Imagine approaching St. Barnabas for an evening event and the church itself is lit-up by exterior lighting, in such a way that you wonder what you might discover inside. As we know from our various forays into grand buildings, the approach is all- important. This insight has long been held by Michael Bradley, our former lay leader responsible for property and grounds. His desire, and that of other members of the church, is being realized at long last. Thanks to modern LED lighting technology, as well as design expertise from Goldstick Lighting Design of Pelham, St. Barnabas will be bathed in soft light with good points highlighted. Just as in days of old, the approach to St. Barnabas down N. Broadway will be something of a feast for the eyes as the whole building will be more prominent to those who have passed it many times without comment or note. From an evangelistic perspective, churches at their best represent signs of hope on the landscape as well as promise inside. Speaking of signs, I am very grateful to Communications Co-Chair and vestry member Pam Middleton for getting a new sign made for the front lawn, very similar to the one that IPC has for advertising upcoming events.
Making the most of what we have is as much about intriguing the locals, as it is about being proud of our sacred space. I am very much looking forward to welcoming everyone back inside our church this Fall, knowing that we will have a state of the art air-filtration system that will clean the air we breathe and subtly reinvigorate the space in which we sing and pray. Next summer, for those who attend church as visitors or regular communicants, the sanctuary will be at a comfortable level of coolness. As many of us can appreciate, there is something inherently welcoming to step out of humidity and heat into a cooler space, be it a museum or cathedral.
Lastly and connectedly, McCormack lounge is also getting some long overdue TLC. I have long appreciated its mid-century modern design, and its modest yet very airy interior. It is an inherently welcoming gathering space. It reminds me of a school common room with its coffee bar, couch and shabby-chic feel. I am very grateful to Mia Pescetti for sharing her excellent eye for designing this renovation that will include a fresh coat of paint, a splash of color, as well as new carpeting and furniture. It will be a much refreshed ‘common room’ and the last space one passes through before entering the sanctuary for worship, where we are most at home as we assemble together before God.
Onward in the Spirit,
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.