Church buildings tell a story and are a brick and mortar witness to hopes and visions for the future of a congregation. Clearly, our building tells you right up front that we are "downtown for good." This building was erected to make a contribution and serve in a variety of ways.
I am deeply moved by the number and variety of people who move in and out of our building every day. I am challenged and energized by the hopes and dreams you have expressed for future ministries that will require us to more fully use, renew and care for our building. Talking with Dennis Anderson, our Facilities Supervisor, who is dedicated to the care of our facility, it becomes clear that this congregation wants a facility that responds to the ministry needs of the present age.
One question that presses on me all the time is, "How can we make our church building secure for all who use it?" It is a complex challenge that requires several moving pieces to be rightly aligned. We are developing a plan to deploy staff and volunteers to be an hospitable presence in the lobby whenever the building is open. Good training in hospitality and emergency responsiveness will be expected. In addition, it is important to review the security plan for every part of our building so multiple groups can effectively and appropriately use our facility.
Many of you have raised church building use and security as a concern. Rightly so. There are financial resources and good consultants upon which we will draw to address your concerns. Caring for our building is essential to leap forward in many areas of church life. Security and safety are embedded in the term we use for a room of worship, Sanctuary. Extending this concept is a practical and wise step. Our "Leaping Forward" fund appeal commitments will help fulfill the promise of our church building.