Sanctuary Renewal Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

On Sunday, May 19th, the sanctuary renewal team presented the results of the design process to this point.  The following were the questions that were collected at the end of the meeting.  Some have been combined with other similar questions. If you would like further information, please contact one of the pastors or the church office.

What’s the seating capacity in the new space and how will it change?

The new space will seat approximately 511 people.  This change allows for increased accessibility and comfort, two key objectives identified in our congregational needs assessment.

What’s the plan for our big service times when we have more people?

As with every service, our worship team takes careful thought and planning to ensure we can welcome as many people into the message of Christ as possible.  As we regularly do, we are actively exploring contingency plans for our larger attended services (like Christmas and Easter) to provide not only space for more people, but the excellent worship experience that Gloria Dei strives to provide. The largest Christmas Eve worship service was 522 people in 2018. Some of the options we are exploring include additional seating and assessing timing of Christmas Service.

What about accessibility?

It is our desire to include all people in the worship experience. By utilizing flexible seating, wheelchairs and walkers can safely be placed anywhere there are chairs.

How will we handle the fixed 37 seats in the chancel?

The design is built to maximize efficiency and comfort in the space.  The music team continues to assess census and program design for the best experience for all participants.  The flexibility of the space allows for space in front of the risers to be utilized for special events, musical ensembles, etc. We would like to extend our gratitude to the music and planning team, which has diligently poured over the details and  has designed multiple scenarios within the space, including one with configuration of up to 70 musicians, ensuring that our future growth of music and programs is enhanced with this planning and design.

What about the current design, paint color, etc.?

Just like in a home, our house of worship occasionally needs modifications, updates for living today. It is the intention of the entire team to maintain the essence of the existing worship space while enhancing its functionality. The plan is to select from a similar palette color and honor the traditional elements of Gloria Dei.

Will this be a sacred space? What about the cross? The pulpit?

Christ is the center of our worship experience and the gathered assembly is the primary symbol of the crucified and risen Christ.  A processional cross, designed to serve as a focal point, will prominent and beautiful. The flexibility of the pulpit and altar table location allow us to gather more fully around the Word and Sacrament.

What about the HVAC system?

The original air conditioning system is loud and often must be turned off during worship. We have made an allowance of $200,000 for HVAC system improvements for this space.

Why is the organ there?

Some people have noted the prominence of the organ pipes in the new design and wondered about their placement. By purchasing this particular instrument, we are able to save tens of thousands of dollars to get a more beautiful and nuanced sound. However, we have some limitation in the arrangement of the pipes. This is the best possible arrangement, and we believe the new casework is beautiful in its own right.

What happens to the art?

While some art will need to be shifted due to redesigned spaces, art will continue to be an integral part of our worship and Gloria Dei experience. The proposed design has allowances for new locations for existing and seasonal liturgical art.

How will this be funded?

Careful time and consideration went into the planning of this project as well as a commitment not to incur additional long-term debt. In addition to a feasibility study, the planning team is working to ensure maximum participation in this effort. Just as we have discerned God’s call for us as a congregation, we invite you to discern God’s call for you to be a part of the vision. We are committed to making space for everyone to be involved with this initiative and provide opportunities for people to process their involvement in this vision.

Can we save money by using volunteer labor? Selling the organ? Etc.

Being financially prudent is a key component of our vision plan.  As such, careful time and thought has gone into asking the questions that got us to our current plan. Volunteers will be a key component of our efforts for many aspects of this project, for example, but due to risk and liability of construction work it is unlikely volunteers will be utilized in this capacity. Our finance committee is actively exploring the market for parts of the organ for resell or as a way to reduce removal costs.