So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! 2 Cor 5:17
Dear sisters and brothers in Christ,
The history of Wapiti is long and complicated. Over the past two and a half years, we have prayerfully and carefully discerned the use and future of this property. We have taken into account your ideas, weighed budgetary costs, and evaluated various realistic paths for the future. It is evident that the costs of maintaining the property are a drag on budget and detract from our work of mission and evangelism.
In July of this past year, I shared a detailed summary of the property’s history and announced an October Open House. (Read that letter here.)
Coming out of that well-attended event, we received some good ideas about how to make better use of the property. Unfortunately, all of these ideas require further investment, often at significant levels. It is crucial that we focus our sacred gifts on the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and on furthering his sacred presence in the world. Anything that hinders that mission is unsustainable.
It is essential that determining the future use of this property cannot be vested solely in one person. After consulting with the officers of the Standing Committee, I am providing a four-month timeframe, beginning today, during which the Finance Committee and Property Subcommittee will review all the options. To ensure that we consider every possibility, I invite your input.
If you have a specific proposal for how we might develop or use the property for ministry, we want to hear from you. Your plan must be detailed and at a minimum should include: 1) How the property will be used.2) The timeframe for implementation.3) How that use would be consistent with our Diocesan mission and vision.4) How that usage would be funded in such a way as to be revenue and investment neutral in terms of its impact on the Diocesan budget/funds. (Please use the attached RFP to submit your proposal.)
All proposals should be sent to the attention of The Rev. Canon Kirk Berlenbach at email@example.com and must be received by April 4, 2019. If we do not receive a proposal that will ensure that Wapiti is vital, fiscally responsible and does not otherwise detract from our ministry, we will then move to aggressively market and sell the property.
While this is not an easy decision, the time has come in the life of our Diocese to move forward with a clear plan. I ask for your prayers for this process.
The Rt. Rev. Daniel G. P. Gutiérrez
XVI Bishop of The Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania