To the constant stream of motorists rolling along N. Broadway, our idyllic village church might look like a place of relative slumber. However, within these granite walls there is a growing sense of momentum and excitement at the prospect of fully welcoming everyone back post-pandemic, of new beginnings for St. Barnabas in terms of spiritual and parish growth.
We’ve reported many times on how the closing of our church has opened us up to new ways of reaching out and communicating in a time of crisis. Now, we can begin to report on how the rumble of change also is being felt in the very foundations of the building itself. We have begun to evaluate and audit our current mechanical systems with a goal to install both air conditioning and air filtration to improve the comfort and safety of worshippers in our beautiful sanctuary. Your vestry leadership is excited at the prospect of making our church a more welcoming physical environment for all of us, for all those who visit, and those who are yet to become members. This major engineering assessment will also provide us with information to determine how we can reduce our carbon footprint and make our church an even more idyllic place to be. It’s my hope that we will become as elegant in the mechanical “guts” of our operation, as we are outwardly charming as a church and sanctuary.
At the same time, the term restoration can also be applied to our shared life as a congregation. This process of restoration, by the grace of God, began during the pandemic with the shift of gears to digital church and outdoor worship, and now continues with taking stock of the programs and services we offer. To help us launch and further the first phase of this process, the Vestry has engaged the services of church consultant Jamie Martin-Currie, in order to review our ministries to children and youth. I encourage all of us to engage proactively in the generation of insights and ideas by filling out the survey and taking part in the listening groups that Jamie is running. Post-pandemic, we want our church to be a welcoming place to return to and a spiritually-uplifting community we can all lay claim to afresh.
Onward in hope,
Gareth Evans serves as the rector of St. Barnabas. He is an inspirational leader who brings significant pastoral experience, a depth of reverence in worship, and a relatable preaching style.