Download a Copy of the Campaign Pledge Form
The Campaign Pledge Form can be downloaded here if you need one.
Nave Restoration Update – September 2020
Click here to download the letter from the Campaign Chair, the Senior Warden, and the Rector.
Sacred Sound and Space Happenings!
Exciting things will be happening in our worship space over the next few months. The Vestry has approved a plan to move a number of the Sacred Sound and Space projects, originally scheduled for 2021, ahead by a year. This decision takes advantage of our unfortunate inability to use the Nave for worship due to the ongoing pandemic and is possible now because sufficient payments on pledges have already been received to fund these projects.
But before describing the upcoming work we should take a moment to note what has already been accomplished. The balcony has been reinforced to correct an existing structural problem and to ensure it can support the new organ. The lighting in the Nave has been significantly improved. And the carpet in the Chancel has been replaced by a beautiful new heart pine floor. Not only is the new floor beautiful, those that know about such things have observed that the improvement in acoustics is noticeable.
So, what is going to be happening?
In early October all the pews will be removed from the Nave by the company that is going to refinish and refurbish them. This will be followed by the construction of scaffolding that will allow workers to reach the ceiling. Over a period of weeks workers will use a combination of screws and nails to better attach loose boards and trim to the ceiling joists. Other workers will install reinforcement above the ceiling in the attic. The several gaps in the ceiling will be filled in. We will also take advantage of the scaffolding to both clean the ceiling and refresh the stain. The work on the ceiling will not only improve the acoustics in the Nave but also the ceiling’s appearance. And, while we are at it, we will put insulation above the ceiling, the first time there has ever been energy-saving insulation there.
While the pews are out we will repaint the brown wainscoting and will also take advantage of the scaffolding to give the walls on either side of the Nave a fresh coat of paint.
Having the pews out will allow us to remove the worn carpet and restore the heart pine floor in the Nave. We anticipate that the restored floor will be as beautiful as the restored heart pine floor in the Narthex. Not only will our restored floor be beautiful, it will also significantly improve the acoustics in the Nave.
While all this work is going on we will also replace the failing lighting control panel, another Sacred Sound and Space project, and relocate it from the balcony to the Narthex.
Assuming everything happens on schedule, the work should be completed and our refurbished pews reinstalled in the Nave by early February.
After the above work has been completed the remaining Sacred Sound and Space projects will be structural changes in the balcony related to the installation of our magnificent new organ and the installation of the organ itself, The Main Event! This work will be done in late 2022 and early 2023.
Look for pictures of all the work described above as it progresses.
And thank you for your prayers and your financial support for both the Annual Stewardship Campaign and the Sacred Sound and Space campaign.
Bob Emory Jean Reichenbach The Rev. Paul Canady
SSS Chair Sr. Warden Rector
Chancel Floors Update – July 2020
Click here to view some images of our Chancel Floors refinishing project.
March 15 Milestone — UPDATE
As we march past the middle of the Sacred Sound and Space campaign, it’s important to meet or exceed our primary goal of $1,285,000. To reach that goal we need new commitments of $122,725 by March 15th. For those who have sent in their pledge card, we thank you! Some of your church family members have volunteered to help with follow up calls to make sure we stay on track. They will be reaching out to you this week and next to encourage you to send in your pledge card if you intend to participate. As a reminder, one-time gifts are welcome as well.
Our volunteer callers have learned that most parishioners intend to pledge, but due to the busyness of life, have simply not yet completed the pledge card. The best thing our volunteer callers can hear is that, “I have sent in a pledge card.” If you have a concern or a pastoral need, please gently let the volunteer caller know so that they can pass along the information to the right people.
As of March 4 we have 173 pledges. We need 300. We need every member and every dollar to make sure that Christ Church’s sacred spaces and sounds continue to provide outreach and evangelism opportunities for this and future generations.
Again, for those who have not yet participated, you can help NOW by returning your pledge card before March 15th.
Choral Evensong and Presentation by our Organ Builders
Join us at 4:00 pm, Sunday, March 8 for a special presentation by representatives from our organ builders, Taylor and Boody.
Following the presentation, we will have Choral Evensong service at 5:30 pm, featuring works by Sumsion, Martin, Wonacott and Smith sung by our Parish Choir.
Making Joyful Noise
Imagine a worship experience in which
- When singing, your voice along with the voices of your fellow worshipers, is lifted up by the organ and reverberates as one voice throughout the Nave
- The voices of preachers and readers are more easily heard
- When saying the Creeds or praying the Prayers our individual voices become one voice and reflect throughout the Nave
If you have worshipped in an old church in Europe, the Duke Divinity School Chapel or our Chapel you have had such a worship experience. While we cannot transform our Nave to fully replicate the acoustics of such places, we can make significant improvements. That is why we are stiffening our thin ceiling (ideally adding insulation at the same time, funds permitting) and removing the carpet in the Nave to allow our wooden floor to reflect sound rather than absorb it.
These improvements are among the recommendations made by acoustics experts and organ builders who visited our worship space and that is why they are included in the Sacred Sound and Space Campaign.
We look forward to making an even more joyful noise when the acoustic improvements are completed.
We invite you to join your fellow parishioners in giving to the SSS Campaign to make a joyful noise together. Pledge cards are available at the Campaign Booth in the Reception Area or in the Church Offices. Gifts can be made via check, the website (https://christchurchnewbern.com/give/ ) or by texting the word “FUNDS” to 833.233.8760. Should you have any questions, please connect with Deborah Cook (252.259.2791 / email@example.com) or Bob Emory (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Lighting — A Work in Progress
Most parishioners agree that lighting in much of the Nave is at best adequate and in some locations totally inadequate. A number of solutions have been explored and the search continues. One possible solution is to use a more powerful light bulb in the chandeliers and add diffuser lenses to them.
So, over the next couple of months do not be surprised to see some chandeliers with light bulbs of a different strength than others. What you see will not be a mistake; it will be an experiment.
Please be patient as we look for a good solution.
Weekly Scripture and Meditation Moment — March 1
Your Body is the Temple of the Holy Spirit
“Do you now know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from Good?” 1 Corinthians 6:19
Do you treat your body with respect taking care of what you eat and drink? Is your clothing reflective of that temple of the Holy Spirit that is within you?
March 15th Milestone
As we march past the middle of the Sacred Sound and Space campaign, it’s important to meet or exceed our primary goal of $1,285,000. To reach that goal we need new commitments of $143,230 by March 15th. For those who have sent in their pledge card, we thank you! Some of your church family members have volunteered to help with follow up calls to make sure we stay on track. They will be reaching out to you this week and next to encourage you to send in your pledge card if you intend to participate. As a reminder one time gifts are welcome as well.
Our volunteer callers have learned that most parishioners intend to pledge, but due to the busyness of life, have simply not yet completed the pledge card. The best thing our volunteer callers can hear is that, “I have sent in a pledge card.” If you have a concern or a pastoral need, please gently let the volunteer caller know so that they can pass along the information to the right people.
As of February 26 we have 159 pledges. We need 300. We need every member and every dollar to make sure that Christ Church’s sacred spaces and sounds continue to provide outreach and evangelism opportunities for this and future generations.
Again, for those who have not yet participated, you can help NOW by returning your pledge card by March 15th.
Campaign Progress Update — February 19
As of February 19, total pledges to the Sacred Sound and Space Campaign reached $1,114,720 with 146 pledges. That is an increase of nearly $60,000 and 17 pledges since last week. We have now reached 86.7 percent of our goal and are mindful that every gift, regardless of size, is important for the success of this campaign.
We have begun calling parishioners who have not yet participated in the campaign. Please let the caller know if you would like a personal visit for more information about the campaign. Also, if you have already submitted your pledge, please make the caller aware of this, as your pledge card could still be in process.
The time is now. If you intent to pledge to give to the campaign, now is the time. We would like to have completed gathering pledges for the primary goal by March 15.
Pledge cards are available at the Campaign Booth in the Reception Area or in the Church Offices. Gifts can be made via check, the website (https://christchurchnewbern.com/give/ ) or by texting the word “FUNDS” to 833.233.8760. Should you have any questions, please connect with Deborah Cook at 252.259.2791 or email@example.com.
Weekly Scripture Verse and Meditation Moment — February 23, 2020
The Great Commission
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” Matthew 28:19-20
In our Baptismal Covenant, we say that we will proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ. How have you done this in the past? What new ways might you be called to share your faith?
Why We Need Pledge Cards
Many people have asked, “Why do I need to sign a pledge card?”
Signing a pledge card goes beyond the notion of reaching a monetary goal and consequently being able to complete projects. For proper reporting and clean audits, we need a signed pledge card in the event we need to provide evidence to substantiate our accounts receive donations. Because the church is a nonprofit entity, we need to efficiently and accurately provide information to the diocese, the IRS and most importantly, to each of our donors, at the end of each year.
In order for your donation to be included in the Sacred Sound and Space campaign totals, the church needs to have your SIGNED pledge card. Below is the Sacred Sound and Space Capital Campaign pledge card, which differs from the Annual Giving Campaign pledge card.
Sacred Reflections February 23 — Tony Embrey
Good morning, I am Tony Embrey . As part of the Sacred Sound and Spaces Testimonials, I was asked to talk about what brought me to Christ Church. Like many of you, my faith journey is filled with experiences and stories that would take a long time to share. So most importantly, how did I end up here at Christ Church. In my late 30s and up until that time I struggled with my identity, my authentic self. Spiritually, I was not confused, but Circumstances that I won’t go into in this family setting, caused me to not be part of an active church. It was a difficult time but my faith got me through it. Long story made short, I retired, met Darrin, we moved to Western North Carolina and were married in October 2015. We talked about finding a church home but we just didn’t find one there. Time forward, we moved to New Bern in late November 2018. On one of our visits to the area before settling here, we met a gentleman who told us about Christ Church and said that we would be welcome and he encouraged us to visit. We talked about it and both felt that it was time for us to take another chance at finding a church home. Our first visit was just about a year ago just after Valentine’s Day. We chose the 11 am service because we thought it might be the most crowded and less of a possibility that we may stand out and feel awkward. Neither of us had been to an Episcopal Church service so we were nervous at first. But our fears quickly disappeared by the warm welcome we received as we entered and from those seated around us. I think what made us feel so comfortable early on was that when we looked around we saw other couples and families, “like” us. Maybe we wouldn’t feel like unicorns again, and just maybe we could be us, as we see ourselves, normal. After service several people invited us to join them in the Parish House for coffee, snacks and conversation. Darrin and I met so many people that first Sunday. So many names and kind faces surrounded us. We both felt that we were among friends, there wasn’t the awkward questions or silence that we sometimes experience when we meet people for the first time. During the next week, Darrin and I couldn’t stop talking about it and were excited to go back the next Sunday. Going to the Parish house after service became a regular routine for us and we looked forward to that part of every Sunday, getting to meet other members and have coffee and snacks. So when I read in the Messenger one Sunday that additional people were needed to provide snacks, I signed up. I have always enjoyed baking and sharing it with family and friends. I was excited to be able to get back to baking again. We were excited to feel accepted into a church family and be an active part of it. In closing, Darrin and I feel very blessed to be members at this church. Yes, we do need to take care of the physical needs of this building so that we may continue to gather here. But all of you fill this room with the joy of Christian fellowship and a welcoming, accepting spirit. You may never know how much good you’ve done for us, but we thank you for the warmth, open arms and love you showed us that first day and continue to share with us.
Weekly Scripture Verse and Meditation Moment – February 16, 2020
Wait for the Lord
“They who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31
So often we do not show patience. Have you ever gone ahead with a project before discerning whether it is God’s will for you? “I want to go to Africa as a missionary” is frequently said by young, enthusiastic Christians before waiting to hear if God is calling them to that ministry. Be patient and listen to God’s call.
Helping Us to Stay on Track
In making the first round of calls to parishioners, we have found that most of you are planning to pledge to the Sacred Sound and Space Campaign. And for that, we thank you!
Because we have a short window for the actual campaign, we need to hit a milestone by March 15 to stay on track. Your completed pledge card would help tremendously toward meeting that milestone.
You don’t have to fund your pledge now because you have three years to complete your pledge. But again, we would appreciate you returning your pledge card as soon as possible.
Sacred Sound and Space Campaign Goals – February 16, 2020
You probably know that the Sacred Sound and Space Campaign has adopted a Primary and a Stretch Goal. So, where did they come from and what does success look like?
The Campaign is raising money to replace our failing organ, make acoustical improvements that support our investment in a new organ and to take care of some overdue maintenance. During the Feasibility Study last year the parish narrowed down the list of potential projects to the six that are included in the Campaign. Also during the Study, through one-on-one interviews and a web survey, our consultant estimated the parish’s financial support for a Campaign at $1,285,000 and the Vestry adopted that figure as our Primary Goal.
But how does the Primary Goal compare to the cost of all the projects, including the cost of the Campaign and the Feasibility Study? The total cost, assuming everything comes in on budget, is over $1,700,000. We were fortunate to have previously received some funds for a new organ. We used that money, $210,000, to make the down payment on the organ, reducing the remainder needed to a little over $1,500,000.
Our consultant told us that, having narrowed down the original list of projects down to the ones with the most support from the Parish, it is not unreasonable to think we could reach a Stretch Goal of $1,426,000. The Vestry believed that all the projects included in the Campaign were necessary and they took a leap of faith.
With two goals, neither of which covers the total cost of all the projects, what does success look like? If our interactions with one another during the Campaign strengthen relationships and if we take advantage of the many opportunities for spiritual growth included in the Campaign, we will celebrate success when pledges reach $1,285,000, our Primary Goal. We will celebrate even more energetically when we reach our Stretch Goal of $1,426,000. And we will be ecstatic when pledges exceed $1,500,000!
Christ Church parishioners, in the tumultuous years following the Civil War, had the faith to build the beautiful Nave that we all love. Our worship in the Nave strengthens us and prepares us to serve God in our families and communities. This Campaign is our chance to stand on the shoulders of those who came before us and leave an enhanced worship space for those who come after us.
No pledge is too large and no pledge is too small. Well over a hundred people and families have stepped forward to support the Campaign; please join us as we renew this sacred space.
If you have questions about the Sacred Sound and Space Capital Campaign please contact Bob Emory at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Latest Pledge Update — February 12, 2020
As of February 12, total pledges to the Sacred Sound and Space Campaign reached $1,055,285 with 129 pledges. With 81.7 percent of our goal, we are thrilled with our progress and mindful that each gift, regardless of size, will be important for the success of this campaign.
We have begun calling parishioners who have not yet participated in the campaign. If you would like a personal visit for more information about the campaign, please let the callers know. The callers will provide additional information on the campaign should you have any questions, want to pledge by phone or want to participate in an upcoming small group event.
The time is now. If you intend to pledge to give to the campaign, now is the time.
Pledge cards are available at the Campaign Booth in the Reception Area or in the Church Offices. Gifts can be made via check, the website (https://christchurchnewbern.com/give/) or by texting the word “FUNDS” to 833.233.8760. PLEASE NOTE THAT THE “TEXT TO GIVE” NUMBER HAS CHANGED.
Should you have any questions, please connect with Deborah Cook at 252.259.2791. or deborahcook2062 @gmail.com.
A TALE OF TWO ORGANS
In school you probably read Charles Dickens’ long novel “A Tale of Two Cities”. This is a short story about two parishes.
A CENTRAL NEW JERSEY EPISCOPAL CHURCH IN THE LATE 1970’S
A basement flood severely damaged the large pipes of an early 20th Century electro-pneumatic organ, corroding the pipes and destroying the leathers and electronic relays.
The parish determined it was not a good investment to repair it. They decided on a capital campaign for a new organ plus deferred maintenance issues of approximately $1.5 million in today’s dollars. Approximately two thirds of this was associated with the organ.
One parishioner – Pharmaceutical heir of either Bristol, Meyers or Squibb – loved organs and even had one in his home. He agreed to essentially fund the new organ and help with the selection of a builder and its design. The rest of the parish only had to fund the balance of the maintenance items.
CHRIST CHURCH NEW BERN – TODAY
Its 1960’s electro-pneumatic organ was beginning to fail and not having a parishioner named Bristol, Meyers or Squibb, they formed an Ad Hoc Committee to study the issues. The Committee had musicians and non-musicians, long time parishioners and those newer to the parish. They consulted with experts who concluded that repair of the current organ would be a poor investment.
The Committee prioritized the characteristics of any new organ, identifying support of the congregational and choral singing as its primary mission. They solicited ideas from fellow parishioners, listened to various organs from different builders on CDs and the internet, and arranged to visit installations from their top rated builders.
The Committee learned from discussions with organ builders and site visits the importance of first making acoustical improvements to the Church, thus improving the hearing of the spoken word while minimizing the size and cost of any new organ.
As a result, the Vestry launched a capital campaign with an aspirational goal of approximately $1.5 million of which about $1 million has been raised to date but with half a million still to go. An ideal giving profile looks much like a Christmas tree, topped by the same large star gifts and supported by many smaller branches at the bottom. Our current profile is more pear shaped, lacking stars and many smaller branches.
WHICH IS THE MORE FORTUNATE PARISH?
Before you answer, as Paul Harvey would say “Let me tell you the rest of the story”.
The Bristol, Meyers or Squibb donor loved organs but mainly for concerts – especially French organ music – and he found a builder who loved to produce such organs. The builder designed the organ placement to maximize its acoustical presence – unfortunately this was right in front of the high altar. The parish rejected this placement so the builder, rather than re-designing the new organ, simply proposed it would be put on a new balcony attached to the rear of the nave. The parish again rejected this placement as it would block a beautiful stained glass rose window.
Rather than re-design the organ, the builder proposed a free-standing balcony partially down the nave. Unfortunately, after it was built, the free-standing balcony vibrated causing the organ to go out of tune. A parishioner who was a distinguished professor of civil engineering found a clever way of stabilizing the balcony which minimized, but could not eliminate this problem.
However, the organ with its blaring trumpets still did not support singing well, even after the addition of the electronic equivalent of long deep throated pipes. And, since the church was not air-conditioned, the placement of the organ high up under the roof combined with the high heat and humidity of New Jersey summers, caused it to continue to easily go out of tune.
The last thing I heard before moving from New Jersey, was that there were serious discussions underway about completely removing the organ.
So, even though Christ Church still has more fundraising to accomplish, I think you will agree that we will have the potential for a more fortunate outcome in “A Tale of Two Organs”.
To those reading this who have already given or pledged, thank you. If you have not yet given or pledged, please join us. If you are already part of this campaign, please encourage your friends in the parish to participate to make these projects a gift from all of us to the future of Christ Church.
— Chris McCrudden
Some of the projects that are part of the Sacred Sound and Space Capital Campaign are attention-grabbers like the replacement of our failing organ; others are less glamorous. One of the less exciting but nonetheless necessary projects is the replacement of our lighting control panel.
The lighting control panel controls all the lights in the Nave. The current one has become unreliable, is beyond its expected life and cannot be repaired. We will replace the failing panel, currently located in the balcony, and locate the new one in the narthex. There will be an additional control pad in the chancel area.
While a new lighting panel is not as exciting as replacing our organ, it is one of those deferred maintenance projects that we have included in the Campaign.
Please prayerfully consider how you will support the Sacred Sound and Space Campaign. We believe that all the projects, glamorous or mundane, will work in concert to enhance our worship experience and strengthen us to go out and serve the Lord.
No pledge is too large or too small; every member counts. If you have questions about the Sacred Sound and Space Capital Campaign please contact Bob Emory at email@example.com
Weekly Scripture Verse and Meditation Moment — February 9, 2020
Take Up Your Cross Daily and Follow Him
“Then he said to them all, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” Matthew 10:38
How does It make you feel to carry the cross daily? Have you ever thought that life is not fair and that others do not have to bear such heavy loads? If you are not bearing a cross at present, how does that feel?
Milestone Pledge Amount Announced
As of February 5, total pledges to the Sacred Sound and Space Campaign reached $1,028,925 with 118 donors. With 80 percent of our goal, we are thrilled with our progress and mindful that each gift, regardless of size, will be important for the success of this campaign.
For those of you who did not pick up your Sacred Sound and Space Packet over the past weeks, look for your packet in the mail this week. We have begun calling parishioners who have not yet participated in the campaign. If you would like a personal visit for more information about the campaign, please let the callers know. The callers will provide additional information on the campaign should you have any questions, want to pledge by phone or want to participate in an upcoming small group event. Should you have any questions in the meantime, please connect with Deborah Cook at 252.259.2791 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Weekly Scripture Verse and Meditation Moment – February 2
Built Together Spiritually into a Dwelling Place for God
“In Him the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you are also built together spiritually into a dwelling place for God.” Ephesians 2:21
When have you felt connected to the body of Christ and strengthened by his binding love?
One of the key observations offered by the parish during the Sacred Sound and Space Feasibility Study was that, when deciding which projects to include in a capital campaign, we should focus on what we need, not just what we want. Reinforcing the balcony certainly is in the “Need” category, and the work falls into two phases. The first, and unrelated to the installation of the new organ, was the work done below the floor of the Nave to provide enhanced support for the columns that support the balcony. The balcony was originally used for seating and the organ was not located there. At some point in the past the organ and the choir were moved to the balcony, increasing the load. More recently the need for additional support was exacerbated by work done to the HVAC system. Once the Vestry fully realized the severity of the problem they knew it was a perfect fit for the Campaign and had to be corrected…and it has been! The second category of balcony work will be that required by installation of the new organ. We don’t yet know all the work that will be required but we do know that significant modifications below the floor of the balcony will be required to accommodate the “tracker” mechanism of the organ. As the time approaches for installation of the new organ we will better understand the extent of the additional required modifications. So, the balcony is definitely a need, not a want! If you have questions about the Sacred Sound and Space Capital Campaign please contact Bob Emory at email@example.com.
Pledge Total — January 29, 2020
As of January 29, pledges to the Sacred Sound and Space Campaign reached $991,000 with 105 total pledges. That represents an amazing start to the congregational campaign. Thank you! Also, please stop by the Sacred Sound and Space booth in the Reception Area between services on Sunday and pick up your campaign packet if you haven’t done so already. This will save the church the cost of mailing it to you. A campaign representative will be available to answer any questions you might have, and a pledge box will be at the booth.
Sacred Reflections Jan. 26, 2020 — Viviana Lugo Zapata
Sacred Reflections Jan. 19, 2020 Dan Palimetakis
Good morning, My name is Dan Palimetakis and my wife, Luana and I are both choir members here at Christ Church. When we first moved to New Bern 2 and 1/2 years ago, we pretty much immediately knew we would be coming to worship here in this space with these people. First of all, I mean Episcopalians are just the best. I might be a little biased, but I think we are pretty swell when it comes to a people. But that’s not why we came here. Then, you have the trifecta of leadership here at Christ Church in Paul, Courtney, and Lisa. And, I mean as great as they are, that’s not why we came here, either. And then, you have the ambiance and beauty of this space here at Christ Church; not just inside the building, but across the entire length of the property. If I was a betting man, and I usually am, I would venture that there are more selfies snapped with Christ Church in the background than any other place in New Bern. And that’s still not why Luana and I came here. Luana and I came here because, well, because we see, hear and feel God in this space. And we want to be a part of happens in this space. As a church musician, as an educator, and as an Episcopalian the arts are extremely important and transformative part of my worship experience. The right piece of music, the right ambiance and feeling set in a church’s architecture, and the right piece of art all have the ability to push and enhance my worship experience. It’s like, I can watch that movie in 2D and it will be great, …. but man, how much better is that movie experience when I watch the movie in 3D. And just like that 3D movie, a beautiful and artistic sacred sound and space has the ability to enhance, push, stretch and elevate my worship experience. The famous Protestant Reformation leader Martin Luther said, “Next to the word of God, the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world”. As a church musician for over 20 years I have had the honor and pleasure of making music inspired by the word of God each Sunday Morning. For that treasure, I am truly blessed and truly grateful. Thank you
Weekly Scripture Verse and Meditation Moment – January 26
Walk Humbly with God
“He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God?” Micah 6:8
The primary project to be funded by the Sacred Sound and Space Capital Campaign is the replacement of our failing organ. The new organ, to be built by Taylor and Boody of Staunton, Virginia, will be the fourth organ in our worship space; the first three had an average lifespan of approximately 50 years. Our current organ, around 53 years old, has served us to its full potential but it was not designed for our space and does not adequately support our singing.
Additionally, it is in need of repair and experts who examined it advised us that repairing it would be expensive and not worth the investment. The replacement of our organ brings a wonderful opportunity to add sacred sound to our sacred space. A new quality instrument, custom built to the acoustics of our nave, will provide a firm, rich and colorful foundation for our voices. It will prove worthy of the classic organ repertoire we savor during preludes and postludes. Most of all, it will last to serve Christ Church for generations, neither our grandchildren nor their grandchildren will need to replace it.
Our existing organ is on its last legs. It has become a necessity that we replace the instrument now and do so with a quality instrument that will stand the test of time. We are confident that the new Taylor and Boody organ will better support congregational singing and open up musical opportunities we have not yet even thought of!
Sacred Sound and Space Capital Campaign Launched: $882,000 Already Pledged
On January 12th the Harrison Center was filled with parishioners who celebrated the football-based Kickoff of the Sacred Sound and Space Capital Campaign, a campaign to replace our failing organ and renew our worship space, the Nave.
Attendees enjoyed wonderful food, fellowship Cliff’s music in the background and an incredible drone video of our church. Leading up to the Kickoff celebration, the Vestry, Clergy, campaign leadership, choirs and those who had expressed particular interest during last year’s Feasibility Study were given the opportunity to get the Campaign off to a head start. As a result, 86 parishioners pledged a total of $882,000.00
The total cost of all projects to be funded by the Campaign is $1,505,000.00. Based on what parishioners told us during last year’s Feasibility Study, the Vestry adopted a Primary Fundraising Goal of $1,285,000.00 and a Stretch Goal of $1,426,000.00. The remainder represents a leap of faith.
The Nave is where we worship and are strengthened and prepared to share the love of Christ in our community. The projects to be funded by the Campaign will provide the opportunity for a fuller worship experience, as well as an opportunity to leave the Nave in better shape than we found it.
Now begins the Congregational Phase of the Campaign, in which each parishioner’s pledge, to be fulfilled over as many as three years, will help us to reach the goal line. There is no pledge that is too big or too small – every member counts.
In subsequent weeks, each project included in the campaign will be described in the Messenger, and progress toward the goal line will be documented.
Please prayerfully consider how you will support this campaign and join us in giving to renew the Nave and our worship experience. Please address any questions to Bob Emory at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Weekly Scripture Verse and Medication Moment
We are all being transformed into His likeness.
“And all of us, with unveiled faces, seeing the glory of the Lord as though reflected in a mirror; are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord, the Spirit.” 2 Corinthians 3:18
When have others responded to this inner glow emanating from you? Were you aware at the time that the Lord’s glory was shining through you?
Click here for the Executive Summary of the 2019 Feasibility Study To read the full 85-page report, visit the church office. It is kept at the Reception Desk for viewing and reading at the church.
Parish Update Letter — July 27, 2019
July 27, 2019
Dear Christ Church Family:
Blessings and peace from our God!
We wanted to take this time to communicate some further information regarding the recent feasibility study in addition to what was presented in the June 23rd edition of the Messenger. You can read that report on our website at https://christchurchnewbern.com/sacredsoundandspace/. We are incredibly grateful for everyone who participated during the listening and discernment process, and as you will see throughout this letter, all comments and feelings were very much heard. What the Vestry and the Sacred Sound and Space Task Force heard was the desire of respondents to focus on needs over wants. We believe that in this letter, you will see that we have done just that.
The Vestry has committed to a capital campaign with an initial goal of $1,285,000 and a stretch goal that would bring us up to $1,426,000. Through a generous donation many years ago from Art and Diane Vance, we were able to make the down payment and sign a contract with Taylor & Boody Organ Builders for our new organ! There is another project just ahead of ours, so it will be 2021 before they begin building it, with a target of installing it in January 2023. While that may seem like a long time from now, we know it will be here before we know it.
The capital campaign will begin in earnest in January 2020 to fund the projects that had the most support from the feasibility study. This includes strengthening the support for the balcony, something that needed to be done with or without a new organ as well as work to stiffen the ceiling and replace the carpet with hardwood floors. The work on the ceiling will not alter what is seen from inside the Nave; it will all be done from above to help sound resonate better in the Nave as well as provide insulation which currently does not exist. The floor and ceiling work need to be done to get the full benefit of a new organ.
Hearing the responses to the survey, we will NOT be replacing the current pews with new ones. We must however move the pews out of the church to do the work on the floors and this provides an opportunity to refurbish and repair them. We have a committee of former Junior Wardens and parishioners who showed particular interest in the pews who will discuss not only refurbishment and repair but also better arrangements for those with mobility problems and for “modern sized” people. But to reiterate, we will not be replacing the current pews.
The capital campaign will also include upgrading our lighting control system, which is desperately needed to accommodate the brighter, energy-efficient bulbs we currently have. We have already had a commitment from an individual to cover the cost of upgrading the lighting in the Nave, and for that, we are incredibly grateful. The upgraded control system will optimize both the new lighting and the current lighting.
We were given a new grand piano through an anonymous donor before the Feasibility Study had ended. We are incredibly thankful for that gift. While a piano ranked low in terms of “needs” on the study, we have already experienced how it has enhanced the music during worship. We hope you will join us for the dedication concert on August 2 at 7:00pm.
The Vestry was upfront in committing 10% of funds raised to be designated towards outreach. However, there was a low level of support for such action. To that end, the Vestry did not include this in the capital campaign. While the lack of support surprised many of us at first, upon study of the comments it became clear that this sentiment was not a lack of support for outreach but rather a feeling that we were mixing apples and oranges. We were told that a capital campaign should focus on what we need for the building and should not be confused or conflated with outreach. Some said that they already give a lot of money to outreach and including it in the campaign felt like a “tax” rather than something they freely give. The decision to reverse the commitment to allocate 10% to outreach was not an easy one, and we know some will be disappointed. Separate from the campaign there will be opportunities to better understand Christ Church’s commitment to outreach. In April 2020, we will also have serious discussions about planned giving which could result in larger endowments that fund both outreach and taking care of our beautiful building. And we will use the offering from public musical events to help those in need.
During the Feasibility Study a concern was raised that the walls of the church might be bowing outward. We do not have enough information at this point to say whether they are or not. We are committed however to finding out. To that end we will have an engineering firm scientifically examine the walls, establish benchmarks and annually assess if there has been any concerning change.
The launch of the campaign will officially begin January 12, 2020. We hope that for most the effect of the Hurricane Florence will be behind them, but we know that for some it will not. Between now and January, the campaign will be getting organized. If you are asked to volunteer, we hope you will. This fall we will be contacting some parishioners about lead gifts to the campaign.
There will be a parish-wide meeting on Tuesday, August 20th at 7:00pm to answer any questions you may have about the Sacred Space and Sound Campaign. It will last approximately an hour, and childcare will be provided.
This is an exciting time in the life of Christ Church as we dream, plan, and live out what God has in store for the future of this holy space.
As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to one of us or to a member of the Vestry or the Sacred Sound and Space Task Force.
The Rev. H. Paul Canady, III, Rector email@example.com
Bob Emory, Co-Chair, SSSTF firstname.lastname@example.org
Jean Reichenbach, Senior Warden email@example.com
 For a snapshot of funds given towards outreach in 2018, visit https://christchurchnewbern.com/the-long-reach-of-giving/
Feasibility Study Results
From the June 23, 2019 Messenger
Erin Weber-Johnson of the Vandersall Collective consulting group presented the findings and recommendations from the recent Feasibility Study to a joint meeting of the Vestry, Staff, and the Sacred Sound and Space Task Force on Thursday, June 13. A total of 149 households participated in the survey (15 by mail and 101 online). In addition, 33 interviews were conducted. This represents a total response rate of 39.66 percent among members of the church community that were contacted, which passes the industry standard/range of validity. Citing vast support for many of the proposed projects, the Vandersall Collective recommended a fundraising goal of $1,285,000 (with a challenge goal of an additional potential 11 percent of $141,000), based on gifts self-identified by participants and variables identified within the study.
“It is believed that if a realistic goal is used, there is great potential for a successful capital campaign, “ wrote Weber-Johnson. “In fact, it is likely that a realistic goal may strengthen overall support for a campaign. It is quite possible that the parish could benefit from phasing the projects.”
The vestry voted unanimously at last Monday’s meeting to move forward with a Capital Campaign and continuing to engage Vandersall as our consultants. The Sacred Sound and Space Task Force will remain intact to continue to evaluate and prioritize the projects and make recommendations to the Vestry including how to adjust those goals and priorities based on the available funds.
The full report is 85 pages long and includes all comments submitted. The executive summary of the report (13 pages) is available in the reception area and can be found online at https://christchurchnewbern.com/sacredsoundandspace/. The full report is available at the Reception Desk for reading and reviewing while at the church. If you have further questions or would like to know more, contact Bob Emory (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Jean Reichenbach (email@example.com) or the Rev. Paul Canady (firstname.lastname@example.org).
From the May 12, 2019, Messenger
By now you should have received a booklet in the mail describing proposed enhancements to our worship space. Included in the potential enhancements are a new organ to replace our failing one, acoustical enhancements, lighting improvements, refurbishing or replacing the pews and acquiring a piano suitable for a worship space the size of ours. Also included in the booklet is the Vestry’s commitment to tithe 10% of all funds raised to Outreach, should we launch a capital campaign to fund the enhancements.
A consultant, the Vandersall Collective, is helping us by performing a Feasibility Study to gauge parish support for the projects and our willingness to support them financially. Ultimately Vandersall will provide the Task Force and the Vestry with a Feasibility Report, including recommendations to the Vestry which, if any, projects to undertake. The Vestry will consider the Task Force’s recommendation and then make their own decision.
A key part of the Feasibility Study is a survey we would like each household to complete. Instructions on how to access the online version were included in the information you received and can be found at www.vandersallcollective.com/christchurchnewbern. If you prefer to utilize a paper survey, please let the church office know. Your response to the survey will be kept confidential and is very important to us as we move forward. The deadline for submission is May 26th. Please direct any questions or input about the Task Force’s work to email@example.com.
From the May 5, 2019 Messenger
We had a very good Parish Meeting on Sunday, April 28, at which all the potential worship space enhancements and the decision-making processed were discussed. From that meeting, among many other things, we heard the following:
· The historic appearance of the church is very important.
· Our current organ is on borrowed time.
· To get the full benefit of a new organ, it is essential to stiffen the ceiling and remove the old carpet.
· A new pipe organ, rather than an electronic organ, is the best option for a worship space like ours.
· People have mixed feelings about any significant modification of the pews.
· Our worship experience, both as individuals and a community, can be significantly enhanced by acoustical improvements and an organ that better supports congregational singing.
Please read the informational booklet that you should have received in the mail this week. The campaign feasibility survey is available online and can be accessed at www.vandersallcollective.com/christchurchnewbern. There is a kiosk at church that can be used to complete the online survey, and there will be a computer lab set up in the library this Sunday as well. If you prefer a written copy of the survey, please contact the church. The survey is an important part of our decision-making process, and all information gathered is confidential.
Please feel free to provide input or ask questions to Bob Emory at firstname.lastname@example.org.
From the April 28, 2019, Messenger
Make plans to attend the Sacred Sounds and Space informational meeting on Sunday, April 28th, following the 11:00 a.m. service. At the meeting, potential enhancements, parishioner feedback and next steps will be shared.
In early May parishioners will receive an informational brochure in the mail regarding the proposed campaign. An online feasibility survey will be available and can be accessed at www.vandersallcollective.com/christchurchnewbern. If you prefer, a written copy of the survey can be requested by completing a postcard at Sunday’s meeting. Please send any questions or input you may have to email@example.com.
From the April 21, 2019, Messenger
Over the last several weeks the Sacred Sound and Space Task Force has provided updates in the Messenger about potential enhancements to our worship space. These potential enhancements include replacing our failing organ, lighting improvements, acoustical improvements and addressing our pews which are in constant need of repair. The potential acoustical enhancements include reinforcement of the ceiling and full or partial removal of the carpet.
Our worship space is truly a gift provided us by past generations. Our most recent capital campaign did not include worship space enhancements and we are now in a discernment process to decide what gifts we will leave for future generations.
The Task Force’s charge from the Vestry isto “plan for the enhancement of the Christ Church worship space including a new organ, flooring options, lighting and pew restoration. The TF will propose to the Vestry what enhancements to pursue and the Vestry will adopt all, some or none of the proposals.” Alignment with Christ Church’s Mission which in part says “to welcome and inspire all people to faith, hope and spiritual growth through worship” is a key consideration in the Task Force’s work. Assisting the Task Force and the Vestry in this discernment process is the Vandersall Collective, a consulting firm with expertise and experience in helping churches analyze whether there is support for potential capital campaigns.
A key part of the Task Force’s work is to share information with the parish and seek input. To that end two well-attended Listening Sessions provided an opportunity for the parish to hear about the potential enhancements, provide input on them, and suggest other enhancements to be included for consideration.
There are several important upcoming opportunities for parishioners to ask questions and provide input and we hope you will fully participate in them.
On Sunday, April 28th, following the 11 AM service, there will be a meeting to provide an opportunity to again describe the potential enhancements, share what the Task Force has heard from parishioners, answer questions and receive more input. At that meeting next steps will be described.
Next steps include:
- A survey to assess support for the proposed enhancements – the survey will be sent to each household in early May and your responses are very important.
- Also in early May a cross section of the parish will participate in one-on-one interviews with Erin Weber-Johnson of the Vandersall Collective.
- Results from the Survey and the interviews will be analyzed by Vandersall, along with other information, to provide the Vestry and the Task Force a Feasibility Report which will gauge support for the proposed enhancements and willingness to fund them. In other words, is a Capital Campaign feasible? The Report will be delivered by mid-June.
- Based on the Feasibility Report, the Task Force will recommend to the Vestry which enhancements should be pursued. The Vestry will then decide whether to pursue any, some or all of the proposed enhancements and whether to initiate a capital campaign.
Please make every effort to attend the meeting on April 28th and also please complete and return the survey you will receive in early May. In the meantime please send any questions or input you may have to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Article from the April 7, 2019, Messenger
Two weeks ago the Sacred Sound and Space Task Force update focused on replacement of our organ and last week’s dealt with the ceiling and flooring in our worship space. This update addresses our pews and lighting.
Over the next few weeks we will continue to provide information about each of the potential worship space enhancements under consideration and continue to ask for your feedback
The chandeliers are located above the two side aisles and, if you are seated near one of those aisles, the lighting is probably sufficient. Unfortunately those seated along the center aisle and some other locations do not enjoy the full benefit of the light provided by the chandeliers. Among the solutions being considered is the installation of flush-mounted lights in the ceiling over areas where lighting is insufficient. No changes to the existing chandeliers are envisioned.
Also, we envision replacing the lighting control panel and relocating it from the choir loft to the Narthex. Our current lighting panel is unreliable and is no longer manufactured.
Many of our pews are in poor repair. We have also heard from parishioners that the pews are uncomfortable and that the hymnal racks are too small and in need of repair.
During and following the Listening Sessions we heard that the historic appearance of the worship space is a high priority for many parishioners and that our current pews are part of that historic appearance.
There are several options under consideration. They include repair of the current pews as well as replacing them with new ones. If replacement is the recommended solution, perhaps the current end caps could be retained. In any case the hymnal racks need to be enlarged and space between the pews needs to be increased. Increasing the space between the pews will result in the loss of a few rows of pews in each section but will increase legroom and make it easier for those who wish to kneel during prayers.
We will also create a better space for those in wheel chairs, space that allows them to sit among the congregation rather than in the front of the worship space.
Please continue to provide feedback and ask questions at email@example.com.
Article from March 31, 2019, Messenger
Scared Sound and Space Task Force Update: Acoustics
Last week’s update focused on the replacement of our organ with a high quality organ built for our worship space. This week the acoustics of our worship space is the topic. Over the next few weeks we will continue to provide information about each of the potential worship space enhancements under consideration and continue to ask for your feedback.
Having trouble hearing is a common complaint at Christ Church. Improving the acoustics of our worship space is the objective of two of the enhancements that were described at the Listening Sessions – flooring and ceiling improvements. Both are key among the recommendations made by an acoustics consultant who analyzed the acoustics of our worship space. The organ builders we have talked to shared the acoustic consultant’s opinion and stressed the need to improve the acoustics of our worship space if we are to get the full benefit of a new organ.
Flooring – the carpet in the worship space absorbs and deadens sound. A hard surface such as wood or stone would better reflect sound. Our ability to hear the spoken word, singing and all musical instruments would significantly benefit from acoustical improvement associated with replacing the carpet. During the Listening Sessions we also heard from some parishioners that a hard surface would also help those with walkers and wheelchairs. We have the original heart pine flooring in parts of the worship space and restoring it, and installing it where it is not present, is one option being considered.
Ceiling Stiffening – our ceiling is made of very thin wood. It actually works like the head of a drum and as it vibrates it transfers sound energy from the worship space into the space between the ceiling and roof. Among the solutions being considered is to somehow stiffen the ceiling from above. We are exploring that and other options for the ceiling. It is worth noting that there is no insulation above our ceiling and that, from above, you can see light coming through gaps in it.
The greatest benefits of acoustical improvement would likely be the quality of congregational singing and the sense of community that would come from being able to hear and experience the chorus of our fellow worshipers praying the prayers and saying the creeds. Having a floor and ceiling that reflect our voices, the organ and other instruments into the room rather than deadening or transferring them through the ceiling would allow us to fill our worship space with music.
Please continue to ask questions and provide your input to firstname.lastname@example.org. and visit the Task Force page on the Christ Church website. Please mark April 28th on your calendar. Following the 11 AM service that Sunday the Task Force will share what we have heard so far and talk about next steps.
Article from March 24, 2019, Messenger
The 200+ parishioners who attended one of the two Sacred Sound and Space Task Force Listening Sessions had the opportunity to learn about some potential enhancements to our worship space and provide feedback to the Task Force. Over the next few weeks, we will be providing information about each of the projects identified and continue to ask for your feedback. The most costly of the potential enhancements is the replacement of our organ with a new one. So, why are we thinking about a new organ?
- Our current organ can best be described as “off the shelf” and was not designed for our space. It does not support congregational singing or the choir as well as one designed for us would.
- Our organ is wearing out and has become difficult to play. One of the “stops”, a key component, no longer works.
- Two different organ consultants have told us that, in addition to the needed repairs we know about, other major repairs will be needed at some point and these repairs could cost as much as $300,000.00. And we would still have an organ that is at best, adequate.
A new organ, designed for our space, would better support congregational singing and our growing music program. Given the poor condition of our organ and the reasonable expectation that very costly repairs will be needed the Organ Study Committee authorized by the Vestry in 2017, after extensive study, concluded that we should replace our organ. Something the Committee learned while doing its research is that a new, well-made organ, properly maintained, should last for centuries.
The Vestry has made no decision regarding organ replacement or a capital campaign to fund an organ. The Vestry asked the Sacred Sound and Space Task Force to:
- consider a number of enhancements to our worship space, including the organ, and
- then to recommend a course of action. This course of action will be determined by the feedback of the congregation through a Feasibility Study in May 2019.
The only decisions that have been made are, if the vestry decides to move forward with organ replacement, we know who we want to build a new organ and its basic design.
Please visit the SSSTF page on the church website and send any questions or feedback to Bob Emory at bobemory8 (at) gmail (dot) com.