A New Schedule + An Invitation + An Important Facilities Update
by The Rev. Daniel P Strandlund | August 15, 2019Hi friends, there are a great number of moving pieces at St. Liz at the moment, and I’m writing to communicate them as best I can. I hope you’ll read carefully.
First, a reminder about our new two-service schedule which begins on Sunday, September 8th:
*8:45am, Family Service
*9:45am-10:45am, Sunday School, Choir Practice, + Coffee Hour
*11am, Principal Service
Second, this past spring, I had conversations with several of you about some facilities constraints we’re experiencing at St. Liz. I don’t mean repairing our AC system or getting a new roof; I mean not having enough physical meeting space for our growing programs. For just one example, as our children’s programs grow, and our children get older and become older youth, we’re increasingly in need of more programmatic space for older kids on Sunday mornings.
There are other facilities needs we need to address, as well. In order to make sure we think strategically about how best to address them, and in order to make sure we’re asking all the questions we need to ask—cost, priorities, diocesan policies, sewer and septic and so on—your Wardens and I decided to form a Strategic Facilities Footprint Committee. (That name doesn’t really roll off the tongue, so we’re just calling it “Footprints.”) That group first met in July, and Laura Hamilton is the chair. She has a wealth of experience with real-estate and building permits and the like, as well as a large network of connections. She and her team have done great work in recent weeks, for which I am grateful.
While the Bishop’s Committee, the Footprints team, and I have identified some facilities priorities for St. Liz, we want to hear from the whole congregation. What do you think we need to improve? What do you think we need to add? What do you dream for St. Liz in regards to our physical campus? Are there accessibility issues of which we’re unaware?
We’re inviting you to help us answer these questions. Specifically, we’d like you to plan to attend one of two listening sessions on Sunday, September 8th.
*9:45am in the Mission Hall (during our new Sunday School hour)
*After 11am worship in the Mission Hall.
These sessions are a time for you to ask questions and to articulate your own desires for St. Liz’s physical campus. I hope you’ll come. You never know, your idea could be the one we all need to hear! If you’re unable to make either of these, please contact Laura with any thoughts you have. You can reach Laura at firstname.lastname@example.org
I want to be clear: in their work thus far, the Footprints team has only explored possibilities; no decisions have been made about adding or extending buildings; nor have we decided to change our use of the ones we have. There is one major exception to this and leads me to my third reason for writing.
As part of their work, the Footprints team learned that our current Godly Play and Children’s Chapel building isn’t trustworthy anymore due to some structural issues with one section of the floor. Given that building’s age, both your Bishop’s Committee and the Footprints team agree that the expense required to repair it is not in St. Liz’s best interest. Therefore, effective immediately, we are no longer holding any children’s programs there.
We got this curve ball just this past week. Losing the use of our dedicated children’s program space so close to the start of the school year is an unexpected challenge, but it is a temporary one. The BC and I have asked Laura and her team to address it as soon as is responsibly possible. With some diocesan help, Laura is currently pursuing one hopeful opportunity, but as of this writing we have not yet arrived at our solution.
Until we do, Children’s Chapel will meet in the Mission Hall. Erin Kowalik and other leaders will move the necessary supplies to the Mission Hall in time for this Sunday. The next challenge is what to do about Godly Play. Here’s the plan:
We will resume Godly Play on Sunday, September 8th as scheduled. However, our Godly Play story for the day will occur in the church as part of our new 8:45am Family Service. This is a temporary solution. It allows us to continue offering Godly Play while also allowing us to offer Christian formation for adults in the Mission Hall during our new Sunday School hour. (This was a desire mentioned frequently in our second service conversations.) Additionally, having our Godly Play story as part of worship will give parents and other adults to see Godly Play in action! I hope you will come and see.
I realize this is a lot of information. Your Leadership Team is gathering this Saturday, from 10am-noon to discuss some of the details of all these moving parts. You are welcome to attend.
So, one more time, just the facts:
*We are no longer using our current children’s program building.Until further notice, Children’s Chapel is in the Mission Hall.
*Sunday, September 8th is a BIG day at St. Liz.This is what it will look like:
- 8:45am, Family Service with Godly Play
- 9:45am-10:45am, Footprints Listening Session about Facilities in the Mission Hall. Choir practice in the church.
- 11am Principal Service with Children’s Chapel
- After 11am Worship, second opportunity for Footprints Listening Session about facilities in the Mission Hall.
Thank you in advance for your flexibility.