Members of the Oconee Street UMC discussed the rebuilding of the former sanctuary and education building in an open congregational input session on June 30, 2013.
The meeting was hosting by the Building Committee, charged with the determining the process for demolition, construction and fundraising for the new church building. Brian Leahy of the University of Georgia J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development guided the discussion and compiled a comprehensive report of his findings. Read the full report here: Congressional Input 6.30.13 Report FINAL.
Leahy noted four themes that emerged from the group discussion:
- Flexibility — the church must be flexible in designing the new space allowing for anticipated growth and adherence to various regulations.
- “To Slope or Not to Slope” — there are varying opinions among church members about how to design the new space. The reality is “we will all not be happy with everything, but everyone will likely be happy with something.”
- “The Elephant in the Room” — parking, which was a major issue for the church before the April 15 fire, should be seriously considered during this reconstruction.
- Utilitarian Space vs. Sacred Space — there are significant philosophical differences among church members with regard to the sacristy space. However, there will be ample space within the new design for sacred space for worship and flexible meeting spaces.
All comments will be taken into account as the Building Committee continues to meet weekly to determine the church’s next steps.