Friday, January 7, 2011

Progress update

In preparation for our meeting after church on Sunday, we thought it would be helpful for the congregation to have an update from the building committee on decisions that have been made thus far in the process. These decisions form the base from which Bruce has begun his process of designing our new church, and were made with the feedback from the congregation's survey in mind.

The new church will:
~ be built on the existing site
~ have an exterior appearance that is similar to the old church
~ be timber-framed
~ have a sloped floor and an entrance that faces the congregation
~ have three windows on the east and west sides
~ have a metal roof
~ have radiant floor heat
~ have two bathrooms

Also according to the desires of the congregation, the committee is considering alternative technologies for the new building. At present, we are invesitgating the financial and practical feasibility of geothermal heating systems and composting toilets.

Lisa Westervelt has agreed to manage the paperwork needed for the new church to be LEED certified (LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). Thank you, Lisa!


  1. After reading the newest post my thoughts are already obsolete.
    I hold a minority opinion by being a fan of the third approach of Bruce Wood’s astute options.
    …to design an entirely new and different building, inside and out, with entirely different material, details and image [referencing] the old building, but through color and proportion, rather than through actual appearance.
    In his post JP describes his experience of sitting next to the windows. I too experienced serenity by sitting near a window and combining the sounds of the interior with the sights of the exterior. Short of having a window for every congregant and a congregant at each of the six windows, perhaps we need to look at additional window area including skylights, a windowed cupola cum bell tower/steeple.
    I do like the center aisle especially when thinking of a lovely bride entering from the rear door and processing down the aisle to the altar. Although I understand the necessity for the additional side seating in front, I think it hampers groups who might need the flexibility of open space in which to gather.

  2. I am disheartened that the idea of placing the entrance to the sanctuary opposite the minister (in the rear) seems to have been consigned to the dustbin. I found the silence of the sanctuary – and I include the sound of the coffee maker as part of that silence – to be part of the magic of the space. People will always arrive late or for some reason leave early. That cannot be helped. What can be helped is to prevent those arrivals and departures from interrupting that for which we come to church: those magical moments of silence, prayer, scripture, poetry, or sermon.

    David Owen

  3. David,
    Thanks for your comment! Just so you know, there will still be an entrance at the rear of the church and, in fact, it will be much more convenient to use than the old rear entrance was, as it needs to be handicapped accessible.
    Hopefully those who come late for church or need to leave early will be encouraged to utilize the rear entrance rather than the front.