Any day now!

I spoke with the GM of the AMC Newport 20 Theaters yesterday (Thursday).  Things are moving along just fine, but the corporate office had asked for a few more pieces of information from us, which I was glad to provide.  One of the questions was concerning how long we'd be willing to commit.  One of the advantages to using a movie theater is our potential for growth.  With seating capacity in some theaters up to 450, there probably won't be an imminent need to move on due to a shortage of space.  This makes us more open to long-term commitments (maybe 6-12 months), which is an all-around win for all involved (less moving for us, more consistent income for them, badda-bing, badda-boom).

I also took the opportunity to inquire about possibly renting two theaters each week.  Our research shows that 76% or more churches using movie theaters for worship services actually use two theaters - one for the worship service itself, and the other for Children's Ministry needs.  Even smaller-sized theaters offer plenty of space to use for multiple purposes, so this may be a better option for Children's Sunday School classes than the conference rooms we saw on Monday.  I'm confident we'd be able to work with either, but wanted to explore that opportunity while I had him on the phone.  Again, he was very kind and more than willing to make the inquiry.

Doug said he thinks he may have numbers as early as today (Fri) since he now has all the information the corporate office needs.  If we think the proposal to be doable, it's my sincere hope to have something signed by early next week (after the Labor Day weekend).  Yup...I'm pumped, too.  {;-)

Oh, one last thing.  If you were hoping to incorporate the word "popcorn" into the name of the new campus, that's probably not going to happen.  Someone in Springville, IN, beat us to it (yes, I'm serious).

Keep praying!

Love & thanks,

Pastor Peter

An Encouraging Word from "Main St."

In my sermon last Sunday, I asked people to express their interest in Grace Fellowship | Newport via our website so we'd be sure to have an accurate count of who thinks they want to come with us, and it what capacity (Marine, Missionary, or "Main Streeter,").  There's a comments section on the WuFoo form that people use to ask questions, drop an encouraging note, and sometimes express some rather detailed this sister did:

Name *********
Email *********
Which One Are You? *Main Streeter - I live in the area, and want to make this campus my new church home.
Comments/QuestionsI am so excited this is happening. My boyfriend and I drive for 45 min or so so we can be at the service every Sunday. We have wanted to engage in small groups and even pre engagement counseling but we work alot and go to school too, and that makes it really hard to get involved. I can't wait for small groups in the area and I already have so many of my friends invited to come with me. I've been looking for a place to serve for so long! Such a blessing, please let me know when things start happening. Prayin for it!

Keep praying!

Love & thanks,

Pastor Peter

Two Great Meetings!


As I mentioned yesterday in my sermon, I had two very important meetings on my agenda for today (one scheduled, and one hopeful).  The first was at the Newport Aquarium's Riverside Room, a venue that continues to be a possible location for us to use for our Sunday AM worship services.  This location only has two separate rooms for our weekly use, and ideally we'd like three (one for worship space, another for Nursery Ministry, and another for Children's Sunday School).  Late last week, we learned we'd be unable to rent space in the Community Center (located in the Levee building itself), which I was hoping to supplement the space at the Aquarium so we'd have enough room for all we'd want to do.  Our meeting to day was to take another look at the Levee and see if we'd be able to work with the space they had available, even though it was one room short of what we were looking for.

I was joined by my wife and three kids, Todd & Cindy Richmond, Brad & Janelle Spence, Lee & Candace Nordine, Ken Long, and Jackie McFadden.  I so appreciated their perspectives and input as we looked around to see how we might use the space if we end up meeting there.  In particular, I was very encouraged by the ladies among us as they shared their creative ideas as to how we could make the space work for the children we'll have with us (current data shows ~30, the vast majority of which are under 12-years-old).

One concern that remains is how disproportionate the rooms are to each other.  As creative and as flexible as we'd like to be, the fact remains we'll run out of space for children long before we run out of space for adults.  While the worship space could hold upwards of 200 adults, the space we'd be using for our young people would not hold the children that would come with their parents.  This remains a challenge to think through, but not necessarily a deal-breaker.

Todd joined me for my next meeting was at the AMC Movie Theater.  I referred to this as a "hopeful" meeting because the only plan I had was to make the acquaintance of the General Manager with whom I had a lengthy telephone conversation on Friday.  I didn't know if it would be anything beyond that given his schedule or availability.  It was everything I'd hoped it would be and more.

Doug was overly kind and accommodating.  He took the time to show us several different theaters we could possibly use, some conference rooms that may be available to our use as Sunday School classrooms, the full-size loading dock and freight elevator we could use for anything we'd need to bring in each week, AND...possible storage space for us to use.  Every banquet hall, conference room and meeting space I'd seen thus far would require us to be 100% portable (which means we'd be bringing in everything, every week).  This is the only "move-in ready" location to date that has offered storage space to us, and a very nice amount of it, too.  He even offered to help us think through signage lest people come to the ticket window looking to purchase admission to our church services (a few corny tithing jokes came to mind, but I refrained).  Todd & I were very encouraged with what we saw, and very grateful to God for how he blessed our somewhat impromptu meeting & tour at the theater.  We're waiting on Doug to work out details with the powers that be, and hopefully we'll be receiving a proposal to review, negotiate, and hopefully sign off on soon.

All in all, it was a very good day for this Campus Pastor and his faithful team. We're looking forward to what God has in store for us in the days ahead.  I'll be sure to keep you posted.  Also, if you haven't already done so, be sure to "like" us on Facebook and Twitter.  I'll be updating those as well. 

Thanks for praying, and don't you dare stop!  {;-)

Love in Christ,

Pastor Peter

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