What is our vision for the future of church? Early this year we engaged in a Discovery Process with our vestry and members of the congregation asking this question and inviting people to share their visions. This process culminated in a summit meeting where we worked together to develop a vision for improving our worship space with a new organ, installing an elevator, paving our parking lots, and updating our classrooms to meet the needs of the ministries and groups that use them throughout the week.
The most important thing we learned in this Discovery Process is that there is a lot of support for these changes and improvements; enough support that we have committed to continue the conversation to include as many people as possible in a process to design a capital improvement project. The vestry has empowered me to lead this process and I have hired Chris Johns as a project manager to help manage the many details. I love working with Chris and we have already made a good start.
In July we formed the Vision Communication Committee (VCC) and the Project Estimate Committee (PEC). The VCC is organizing over a dozen fun gatherings of between 8 and 12 people where we will talk about what each of us values at St. Dunstan’s and hear a presentation on possible directions for the future. Our hope is that every member of the congregation will have an opportunity to participate in one of these gatherings. The definition and priorities of our capital improvements will come from these conversations.
The PEC is already at work exploring what it will cost to implement the ideas we have heard for improving our church facilities. We want to be able to say how much each of these will cost before we select and prioritize the work we will do. The PEC is looking at the cost of installing a new organ, installing an elevator, paving parking lots, making more of our gardens accessible, upgrading our classrooms, improving storage for our kitchen, and more. This does not mean that we will do all of these things. We want to know how much it would cost to do each of them so that we can decide what we will do and how we will prioritize that work.
St. Dunstan’s Church has dreamed of installing a new organ since long before I arrived. Three years ago, we launched the Organ Committee to look at how we might turn this dream into a reality. They presented the results of their extensive work to the vestry this week and you can read about it in our Sr. Warden’s report later in this newsletter. The Organ Committee is doing the work for the organ that the PEC is doing for our other potential capital projects.
You should expect to receive an invitation to a Vision Communication event sometime in the next couple of months. A dozen people have already volunteered to host gatherings in their homes and at the church. The thing that excites me most about this is that the very process itself is going to be a fun, community building experience.
If you have any questions, or if you would like to get involved in some way, please speak with one of our vestry members or with Chris Johns.
Yours in Christ,