Members of the First United Methodist Church are getting a new sanctuary, but due to the pandemic, they will have to wait before they can see it up close and personal.
This Palm Sunday the historic church on Shoreline Blvd was going to host a soft opening so members and people in the community could see the building, but with uncontrollable circumstances, the viewing has been put on hold.
“And so we were really excited come Easter Sunday, we get to celebrate in here with the organs and the choir and the whole works. But now due to all of our circumstances, we are unable to, and we are going to hold off awhile,” said Children and Family Ministry Director Nickia Larsen.
The sanctuary was long overdue for basic renovations due to wear and tear and roof leaks over the last 60 years.
“We have been worshiping in our fellowship hall, which is beautiful in itself, but to be able to come back here because this is home for so many people and to just be able to worship together in this space...gosh, we are so excited,” said Larsen.
The renovation cost was just over $1 million, raised entirely by gifts large and small from the generous congregation. The original aesthetic of the sanctuary was maintained, highlighting the beautiful stained glass, woodwork, and soaring ceiling of the nave, while updating flooring, lighting, and pews.
“It is mostly finished just with the cleaning and then when we get to come back to the church. I think it is going to be huge. We are going to have such a good time here celebrating, not only that, but we are back into our sanctuary, but we are also together,” said Larsen.
Due to social distancing measures, they don’t know when they will return to the sanctuary, but when they do, it will be a sight to behold.