Sanctuary Remodel

April 21, 2022

Dear Christ Memorial Congregation,

Our vision “Outfitting the Church to Influence the World” is taking shape and beginning to drive how we make decisions. Leaning into our emerging future is requiring us to name our values, study our past, and be intentional in our approach to using the resources the Lord has provided our church through His congregation in bringing ALL closer to Jesus Christ.

Stewardship is an important part of our past and will help us minister to others in our future. Our sanctuary is a part of our past and future. In order to minister to our current congregants and those that follow we need to ensure that we are outfitting them for ministry.

Our current audio, visual, and lighting, (AVL) in the sanctuary is antiquated and near dilapidation. We have been applying band-aid fixes to situations that need surgery. If we do nothing, we will fall into situations that are not manageable which cause attendees and viewers to be completely diverted from the message. Evaluating our current equipment has been the catalyst to review what is also needed in our sanctuary, allowing us to properly present the gospel to our congregation and to those who will become our members.

A task force of construction professionals, musicians, and members, has reviewed two plans developed from a faith-based architectural firm that previously supplied input to our facility which would outfit our sanctuary for future worship and use. Based on future needs, resource requirements, and feasibility, they have presented these options to a variety of stakeholders (choir members, musicians, consistory, etc.) and made a recommendation. These plans have been presented to more than 30% of our congregation.

Particular attention has been given to how any proposed changes would affect the congregation / members versus our commission to introduce and strengthen others’ relationship with Jesus Christ. We believe these changes will enhance our ability to attract our neighbors and the community to use our facility and attend worship and functions at CMC. These changes become an integral part of our ability to reach those people, families, and organizations in our immediate proximity and beyond. They are not believed to be solely an internal fix to a current situation that only affects our congregation.

The lead elders have reviewed these options and have strongly recommended that which follows:

The audio, visual, and lighting functions in the sanctuary would be replaced and enhanced for in-person viewing, streaming, and recording.

After looking at both plans that were suggested by the building committee, we decided to incorporate the best of both by renovating the center stage area so that it is both larger and all at the same level. We also will be upgrading the AVL (audio, visual and lighting) for this part of the stage. These upgrades will allow us to better utilize this space for concerts and productions in the future. It will also make our stage more accessible to all people.

The choir loft area would remain in the present location and be reconfigured for more convenient and useful access, providing easier egress and storage and more space for the orchestra and bells.

The general appearance would be freshened up including flooring and seating / pew pad replacement.

A separate proposal would be made for landscaping outside the main windows due to the deterioration of current plantings.

A tithe of the total project will be given to the deacons for ministry in our local neighborhood.

Next Steps:

The lead elder’s task force has authorized the architect to move forward, working with worship arts, to prepare diagrams / renderings and cost of what has been proposed. They should receive those in May for display and further input from the congregation.

The lead elders will appoint a task force to pursue methods for financing / fundraising.

We expect, based on current reasonable scheduling, that renovation would begin in July with a target of completion in November.

During construction, alternates for worship would include a) erecting an unobtrusive wall in the sanctuary or b) using The Gathering Place for the classic service.

We believe that this is an opportunity to refresh our approach to worship. We believe this is an opportunity to improve how we deliver the message of hope and love to which Jesus has called us. Come. Join us in this exciting new endeavor!

In Christ’s Love,

The Lead Elders