Since the Spring of 2017, we have been hard at work — envisioning, planning, and raising money to replace our worn out facilities here at Southside — and now we are so excited to report that while the fundraising isn’t done yet— construction is in full swing!
We have to admit it was bittersweet to say good bye to the old fellowship hall wing.
But there was so much joy in being able to lay the cornerstone on our new building with our children participating in the actual laying of the stone. In particular we had two of our Tohono O’odham children, Alice and James, lay the stone recognizing our Tohono O’odham ancestors who laid the first stone of our church back in 1906.
And soon after that, the building began to rise like a phoenix from the ashes.
Day by day, we are watching this amazing process of seeing the dreams we have for our church become a physical reality brick by brick.
We know that there is so much that God has planned for this congregation and we are so excited to be able to live into our call to be a people of faith, hope, love and witness in the borderlands in new and expanded ways.
Like we say all the time — this isn’t just about building a new building but it is about having a space where we can be part of working alongside others in southern Arizona to build the beloved community.
We are grateful for each and every one of you who have given so generously to get us this far.
We only have $250,000 left to raise for our construction costs— which is amazing. What this means is that our little congregation in partnership with others in our community have raised $2.2 million! We are so very close to meeting our goal!
If you would like to help us cross our fundraising finish line, you can easily
give on-line here: SOUTHSIDE BUILDING PROJECT
We are excited to keep you all updated on all of the exciting progress and are happy to give tours of the new construction— just contact the church office.
We have been able to do so much together and we know that even greater things are to come!
You Can Support our Building Fund by Using AmazonSmile!
It’s easy and does not cost you a thing, but many purchases you might already plan to make on Amazon will lead to a portion of what you spend being donated back to Southside. Setting this up only takes a couple of minutes.
Here are directions from Amazon:
Shoppers who start at smile.amazon.com will find the same Amazon they know and love, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the price of eligible purchases to the charity of your choice.
Signing up is easy!
1. Visit smile.amazon.com
2. Sign in with your Amazon.com credentials.
3. Choose a charitable organization to receive donations, or search for the charity of your choice (simply type in “Southside Presbyterian Church” and then be sure to select the one that’s in Tucson)
4. Select your charity.
4. Start shopping!
5. Add a bookmark for smile.amazon.com to make it even easier to return and start your shopping at AmazonSmile.
If you already have an AmazonSmile account set up and want to change your charity designation to Southside:
1. Sign in to smile.amazon.com on your desktop or mobile phone browser.
2. From your desktop, go to Your Account from the navigation at the top of any page, and then select the option to Change your Charity. Or, from your mobile browser, select Change your Charity from the options at the bottom of the page.
3. Select your new charitable organization to support, as described in step 3 above.
Please forward this information to any family and friends you think might like to help support our building project in this way.
After years of planning and fundraising we finally broke ground on our building project this past Oct 30th! It was an amazing celebration and we were honored to be joined by Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild, City Council Member Regina Romero, Pima County Board of Supervisor Richard Elias, Chairman of the Tohono O'odham Nation Edward Manuel, CEO of the Southern Arizona Community Food Bank Michael McDonald, and community activist Isabel Garcia and many of our friends in the community. The celebration was made all the more joyful by the Davis Bilingual Elementary School Mariachis. We are so grateful to all who have helped us make it this far and are confident that together we will be able to work together to build the future of Southside!
CURRENT CONSTRUCTION “FORECAST” (as of Feb. 14, 2018)
The new parking lot (PHASE 1): We expect this work to begin the week of February 19 and to take about 45 days. We are preparing text for inscriptions of the Beatitudes, hopefully in 3 languages (O’odham, Spanish, and English), to be sandblasted onto a series of boulders placed around the Prayer Path that will make this so much more than “just another pretty parking lot,” but a truly special place that may be quietly enjoyed by others in the neighborhood as well. The boulders (of locally sourced Catalina granite) have been selected and delivered to the other vacant lot across from HeadStart, with that lot owner’s kind permission.
The new sound system & hearing assistance loop: The new hearing loop began its trial run in the Kiva on Sunday Jan. 21, enabling folks who wear hearing aids with t-coils to better hear our services and other activities held in this space; headsets are also available for people without t-coils. The new sound system for the Kiva is being installed the week of Feb. 12, with its first use during worship expected on Feb. 18. Once it is in place, the permanent installation of the hearing loop will take place.
Refurbishing the old sanctuary and new construction (PHASE 2): This is about to begin the permitting and contractor bidding processes, and we hope construction might start in May, with completion of our project anticipated by summer of 2019.
Once we have the contractor bids for the new-construction part of the project, we will have the long-awaited congregational meeting to vote on moving forward with the physical creation of this beautiful space we hope to enjoy together for many, many years to come.
The old sanctuary will be refurbished first, so it can be used for a combination of storage and some scaled-back church activities during the year of construction.