At our Big-Time Lunch a couple weeks ago, we announced to the congregation that we were moving. Well, sort of. We aren't moving for at least 18 months and we are only moving down the hall. The details are below but first, here's the back-story.
Our current worship space is getting smaller.
The Grand Hall at 701 Whaley has helped form our identity. We don't want to leave, but as the church grows the inherent limitations of the space are highlighted. The sight lines aren't perfect, especially if you are sitting behind a column. The sound isn't consistent - a little loud up front and too quiet in the rear. And most importantly, the church is growing and the space isn't big enough.
Challenges come with church planting.
If I had to choose, I'll take the challenges that come with a growing church any day. To overcome this challenge, we initially looked for worship space we could lease full-time. But none of the options we considered offered enough benefit to compensate for the additional expense. And, nothing we toured matched the aesthetic quality of 701 Whaley - a simple yet sacred space that feels like it's got a story to tell.
At the same time we were touring, the developer of 701 Whaley and our present landlord Richard Burts, was negotiating the purchase of the building, an old gymnasium, directly behind us on Wayne Street. As usual, God showed up just in time. The new space needs extensive renovation, but when it's done in 18 months it will be perfect. Richard invited us to move our Sunday worship to the new space. We deliberated for exactly 1 minute, and now we're free to share the good news with you.
What does this mean for the present?
- We won't be moving anytime soon, so we need to enhance our current set-up to meet the growing crowd. We're going to buy a stage, add more chairs, and enhance our sound system. Soon, we'll give you an opportunity to help with these costs.
- It will continue to feel a little tight on Sundays. Let the present suffering be reason to celebrate that much more when we move
Here are some pictures taken recently. Notice the absence of columns and the tall ceilings.