Bishop Edgar said on his visit to us: “We shape these buildings, and in turn they shape us.” Therefore, the shape, scale, and functionality of this church are very thoughtfully considered by our highly skilled design team.
Our mother church is St. Helena’s Anglican Church in downtown Beaufort SC. They have the vision to raise up worshipping communities in Beaufort and beyond. The Rector, Shay Gaillard, extended the call to Jamie Sosnowski to come there for the express purpose of being sent out to start a new church pant. As we began services, St. Helena’s blessed residents of Habersham and Bray’s island who were formerly members there, as they were sent out from St. Helena’s to found The Parish Church. Trusting that the Lord was in it. Moreover, they have been resourcing all of our operations for many months financially and with their staff member’s time. They have committed to support our clergy salary through the end of 2023. There is no doubting their commitment and sacrifice to us.
Our Diocese is the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina. It is made up of nearly 50 parishes around the state under the leadership of Bishop Charles Edgar. While there are other denominations where the construction of churches is planned and facilitated by the Diocese, that is not the case with ours. Each parish sends a percentage of their annual budget to support the ministry of the Diocese.
They do not carry millions of dollars of reserve monies in their accounts. What they do have they use to do ministry as they follow the call they have discerned from God. We are not the first worshipping community that they have resourced, and we don’t expect to be the last. They are living into their vision, and we must live into ours. Building and using this space to love God and love our neighbor as ourselves.
We fully expect to meet our goal of securing the funding required to close on the property and to break ground this year. However, should there be twists and turns that we don’t expect, we still will need a sanctuary in the near future and we feel called to be here in the neighborhood as our identity. Therefore we would seek to acquire another property perhaps deeper in the coming development phase, and continue to raise funds to that end. Either way, we must raise the funds to continue to grow beyond a Sunday service and into the Church God is calling us to be.
While regular giving to the general operating fund is an important piece of membership and healthy for Christian life in the context of our church community, our main focus in these months will be the Building on Faith campaign. Should you only be currently able to give to one, it is more helpful to choose the Building on Faith campaign.
It is worth acknowledging that we are unaware of other church plants who have moved from their first service to building their church this quickly. We know it is a tremendous sacrifice for all of us given our current size, and we take that very seriously. But we must also acknowledge that we have seen the Lord work to bring us to this point. And the opportunity is open to us right now where waiting till later would create a much harder pathway to the same goal. So it is a stretch, but one we can reach, and then hold as we grow further into who God has called us to be. For I am sure that others will join in as we begin construction and as we consecrate this building for worship of our Lord Jesus.
Yes, I can think of nothing more necessary. We plant churches because it is the most effective way for new people to meet with Jesus. The people who have begun this work felt called to it by God. This sanctuary is vital for the future ministry of this church. We have loved being outdoors and that will always be a part of our DNA. We will look for frequent opportunities to worship outdoors again even after we have a building. However, the beautiful place where we were is being developed now and is owned by someone else. This new lot is set aside for us in. We need a permanent place to be who we are.
The call of God
The future of church
The medicine of the soul
The outpost of ministry