Sacred Space Renewal

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Please visit us!  Our sanctuary’s renovation is complete and we are so happy with the final product. Even though the renovation is complete, we invite you to learn about the process and to prayerfully consider supporting the capital campaign.

First Congregational Church of Ripon was and is at a crossroad.  It was time for us to act and move our church forward for the next generation.  That is what our SACRED SPACE RENEWAL campaign is all about — To honor our past while building our future.

The Congregation took the first step toward accomplishing this goal at our November 22nd, 2015 meeting when we voted to begin the SACRED SPACE  capital campaign to raise the funds necessary to renovate or our historic sanctuary. The Sacred Space Committee spent a very active year identifying and prioritizing the needs of the church.  They solicited the input of members and identified the following goals:

  1. Create a balanced, visually appealing, flexible and accessible chancel area.
  2. Refurbish the existing organ, remove the choir pipes in the chancel area, clean and re-voice the main pipes in the balcony, and replace the current organ console with a moveable console.
  3. Refurbish the balcony area so that it is visually balanced and appealing when seen from the fellowship hall entrance, includes a technical booth and provides a safe overflow seating area.
  4. Replace the current pews with pews that are comfortable, sturdy and similar in style to the current pews. Add 2-3 rows of pew chairs to provide flexible-use and handicapped seating at the front of the sanctuary.
  5. Create an inviting, well-lit and functional narthex.
  6. Upgrade mechanical components, including lighting, electricity and HVAC.

Our old sanctuary was not an adequate representation of our character as a vital and growing congregation. The sanctuary looked tired, faded, outdated, and inaccessible to those with walkers, wheelchairs, or other disabilities. Our chancel area did not allow for groups of musicians and our steps do not hold our growing choir. Our balcony did not fit within building code requirements and needed a railing and reinforced flooring. Additionally, there were hidden needs, such as outdated electrical wiring and an inefficient heating system, which presented safety concerns and increasing expense in the future.

Our church also has a long-standing relationship with Ripon College and the wider community.  The upgraded sanctuary allows us to enhance that relationship in a mutually beneficial manner by providing a performance space for musicians and a venue for weddings.

To see our services and ministries thrive with God’s blessings, we ask that you prayerfully and thoughtfully consider a contribution that will allow for a full and beautiful future for this Sacred Space.

A powerpoint presentation on the committee’s research on replacing vs. refurbishing the pews: Pew Research

A powerpoint presentation to the present the project to the congregation in November, 2015: 2015-11-01 Presentation to Congregation

A newsletter article on the importance of chancel accessibility: Nothing is Stopping You

How can I contribute to the cost of the project? Contact our Campaign Coordinator at campaign@riponcongregationalucc.org.