FILL THE HOUSE
It’s a New Chapter for BPC. We Need You to Help Us Write It.
For several years, Burke Presbyterian Church has been on a journey marked by unprecedented change. It began with a commitment to expand our physical plant–and a subsequent massive building project–and went on to include changes in pastoral leadership and a global pandemic. Like so many around us, this season is full of question marks and pivots to digital programming. In BPC’s case, it also has been marked by hard hats, construction dust, and the seemingly endless shifting of stuff and spaces.
As we near the end of 2020, we are seeing the fruits of some of those long labors. A Pastor Nominating Committee has been formed to begin the process of finding our new full-time pastor. Our construction project is nearly complete, which means we now have a gorgeous new “welcome/gathering space,” not unlike other churches’ fellowship halls. (You can scroll down on this page to see photos and learn more about this project, which we called “Widen the Circle”).
The irony of the fact that we now have a gathering space without the freedom to safely gather is not lost on us. Still, we consider it an exciting challenge: how can we be Church when the church building is beyond our grasp?
The truth is, we are learning during this strange season that the building may be a critical tool for our various ministries (and we will sure do a lot of Kingdom-building inside it when the time is right), but it is not what links us. We are the Church, and we are continuing to answer God’s call for community, service, worship, and spiritual growth in a whole slew of creative ways.
In that spirit, we have a new phrase/concept we are using in this season to shape our vision for BPC’s next chapter: “Fill the House.” In Psalm 103:5 we are reminded that “He fills my life with good things.” Yes, this phrase has a literal component: We are filled with anticipation for the day when we can gather in person inside our new beautiful space, and hug, shake hands, sing and lift loud voices of praise. When our physical BPC house is full, our hearts will be as well.
But “Fill the House” means something else, too: Our planet is a house. Our community is a house. With what shall we fill it? We need ideas, energy, and money to continue finding creative ways to reach neighbors, feed bodies and souls, and support the disenfranchised. That’s why “Fill the House” is a stewardship message as well: We can’t fill God’s Kingdom with love without you. Want a fabulous “Receive Love” mask like the one pictured on this page? Buy your own (or several!) for only $5 each by going here.
Are YOU looking for a new way to connect or give back to the community: Let us know by going here!
Click here to make your financial pledge
to support BPC in 2021.
Widen the Circle
The BPC building project, completed in the fall of 2020, included two phases. Phase one was completed in 2019: We renovated the entire downstairs (near the shed and lower parking lot). That space is devoted to our preschool, nursery, and children’s ministries. Phase two began in December 2019. We added a “gathering space,” which fills what had been a courtyard area, expanded the kitchen, and updated classroom spaces (see more details below).
We call this exciting enterprise our “Widen the Circle” project, because that’s what we have done: made more space for hospitality.
Walking up to the church you will see the new cross gracefully topping a curved wall at the front of the Gathering Space with the original steeple standing solidly behind on the Meeting House roof. The architects designed an extension of our church that blends into the original buildings seamlessly.
The entrance to the church is now a much shorter walk from the parking lot. The red double door entrance is inviting and equipped with a handicapped-accessible door opener.
The courtyard will be planted with three flowering trees and a holly tree, perfect for decorating. We will have benches scattered about to encourage conversation and rest, as well as rocks for little people to climb.
The Gathering Space is spacious and bright with three large ceiling lights and a wall of windows to let in the natural light. The room is designed to be multi functional with an integrated AV system to allow streaming from the Meeting House on the large TV above the fireplace. We will furnish the space with comfortable chairs and a table for four.
Off to the side of the Gathering Space, we have a new coffee bar, from which fresh brewed coffee from our new coffee makers in the kitchen can be served.
The wall of windows in the Gathering Space was designed to allow us to enjoy our beautiful grounds all year. The side courtyard soon will feature a water fountain, a new climbing structure for children, and beautiful plantings, not to mention plenty of bench seating.
The worship space was expanded to include the former inner narthex, which increases our seating capacity by fifty.
The Meeting House has two large TVs on the front walls to be used for worship and meetings held in the space.
The brand new kitchen (see adjacent pictures) includes four large work tables, a walk-in pantry, a commercial eight-burner gas stove, convection and warming ovens, a commercially sized refrigerator and freezer, and a new coffee-maker. We have added a three-compartment sink for washing large items and a dishwasher that will wash a rack of dishes and utensils in minutes. We are going to be able to feed many out of this kitchen.
Two full bathrooms are situated off of the Gathering Space, with multiple stalls in each to accommodate plenty of guests.
The former preschool wing has four classrooms. The two rooms on the end of the building will be used as our lower level room 23 was used … for Rainbow recreation, Snacks & Backpacks, and other group activities. This room can be divided when additional classrooms are needed.
We can’t wait to show you the space, when the time is right! Thank you for being so patient.
If you have made a pledge/donation to this project, and would like to pay online, find the Widen the Circle button on this page.