Dear First Presbyterian Church Family,
What a joy and delight it is to be your pastor as we celebrate the 150th Anniversary of our beloved church! Many of you have been part of this church for years and all of you have contributed to this church in one way or another through your gifts and service.
“Living a Legacy of Love” is the theme we have chosen for both the 150th Anniversary celebration, and for our capital campaign that is part of the celebration. The words “Legacy of Love” speak to the history of our church and the many ways that it has been a source of incredible love in the lives of our church members, in our community, and in the world. We paired that with “Living” because it shows that our legacy of love is ongoing, and it demonstrates the hope that we will be sharing that incredible legacy of love well into the future!
We exist as a church to share the love of Jesus Christ. This capital campaign is an opportunity for us to celebrate how we have faithfully shared Christ’s love in the past and how we are currently sharing Christ’s love. This campaign also provides us an opportunity to build on that legacy of love and set our church up to boldly and faithfully share Christ’s love well into the future. We have been richly blessed by those who have gone before us and now it is our opportunity to be a blessing for the future.
In the following pages, we share our church’s vision for “Living a Legacy of Love.” These projects present some exciting opportunities as our capital campaign seeks to address current needs for our church as well as prepare us for a hopeful future. You will see that the projects are organized around the themes of Hospitality, Accessibility, Family Friendliness, and Sustainability. As you consider your own financial gift for this three-year campaign, please be in earnest prayer for our church and for how these projects can help us be a place of welcome and a beacon of Christ’s light and love in the world.
Now is your chance to honor our past legacy of love as we prepare the church to continue living the legacy of love into the future! I invite you to pray about your financial participation in this campaign. Success in this campaign doesn’t depend on a few. It will take all of us having faith in God’s provision and practicing sacrificial generosity so that future generations will be able to inherit and advance this legacy and First Presbyterian Church of Hastings can continue the work of sharing the love of Christ from the heart of Hastings for the next 150 years!
Your Servant in Christ,
Reverend Greg Allen-Picket
Our church was established in 1873, one year before the city of Hastings was incorporated. The church was rebuilt after a fire in 1912 and has stood at the corner of Lincoln Avenue and Seventh Street ever since, providing a beacon of love and light in the community. It has been the site of countless worship services, baptisms, weddings and funerals. Thousands of meals have been lovingly prepared in the kitchen. Sunday school has been taught, prayers have been spoken, community groups have met, and love has been shared for 111 years in this sacred space.
In 2008, we acquired the old middle school annex and transformed it into the PEACE Center. Over the last 15 years, it has become a community center, housing three feeding ministries, countless community groups, our church youth group and lots of recreational opportunities.
On our 150th anniversary as a church, the time is right to update both facilities to continue to serve and bless our church family and the larger community as we live a legacy of love into the future!
To honor the legacy of the last 150 years and prepare us for the next 150, church leaders have defined priorities to be addressed through the facility improvement projects funded by the capital campaign:
We want to be welcoming to members and visitors alike. Hospitality is at the core of our faith.
Connected to hospitality, we want everyone to be able to access our building.
We are blessed with many families and children and we want to do our best support them.
Preservation and Sustainability
We want to preserve and maintain our historic buildings for long-term sustainability.
The project to improve our 111-year-old church building will not only make it more accommodating for current members but also preserve it for our growing congregation. Our church has added 120 people in the past six years, and giving and participation continue to increase.
Much needed updating in areas such as the kitchen, restrooms, library and office will improve hospitality, while other changes will solve urgent accessibility issues in restrooms and the choir loft.
The addition of a cry room, completing the remodeling of the education wing and other changes will make the church more family friendly. Preservation work will include tuckpointing exterior brick and assessing and maintaining stained glass.
Your Stories: Nina Meyer
Nina Meyer is a born, baptized, confirmed and disabled member of Hastings FPC. Despite her disability due to Muscular Dystrophy, she has remained very active and involved through the years. Choir, orchestra, theatre, camp, Sunday school, youth group, even a Go & Serve trip. However, there have been times when she could not participate due to inaccessibility
That FPC is working to make the facility more accessible is such good news. Not only for us, but for so many other members, guests, and future attendees.
|Remodel and upgrade kitchen
|Update main bathrooms
|New carpet, paint, and furniture in church offices, Anderson Room, Parlor
|Improved lighting in Sanctuary
|New Sanctuary Bathrooms
|Handicapped Entrance for Office Doors
|Handicapped Accessible Restroom on 2nd Floor Christian Education Wing
|Handicapped Accessible Chair Loft
|Create “Cry Room” and Family Bathroom off the sanctuary
|Complete Christian Ed wing remodel (new supply closet, finish carpeting)
|Repair flooring in Middle School Room
|Preservation and Sustainability
|Assessment and maintenance of stained glass
|Brick tuckpointing on exterior of building
|Solar Panels (after rebates)
†Includes 5% contingency for all projects for an additional $50,000
We hope to begin work in early 2024 with the bulk of the work being completed in the summer and the remainder in 2025
New Library & Retail Space
- Remodel library to accommodate current collections, improve lighting and shelving, and create a comfortable work space
- Move the “Hands around the world” fair
trade store into part of the library
- Create display shelves and windows into the
library so that people can “window shop”
when the store is closed
- Fair Trade store would keep the same square footage and get an improved layout while staying secure
Cry Room & Family Bathroom
- Convert the existing women’s room off the sanctuary in to a “cry room” for families to use if their children are wiggly during worship
- Include a big screen television that would allow them to feel like they are still in the service
- Include a toilet, sink, and changing table for a “family bathroom”
Accessible Shower / Background
- Converting an unused storage closet into a handicapped accessible restroom with roll-in shower
- This would be for our own members as needed and would also facilitate us hosting mission teams from other churches
Remodel & Upgrade Kitchen
- Remove the east wall to expand the kitchen into the existing pantry and move the pantry into the room that was used as storage for Poor Corner and is now available – this will add approximately 200 square feet
- Add all commercial grade appliances include new double door refrigerator, 6 burner gas stove, oven and warming ovens
- Add all stainless-steal countertops and commercial grade flooring
- Add new handwashing sinks for health department certification as “commercial grade” kitchen”
PEACE CENTER IMPROVEMENTS
Remodeling the 100-year-old PEACE Center will make it a safe and welcoming place for our church and community partners with improved, handicapped-accessible spaces for meetings and events
Providing space for feeding ministries and other groups puts our faith in action and facilitates our mission of “Welcoming all and living the love of God and neighbor.” Improving the physical plant will allow community groups to use the center safely and easily for fellowship, fun and community building
Improving meeting spaces, parking and the gym will make groups feel validated and encourage others to use the center as a safe, affordable gathering place. We hope to maintain the building as a community resource while reducing our electric usage through solar.
“The Peace Center has great meaning for use since this is a place in which each of us who are there has made it a refuge, a place where we feel that we belong, a place where our children can come and feel welcome. They will be welcomed with open arms”
Raíces de mi Pueblo Mexican Folkloric Dance Troupe
The PEACE Center currently hosts events, meetings and more for the following community groups:
- United Harvest Mobile Food Pantry
- Hearts and Hands Against Hunger
- Hastings Community Food Pantry
- Raices de Mi Pueblo Mexican Folkloric Dance Troupe
- South Heartland District Health Department
- Central Community College
- Hastings Public Schools Summer Band
- Hastings Pickleball League
- United Way of South Central Nebraska
- First Presbyterian Church of Hastings – Christian Education
- Quilters Club
PEACE CENTER PROJECTS
|Hospitality & Accessibility
|Remodel classrooms and bathrooms for handicapped accessibility and
|New doors, windows, signage, and repaint hallways and ceiling to make
the space more energy efficient
|Include new exterior entrance and vestibules for community use
|Complete parking lot project*
|Remodel High School Youth Room (new carpet, paint, furniture)
|Fix water damaged gym floor
|Capstone sealing, shingles, and brick tuckpointing
|Add solar panels for electricity generation (after rebates)
*Projects already started with the reserve funds
†Includes 5% contingency for all projects for an additional $50,000
In addition to the new projects, we hope to reimburse the reserve monies used to pave the PEACE Center parking lot, which was started in 2022 and is near completion.
- Install solar panels on the Peace Center Roof
- New solar array will cover 90% of the total electricity use in the building helping to keep rental fees low
- Provides cost savings and environmental stewardship
- Replace the doors with new energy efficient doors that also allow more light in
- Replace windows with energy efficient and larger windows to allow for more light
- Repaint the hallways and ceilings to refresh them and make them more hospitable to all users of the building
- Remodel the bathrooms on the east-side of the building to refresh them and make them handicapped accessible
- Add handicapped accessible exterior entrances for the northeast and central east classrooms with keypad entry for each use
Peace Pantry: What can we say? We look forward to every 2nd & 4th Thursday of the month. We not only have food to enjoy, we have the kind, gracious volunteers also. We are blessed
– Brian & Laura, food pantry patrons
- Classrooms will get paint, new floor coverings, and new furniture that can be easily set up for various user-friendly configurations
- Entrances will become handicapped accessible for our various community groups and non-profits
Remodel High School Youth Room
- Put in new large windows to make it brighter
- Replace the carpet
- New paint and new furniture to make the youth room inviting and exciting for our youth ministries
Fix Gym Floor
- Replace a section of the damaged gym floor and have the whole floor refinished so that it can be more effectively used as a community resource for recreation, youth groups, Boy Scouts, basketball, and pickleball
- Continue updating the plumbing throughout the entire building
- Old plumbing connection to the utilities had to be replaced in summer of 2022, along with replacing plumbing in 1/2 of the bulding
A message from our Co-Chairs
We each served on committees overseeing previous projects. So we understand the need for the renovations to the church and PEACE Center. Updating and adding restrooms and a cry room will enhance the experience for members and guests. Tuck-pointing brick and restoring our beautiful stained glass are essential to preserving our beloved building. Most exciting is the addition of solar panels to the PEACE Center and Education Wing. We ask you to prayerfully step up and give generously to prepare our church to continue its mission for years to come.
Our journey at First Presbyterian Church began in 2007
when we moved to Hastings from Houston. We were instantly welcomed and knew God had led us to the right
place. Over the years, the church has given our daughters a place to broaden their faith and explore their love of music in choir and bells.
We have both served as leaders of the senior high youth group. William taught Sunday school and confirmation class and currently serves on Session. Susan has been involved in Chancel Choir and Chancel Bells, as well as serving on committees.
Our FPC family has wrapped us in prayer and supported us along the way, and we are excited to see where God will lead us as we take on this important project together.
We enjoy the space and beauty of our church structure and the utility of the PEACE Center because of the sacrifices and wise decisions of those who came before us. Now it’s our turn to address the needs — many of them urgent — that will ensure First Presbyterian remains a shining beacon for the next 150 years.
Success depends on not a few — but all of us — having faith in God’s provision and practicing sacrificial generosity. Now is the time to ask: What will your legacy be?