In the past week, we've reached out to our friends via social media with a special request. We asked for $40,000 in online donations to make our Tabernacle dream a reality. In 2012, our Tabernacle was a symbol of God's love and grace, and it was open to EVERYONE. We want to extend the same radical welcome in 2016.
So far, more than 60 people have chipped in, and we've raised $6,150. WOW! Thank you so much, friends!
We're confident that, if enough people heard about this need, we would raise the remaining $33,850 and beyond. But that means we have to keep telling the story. Can you help us spread the word? We've created a Twibbon campaign that allows you to...
- Add our logo to your Facebook profile picture
- Tell family, friends, and followers about us on social media
- Send an email to your contacts
Can you go public with your support for LYNC?
Help us to say it loud and clear: it's time for an inclusive church. It's time for #JustLove.
In the past week, we've received several excellent questions about our fundraising campaign. We'd like to take this opportunity to answer them...
40K seems like a lot of money for a tent. Why do we need so much?
Portland is an expensive town. It will cost us 6K to rent the space for two weeks (a gravel parking lot) and about 25K to rent a 50'x90' tent, flooring (for accessibility), a stage (for our speaker series), tables and chairs for 300, a generator, and lighting. We've got a generous donor who is providing a sound system. We're saving money by not renting port-a-potties because the parking lot is right across the street from the convention center bathrooms. That leaves us with 9K to hire food trucks to come and provide meal options for our supporters, guests, and 300 volunteers. Even if we reach our fundraising goal, it's going to be very tight. We are really trying to be good stewards of peoples' gifts!!!
We've had four years to prepare for this. Why are we asking for money at the last minute?
Since General Conference 2012, the coalition's leadership team has been pursuing less public ways of fundraising (grants, pledged giving, etc) and we raised most of the money for our budget that way. That's because we didn't want to pass the burden to our wonderful grassroots supporters. We understand the weariness of being asked again and again. But recently, several major pledges came in much smaller than expected. So we find ourselves with a shortage at the last minute, and we need to scale back expenditures. We've already signed contracts with two staffers and with hotels, so we can't cut back in those areas. The tabernacle is the next biggest line item on the budget. We have considered cutting it as an austerity measure. But it was such a symbol of hope at GC2012 that we're heartbroken by the idea. So we've turned to a grassroots campaign as our last-ditch effort. We are sorry it's happened this way, and we're not proud of it.
Where will the Tabernacle be?
God willing, it will be in a vacant parking lot across the street from the Oregon Convention Center and next to the Max station. This is a great strategic location, because it's right between the delegates' hotels and the convention center!
Will there be food like there was in 2012?
We're planning to hire local food trucks to provide meals for our volunteers, guests, and friends. It'll be a true taste of Portland! There will be gluten-free and vegetarian options, along with meals that feature rice. However, due to our budget shortage, people may need to purchase these meals themselves. (Believe us, we don't like it either.)
Are we planning a speaker series?
Yes, if we can have a Tabernacle, we will have a lunchtime speaker series during the second week of General Conference. We're not sure who all the speakers will be yet. If you're curious, you can download our app to get information in real time as it becomes available!
Thank you so much for your patience with LYNC's leaders. We are working overtime on these projects because we believe in an inclusive church. We think that, by offering love and grace and hospitality to everyone, we can help to create a cultural change in our denomination. Our goal is to be as transparent as possible, because this movement would not exist without our grassroots supporters. If you've got questions, concerns, or ideas, please reach out to us on our Facebook page. We read and respond to every message!