As some of you may know, RISE is a United Methodist faith community. As such, beyond your generous donations, we are supported and funded, in part, by the Virginia Conference of the United Methodist Church. The UMC owns the house that we call the RISE Mission House (located on the corner of Mason Street and Martin Luther King, Jr. Way). The UMC allows us use the building so long as we take maintain it. We use the RISE Mission House for offices and it houses our ministries (Love Packs and RISE and Shine.
Earlier this year the Board of Higher Education let us know that they are in the early stages of discerning the future of campus ministry buildings. It is their hope to relieve themselves of building responsibilities in the coming years. The hope is that the buildings would be owned by the local churches. They asked for our input and our leadership spent many months thinking about this important decision. And, this really got us dreaming! We started dreaming big!
We have discerned through lots of “what ifs”, questions, and conversations with God that the RISE Mission House is a building and we are a movement. A building is stationary. We are not. Thus, we need to be on the move. We need a place that will move with us, grow with us, and transform lives with us. In short, we looked at our mantra of “Mending God’s Creation Together” in order to determine how this building fits into our missional community. We decided that we need to think big! We need less walls and more options.
So, we have decided to allow for the Board of Higher Education to place the RISE Mission House on the market and we are excited about our future! We will likely be looking into a new space that will house our ministries in a big way – Remember our dream of a non-profit bakery that will feed more than our carb-craving bellies, but the souls of our community, too? A bakery that will employ immigrants and refugees who desperately need help navigating the complex employment system in America? Those dreams are still so alive and helping to guide this process.
This is just the first step, but that’s about all we know right now. We will continue to worship at the Court Square Theater and nothing will be functionally changing at the moment. We will be sharing many more details in the coming weeks as they become clearer and you will be the first to know!
So, here is where you come in – We need help! We are forming a team to help guide this transition and we’d love to connect with your gifts!
We are also sure you will have questions about this and we want to answer! Kelsey Marker, RISE’s Director of Operations, will be overseeing this exciting project and you can email your questions or interest in getting involved to her at email@example.com