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!

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