The official dedication of our new Learning Center took place on September 18, 2016!
Each week is a time of worship and celebration. Christ is risen indeed! But there are other moments when we are blessed to continue the prayers of thanksgiving in a unique way.
Here’s How We Celebrated in Thanksgiving to God!
Following the dedication, many joined as we went to the Learning Center for prayers with water from the baptismal font, even as we did at the groundbreaking. Many of us also took the opportunity to write our own prayers in a special way at the door of the Learning Center.
The God of grace and mercy has blessed us in so many ways. What a blessed day!
Read past news updates about the new Learning Center here!
The official dedication of our new Learning Center will take place in the Fall of 2016! We hope to have the certificate of occupancy from the City of Largo by the end of April. However, because the 2015-16 school year ends in early June, moving would not be wise. Nor would it be possible to move the furniture and materials and to prepare for Vacation Bible School by June 20.
Our Preschool has a summer camp for children throughout the summer, so when we make the move, we will need to do it very quickly. The moving date from what will be the Community Outreach Center (COC) will be Friday-Sunday, July 8-10. You will hear more about that project later.
And speaking of later, the dedication of the Learning Center will be a day of celebration for us and, we hope, for the whole community. In order to prepare for a celebratory day, we need time to ensure that our rooms and hallways are complete with all bulletin boards and white boards, screens, cubbies and much more. We also need to prepare materials and extend invitations to all our friends to join us for this day.
Once details are finalized we will publish details. Along the way if you want to walk through to see the progress, there will be opportunities. Please do so. God has indeed blessed us with so many opportunities to serve in the name of Christ. The future (and to be sure, the Lord is in the future) will bring many more. Let us pray and open ourselves to the Spirit’s leading.
Well on our way!
On Sunday, February 21st just after an afternoon workshop, the Congregation Council and staff walked through the new Learning Center. Metal studs framed the classrooms, breaker boxes are mounted. LOTS of insulation covers the roof with even more on the way. Duct work runs from one end to the other. Between worship times on that morning, the whole congregation wrote prayers and passages on sheet rock that will be mounted in the interior very soon.
Once the good folk of Reno Building were turned loose by the City of Largo late November, the construction effort took off. In a meeting with the City we were able to obtain some concessions for the numbers of bicycle racks and some landscaping required. Regardless, we still are being required to do much more to our campus that originally thought. Still, though, we are excited about what is coming.
Capital Appeal Update
What blessings God gives! While we do not yet have a completion date, we are excited to see the progress and look forward to that time. As soon as we have a date, we will publicize a time of gathering for dedication. Let us continue in our prayers for workers’ safety, for wisdom in our decision-making at each step of the way and for discernment of God’s guiding Spirit in all things – that ALL we do, be to the glory of God.
Thanks be to God for all of the gifts that have been making this work happen! Many of us have completed our pledges.
Some of us are still giving each week and month and will continue for some time. Each gift allows us to meet and even to exceed our goal, and so lower our costs in the future. Thank you.
Now the PoP campus is ringing in the New Year with the “beep, beep” of heavy equipment digging trenches for drains and smoothing over the new entrance into the parking lot. Construction has begun! By the time you receive this newsletter, fencing around the site should be up, requiring us to take the new routes in and out of the campus.
Week by week we will see progress as the building rises out of the ground. Even though our back-and-forth with the City of Largo meant that we began the effort five months later than expected, it is truly an exciting way to end 2015 and leap into 2016!
Capital Appeal Update
Thanks be to God for the gifts that continue to come so steadily each month. We hope to continue that giving and even exceed the pledged amount, so that we may lessen the mortgage in the long run. If you are able to continue in this effort even after you reach your personal goal, thank you!
Friday, December 18th
Join us at 9:30am in the Parish Hall for the wintery production of “Frosty the Snowman” from the artists of Prince of Peace Preschool! Parents, friends, family, PoP members, and our community are all invited to cheer on our littlest creatives!
November Celebrate/Build News Update
Hurrah! We have a permit from the City of Largo so that we can begin construction! In mid-October, we received final approvals. One week later, John Sandeen and Kent Zoller met with representatives of Reno Building, our construction manager, to discuss many final details before construction commences. Already, we have received savings on contracts that were issued for bid.
At the same time, Kim Adams of the Finance Team received word from Thrivent Financial and the ELCA Mission Investment Fund regarding the loan that we will require to complete the work. Because the loan terms with Thrivent are move favorable (a 20-year loan that does not require a change in terms), the recommendation to Council is to go with Thrivent.
Capital Appeal Update
Our current Building Fund balance from the Capital Appeal is $745,778 – all received since July, 2014. We hope to exceed the $911,421 pledged amount in order to reduce our financing costs. Thank you for your steady, faithful gifts toward this ministry.
REMEMBER: When construction begins, parts of our parking lot will be fenced off for the work. You will be receiving a letter and drawing via mail that will guide us for parking and access to our buildings. Thanks much to Chris Sheppard for his skillful drawing that will help us all.
Once again, the places where we meet and eat, worship and serve here at PoP were built by the grace of God and through the faithful efforts of brothers and sisters who came before us. God provided in their days when ministries in Christ were active, and God continues to provide for us as we seek the Lord and the Lord’s way in our lives together.
With an experienced staff having more than 100 years of combined experience, you can rest assured that your child – and their early education – is in the right hands. We’re now enrolling VPK, part-time and full-time preschoolers. Through individualized learning activities, outdoor learning experiences, and weekly Chapel programs, we’ll create an environment that encourages exploration and education as children grow – we make learning fun! Click here to learn about enrollment opportunities for your children.
Meet Our Staff
Kelly Mende, Preschool Director
With the majority of her career spent in early childhood education, our new Preschool Director Kelly Mende has 27 years of experience in the field of education. Kelly is focused on using the gifts she was given to lead others while sharing her knowledge and experiences with those at Prince of Peace Preschool.
Barbara Holm, 2-year-old Classroom
Barbara’s teaching style helps our children accomplish productivity in a loving, supporting manner. Barbara has received an above-average rating from the Early Learning Coalition; her caring approach to education and nurturing is used as a model to other teachers within the Coalition.
Debbie Marshall, 3-year-old Classroom
With 12 years of experience, Debbie brings an air of excitement and creativity to PoP’s preschoolers. “I teach because I love to see the children learn new things.” Debbie is always kind and considerate and uses that approach to engage our little ones in learning. Her experience helps to create a platform for preschoolers to emerge.
Amy Johnston, 2-year-old Classroom Aide
Since 2013, Amy has been an asset in helping to develop the young minds at PoP Preschool. “I love being here and getting to know all of the children!” Amy works closely with Barbara in the 2-year-old classroom; her favorite activities with the children include crafts, bingo, and memory games. She currently attends Pinellas Technical College and is pursuing her CDA.