Sanctuary Design Meeting #4, June 22, 2022

Having focused last week on the Assembly (including various entering/seating/worshiping configurations), we concentrated tonight on two of the three other liturgical centers, the Word and the Meal. Consultant Gale Francione again provided photographs and commentary about different possibilities. 

A fundamental contemporary worship principle is that both the proclamation and the interpretation of the Word should come from the same approximate location. We struggled with the name for this place (“pulpit” suggests a raised space for the pastor alone; “lectern” can easily suggest a book stand in a lecture hall; and “ambo,” the ancient word that liturgical designers prefer, is foreign to most people). We imagined an almost impossible combination of qualities for this building feature: artful solidity, without being a massive barrier between speaker and assembly; adjustability for different speakers, without being flimsy or overly-complicated; functionality, without seeming merely utilitarian; potentially moveable, without seeming unsubstantial.  We raised similarly high expectations for the Eucharistic table, both in its construction (artful without being over-elaborate; solid without being massive and immoveable), and in its location (in the midst of the assembly, but still visible and widely accessible). The table is often the general location for communion, but we also discussed the older traditions of communion rails and of kneeling for communion.

As we talked through all these possibilities, and more, we discussed various strategies for gathering the greatest input from the upcoming congregational gathering (June 29, 6:00-8:00 pm, Fellowship Hall). 

—The Sanctuary Design Team (including those who couldn’t attend the June 22 meeting): Pastor Mike Wilker, consultant Gale Francione, Wilfred Bunge, Brenda Carlson, Kate Elliot, Jennifer Larson, Mark Z. Muggli, Carrie Nimrod, Mark Potvin, and resource persons Adrian Walter and Spencer Martin. 

Sanctuary Update: Where Will We Sit?

Our third, June 15, meeting with Liturgical Design Consultant Gale Francione focused on the center of worship–the Assembly. Gale used photographs of our sanctuary and of others to help us evaluate different configurations. We considered churches with flexible, movable seating, others with fixed pews, and others with a combination. Some arrangements were front-facing, others were “U-shaped,” and others were in the round. Some were all at one level, and others had platforms of various materials. All configurations require effective lighting and sound. All these possibilities led us to think more about the relationship between music and the assembly–what configurations and placement can help musicians to both represent and lead the congregation? 

Although our team’s focus is the sanctuary, we are inevitably considering related issues: the relationship between the sanctuary and the gathering space; the number and placement of the doorways between the two spaces; and the status of the original south entryway in a renovated sanctuary (one possibility would be to replace the red entry doors with windows, and to replace the imposing side-facing concrete steps with a ground-level gathering space, garden, or sculpture display space). 

The Sanctuary Design Team (including those who couldn’t attend the June 15 meeting): Pastor Mike Wilker, consultant Gale Francione, Wilfred Bunge, Brenda Carlson, Kate Elliot, Jennifer Larson, Mark Z. Muggli, Carrie Nimrod, Mark Potvin, and resource persons Adrian Walter and Spencer Martin.

Plan now to meet with the Building and Sanctuary Teams on Wednesday, June 29, 6:00-8:00 PM to see the updated building plans and to discuss with the Sanctuary Team the principles that will guide the sanctuary design.

Sanctuary Design Team Summary of June 8, 2022 Meeting

In our second meeting with Liturgical Design Consultant Gale Francione (Davenport, Iowa), we focused on our shared reading, D. Foy Christopherson, A Place of Encounter: Renewing Worship Spaces (Augsburg Fortress, 2004). Christopherson lays out four worship “principles/centers/places-of-encounter” that are foundational to Lutheranism and that since the 1960’s have been broadly shared among Christian denominations. As we began to tease out these four principles’ implications, we drew from the 2019 Building Visioning Task Force survey, the 2019/2020 Kairos Consulting survey and listening sessions, and the last four years of worship in temporary spaces with different configurations, building materials, and emphases. 

The four worship centers, and some considerations: 

  1. The Assembly. (The gathered people are the center of worship. How can we be welcoming, accessible, and flexible, and maintain a sense of the sacred? How do we revitalize our history and consider our current needs? Pews vs. flexible seating? The role of locally-sourced natural materials like wood, brick, stone, pottery, textiles?)
  2. Baptism. (How do we indicate the centrality of Baptism amidst our other acts of worship? Location and materials of the font? Moving water?) 
  3. The Word, proclaimed and interpreted from a single location. (How do we combine visibility, audibility, and flexibility with both intimacy and authority?)
  4. The Meal. (The location of the table amidst the assembly? The form and location of the assembly’s eucharistic meal-sharing?)

The Sanctuary Design Team (including two who couldn’t attend the June 8 meeting): Pastor Mike Wilker, consultant Gale Francione, Wilfred Bunge, Brenda Carlson, Kate Elliot, Jennifer Larson, Mark Z. Muggli, Carrie Nimrod, Mark Potvin, and resource persons Adrian Walter and Spencer Martin.

The entire congregation is invited to meet with the Building and Sanctuary Design Teams and consultant on Wednesday, June 29, 6:00-8:00 p.m. Dessert and childcare will be provided. This is a very important opportunity for congregational members to give input to the design process. Please join us!

For Generations to Come Project Presentation Dec. 19

All are invited to a “For Generations to Come” project presentation on Sunday, December 19 at 2 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall. The presentation will be livestreamed & recorded for viewing after the meeting. We will have another forum in early January to discuss the project.

Click here to join via Zoom. Meeting ID: 323 200 5613   Passcode: FLC2021!

It is a remarkable achievement to have received over $3.3 million in pledges and gifts. Such generosity reflects the deep missional heart of this congregation. It also successfully positions us to achieve the goals established before the campaign. Please know how grateful we are for your support. We look forward to your participation at the meeting and ask for continued prayers that our planning will be guided by the Holy Spirit and the decisions we make will bless our congregation and community for generations to come.

Building Project Update 8/5/21

The Finance Team met this week to discuss pledge and donation progress & the next steps for the building project. To date, pledges & donations total $3.2 million. We are extremely grateful for the response and it speaks volumes for our congregation and community as we work towards a final building plan that meets the needs & supports the mission of FLC. 

  • In the coming weeks, we will begin looking into possible financing options and meeting with the architectural firm to finalize building plans. 
  • The Building team and Finance team will then bring a final budget, financing plan, and building project proposal to Council for their approval. 
  • Once approved by Council, a Congregational Meeting & vote will be held for final approval. 
  • The plan is a Congregational vote will happen this Fall with groundbreaking in the Spring.

From Your Campaign Chairs

Dear First Lutheran Family,

We are honored to work with a talented team to execute a meaningful capital campaign that will chart the course of First Lutheran Church “For Generations to Come.” A successful campaign will generate the resources to build a new and renovated structure, but more importantly will provide the foundation for the mission of our congregation now and in the future.

Here are some key dates and things to expect as we kick off the public phase of the campaign:

For Generations to Come – Launch Sunday, April 18, 2021, concluding with Response Sunday, May 9, 2021 (Mother’s Day)
~ Appeal packets and information mailings
~ Special devotions written by members of our church
~ Special projects for our children and youth
~ Informational calls from volunteers
~ A special event that involves donuts!
~ Virtual and in-person opportunities to worship, pray and celebrate.

We invite you to engage with your First Lutheran Church siblings as we embark on this important endeavor.

In the Glory of the Risen Christ,
Jeff Olinger and Heidi Miller Olinger, Campaign Chairs