Friends & Family of Good Shepherd,
We pray this finds you well. You have been re-directed to this page and are receiving this communication because, at some point along the way, our paths crossed. You might have once attended Good Shepherd but circumstances caused you to move away, you may be a BU alum, or you may be a part of our online community through sermons, bible studies, podcasts, or Matt & Anne’s social media presence. In one way or another, we consider you part of the extended family of Good Shepherd and are grateful to be a part of your lives.
We are currently in the middle of a three year Capital Campaign initiated in order to settle the outstanding debt on our mortgage. As we approach the end of 2019, we invite you to consider Good Shepherd’s Capital Campaign for your year-end giving.
Though the Capital Campaign is moving into its second year, this is probably the first you have heard of it. The focus of Phase One has been to raise $100,000 within the local worshipping body of Good Shepherd. So far we have raised over $40,000 and are on track to reach our goal by September 2019. We would be honored and grateful if you would join us in Phase Two—reaching out to all those people who have an affection and care for Good Shepherd’s ministry here in Binghamton. Phase Three will unfold early in 2019 in the form of an Artisan Craft Fair.
Of course, we cannot ask you to participate in a Capital Campaign to pay off a substantial sum without explaining how we came to acquire this debt. Church of the Good Shepherd, as some of you know, was established in 1873 in the Episcopal Diocese of Central New York. The congregation worshipped at 74 Conklin Avenue from 1873 until 2009. In 2002, Matt and Anne, fresh from seminary and enthusiastic, moved to Binghamton to serve Good Shepherd, a struggling congregation of less that 50 worshipers, most of whom had little knowledge of scripture or Understanding of the Gospel. Matt and Anne began with first one bible study, and then two, adding daily morning prayer, systematic preaching through the scriptures, and a small community soup kitchen. Slowly, the church began to grow.
One year after Matt and Anne began their ministry, the Episcopal Church confirmed the election of the first non-celibate, partnered gay bishop. Gene Robinson was consecrated Bishop of New Hampshire and the whole Anglican world was thrown into crisis. For the newly revived Good Shepherd, this proved a formidable trial. Because of the Episcopal Church’s embrace of false teaching, Good Shepherd’s vestry and congregation respectfully communicated to their bishop that they could not continue down this unbiblical path. In 2006, when the Episcopal Church, at its General Convention, affirmed its decision over the objections from the World Wide Anglican Communion, Good Shepherd took painful steps to leave the denomination.
In the fall of 2006, Good Shepherd initiated formal negotiations with the Diocese of Central New York for the purchase of her historic property for $150,000. Initially this conversation was friendly and a protocol for an amicable parting of ways was drafted. But after a year the process broke down and the Diocese sued Good Shepherd for all her property and assets. A two-year legal battle ensued concluding with Good Shepherd’s loss in court. On Sunday, January 11, 2009 the congregation worshipped one last time in the old building and then handed over the keys of the church and the rectory to the Episcopal Diocese of Central New York.
On Tuesday, January 13, 2009, Msgr. Michael Meagher called Matt to offer St. Andrew’s Roman Catholic Church’s newly vacant rectory as a temporary place to live. St. Andrew’s had recently merged with St. John’s, a block from the old Good Shepherd, and Msgr. Meagher himself had just moved. He had opened up the paper that morning and read the headline of Good Shepherd’s loss. On a frigid Thursday Matt, Anne, and the children, with help from the whole congregation, moved into a comfortable, spacious, well heated house. That Sunday the congregation worshipped in Baptist Church’s gym, but the following week, Msgr. Meagher insisted the congregation gather for the foreseeable future in the old St. Andrews.
Within the year, by the gracious generosity and kindness of Msgr Meagher and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse, Good Shepherd was able to purchase a 400-seat sanctuary, a school, a rectory, a large parking lot, and a storage facility, appraised at close to one million dollars. The Catholic Diocese of Syracuse dropped the price by half, and after a down payment, Good Shepherd acquired a mortgage of $350,000.
One year after winning the lawsuit, the Episcopal Diocese of Central NY sold Good Shepherd’s former property for 1/3rd the price Good Shepherd had offered to an Islamic Awareness Center.
Good Shepherd has been worshiping at its new location, 360 Conklin Avenue, for close to ten years. The new building and location has served to facilitate numerical growth and community outreach and provides a platform for Good Shepherd to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to serve those in need. What seemed in 2009 to be a calamitous loss turned out to be the story of God’s abundant providence.
You can chose to click here to listen to an interview with Matt and Anne about the events mentioned above.
LOOKING TO THE FUTURE
The goal of the Good Shepherd’s Capital Campaign is to settle the remaining mortgage of $300,000. The diagram above provides a broad overview of our 3-Phase plan. We hope to eradicate our debt in bite sized fashion—the congregation, extended family, and the wider public… each contributing to the overall goal.
If successful, the $35,000/year that we spend on debt and interest will be used to facilitate the spread of the Gospel in Binghamton and beyond. We will better fund our free weekly community supper, social outreach ministries, support our seminarians, invest in missions and church plants, and fund necessary upgrades to our existing building. Our prayerful desire is to put Good Shepherd on an economically sound foundation for the work of the Gospel in the world.
Phase one will continue throughout the campaign as the congregation continues to give. During Phase Two we are seeking support from Good Shepherd’s extended family. Through a one time donation, weekly or monthly gifts, and/or yearly pledges, we invite you to help us reach our Phase Two goal of $100,000.
You can choose to give directly to the campaign online by clicking on this link: GIVE to the Capital Campaign at Good Shepherd. You will also be able to find it under the “Give” tab on our website.
You can also send contributions by check directly to The Anglican Church of The Good Shepherd at 360 Conklin Ave. Binghamton, NY 13903. Please make a notation on your check that you would like your donation to be applied to the Capital Campaign. All contributions are tax-deductible and a thank you and receipt will be sent to you.
We are so thankful for you and your connection to Good Shepherd. Your commitment to the Gospel and support of the Good Shepherd throughout the years has already been a vital encouragement to the ministry here. Whether you are able to give or not, we count ourselves blessed to be a part of your lives. May God bless you and keep you and give you his gracious and perfect peace in the year to come.