When visitors enter our church’s front door and turn right towards the sanctuary, they often pause at the beauty of the space.  A goal of the renovation of the parlor was to encourage visits into the parlor by extending the look and feel of the sanctuary, narthex and rotunda to create one large inviting space. Now when visitors turn left at the front door, they are pausing at the beauty of the renovations and are lingering over cookies and coffee.

A 1980’s remodel lowered the parlor ceiling to install AC ducts and covered the top of the tall windows. A new coffered and raised ceiling has revealed the magnificent windows once again.

The furnishings also have stories behind them as none were purchased new.  Members of the Design Committee scoured the city and the church to reuse, reupholster and repurpose items; anything purchased was bought at consignment, thrift or antique stores.

The center table had been owned by Henry Bloch, co-founder of H&R Bloch. The large buffet was purchased at a thrift store with all the proceeds going to breast cancer research.

The two bookcases were originally in the study of our founding minister, Dr. George Hamilton Combs, and include books from his library. Church member Lance Jesse volunteered his carpentry skills to increase their height.

The renovation removed walls on two sides of the area housing the Last Supper sculpture to reduce congestion and encourage use of the space.  The area will be home to two significant paintings: the existing painting of John the Baptist and a new painting of St. Peter provided by a generous donor.

The south end of the sculpture space will include a large new coffee bar and coat room with a new family restroom nearby.

Many thanks to members of the Design Committee (Lesley Holt – Chair, Kristi Gibbs, Jenny Hobick, Linda Johnson, Judi Knight and Patty Love) for their time and talent to create a warm and inviting place to share hospitality and laughter on Sunday mornings as well as comfort and embraces at funeral receptions.