Ronald Commons Project

After snow forced us to cancel the Grand Opening on February 6th, a huge crowd enjoyed beautiful weather on February 17th!

 

 

Pastor Kelly Dahlman-Oeth kicked off the ceremonies, welcoming everyone and giving some of the history Pastor Paula McCutcheon’s vision that was embraced by the risk-taking faithful people of Ronald United Methodist Church.

 

 

Because the Grand Opening was rescheduled so quickly, neither Pastor Paula McCutcheon nor Bishop Elaine Stanovsky were able to attend the Grand Opening due to previously scheduled commitments. Pastor Kelly received an award for Pastor Paula’s vision and leadership.

 

After bringing greetings from Bishop Stanovsky, Pastor Kelly offered the following invocation:

“God of many names, known by many faiths, known as power and love, known in part and still unknown,
We give thanks for the vision you give us that all should be fed, all should be housed and all should be welcomed.
We give you thanks for courageous visionaries who move boldly move ideas forward.
We give you thanks for risk-taking congregations who act on their compassionate hearts.
We give you thanks for generous donors who are ready even now to reach into their pockets and write another big check.
We give you thanks for our neighbors, those who have moved in, those who will move in, and those who will continue to sleep on the streets until yet another faithful visionary, compassionate congregation and generous donor are moved to step up once more!

(When three subversive pastors conspire…Rev. Bill Kirlin-Hackett, Rev. Rich Lang and Rev. Kelly Dahlman-Oeth.)

Bless us and all who will come to this place for decades to come. Bless us all that we may indeed be a blessing to others.
In the name of love that is eternal, love that does not discriminate, love that knows no borders! Amen.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ronald Commons features:

  • 60 affordable apartments, including 12 for veterans and their families, owned and operated by Compass Housing Alliance.
  • A 12,000 square foot integrated service center with support programs and a food bank, owned and operated by Hopelink.
  • A remodeled Ronald United Methodist Church, offering and expanded presence and a wider range of resources to the community.

What is Ronald Commons?Girl Holding Plant

Ronald Commons is a unique partnership between Ronald United Methodist Church, Compass Housing Alliance, and Hopelink to build 60 units of affordable housing, with on-site support services, as well as 10,000 square foot food bank and services center for Hopelink’s Shoreline operations.

How did the Ronald Commons project come to be?

Three years ago, members of the Ronald United Methodist faith community gathered for a day of visioning, a powerful time when many wonderful dreams about ministry, witness and presence were named.

Following that day, a Vision Task Force was formed to begin crafting a new Purpose of Ministry Statement and a new Vision Statement that would help discern and define these dreams and provide a spiritual blueprint for going forward.Our Purpose of Ministry Statement became:

We are a responsive, respectful faith community reaching out in service to the needs of those around us with understanding, unlimited compassion and Christ-centered support.

Our Vision Statement became:

Our vision of sustainable ministry is to be a center of hospitality, hope and service, responding to the spiritual and basic needs of our community.

It was during the time that these statements were honed that the members of the Vision Task Force, through prayer and discernment, began to feel strongly the need to explore the possibility of stewarding our back lot as a site for a project that would meet the needs of marginalized peoples through a greater ministry of witness and presence in the community.

Did Compass Housing Alliance come to you?

No. We reached out to Compass Housing Alliance, one of the state’s most experienced non-profit developers of affordable housing, to partner with us on this journey. We also reached out to Hopelink, with whom we’ve had a long-standing relationship, and with these two agencies formed a unique partnership to provide a ministry of witness and presence in our community

The congregation, after nearly three years of discussion and prayer, overwhelmingly agreed to share a portion of the land that God owns here in Shoreline for Ronald Commons, which will include affordable housing and support services, and space for a food bank and other social services to be administered by knowledgeable and caring professionals so that assistance is delivered in the most effective way.

Did the church do this for financial reasons?

No. We did not make this decision for financial reasons. The church is financially sound. It was our vision to use the back lot to meet the needs of people we see on a daily basis at our doors — people without jobs, food, clothing, or shelter. People who are often without hope.

The proceeds from the land sale will be used to  modernization the church so it can be better used for small and large worship services, and has improved communal space that is flexible and adaptable for meetings and performance events, as well as improved commercial kitchen, classrooms and office space. This is so we may be an even greater resource to our community.

What do you mean by resource?

Ronald United Methodist Church provides rental space to a variety of non-profit organizations as well as individuals. The church is home to a summer feeding program, and a holiday gift program for food bank clients. We provide  space to art groups, social clubs, a foreign language school,  counseling services, and faith-based fellowship groups. Additionally, we provide facilities to individuals hosting wedding receptions, birthday parties, memorials and anniversary celebrations. We frequently have more requests than we can fill.

By improving our facility, we see our spiritual and fellowship mission enhanced by a building that is more flexible and accessible to the community. We see a future for us in a building that has no barriers. And we see a mission field at our back door where our purpose of ministry can be fulfilled.

Contacts:

For questions about RUMC and its mission, please email Phyllis Johnson, chair of the RUMC Building Committee at: RUMCbuildingcommittee@gmail.com

For questions about Compass at Ronald Commons and Hopelink at Ronald Commons, please see
Get to know our partners:
Compass Housing Alliance
Hopelink