“Those who were engaged in the work labored, and the repairing went forward in their hands, and they restored the house of God to its proper condition and strengthened it.” 2 Chronicles 24:13

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Dear church family,

We are seeking to be worshipers, maturing in Christ. Where Christ’s community gathers for worship, then, is significant because of what happens in that space. Though our worship center is not the dwelling place of God, those who are God’s temple (1 Cor. 3:16) assemble in that room to worship and glorify God.

Our building “Refresh” plan is intended to help people see better and hear better as well as improve seating and aesthetics so that our worship is unhindered and enhanced.

The Bible frequently records the work of God’s people in restoring the place of worship. Without exception, God’s people are themselves refreshed in the process. They are filled with rejoicing and a renewed enthusiasm for the worship of almighty God. We long for the same accompanying work of God in our hearts as we make plans to refresh our building.

May the refreshing of the worship center be accompanied by a refreshing of our souls and fan into greater flame our passion for being worshipers who are maturing in Christ.

— Pastor Scott

Architectural Renderings

** All renderings are conceptual. The final project may have architectural or design changes.

You’ll find the answers to many of your questions in the section below.

What improvements are being made, and how do they meet our needs?

Today’s worship center was dedicated in 1996, and it has remained largely unchanged. It has continuously served the congregation well; however, it is a matter of good stewardship to maintain and improve this wonderful space with some regularity. After 26 years, a modest change to décor and technology seems appropriate. The aim is not to make changes that are frivolous or extravagant, but rather to modify the space in ways that are wise, simple, economical, and aesthetically modernized.

Here are a few examples:

  • Improving video projection will make images brighter and clearer.
  • Improving the audio system will enhance the listening experience for everyone in the room.
  • Decorating with new colors, fixtures, and furnishings will more closely align the worship center with the recently remodeled foyer.
  • Providing access to the Fireside Room from the worship center will create a convenient space for Scott to meet guests after both services.

Why prioritize the worship center over other areas of the building?

Every other area of the building has received some level of improvement (like flooring and/or paint) since 1996. Only the worship center has remained largely untouched, and it is the one space used both by guests and by everyone who has made East White Oak their home church. Since it is the largest and most commonly used space in the building, it is one of the most important rooms to keep fresh.

Why replace the pews with chairs?

Chairs are more comfortable than pews. The history of pews is an interesting one. Invented in the 1500s, pews were installed in churches as a more comfortable alternative to standing. We might be more inclined to stick with 16th century seating if the building itself were medieval. Since our building is a contemporary one, it makes more sense to have contemporary seating.

Pews can create an unnecessary sense of “oddness” in the mind of our guests. Chairs are much more familiar and will put a guest’s mind at ease about how and where one should sit.

There is a certain efficiency which comes with chairs, as they provide a well-defined space in which it’s easy to see where there is a seat available. This is a real improvement over a pew. There is a flexibility which comes with chairs as well. Chairs can be configured in a variety of ways depending on the need (fewer/more/shorter/longer rows, more/fewer aisles, etc.) The seating plan for the worship center Refresh provides for 527 chairs and an additional 6 handicap spaces. The cost of upholstered chairs is equal to the cost of refurbishing the pews (repair, reupholstery, and refinishing).

What will it cost, and how are we going to pay for it?

The project is expected to cost approximately $400,000. We will know a more accurate cost once the project is put out for bids. We have reasonable assurance from our general contractor that $400,000 is a good estimate. Funding sources could include:

  • Building Fund dollars
  • Building Improvement and Maintenance Fund dollars
  • Undesignated dollars currently in the church’s bank accounts
  • Generous giving beyond regular giving by the congregation
  • No indebtedness

Will the platform change?

The platform will be receiving new flooring. New outlets and audio connectors will also be added, reducing the need to string long runs of cords across the platform and resulting in a less cluttered look.

Why should we Refresh now rather than later?

Despite current economic conditions, the rate of inflation means that the sooner the project gets done the better. There may never be a perfectly favorable economic time for such an investment in our worship center, so we are unable to wait for something never likely to come.

We also took into consideration other recently made improvements. The Refresh of the worship center ought to be completed relatively soon after the foyer project so that the two can be tied together aesthetically.