Renovation Committee Report: Making a Space for All and Core Values (8/26/15)
As we start examining the details of the drawings and considering the placement of this and height of that, it is important to keep in mind the overall purpose of the renovation: Making a Space for All. In thinking about this, I remembered our "Conversations" within the St. George's Community in 2007 that developed our Statement of Core Values. In that statement we said:
The congregation of St. George’s is motivated by our sense of God’s presence in our lives and by our need to reflect and share that presence. Much of the time, this sense is unstated, but whether stated or not, one easily finds it in nearly everything that takes place at St. George’s. St. George’s can be viewed as a triangle in which each side represents a facet that interacts with the other sides to support our community. When linked together, the three sides create the whole of our community, which is driven by our need to share our sense of God’s presence in the world.
The sides of that triangle identified in the Statement are:
Spiritual Foundation for our Members
Christian Community Worship
Making the Presence of God Known in the Wider Community.
The Statement of Core Values recognized our music and liturgy as "important parts of the backbone of St. George’s spiritually." By lowering the altar and moving it forward as well as improving the sound system, we will make more space for our wonderful music ministry and improve the Congregations' ability to hear the beautiful music and glorious liturgy of our services.
In the Statement of Core Values, we proclaimed that a Christian Community starts by ensuring that all people " are equally welcome to enter and participate in our community ." By lowering the floor of the chancel we are ensuring there is an equal space at the Lord's table for all.
The conclusion of the Statement of Core Values presents a challenge to "reach out beyond our walls as a community of faith to make God known." There are many ways that St. George's does that today. However, the inflexibility of the Nave makes it very difficult for us to use the Nave to reach out to the wider community. By making the seating of the Nave more flexible, possibilities are opened to use the Nave for different types of spiritual and non-spiritual events that will allow us to make a space for others in the community feel the presence of God. We also reach outside our community by working with San Jose. By making improvements to the Chapel, we improve the worship experience and help make the presence of God known to the San Jose community and beyond.
As you think about our effort in Making a Space for All, consider not only how it will address specific issues and problems, but also think about how it supports our core values.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact David Grahn, Michael Woods, or Elena Keydel.