Going from Off-White to Ivory

I remember when my church changed the paint color of our Sanctuary.

Our Sanctuary is a beautiful space with big bright windows, deep moldings, and a high-vaulted ceiling. Wonderful, classical architecture.

It’s where I was married. Both my children were baptized here, using the old marble baptismal font. I’ve spent 27 Christmas eves worshipping here.

Yet, I still remember the reaction when we repainted the Sanctuary.

From off-white to ivory.

You know, at the time (I was 28) this reaction seemed over-the-top. Really? Off-white to ivory? I think the only way we could tell was the tiny bit of additional contrast between the cornice and the ceiling.

But know, with all the wisdom of 25 more years under my belt, it makes sense.

Where we worship has meaning. Shared experiences. Great highs and deep lows. We rejoice and mourn. Meet new friends and say goodbye to old ones.

We experience God within these four walls. And fellowship, too. And beautiful worship. Candlelight services. Cantatas. Prayer vigils.

All significant in our lives together.

So change to where we worship — our Sanctuary — is a big deal.

Change anywhere is a big deal.

So now, change is afoot once more.

We’re taking out pews to make way for members in wheelchairs.

We may make some of the pews shorter. Remove others entirely.

And it will definitely change the way the Sanctuary looks, and the way we use it. Session spent an extended time discussing all the options. How will this affect Communion? How much turning radius do we need? What are the sight-lines?

We even asked if removing some pews would mean that the mother of the bride and the mother of the groom would not be parallel at weddings!

I have to say, as the dad of one of our more vocal wheelchair users, I am comforted by this discussion and attention to minutia.

My church wants to get it right.

We want all to be welcome.

And some of us are even willing to give up our usual seats to make it so.



Through the Roof

A Blog Supported by the Mosaic ministry of Third Church, ECO

"Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. 4 Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on." (Mark 2:3-4)

About: This is a blog about accessibility, intimacy, and community. About being welcome.  It’s also about bringing up The Boy. He's 11 years old and has cerebral palsy. Also popping up are The TeenGirl, who just turned 13, and The Mom, who is awesome. It's written by The Dad. It's my words, my view. Other people will think differently and have different opinions. Good.