On October 14th, Gloria Dei voted to put a down payment on an organ that can be rebuilt in our sanctuary and hired an architect to help us consider our worship needs for the present and future. Join us after the second service on November 18th for a workshop with architect Jim Hundt to share you thoughts, dreams, and challenges. Lunch will be provided. You can RSVP here.
Pastor Bradley asked the church council to think about why we might invest such time, energy, and resources in a project like this. Congregation Vice President Cathy Sedacca had the following response:
I have thought a bunch about this and have tried to organize my thoughts and not start with “When the earth cooled…” So I’ll start here: I like rocks. I have them all over my house, from a boulder retaining wall in the back yard, to granite counter tops in my kitchen, to smaller pocket sized rocks that are discreetly displayed around my house. It’s hard to explain why I like them, maybe it’s that they’re solid and they’ve been around a while. I read somewhere that most common rocks we find on a beach or in a field are around 500 million years old. There is something comforting about that. And the fact that they are beautiful, made by God, and they really don’t change.
When I look at Gloria Dei and worship and my faith, I enjoy that the service is pretty traditional. I like the familiarity of having grown up singing the same hymns and participating in the service where the hymns, the readings, the sermon, are all mostly in the same order every time. I enjoy the sound of the organ, playing with those hymns. Music was very important in my family. Believe it or not, my entire family often had a part in the worship service playing flute, trumpet, piano, percussion or singing. People joking called us the Von Seversons. Music is part of how worship happens. And to me music makes worship beautiful, it was made by God and I really don’t want it to change. Also, we have a really pretty chancel. I love the light and the traditional space. My extended family has visited for Christmas programs and confirmations and have all commented on what a pretty church we have. I’ve grown accustomed to that and raised my kids here. I really can’t imagine how we can make it better.
The music, the organ and the chancel have all become rocks in my life. They are mostly unchanged since my childhood, or since I became a member at Gloria Dei around 15 years ago. Like the other rocks in my life, these rocks are comforting to me, and it creates a bit of stress to think about messing with them.
But change happens whether we want it to or not. This is going to be a big, messy, costly project that is going to result in changes. But when I think about the alternatives, (1) do nothing, 2) find something much cheaper) I worry about the unintended consequences. Let’s face it, the organ is going to poop out one day, and that is going to change worship – both the sound of it and the look of it. It seems to me that the best way to ensure that I, and everyone else, can be happy with the changes to our space is to lean into them. Steer the outcomes in a direction that we can all be proud of, that keep the elements that are most important to us, like the sound of worship and the look of the space we worship in. This is an investment of our time and money into the future of Gloria Dei, and I look forward to having conversations about what is most important to all of us,and working with architects and designers to see what is possible. I think that together we can make deliberate brave decisions and steer our way to something we will be proud of.