Land Use Task Force Update

June 23rd, 2024


Maranatha Family,

The Land Use Task Force team has been meeting regularly to explore how the Holy Spirit is calling Maranatha to step into its vision, and use our back 6 acres to be a valued community partner, working with community organizations, local churches, and our city, to impact Belleville with the love of Christ.

We’ve received many great ideas for the land. We were able to distil the ideas into several major themes. Over the past few months, we’ve been speaking with many passionate community partners and members of our congregation who have engineering and development backgrounds.

Just to refresh your memory (because we recognize it’s been a while since our last update), here are the themes:

  1. Housing, of almost all types including affordable housing, transitional housing homeless housing, housing for seniors, and housing for our deaf community.
  2. Green space including a covered outdoor picnic area, a playground, a sport field, prayer gardens, and trails through the existing woods.
  3. Community space which encompassed ideas like a gymnasium, a daycare, coffee shop, counselling centre, and space for other ministries.
  4. Maranatha’s future needs also came up as a theme to consider including additional parking, kitchen and storage needs.

At the beginning of this process the team assumed that one or two ideas would emerge as a dominant theme that could be practically implemented. Through this process we’ve seen God show us that so much more is possible. 6 acres is a lot of land. In fact, there might be an opportunity to develop the property and include almost all of these themes in some shape or form.

Of course, the more we’ve learned about what’s possible, the more we’ve struggled not to get bogged down in the details. We’ve been tasked to build a common vision and find out what can be done with the property. But at times we find ourselves in the weeds, overwhelmed with details and plans that are well ahead of where we’re at. We’ve been encouraged by the prayer team who regularly prays for our work.

To that end, we’re in the process of working out a concept plan to present to the congregation later this summer. These plans will show the approximate location and size of the structures and spaces outlined in the themes we mentioned earlier. The concepts are in no way a detailed plan. They are a tool to help you see what’s possible and would be a starting point for questions about some of those details we mentioned.

We appreciate your continued prayer and encouragement.

In His Service,

The Land Use Task Force.