From a burning bush to a pillar of light.Exodus 3:4,12
From the beginning our vision has always been to make God known into the community (Dublin 15 and more). The future building will then serve the Church and its different ministries as a tool and an environment for making God known. In it we will be proclaiming the truth and through it we will be serving others. Accordingly, we see it as a permanent place where people will come to learn, to worship, to fellowship, and also as a flexible springboard for different community aimed projects.
A 2-teams building committee
We need two teams for the project. One team is to identify the needs of the church in its mission. The team may be comprised of current board members, representatives of different ministries and departments in the church (children, youth, women, ACS, evangelism etc.). The pastor may lead this team. It is a representative team, drafting the needs in a realistic and yet envisioning approach. We will need to listen to people and include their feedback in the work of the team.
The discussions will materialise in the form of a report. It will inform on “what” is needed and “why” is needed. Backed by the church, this report will be sent to a smaller, second team who will deal with the “how” to make it.
A second team will do the project. Acting as a reality check on the plan above (how much money, how long it takes, is it doable, where to cut, what to add, changing factors), they are responsible for effective design and work. This team will have to find the right architect/designer and the right builder for the work.
Some people will need to be in both teams. One communicator will serve between the teams, and between the teams and the church (maybe the pastor or the clerk).
We need faithful people, trusting God above all things. People dreaming big and yet be realistic. People going step by step and yet envisioning more. Men and women making a sure plan (all on board, on the same page), and yet flexible enough to accommodate other views or turns, as valid.
Stewardship is the keyword here. We are stewards of money, of church space, of time people have available. We are stewards of opportunities. It may be the project of our lifetime, the fruition of a ten year journey. (Pastors come and go, but local leaders and members are here to stay. It will be the project of the congregation.)
We are not building it for ourselves (as our homes), where our preference is key. Instead, here it is for church at large and families, for visitors and for the next generation.
Study the needs
The building team (team #2) will study the needs of the church (report from team #1) and evaluate it against the potential of the building (a thorough assessment of existing spaces). Needs may be as follows: auditorium, rooms (for kids, youth), storage, fellowship lunch area, kitchen, toilets.
We will aim for multi-use room(s), suitable for the needs for ACS and other ministries (prayer room and board room and teaching room). There is no wisdom in one room being open only 1-2 hours per week. Instead, all spaces should be versatile (easily turned into something else, as needed.)
Common sense steps forward
- Develop some definite ideas about what can be done (and what not).
- Get an architect for the work.
- Consult different constructors for solutions, prices, timelines.
The work will be done in stages, answering first needs in line with financial capacities. Fundraising continues. Teams need to be made to help reduce the costs (cleaning, painting, helping). Interest and enthusiasm may wane, from time to time. We need tasks fulfilled, progress evident, stages completed.
We’ll address the spaces as we envision them now, with the perspective of somebody coming as a visitor. Imagine a family coming in and being in need to be oriented:
A big sign should be there, placed high in clear letter. Maybe a generic Adventist Community Centre, and then specific small frames (like here):
- Adventist Community Services Dublin
- Dublin West Seventh-day Adventist Church
- Discover Truth Media Centre
Entrance and Lobby
We have two access doors into the building. A smaller one, for regular access. A bigger one (roller door) for an improved flow. This also brings more natural light. Which one will be the main? There is a reception now (do we need it?) What about a more spacious entrance hall/lobby where people can feel welcome, have a glass of water, leave their umbrella etc.
We have two toilets downstairs. We will probably need two more and maybe one for disabled/family (more spacious). They need to be clean, with mirrors to give the feeling of more space.
Sabbath school rooms that can be dedicated to them (colours, items, themes). And yet the same rooms should be versatile – to be used for other needs (if possible), during the week. Another request may be for a Mother and Child Room.
This can be one room or the balcony (a mezzanine level to be built up on the main hall). The point is to maximise the use of every space.
- Where will the platform (and pulpit) be placed? How big the platform (to host a choir for a concert)? There is to be a permanent piano.
- Will there be a baptismal font? (Under the raised platform, and half way under its level?)
- How many chairs? (Pews excluded, side benches may work. The same benches can be an option for balcony.) How will the hall plan be made (chairs, isles)
- We need one main door and a second exit. Can we think of using an extension (the space toward the rolling door)
- Technical issues: electricity, cables for microphones, technical desk (where), video projector or two big tv screens?
- Lights, ventilation, heating
- Walls insulated (good for heating, good for sound), maybe backlit panels or stained glass (fake/imitation windows)
- Carpet or something else? (easy to clean; carpet tiles)
Needed for ACS and for the church, as well as for other meetings where you need a boiled water for tea, or a microwave to heat up something. Where to be located?
We all love fellowship lunches. What will be the best space: upper level rooms, balcony, extension at ground floor, part of the main hall (under the balcony), the entire main hall (platform excluded).