The Church building is not God’s house. We often hear it called that, but we are God’s house. God’s house is not bricks and mortar, it is flesh and blood. This is an interesting thought; there would still be an IPC even if we didn’t have a building. But we do have a building - we have a wonderful building in need of some renovation. IPC’s facilities are a gift handed down by God over the past decades. Let us continue stewarding God’s resources by making sure that they are relevant and safe for the generations to come. The good news of the Gospel does not change; however, technology does. We are responsible and accountable to make sure IPC continues to be salt and light in the Memphis community. This Renovation Campaign is an opportunity for each of us to actively steward the infrastructure God has provided to His people. Renovating the building is not free. Take this opportunity to be part of funding the building of the church in a real way. Seek to give to this project cheerfully and sacrificially. We have each been blessed with resources, and we are called to use them to further the Gospel.
The plans for renovation involve four important aspects of the ministry of IPC. "Gather to Worship" involves updates to the Sanctuary. "Gather into Community" is descriptive of how people will enjoy the open concept of the Main Lobby, Rotunda and centrally located Bookstore. "Gather to make Disciples" describes the improvements that will be made to the Chapel and other Sunday School classrooms. "Gather to be Salt and Light" evokes the goal behind renovating the Student Ministry areas. These four specific categories of updates are described with architectural renderings and floor plans to help you visualize the scope of the project. Pray for patience as IPC goes through this process. Pray for unity in the church, and pray for the Holy Spirit to lead you in what you should give. Pray that our Lord would provide for all of our needs during this renovation project.
The Sanctuary at Independent Presbyterian Church is one of our most treasured assets. For almost 50 years our congregation has gathered in this space to worship and sing hymns of praise to our God. The renovations that are planned for the Sanctuary will enhance our worship service and the longevity of the space, as we look forward to the coming years and to future generations who will gather there.
Over the years, our need has grown for improved technology to convey the full range of musical talent and Gospel preaching. Congregational singing will be enhanced significantly through upgrades to the audiovisual system and acoustic ceiling tiles. In addition, an extended chancel and stage with new wood flooring will increase the capacity for our special programs and weddings. Brighter lighting throughout the Sanctuary will enable a richer worship experience. Slate flooring under the pews, as well as new carpet in the aisles, will enhance the beauty of our worship area and contribute to its improved acoustic features. The new flooring will complement the Sanctuary’s traditional Georgian architecture and increase durability. Updated textiles, a fresh coat of paint and attention to the pews, will further enrich the warm atmosphere of our Sanctuary. New chairs in the choir loft and new theater seats in the balcony will be added, as well as appropriate non-slip flooring.
Richie has reminded us that, "Lighting, sound, carpet and church pews are not the point of this renovation. We as a church are seeking to renovate these items to provide an inviting, rich and worshipful experience for those who are here today and for those who will worship here in the decades to come. All of our improvements are for Christ’s people."
The Chapel at Independent Presbyterian Church is a haven, welcoming our people to gather into smaller groups for prayer and worship. Renovations planned for our Chapel will increase its comfort and versatility and allow groups to use it for a variety of purposes. A Sunday School community will be able meet in this room on Sunday
mornings, or this area can be a location for small weddings or other worship services. New carpet, seating and upgraded audiovisual equipment will improve the Chapel’s functionality, while a fresh coat of paint and new wooden floors in the chancel area will enhance its traditional architectural features. Additionally, the Chapel narthex will be refinished with a new slate floor and brightened with better lighting.
This space will be open during Worship Services at 8:30 and 11:00 a.m., for general overflow from the sanctuary or for parents with young babies who would like to worship in this space with their children. The updated audiovisual system will allow the service to be projected onto a retractable screen in high quality definition, so that those in the Chapel can feel as though they are worshiping with those in the Sanctuary. These renovations to the Chapel will make worship available to many ages and seek to do what Richie has said: to make our church a more inviting space for everyone, from each walk of life.
Our Bookstore is a favorite gathering place for fellowship and an excellent resource for our congregation, as we prepare ourselves to be salt and light in our community. Its warm atmosphere and the attractive layout draw people of all ages to peruse its shelves and enjoy special events and story hours. The relocation of the Bookstore to the main floor will increase its accessibility and visibility. The entrance from the main lobby will encourage people to gather and linger over the books and other materials available. A wooden storefront entry and new millwork and flooring will add to its charm and enhance the atmosphere of the lobby area. In addition, a new entrance from the outside with handrails will allow direct access to the Bookstore.
The Bride’s Room will be relocated across the hall to connect it directly with the women’s restroom. This will make our facilities more convenient for wedding parties and accommodate another gathering area in the place of our current Bride’s Room. The walls will be removed to open up this space to the Main Lobby and Rotunda. A coffee bar and sitting area will foster community and provide our congregation with a convenient, inviting place for one-on-one and small group gatherings. New flooring and lighting in the coffee bar and main lobby will equip this high traffic area for the many years of fellowship to come. As Richie has said, "We are a community, and these changes are meant to enhance our community."
The Junior High and Senior High Rooms will both be renovated. The work will include expansion to both areas. The relocated kitchen in the Senior High room will allow for a larger serving area for dinners. New furniture and audiovisual equipment will make the spaces more comfortable and interactive for the students. New seating areas with tables and chairs can be used for small group ministry opportunities or Bible studies. The expanded assembly spaces and extended stage areas will increase the possibilites for music and allow more students to attend larger meetings.
Video | Sunday, June 1, 2014
On Sunday, June 1, 2014 (during the Sunday School Hour) in the IPC Fellowship Hall - the congregation gathered for a presentation of the church renovations. Click below to view a video of the 40 minute presentation including a questions and answers section at the end. The four speakers on this video are: (in order of appearance) Josh Davis (Campaign Chairman), Richie Sessions (Senior Pastor), Dickey Meena (Building Committee Chairman) and Scott Fleming (Architect for the IPC Renovations)
Frequently Asked Questions:
Why Are We Doing This? The reasons for the Gather to Grow in Christ renovation campaign are three fold.
1st: Some of our facilities are simply wearing out. This is especially true in the sanctuary. Many of the pews are cracking and sagging. The carpet has begun to fray in certain areas. Our staff has done a wonderful job of patching things together but it’s to the point where replacement is the better option. Our chapel is a wonderful but under used area it needs to be updated and made more functional.
2nd: We need to look to the future. We don’t do capital campaigns often; the last one was 20 years ago. IPC needs to make upgrades in lighting, acoustics and technology to remain relevant for future generations. Many of these upgrades (such as the slate floor in the sanctuary which will greatly improve the acoustics) are not only necessary for the future but can be done much less expensively at the time we are replacing the pews and carpet. As we look to the future we need to ensure that our facility is seen as an inviting one that encourages community and fellowship. The bookstore, rotunda and youth room improvements are designed to do just that.
3rd: As we renovate and improve our facility, additionaly costs will inevitably occur, as older equipment and dated technology need to be replaced and repaired. Therefore, the church leadership has decided that up to $500,000 of the campaign contributions will be put into the Fixed Asset and Reserve account to ensure IPC has the needed funds to maintain the renovations and improvements that we are making.
Do commitments to the campaign have to be paid all at once? No. Commitments to the Gather to Grow in Christ Renovation Campaign can be paid out over a three year period.
Why should campaign commitments be over and above my current giving to IPC? The purpose of the renovation campaign is to enhance and expand the ministry work God is already doing through our church. God is using your current annual giving to do amazing things in our congregation and in our community. Therefore, we humbly ask that you cheerfully and sacrificially make your commitment over and above your current annual giving.
What if the Lord blesses us with commitments over and above the 2.5 million dollar goal?
If giving exceeds our goal, then the next priorities would be to make other capital improvements on our list that have been recommended by the congregation during this process, and there would be a greater investment in more technological upgrades, and we would possibly put additional dollars into the Fixed Asset and Reserve Acccount.
When will the renovation be done and be completed? Phase 1 of the renovation (the sanctuary and chapel) will start in August and is scheduled to be completed by early December. Phase 2 of the renovation (the bookstore, the rotunda and the youth rooms) will begin in January and is scheduled to be completed by April.
When should I turn in my commitment by? All commitments should be turned in on or before Commitment Sunday which is Sunday, August 10th.
When will we know how much has been raised? September 14 will be Celebration Sunday. The results of our campaign will be announced, and we will celebrate a churchwide picnic after 11 o'clock Worship service.
How should I turn in my commitment? You have a few options: 1) You may mail your Renovation Campaign envelope in to the IPC. 2) You may drop your Renovation Campaign envelope in the offering plate on Sunday mornings. 3) You may put your Renovation Campaign envelope in the campaign commitment boxes (available July 13 - August 10 in the rotunda.) ** Be sure to always write Renovation Campaign in the memo line of your check. 4) You may set up your commitment and payment schedule online via IPC e-giving. Click HERE to link to online giving.
Since many things can change in three years, including my financial situation, can I make a commitment for only one year? Your commitment is not a binding contract. We encourage you to make a commitment for the 3-year period of The Renovation Campaign. If you encounter financial hardships, or if your situation improves, we ask you to prayerfully decide how to handle the remainder of your commitment. However, if after praying you wish to make a one-time gift to The Renovation Campaign, you may certainly do so.
Why do you talk about cheerful and sacrificial giving and what does it mean? Generosity is not measured by the size of a gift, but rather by the attitude and the sacrifice that goes into the gift. Jesus specifically points this out while observing people donating to the temple. He identifies the widow’s gift as more than all the rest, because it was not given from her surplus, but from her own need (Luke 21: 1-4). Not everyone will be able to contribute the same amount. What is hoped for is that all are making a sacrifice in the spirit of faithful generosity to a cause that matters to God.