It's been a while since I've given a general update on things here at Milner. So, let me try to catch those of you checking in with us online up on the news.
Starting Monday, April 2, I will continue at Milner part-time serving 20 hours per week. This is largely due to financial considerations and a good faith attempt by your Session to achieve a place where our expenses no longer exceed our income. We have been in deficit spending for some time and now we must address this if we are to go forward.
We continue to reach out to groups that can share this space with us while offering some monetary support to Milner's overall budget. To date, we have four principle partners: Santuario, Joy of Discovery, Life Together Raleigh, and Haven House Services. I'll be meeting with two individuals next week to bring in other potential groups as well as line up a Mobile Health Clinic which will hopefully be on site starting in September.
The goal for Milner at this time is to become a place which is the community center for our surrounding neighborhood. This is no easy task. There will be and are lots of moving parts on the way to realizing this dream. Right now, we are resourcing available grants and putting those funds to work for deferred projects, outreach ideas, and future program investment. One grant we received from the Synod of the Mid-Atlantic in March is for a new park in front of the church facing New Bern Avenue. The City of Raleigh is moving forward with a sidewalk installation on our side of New Bern Avenue. We believe this will increase our already high visibility. If we can draw a few folk to linger here at Milner, to come throw a frisbee on a sunny day, or even partner with Wake Med in the near future to install a walking track on the frontage, we then hope we can create more opportunities to meet, greet, and welcome our neighbor into the church's life.
Peace Park at Milner will focus on wellness of spirit, body, and mind. It will be a community offering that might host outdoor events, extend our Diabetes Support Groups' work to fitness groups, and so on. It's a very exciting time!
Additionally, we are putting together a grant request for a Passion Driven Ministry Grant from New Hope Presbytery. It is our belief that we can partner among the entities present here at Milner in a new, creative way which would support each group/agency while allowing Milner a means to connect with visitors, new members, and community outreach.
God is doing a new thing here and we will have to lean into it with our whole heart and imagination. We can do this with God through trust and faith. In God, all things are possible!