Following in the spirit of our congregation’s history and values, we are proposing updates to our building that we believe will further unite our congregation around our vision as a nurturing, inclusive, and courageous Christian community.
Many changes since founding
A lot has changed since our church was first born in 1884. First located on George Street in downtown Excelsior, our church moved to Third Avenue to accommodate a growing congregation. Some of you may remember the pastor’s home on the property and the round driveway that circled the building. In 1996, the church building changed again to accommodate more office space for staff, classrooms for children, and parking for the congregation.
broadening our church community
Change hasn’t just come through physical changes to our building. In 2008, we became a Reconciling Congregation to broaden our welcome and inclusion of others. Not too long ago, you’ll remember our only options for gathering for worship or small groups were in person. We changed to include dynamic virtual worship that could reach people in their homes across the country. In 2020, we formed a new anti-racism task force in addition to our social justice team to address systemic racism more directly in our community. This congregation has always embraced change when it meant we could include more people and extend our ministry in our community. Our mission is who we are: building community, serving others, and standing for justice.
Analysis of building and needed updates
Sensing the limitations of our building, in early 2019 we partnered with Station 19 Architects to do an analysis of our building and needed updates to help us more effectively accomplish our vision and mission. Their analysis revealed that now is the time to address the growing needs of our congregation and community once again. We are thriving despite the many challenges this past year has brought us. To be relevant to a new generation and expand our community outreach, we have identified the following needed updates to our property:
Architectural drawings of proposed updates
- Expanded space for our children’s ministry, particularly the nursery and toddler areas. Most Sundays we are at (or over) capacity for these rooms. We also need to create a more welcoming space for new families, who often have trouble finding the right location for their children.
- Expanded space in our upstairs lobby/narthex area with an updated café kitchen area to accommodate the growing community meals and event luncheons we host. This will allow for an increasing number of people for fellowship after worship, small groups during the week, and community events.
- Updated, flexible, and accessible sanctuary space. Switching from pews to comfortable chairs will allow us flexibility in arranging our worship space. With the increasing use of technology, updates to our audio/visual components and lighting are sorely needed. Adding a ramp to the front of the sanctuary will ensure that everyone can fully participate in our worship.
Uniting around our vision
Following in the spirit of our congregation’s history and values, we believe this change will further unite our congregation around our vision as a nurturing, inclusive, and courageous Christian community. These improvements will better position us to share the love of God with our neighbors in new and exciting ways, capitalizing on our strengths, and revitalizing our ministries. With grateful hearts, we prayerfully anticipate this next phase of ministry for future generations to come to know the transformational power of an all-loving and all-welcoming God.