Each Sunday morning, members of Lord of Life Lutheran Church gather in a former stable at 276 N. Roscoe Blvd. to join together in worship and fellowship.
Last Sunday afternoon, members gathered in the field next to the stable to mark a momentous occasion in the life of the congregation: the ceremonial groundbreaking of a new, air-conditioned sanctuary. Guests filed in through stakes marking what will be the new sanctuary’s entrance and gathered around the newly turned earth in the shape of a cross, as Interim Pastor Kerry Hinkley led attendees in a service to bless the ground upon which the new sanctuary will be built.
“Let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us, and bless the work of our hands,” Hinkley said, “that as we, in your name, undertake the building of a house to your glory, we may be blessed in its beginning, prospered in its continuance and established in its completion; through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Grasping a ceremonial golden shovel, Hinkley bent and formally broke ground on the new building.
“I break ground in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit,” Hinkley said, before passing the shovel to other local clergy, including Beth El at the Beaches Rabbi Michael Matuson, who offered a Hebrew blessing.
“We’re very excited – it’s been a long time coming,” said Church Council President Cindy Tanton, noting that approximately 30 families currently comprise the congregation. “We believe that will grow when we get into the new, air-conditioned sanctuary.”
Designed by Catherine Duncan Architects, the new 3,327 square-foot building will include an 1,847 square-foot sanctuary as well as office and classroom space, restrooms and a small kitchen. The building will also have covered front and back porches plus breezeways between the sanctuary and office/classroom space, for a total of 1,699 square feet of covered outdoor space.
“We wanted to respect the local history of the area and ensure the natural beauty of the church property was incorporated into the experience of the congregation,” Duncan said. “Glass curtain walls will let in light as well as provide a strong connection from the interior sanctuary space to the natural setting of the site.”
Current plans call for an ambitious timeline that would have the new sanctuary completed in late 2017 or early 2018, church officials said, noting that building plans are available in the church’s current sanctuary for those who would like to review them.
“This is a warm, friendly congregation that has prayed for guidance on constructing a new building,” Hinkley said, “and hopes to be a relevant, welcoming site that is used by the community and for those who are looking for a church home.”