by Dan Cummings
Chair, Facilities Task Force
Editor's Note: This report references several items discussed in our VCI Prescriptions and Cathy Townley's report to UUMC. To read the complete text of the prescriptions/recommendations, see the full version of this Facilities Task Force update at: www.universitychurchhome.org/vci.
What we have done
Bulletin boards (Cathy Townley report, page 6)
The Facilities Task Force took a close look at various bulletin boards in the church building. What we noticed, upon inspection, is that most of the boards are firmly in the category of the “wild, wild west.” There doesn’t seem to be management of the boards' content; indeed, we saw many postings 1 to 2 years old. Current information is most certainly hidden in the clutter of interesting, but dated, material. Owners of bulletin boards are encouraged to prune, prune, and prune. You know better than the Facilities team which postings are important, but, if you prefer, we can bring in a gardener to help with the effort. Bulletin boards in the Wesley hallway have been relieved of all dated material. And, not surprisingly, there was nothing left. Those bulletin boards are candidates to be celebrated and retired.
What we going to do
Directional Signage – Church exterior (Cathy Townley report, page 4)
This item is in the to-be-done category. Straightforward and less than $200 to complete.
Chalk Boards (Cathy Townley report, page 6)
Several movable white boards (less mess than chalk boards) can be available for positive comments. As with the bulletin boards, content must be kept current. Expect the white boards to be cleaned after the service. Again, a simple item and inexpensive. Expect to see this completed in the next month.
Sunday Morning Experience (VCI Consultation Report, Prescription 3b)
This prescription has been the source of some dismay, particularly taking down the pastor’s pictures. Think of this as your child’s artwork on the refrigerator. As new works of art are produced, some of the previous pieces must be taken down to make room. Reducing the clutter around the new work of art allows for focus on the newest, most current offering. The point, as a church with a mission of “making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world,” is that the past must take a back seat to current and future mission activities. The Facilities Task Force is discussing alternate locations for those items currently on display.
Lobby and Building Navigation (Cathy Townley report, page 5)
Improved directional signage will help to improve the ability of guests to navigate to the children’s space on the second floor, find the bathroom facilities, and locate all the other important destinations in our church. We need to think like a visitor and answer their questions the best we can. This has easy implementation and low cost. Look for these improvements in the near future.
Screen Usage During Worship (Cathy Townley report, page 6)
The Facilities Task Force had the fortunate opportunity to meet with a nationally-recognized projection consultant from the east coast. Contacts are everything, and this gentleman is a childhood friend of one of our task force members. He volunteered to meet with us on his way to the airport after visiting with family. Summary of the discussion: Creating projection in our worship space is fairly straightforward. Two 10-foot wide screens and two high-definition projectors from the corners of the balcony that would provide the images. 2-3 cameras mounted to the front of the balcony with remote aiming would capture the images. The heart of the system would be mounted adjacent to the sound board. This computer-based console could also provide content to various bulletin boards throughout the church building. Estimate of the total system cost is $100,000. We will be requesting bids from several local firms for this project. The projected image would allow better visibility of the sermon, children’s time, baptisms, soloists, etc. Additional content can be projected for prior, during, and after the service. Usage will be developed by the Worship Team.
Prayer Chapel (Cathy Townley report, page 6)
How many of you are aware that UUMC has a prayer chapel? Know where it is? If you haven’t visited Tennant Chapel, feel free to visit on Sunday morning. Go straight through the door next to the pulpit and the chapel will be ahead of you. The Facility Task Force is discussing how to best implement Cathy Townley's recommendations regarding prayer chapels and where an additional chapel could be located. We do not anticipate making any changes to the existing Tennant Chapel.
Chancel Area (Cathy Townley report, pages 6 and 7)
This is a redesign process. We still need the function of a pulpit and lectern, but they can be smaller and portable. We are also considering how to make the Lord’s Table portable to increase the flexibility of the worship space. This is a tandem effort with the Worship Team. Look for updates in the near future.
Recommendations Recap (Cathy Townley report, page 10)
Cathy makes an excellent point in her recap list at the end of her report: "Count the cost for repurposing your space with screens and repositioning where kids meet (ﬁnancial, emotional and spiritual). Count the cost if you do nothing. Which will be more costly?" I admit, my initial reaction to the scope of change and the price of construction for those two actions involved only $$ signs. In terms of the cost of inaction, the cost of action is small. Look for a fundraiser in the near future.
I will be back in August for additional Facilities updates.