This Old Church (Pt 3)
Alright folks - this issue is so full it needs a good ol' Table of Contents (!)
Read on for:
Origin story of our church (part 3)
Sex talk follow-up from Fr. Matt
Advent Solitude Retreat - Sign up by 11/30
Lessons and Carols choir invitation
Caring for several members of our church family
This Old Church - An Origin Story - Part 3
We’ve been walking through the history of this old church at the corner of Okanogan and Peachy. If you’ve missed the first two Tidings articles, take a minute to get caught up on the rich story.
The first Tidings article chronicled the arrival in 1907 of the Brethren to Wenatchee and their decision to build this church in 1923. The second Tidings covered Brethren rhythms and practices through the nineteen-thirties, -forties, and -fifties as the congregation settled in and worshiped in these walls.
Today, we continue the story with the decision to remodel the church in the 1960s. This remodel dramatically reimagined the church we enjoy today.
CHAPTER FOUR - The 1968 Big Change
After three decades of use, the Brethren had discovered what worked – and what didn’t – about their original church building.
They knew improvements were needed in the areas of snow protection and parking. Snow from the roofs buried the front entrances after each storm. And, parking was in short supply as the number of cars owned in the community steadily increased (1).
Additionally, the church body desired a more open and modern chancel at the front of the sanctuary and a multi-purpose balcony in the back.
To accomplish these goals, the church hired local architect Joe B. Wood to design the updates.
Solving the snow issue required saying goodbye to the stately two-stairwell front entrance featured in many Brethren wedding photos. In its place, just the west-facing stairwell remained, but with a new large overhanging roof. (A second smaller roof was imagined over the entrance closest to Okanogan but was never constructed.)
The parking lot grew in 1963 after the removal of the original 1925 parsonage located across the back alley. (A new parsonage was constructed in 1963 at 1025 Kittitas Street.)
But how could congregants easily get into the building? All the original entrances faced Okanogan Avenue and required a walk along Peachy Street to reach a front door.
The solution came when the church purchased the home to its north (towards downtown). This allowed Mr. Wood to imagine an entrance along the north side of the building. A concrete ramp and stairs (still in use today) were eventually constructed that led to a new door in the church’s northern brick wall (2).
Finally, changes to the sanctuary and balcony were significant. The old choir loft behind the pulpit gave way to the stained glass windows and large central cross we worship before today.
To the right, the back vestry room was dismantled and the resulting space converted to today’s choir / musician stage.
Chancel before 1968 remodel and after.
In the balcony, the front edge and back wall were both moved five feet towards the chancel and the stadium seats removed. Sliding glass doors were installed to provide sound privacy in the balcony so the space could be used for meetings outside of service times.
Balcony before 1968 remodel and after.
With the 1968 remodel complete, the Brethren settled into the newly updated building. They merged with the Immanuel Baptist Church in 1970, and the newly enlarged congregation enjoyed the space until one final church expansion in 1990.
TO BE CONTINUED...
1) The Need for More Parking: In 1930, American’s owned 217 vehicles per 1000 people. By 1968, this number had grown to 516. (US Dept of Energy). Also, during this time, vehicles expanded by a foot in width and three feet in length. (Today, the number is over 800 vehicles per 1000 people.)
2) Ramp and Steps: In creating the north ramp and steps, more functionality was added below ground including a men’s basement bathroom, a walk-in safe, and a room for tablecloths and cutlery storage. This new ramp did away with natural light in the basement kitchen which formerly came through the glass bricks still visible along the north wall.
3) Plans: Tracing all of these changes has been easy for our current redesign team, KDA Architecture as the Brethren saved both the 1968 building plans as well as the 1920’s originals. For more details, view the main sheets from both sets here.
Sex Talk Follow-Up from Fr. Matt
Something special happened last Friday night at the talk about how to teach our kids about how they were made. Although we filmed the entire evening, it was such a sacred time that instead of releasing it on video, we want to do it again in person.
So please come again to continue the conversation, or for the first time if you missed it on Friday, January 19th at 6:30pm. Let us know you're coming by clicking here!
Advent Solitude Retreat - Sign Up by 11/30
Come away this Advent during the weekend of December 8-10. Retreat has been a rhythm in the lives of Christians throughout millennia. When we practice solitude and silence in community, especially in a place like Ingalls Creek, we experience greater stillness. From this place, the fruits of the spirit spring forth. Come and see! Click below to learn more.
Lessons and Carols - Join the Choir
Advent is almost upon us! One of the many joys for the upcoming season is gathering once again as a Christmas Choir. We are looking for men and women (teenage & up) to sing in December. This year, rehearsals will be Dec. 3, 10, 17 (Sundays) from 11:15 - 12:45 in the fireside room and Saturday, 12/23 9:30 - 11:30am in the sanctuary. Our choir will sing at the 11pm Lessons & Carols service Christmas eve. Questions? contact Hannah Pick: firstname.lastname@example.org or (206) 354-2947 or simply show up to rehearsal!
Caring for Our Church Family
Join us in prayer for three people and their families who are facing sickness right now (from youngest to oldest):
Let's pray for them first:
Heavenly Father, watch with us over your child Kip, and grant that he may be restored to that perfect health which it is yours alone to give; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
O God, the strength of the weak and the comfort of sufferers: mercifully accept our prayers, and grant to Emily and Jill the help of your power, that their sickness may be turned into health, and our sorrow into joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Tomalty Family
Last week, we mentioned the Tomalty family, who is at Seattle Children's Hospital with their newborn baby Kip, who came down with a serious infection and needs continuing treatment. Please consider donating to our Trinity Benevolence Fund so that we can pass along some support as they persevere through this difficult time.
You can read their CaringBridge here.
The Mendez Family
Thank you for all your support of the Mendez family as Emily recovers from the removal of a brain tumor in late September. Their meal train may be extended in the future. Salvador is spending the majority of his time caring for Emily and their kids in the wake of surgery and impending treatments. This form of brain cancer necessitates radiation and chemotherapy. The treatment plan for Emily and her family requires travel from the Wenatchee Valley to UW Medical in Seattle, and also from Wenatchee to Moses Lake, where her radiation and chemotherapy treatments are being completed. Emily has to be driven to Moses Lake daily for the next 6 weeks. This will require a substantial amount of money, travel and disruption to rhythms. Head over to their GoFundMe and learn how you can jump in and help.
The Gentry Family
Jill Gentry was diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer earlier this Fall. Brad and Jill are so grateful to have your help in this time as they seek treatment and pathways forward. To stay in touch with their journey and to learn about how you can help support their family, please click below.
If you have a personal need (like a job, or housing, etc.), an event you’d like to promote, or something you’d like our church body to be aware of, you can email email@example.com for us to review before posting.