Answers to our most frequently asked questions.

Your Questions, Answered

We understand that you may have questions about the Sacred Space project. Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.

What are we doing?

Phase 2 encompasses three areas of renovation of our Church facility: the Sanctuary, Music, and Children & Youth to allow us to continue to effectively meet our mission to bring the love of Christ to a searching world.

The Sanctuary

The sanctuary is the center of our congregation’s shared, public church life. It is the key environment for us to communicate the importance of worship and the importance of our life together with Christ. Our sanctuary is in urgent need of renovation so that we can continue to meet the needs of our congregation and to make room for other families, now and for the next generation.

We have reimagined the same colonial aesthetic we have come to know and love, in a larger more flexible space that provides both members and visitors a more welcoming, accessible, engaging worship experience with multiple seating arrangements that accommodate a wide variety of worship needs and attendance patterns. This will utilize the latest sound and lighting technology while all neatly integrating with a larger town square. Key to this enhancement is that it will meet all current fire and safety building codes, including:

  • Larger lobby (narthex) with visibility through to the sanctuary
  •  Natural light in the sanctuary via larger, yet traditional Redeemer windows
  • Larger balcony with access via two open stairways
  • Longer pews and wider pew spacing
  • Handicap parking identified by the new sanctuary doors
  • Wider side aisles to accommodate (or store) walkers and wheelchairs passing in both directions
  • Dedicated sanctuary seating, front and back, for wheelchairs
  • Access to communion distribution without having to navigate any stairs
  • An inclined floor that improves the sightline of each pew
  • New and improved sound system integrated with assistive listening devices
  • New ADA compliant bathrooms (men’s and women’s) on the lower level

Music is a critical component of our Lutheran worship and Redeemer is blessed by its many music groups. However, there is currently only a single, small practice room shared by all music programs, as well as for all robing of acolytes and elders. In addition, our organ is becoming unreliable. Given the age and condition of the organ, it is not practical to try to make the substantial upgrades and repairs that would be necessary. It’s critical to expand the area available for our music programs and to replace the organ. Phase 2 specifically includes:

A new organ with relocation of the existing organ pipes

  • Additional dedicated practice space for vocal choirs and the bell choir
  • Larger sanctuary chancel seating for vocal and bell choirs, and instrumentalists (eliminating folding chairs that block the communion access)
  • An instrumental storage room
  • Direct access between the music wing and the Town Square

The entire worship service is a two-way communication between and among the pastors and congregation, utilizing the organ, instrumentals and our collective voices (both choir and parishioner). We need to nurture the music ministries that contribute so much to our worship experience.

Children and Youth

With so many young families joining Redeemer there is a need to update our facilities for children and youth. We no longer educate and minister to children only on Sunday mornings. Our programs have expanded by age, day of week and time of year. We now run ministry programs six days per week, 12 months per year, encompassing children aged six months to 18 years. But our cinderblock classrooms, built in the 1950’s, have not kept pace with parent’s current expectations. Hence our plan includes:

  • Six new classrooms that meet current licensing requirements
  • A new Christian Education Resource Center
  • A new multi-purpose fellowship space for children, youth and adults
  • Four new bathrooms

Some of our children’s programs have waiting lists. Now is the time to capitalize on the opportunity to reach young families in the area searching for a church home.

Why are we doing this?

Redeemer’s mission, to bring the love of Christ to a searching world in a way that allows us to reach more families and touch more lives, is the purpose of Phase 2 and is driving our desire to make these investments in Redeemer’s ministries. Phase 2 is our way to ensure that our church building and grounds, and the sanctuary, in particular, continue to serve our mission. These investments in our ministries will allow us to:

  • Improve the quality of our worship experience to a level that matches our passion for Christ
  • Create a more welcoming space for our friends, family and other visitors that come to our church
  • Nurture the physical and spiritual well-being of young ones thru new instructional environments
  • Communicate to young families in the area that our new spaces can meet their expectations
  • Provide seating configurations for the wide variety of attendance patterns common in today’s church
  • Allow those with disabilities full participation in worship by removing unintended barriers
  • Enhance the fire safety of children, youth and adults in a new code-compliant sanctuary
  • Complete necessary sanctuary expansion, upgrades, repairs and maintenance without adversely affecting our worship ministry.

How will Phase II help our ministries?

The investments in our Sacred Space described here:

  • Allow us to expand our sanctuary thru flexible seating configuration and avoid a reduction in seating capacity that would be necessary if we only implement handicap access and fire safety requirements, maintenance repairs, and décor upgrades to the current sanctuary.
  • Allow us to reach more young families thru the expansion of our weekday children’s educational ministry in a safe, licensed facility, and avoid the current waiting lists that exist for some programs.
  • Allow us to invite our family and friends to our most important worship Sundays and avoid having to split them across pews, or put them in folding chairs, or seat them in the hallways or gymnasium.
  • Allow us to enhance our worship experience by continuing our organ-based worship music and avoid the risk that we are suddenly without an organ for a period of 18-24 months
  • Allow for predictable annual budgets, appropriately focused on ministry, and avoid the risk of unpredictable and hurried capital maintenance projects (e.g. failing organ, aging steeple, window replacement.)

All these things will allow us, through God, to reach more people and touch more lives.

What happens if we don’t do this?

There are facility enhancements that absolutely have to be performed regardless of Phase 2 – such as replacing crumbling walls, windows, steeple, etc. In addition, our sanctuary does not meet handicap accessibility and fire safety codes. Also, the organ has become unreliable, and given its age and condition, is beyond any practical repair. The cost to address these needs could easily reach several million dollars and it would have a negative impact on our worship ministry by reducing the capacity of the sanctuary in order to meet building code requirements. Moreover, these costly enhancements would only address deferred maintenance and repair and would not address our other ministry needs. Worship, Music, Sunday School, Mom’s Day Out and other ministries desperately need facility updates.

What will it cost?

Redeemer’s architect worked with our construction manager to compile competitive bids from each trade category (masonry, electrical, HVAC, steel, etc.).  These bids were based on our detailed construction drawings and specifications.  From the best of these competitive bids we were able to lock-in and sign a guaranteed maximum price contract.  This is especially important give recent construction pricing during the pandemic period. 

The total cost for the project is now estimated to be just over $8 million. This estimate includes a 5% contingency and assumes a 2021 start date. Beyond construction costs, the estimate also includes other professional fees (architect, engineers, and stewardship consultant), municipal and utility fees and all the necessary owner costs for ‘furniture and fixtures’, including new pews and a new pipe organ.

This same approach and the same professional partners were used for Sacred Space Phase 1. The church was able to deliver the Phase 1 project scope on time and on budget.