Welcome to our St. Giles new building page. It’s here that you’ll learn about our proposed “St. Giles Welcome Center”, planned sanctuary renovations, and pledge campaign. Thanks for your interest! Below you’ll read about:
Have you ever noticed how, after church, we spill out onto the lawn to talk and hang out? For many churches that doesn’t happen; church is over at noon and by 12:01 everyone is in their car. This unique “hang out” factor after church reminds us that God has given us at St. Giles a gift of community. We worship together . . . and then we talk, laugh, and catch up. Common.Unity.
People are hungry for this. There’s something deep in the human soul that wants to belong and is hungry to connect where God is present and worshipped.
This is where this proposed new building comes in. The driving vision is to create dedicated space to help those who are newer to our body more easily make the connections that will help them find their home at St. Giles. In some ways it’s no more complicated that the words of Jesus, “I was a stranger and you took me in.” (Matthew 25:35). With this in mind, imagine a Welcome and Information desk where those newer among us can go, make a friend, and get some questions answered. Imagine a coffee bar where members and visitors can meet and befriend one another. Imagine obvious places to go and sign up for a small group or a new member’s class. And, imagine indoor space so that when it’s cold and blustery outside all of us – long time members and new faces – stay and connect.
To continue the theme, “welcoming” isn’t only about those newer in our midst. The same space dedicated to welcoming guests also provides the venue wherein church members can linger and become more connected. Signing up for a ministry opportunity becomes still easier at an Information Desk staffed by knowledgeable and helpful volunteers. Joining a small group or learning about a short-term mission trip becomes much easier when there’s a place to go and someone to talk to. If you know St. Giles well you’re aware that some of the most important things that happen occur on other days of the week or off campus. It’s crucial that we connect people into opportunities and relationships beyond Sunday morning. You might say that “welcoming” includes welcoming fellow believers more fully into the life of the church, for, as the Bible instructs us in Romans 15:7, “Welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you.”
We build space to support what we believe is vital in ministry and that which we see God already doing. We have a sanctuary because we believe worship is key and worship is essential to St. Giles. We have dedicated youth and children’s space because of their value to us and we’ve long observed God sending children and youth into our midst. In the same way we have dedicated Sunday School space because we believe in teaching the Bible to adults. Welcoming one another, and welcoming those newer to our midst, is similarly vital. Too often we hear stories of visitors who come with great enthusiasm but then drift away, often times saying, “I could never really connect” or “I wasn’t sure how to get involved”. The fact of the matter is that the Lord is already sending us the people – visitors walk through our doors every Sunday. Furthermore, our appetite to welcome each other and connect is huge. That’s obvious by the “hang out” factor we witness every week. Building to further facilitate what we value and what God is already doing only makes sense.
Besides the “vision” of welcoming, our proposed new building would address several other pressing needs. We all know that security has become a real concern for all churches. While we have already done much to strengthen our campus security, this proposed new building offers a major security enhancement for the most vulnerable on our campus – our infants and toddlers. Because of it’s placement, connecting the Sanctuary and the Administration Building where our nurseries are located, the proposed new building would eliminate outside access to our infants and toddlers. Instead, entry into that vital ministry area would be through a secure check in desk and area located in the new building. Parents are especially sensitive to campus security in today’s world, and rightly so but this should be a concern for all of us.
Secondly, we need bathroom space in the sanctuary building. Our existing bathrooms are simply not adequate for our needs and have been a bit of a joke among those who have long been at St. Giles. For many of those newer to the life of the body, the limited bathroom space seems less of a joke and more of a real need. An incident last summer perhaps encapsulates the reality of the need. An elderly lady visited with us and, because she was not completely ambulatory, she simply was not able to enter or exit the women’s sanctuary rest room. The same lack of mobility which made the sanctuary rest room impossible to enter also made the restrooms at the far end of the Administration Building simply too far away to walk to. We have long needed more bathroom space, updated bathroom space, and handicapped accessible bathroom space.
Thirdly, the proposed new building could also have a seating area for brothers and sisters to not only connect but also pray together, study, make ministry plans together or even hold small group meetings. There could also be a display area to post printed sermons or articles of importance or interest (yes, many of us still read!) that would unpack key biblical truths on important subjects such as the Holy Spirit, worship, overcoming Satan, raising children, prayer, conflict, divorce and remarriage, heaven, and hell. Too often, we don’t really know what the Bible teaches on these and other crucial areas of our faith.
Fourthly, while enclosing the “hang out” space will be especially significant for guests in our midst, it will be a gift to all of us. When it’s hot outside – or cold and wet – we tend not to linger despite our love for one another. In a world which is constantly fraying the edges of our bonds with one another anything we can do to strengthen the connections we enjoy with one another is an important win. If you’ll look close at the building design you’ll also notice that we’ve included a coffee bar. Nothing quite encourages folks lingering and connecting quite like a hot cup of coffee.
You’ll also notice from the floor plan that we have included both a “nursing mother’s room” and a “cry room” for parents to be able to take their children and yet still feel connected to the worship service. The rooms are designed with one-way glass looking out into the sanctuary and will, of course, have sound wired in so that parents can participate in the praise music or listen to the sermon. Video monitors will be present as well.
The proposed building plan would be for approximately 3000 square feet. On the right you’ll see our “working” floor plan, which will give you an idea of space layout and what it might look like. The new building design flows into our existing narthex or lobby area which will be reconfigured as shown.
The Session has decided to include a series of much need sanctuary renovations within this capital campaign. It has been over 20 years since any meaningful work has been done in our sanctuary and while it remains beautiful, our sanctuary is beginning to show it’s age. Projects include:
In fact, you may have noticed that we have already done some of this work.
One of the great blessings and assets St. Giles has is our sanctuary. You’ll notice that much in the way of new church construction is minimalist in nature, even approximating a warehouse feel. More than style is involved in these newer designs – construction on a level such as we are surrounded by costs far more than many can afford. Beautiful and extensive woodwork, stained glass, pews, brick walls – this is the quality of largely bygone era. We have been blessed with beauty and quality! Let’s do our part to maintain our sanctuary and update it where needed so that we can pass it on to future generations.
The projected cost for the “St. Giles Welcome Center” is $1,350,000. The cost for the sanctuary renovations are estimated at an additional $150,000. Can we afford this? This is a question which only a pledge campaign can answer. What we do know is that over the past five years we have invested $900,000 in our campus in much needed work. We began with $200,000 in the bank and then added another $700,000 in additional giving between 2013-2018. During this time we built the new Burns Fellowship Hall, renovated our gym classroom space for our youth, repaired and rebuilt numerous infrastructure needs ranging from bathroom space to power transformers to fiber optic cabling. We added another playground, purchased new kitchen appliances, updated technology throughout the campus, replaced our HVAC equipment en masse, etc, etc. It’s important to note that we paid for everything with cash and at the same time giving steadily increased. In fact, the reality that we have caught up on so much work positions us to now consider our next phase in new construction.
Immediately below is the section entitled “Pledge Campaign.” The Campaign Letter spells out our financial plan and the pledge card (or the pledge online option) are your opportunity to become a part of the next building phase at St. Giles. If you’ve read this far, you’re obviously interested and for that we thank-you. Please pray with us, and consider giving, as together we embrace our next great project of “Building for Belonging.”
PLEDGE CAMPAIGN – Phase II