The Edmonds United Methodist Church congregation has authorized the sale of approximately 2.1 acres of property directly east of the church buildings on Caspers Street and 9th Avenue, “to better focus on its ministries and to serve the community,” the church said in a news release.
Church leaders said that selling the property has been under consideration “at various times” during the past 10 years. The church congregation approved the sale by a consensus vote March 2, the release said.
“The cost of maintaining the underdeveloped property, including taxes, is substantial,” said Kurt Schauermann, a member of the task force to study property sale feasibility. “Throughout our history we have followed a conservative principal of limiting debt, and pay as you go.”
Added the church’s Senior Pastor Dr. Kathlyn James: “Our remaining acreage will be more than sufficient to sustain our current membership and anticipated growth in the future. What we do here is not only for us; it is for future generations.”
The capital funds generated from the sale will be used in the following ways, church leaders explained: eliminate the building mortgage and interest payments incurred when the church was last expanded 10 years ago; expand the church maintenance reserve fund, which was depleted in 2012 when a more-efficient furnace system was installed; and grow the church endowment fund by investing in more productive assets.
Leaders said the sale will free up operating funds to maintain, grow and expand church ministries that include the Carol Rowe Memorial Food Bank, which serves 1,500-2,000 people each week; the Debbie Leraas Children’s Center and and the mobile health clinic and van that provides free health care for the uninsured. The Bill Hardman Pea Patch, which provides produce for the Edmonds Food Bank operations and is now located on the property to be sold, can be relocated to vacant land west of the church, leaders added.
“We chose an outright sale of the property, rather than developing it ourselves, which is not our core competency,” explained task force member Lauren Ellis. “We have been advised that under current zoning, seven lots at 12,000 square feet each could be provided. A number of professionals in the community will be donating their services to maximize effective management of capital funds for the church.”
Cheryl Hay, EUMC’s Financial Administrator, described the church’s finances as “currently very sound. We have just completed the most successful stewardship campaign for operations in several years. Our church community continues to be extremely generous and faithful. This sale will provide flexibility and stability for our many ministries for the future.”
You can learn more about the EUMC’s history through this previous My Edmonds News story written by Eric Brotman here.