As we announced on Sunday, July 10, 2016, The Chapel's Lockport Campus will be adding the use of another building: the former church building of St. Mary's. This will become our new worship center at the Lockport Campus and will expand our visible, identifiable presence in our community. I can't wait! You probably have a few questions about what is next, so I've done my best to anticipate some of those questions here:
When will we be moving in?
We're planning to move in this upcoming winter season. Since there's a lot of work to be done, we don't know exactly how long that will take. But as things pick up speed, we will provide a more precise move-in date.
When can we see inside?
While I would love to lead weekly tours through the facility, for everyone's safety, we can't allow tours while it is an active work zone (and work has already begun!). That's why we will be updating you every week on this site so you can stay current. We will post photos, videos, and written blog updates throughout the process. Plus, we want the grand reveal to be a surprise worth looking forward to!
Is it ours? Are we buying it or leasing it?
This is home for us. We aren't going anywhere. We have signed a longterm lease - much longer, in fact, than our original lease that we signed in 2014 when moving to Walnut Street. We have also agreed to purchase terms, and when that does become a possibility, our lease payments will go towards that purchase price. I'm confident that this is a wise choice from a stewardship standpoint.
What will it look like?
It's not going to look like any other space currently used for worship at any campus of The Chapel. This will be a beautiful blend of 19th Century architecture that is ready for 21st Century worship. Our architect has tons of experience in working with Catholic facilities and we are going to maintain much of the beauty and integrity of the space. Stained glass, original woodworking - it's going to be beautiful. But it will also be suitable to everything we do for coprorate worship at The Chapel, making it a one-of-a-kind space.
Will it be handicap accessible?
This space will be significantly more manageable from an accessibility standpoint than the school building. The worship center will be accessed by a ramp (no need for a chair lift), and we are adding a large handicap accessible bathroom right off the atrium. There will be additional bathroom facilities on the second floor - far exceeding the building code for what is necessary.
How can we get involved? How can we volunteer?
This project is a little different from renovating the school building. Because of its scope and size, we will be using skilled labor for most of it. If there are opportunities for volunteer help, we will definitely make those known. The best way to get involved right now would be to pray, give, and find a place to serve. We need people to pray. We want to see people walk in the fullness of what it means to be a generous giver. And we have to be ready for the influx of new people when we open these doors this winter - which means we need additional help in every facet of ministry. So find a place to serve!
What can we be praying for?
3 things in particular:
1. Construction. For the safety of workers, for efficient AND qualified contractors, for work to be done well, and to set us up for a solid future.
2. Financials. That God would release every available resource to be able to provide for this facility renovation, and that perhaps God would call you to a deeper level of generosity for this specific purpose.
3. Community. That this transition for our church would be well-received by the community of Lockport - particularly those who called the St. Mary's Church "home" in the past. I don't want our excitement (and we should be excited) to inadvertently trample over the sensitivity of some people who have an attachment to this facility. Pray also that we would use this season of transition as an opportunity to point people to Jesus, not draw attention to ourselves. And pray that God would begin right now to soften the hearts of people who need to see and hear the Gospel.
I can't wait to see what God does in this next chapter. Thank you for your prayers and commitment to reaching every man, woman, and child with the Gospel!
Together for the Mission,