For Immediate Release
April 30, 2017
Sarasota, FL – Approximately 600 members and friends of Church of the Redeemer gathered on Sunday evening for a very special celebration. Those in attendance viewed pictorial memories from the congregation’s rich history and listened to music while visiting with other members and enjoying drinks and hors d’oeuvres. Located at 222 S. Palm Avenue in downtown Sarasota, at the corner of Ringling & 41, this church began its ministries in 1885. Not only a resonant space for Episcopal worship, the church has traditionally provided a home for a variety of community groups.
In keeping with the church’s history, the theme of Redeemer’s multi-million-dollar campaign is: CHRIST IS OUR FOUNDATION. The work to be done, including improvements to the campus through a new Center for Christian Education building, increased parking, renovation, and a new Chapel, will benefit not only the congregation, whose numbers continue to grow, but also the many organizations that meet under that roof. The program began with a couple of songs by the children and youth. Gussie Haeffner, Vestry Senior Warden, shared her appreciation to the many vestry leaders and members who have served Redeemer over the years. As evidence that the stated goal is within reach, Campaign Chairman Robert Morris shared on behalf of the campaign’s steering committee, the astonishing news that over $4M had already been raised from less than 100 families.
Contributing to the excitement of the day’s event, which was held in the church, the Gillespie Fellowship Hall, in the many tents outside and on the veranda, was Fr. Robinson, who delivered the main address. He emphasized “This is a holy project, inspired by the Holy Spirit, and entered into for the greater glory of God.” He shared a moving speech depicting members from the previous church location, whose families changed others by taking a leap of faith to build on this present site in 1950. Afterward, members told Glendon Smith, James D. Klote & Associates (JDK&A) Capital Campaign Director, “The Rev. Charleston D. Wilson lit the fuse of energy for achieving our goals!” Remarks were overheard that the celebration provided a “great chance for members from all 5-worship services time to enjoy tasty food, have fun, and fellowship together.”
Glendon said “We have raised over 4 times what has been raised in prior campaigns, and did it from less than 7% of the members. This is such a wonderful group of people, Redeemer is a warm embracing place, and I will be saddened to leave when this campaign is finished.” The capital expansion campaign is scheduled to continue until the remaining members have had own their personal visit by a friend of the church. It commenced with a series of focus groups in which Fr. Robinson, said to the parish, “What is your vision for the future of Redeemer?” Their answer is now clearly seen: to unite in prayer to renovate the church and build a Center for Christian Education so that, from this strengthened base, they will become a resource for hope and transformation in The Greater Sarasota area and beyond.
With offices in Falls Church, Virginia; Chicago, Illinois; Los Angeles, California; and Toronto, Ontario, James D. Klote & Associates is the largest full-time, on-site stewardship consulting firm in North America. For additional information, please contact the firm at www.jdklote.com or (800) 360-2315.
JDK&A Consultant Glendon Smith (right) with The Very Reverend Fredrick A. Robinson, Rector (left)