Sanctuary Renewal Update
Dear Fourth Church,
We pray this Advent season of waiting and reflection is a rich blessing for you and your family. As we approach year’s end, we wanted to bring you an update on Sanctuary renovations on behalf of the Sanctuary Renewal Committee.
As you know, we originally hoped renovations could be completed by this Christmas, but the timeline is clearly reaching into the new year. Some of this has to do with the discoveries that naturally happen as work progresses on an older structure; some has to do with supply chain issues and construction delays that accompany any project of this size. There’s still much work ahead, but here are some highlights on the progress.
Much of the interior work to date involves behind-the-scenes items like framing, HVAC, electrical, and lighting:
- The existing Sanctuary electrical system has been almost entirely replaced. All lighting is being replaced and upgraded as well.
- New insulation and new HVAC ductwork are in place in the attic, Narthex, and balcony. The HVAC units are due next month.
- The fire suppression (i.e., sprinkler) system for the Sanctuary is being replaced to avoid the possibility of existing old pipes leaking and causing damage to all the new work.
- Extensive plasterwork around the new light fixtures and air conditioning vents in the ceiling is largely done. Soon architectural trim and new chandeliers will complete the ceiling updates.
- If you walk or drive along Ridgefield Road and look at the south end of the Sanctuary, you will see that the pre-cast casings of the new Palladian window are now in place with glass to follow. You can see how the new window will enhance the view of that elevation for all who walk and drive by the church.
- Most of the side wall area is also being re-plastered, which will improve the acoustical characteristics of the room.
- Framing is in progress for the revamped, slightly larger chancel area.
- All existing Sanctuary glass is being replaced.
- The wall between the Narthex and the Sanctuary has been reframed and opened up to include beautiful new windows and doors with divided lites.
- Brickwork around the new windows on the front of the Sanctuary (more light for the Narthex!) awaits the windows themselves.
- The new ceiling treatment for the Narthex is done and new lighting fixtures have been mounted.
- The expanded and remodeled restrooms off of Halverson Hall are now in use.
- We expect the Library to re-open in January along with the new Information Center. It will be great to see the temporary wall in Halverson come down and enjoy more elbow room.
Though the waiting is hard, we are on the cusp of what we trust will be a very bright moment in our church life together: In the new year, we will return to worshiping in a fully renovated Sanctuary, well-prepared for decades of gospel ministry to come. As you will recall, our goal is to raise $7 million to cover both Sanctuary renovations and pre-existing mortgage debt. Giving and commitments to date stand at approximately $6.7 million, putting us very much on target to meet our goal in 2023. We will provide an update that includes end-of-year giving at the Annual Congregational Meeting on February 12, 2023.
Our focus is not on a building, but on our gracious God, people, and ministry. That said, we can clearly see the Lord’s kindness to us in making these many improvements possible. A well-appointed, warm, and welcoming worship space is important in enabling the worship of God’s people and reaching the greater Washington area for Christ now and in the years to come. Once the Sanctuary Renewal project is completed, we can invest even more time, energy, and finances in our mission to grow in Christ-Centered Worship, Gospel-Shaped Community, Kingdom-Advancing Multiplication, and Neighbor-Loving Service. For these things we can give God thanks and praise.
Thank you for your love for Christ’s church, your prayers, and your investment in future ministry here at Fourth. Please continue to pray for the architects, contractors, and consultants, as well as church staff and volunteers who are working daily to move the work forward.
Paige Malkus, Director of Operations
David Van Duzer, Elder and Sanctuary Renewal Committee Chair