June 16, 2023

Dear Rockford Reformed Church family and friends,

This has been a frenzied, exhausting, and exciting week of transition in preparation for the renovation. We closed with the bank loan yesterday, materials are being ordered, the sanctuary is skeletal, and the stage, equipment, and chairs are all settled into the gym. The Family Life Center has been well converted into a worship center and we think we are ready for worship and community together. 

All of this means that there are going to be some major adjustments during this renovation season. One big adjustment will be that we just lost more than half of the “house” and it will be a bit cramped. You might compare it to leaving your house for a season of trailer camping. If the weather is nice, the kids can run around, and all of us can enjoy conversation outside. Inside, after worship, there will not be an alternate space for running around and fellowship. This is important to remember for the safety of everyone. We will do our best to block off areas that are being renovated, but especially for the kids, who can sneak under the “yellow tape” or barricades, it will be important for parents to watch and ensure that everyone understands the new boundaries. We will work to regularly provide progress photos and descriptions each week (see website and bulletins, also below) so that we are less tempted to wander into dangerous areas to see what’s happening.

We will also need to be careful and patient with the new compressed boundaries because nearly all the equipment, cabling, cameras, video monitoring, sound booth, musical instruments, and much more are crammed into the gym and the balcony above. We have lost restrooms, entrances, and cookie space. Below you will find a map of the entrances that we must now use for our season of “camping.” You will see that there are two entrances that best accommodate those who are handicapped or restricted to a wheelchair. There are also handicap parking spots near the back entrance.

There will be Bibles and coffee available on the tables as you enter at the two primary entrances, and we may need to sit a bit tighter than we are accustomed. I am looking forward to it because I, and all of us, will better see and thus perhaps better connect with each other. Welcoming one another and especially guests will be more important than ever. Look for anyone who is new, introduce yourself, and guide anyone who might need assistance.

EV Construction is still planning to get underway during the first week of July. We will soon post a schedule for how and when to get involved with some of the demolition and construction preparation. At this point, the evenings of June 28 and 29 are set aside for volunteer opportunities with the demolition work.

Thank you to the members of the renovation team who have worked hard to get us this far (Scott Brownell, Dan Jenema, Steve Katsma, James Karsten). And thanks to the staff and volunteers who have worked intensely above the call of duty to make this all happen especially this week (Beth Jennings, Laura Jolliffe, Mike Fisk, Chris Vance, Lucy Layman, Dan VanStensel, Nick Verburg, Jim Verburg).

Pray that all the “moving parts” will work together on Sunday. Pray that we will not be distracted from worship or passionately pursuing God’s vision for us. I am grateful for a “breather” week to catch up and do some fall planning. I will lead us into worship on Sunday, and James Karsten will be preaching about the Lord’s Prayer.

We praise God for his amazing provision and place our confidence in him for the days ahead. He is worthy of our worship as just the beginning. I believe our “camping” together can all be used to increasingly bind us together with excitement for our “someday through every day”—all for his glory.

Grace and peace,

Pastor Tim
Our parking lot traffic flow remains counter-clockwise:
Construction zone, do not use Entrance A

Entrance B is open and near the KidLife check-in table, the stairs to the nursery, and has a ramp into the gym

Do not use Entrance C, it is closed off for the production crew

Both Entrances D and E are open in the back lot; both lead directly into the gym

Almost done setting up for Sunday!

Almost done setting up for Sunday!

Front of the sanctuary as of Friday

View from the front

Pews are being taken apart

View from the back