When are we moving?
Our first Sunday in the new location at Asbury United Methodist Church, 4202 Thys Road, New Port Richey, will be July 1st. We are moving out the week prior. Monday & Tuesday (June 25-26) will be packing days; Wednesday, June 27 is the big moving day; and on Thursday & Friday (June 28-29) we will be putting things away. We will need as much help as we can get, especially on Wednesday. Saturday, June 30 will be the audio-visual/tech/worship setup day.
What will Sundays look like?
8:00 – Breakfast served by Joining Hands – Fellowship Hall
9:30 – Discovery (Joining Hands) Worship Service – Fellowship Hall
9:45 – Children & Youth Sunday School – Rooms 1-4
9:45 – Adult Bible Study – Conference Room
11:00 – Traditional (Asbury) Worship Service – Sanctuary
11:00 – Adult Sunday School – Parlor
6:00-8:00pm – Youth Hangout – Fellowship Hall & Outside
Things To Know:
1. There will be adequate food, parking, and smooth sharing of space.
2. There will be opportunities for transportation and new worship experiences.
What will be different for the Joining Hands congregation?
The only real change will be Joining Hands worship time starting earlier at 9:30am. This will give Pastor Mary some free time between services. As a result, breakfast will begin a little earlier at 8:00am.
What will be different for the Asbury congregation?
Nothing. The regular Sunday schedule remains intact. The only difference is that there will be new friends to meet, and there will be more opportunities for worship, bible study, and transportation to/from church.
Will we still provide transportation to and from church?
Yes. Jimmy is working out the details and will contact the usual bus riders. The north route will be north of Moog Road. The south route will include those around the church and further south. Once the transportation for Joining Hands is worked out, we can then address needs in the Asbury congregation. And of course we are always looking for more volunteer drivers!
Will Pastor Mary Ashcraft still be our pastor?
Yes. She will also be the new pastor for Asbury’s congregation. This is why she needs some extra time between Sunday services.
Will each church maintain their existing committees?
Yes. The exception will be the Trustees Committees. They will meet together as one group to facilitate logistics. The Covenant Group will continue to meet monthly for the first quarter, then quarterly or as needed.
Who is paying for what?
Following a joint meeting of the financial personnel of both churches, the Covenant Group has agreed on the following breakdown of expenses:
- The property has two electric meters — one connected to the Sanctuary and one connected to the Fellowship Hall. Because most of Joining Hands’ activities will take place in the Fellowship Hall, Joining Hands will pay the Fellowship Hall’s meter. Likewise, Asbury will pay the Sanctuary’s meter.
- Expenses split 50/50: water, sewer, garbage, lawn care, pastor’s salary, parsonage expenses.
- Each church will continue paying for its own janitorial services.
- Pest control is to be determined.
Utility accounts will remain in Asbury’s name; Joining Hands will reimburse its portion. After three months, the financial teams will meet to review these arrangements and make any adjustments as necessary.
Why are we moving?
Months of prayer and discussion have brought us to this decision. This question has a multi-faceted answer. The lease on our current location ends in July, and rent (which is already high because we are on Highway 19) would be increasing upon renewal of the lease. In addition, we have already outgrown our current space and need more adequate parking. Joining Hands had sought the advice of our representatives at the Gulf Central District of the United Methodist Church to help find a new location. At the same time, nearby Asbury UMC had the problem of an over-abundance of space. Just as with space concerns, many of the ministries and programs found at each church filled a need with the other. Therefore, the Gulf Central District thought that the larger Asbury campus would be able to accommodate the two churches, in terms of both space and complementary ministries. While maintaining two separate churches, we look forward to working together whenever possible to accomplish greater good works and discipleship in the community than either church could do alone.
Check back soon for more updates!