A weekly Rector’s Notes article, June 17, 2019
This summer we are undertaking a number of projects, big and small, major changes to minor rearranges, to update, re-imagine, repair, and renovate our shared spaces to better serve our various ministries, to better protect our people, to better welcome all who come to be with us.
At our most recent vestry meeting, we have committed to the following projects:
- Exterior Door Locks: We are changing ALL EXTERIOR DOOR LOCKS. Due to Diocese of Olympia Policy requiring that all who have exterior door access be Safeguard Trained (and our own inability to guarantee that we can currently meet this requirement) we are changing all of our exterior door locks. We will be installing an electronic door lock on the back door entry, and pass codes will be given out to those who complete Safeguard Training and request exterior access.
- Baird House FISH Pantry: As mentioned in announcements, we are building a permanent FISH Pantry on the North End of the Baird House. This permanent pantry serves many purposes: the FISH distribution center can stay permanently set up, FISH recipients will no longer have to wait outside in the elements (rain, hot sun, etc.), other groups (including NA/AA, Winter’s Night) will be able to use Baird House during FISH distribution weeks without interruption. We will also be able to re-imagine the Baird House space so that it meets a wider array of needs that cannot currently be met with it’s need to be so flexible in space.
- Front Family Pew/Children’s Sitting Area: We will be removing the front pew on the Lectern side of the church nave to create an intentional Children’s Sitting Area. With children appropriate seating options, access to Godly Play stories, spiritual activities designed to center and engage the young mind, and placing in a space where view of the service is at its best, we hope to become even more welcoming to families who are coming to our church (both current and new families alike!). As church attendance needs and cultural norms shift, we as the church need to keep up with the expectations that people have for shared spaces, and we hope that this space will meet not only the needs of all families, but also all those that worship at St. Stephen’s. This project was recommended to the vestry by both the Formation and Worship Committees, and was approved by the vestry, with the understanding that we may need to adjust elements as practice dictates.
- Library/Nursery/Children’s Space: By recommendation of the Formation Committee and with approval by the vestry, we are going to be re-imagining the West End Library space. We will be removing the table and couch and putting in a children’s space, complete with low chairs and table, and converting the bottom two shelves into activity storage for children and youth. This will not impact the library itself, except removing one area for adult meetings (we are keeping the table and golden chair meeting area on the East end of the library). We are doing this for two reasons: (1) we are moving away from our traditional Nursery model as we have not had any families taking advantage of the nursery in at least 6 months, we will still have a nursery option for visitors and congregants who need it but it will be in this new space (which has the benefit of being more easily accessed from the church), and (2) we want to create an intentional space for children and youth to utilize during coffee hour and during parish formation and fellowship events.
- Sacristy Carpet: The sacristy carpet will be receiving a much needed update this summer.
- Painting Projects: We will be updating and refreshing some of our paint (accent walls, not full building) in order to create warmer welcoming spaces that invite newcomers into our building. More details to come.
- Montessori Expansion: An additional project happening this summer, but not directly impacting our general day-to-day, is an expansion of the Big Leaf Montessori school into the lower level Classroom 1, 2, & 3 spaces. They will be removing the interior walls between these classrooms to create one large classroom space for a new Day Care/Pre-School/Kindergarten.
These projects will happen throughout this summer. Some have already started, some may not start for another month or so, but by the end of the summer we will have accomplished all of these projects and be ready to kick off another great program year (as is tradition, our church program year roughly follows the school year calendar) at St. Stephen’s! If you have any questions, please feel free to talk with one of your wonderful vestry members, with Family Ministries Coordinator Gretchen Moore, with Property Committee Chair Margaret Lapic, or with your rector!