Dear All Saints’ Family,
God has blessed us with a beautiful, historic church to care for and to pass on to future generations of parishioners. Two of the responsibilities of the Vestry are to be good stewards of our resources and to envision God’s plans for our future, and we wanted to update you on the status of a project that has been underway.
With those imperatives in mind, the Vestry commissioned the Historic Church Renovation Team to “re-imagine the Historic Church building considering renovations needed to improve the utility and hospitality of the spaces within the context of a historic Gothic Revival Episcopal Church in Frederick, Maryland.”
That group’s work is now complete. We hope many of you have had the opportunity to participate in their listening sessions, to hear about the extensive process that they have done over the past two years, and to see a proposal for renovations to the historic church worship space. We are so grateful to the members of the team for their months of work and for their commitment to this project. The purpose of this letter is to inform you that the proposal is just that—possible renovations to enliven our worship space and make it welcoming to a new generation of All Saints’ families. No final decisions have been made, nor will they be made without additional input and opportunities to share your views. In fact we will be seeking everyone’s input—each of you!
Our world turned upside down beginning in March 2020. Our church looks very different than it did prior to the pandemic. We wanted to be sure that you know that none of the changes in place in the historic church now are related to the Renovation Team’s work. Returning to in-person worship required making those changes to our worship spaces to adhere to the Regathering protocols of both the Diocese and the Parish, to ensure we allow people to worship in person while complying to safety protocols. Layering on additional components of our worship services this year—such as musical offerings and offering wine at Communion—required additional changes to ensure all those participating in, and offering worship ministry gifts, (such as singing) could provide their gifts “at a safe distance.” Change is never easy and we understand that it can feel like something familiar and important is being taken away.
Please know that the changes to the space made so far do not indicate any decision to move forward with more extensive renovations. Indeed, we may yet need to make changes to respond to changing health and safety needs. Please trust that we will do our utmost to keep you informed of changes and why we are making them.
We are blessed to have many members who have worshiped and participated in the life of the parish for decades. Those who came before us made today possible, and we’ll continue to be the body of Christ for generations to come.
In our August Vestry meeting, a group of parishioners agreed to develop a plan for how to move forward. You’ll be hearing more about this soon, and you’ll have opportunities to express your concerns, hopes, dreams and prayers for our worship space. We do need to make repairs and we would be negligent if we didn’t consider the opportunity to make improvements for the future as we address those issues.
Jill Browning, Senior Warden
Mark Walker, Junior Warden