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  • With Gratitude: Ripley Chapel Update

    We move into something new and we become new. Over the last year or so our congregation has joined in the vision of Rev. Jena Roy and decided to engage in the renovation and rejuvenation of The Ripley Chapel and the sanctuary’s Fisk Organ. Whether you prayed about it, questioned it, went to a meeting to hear about it, worked on the committee, donated generously or have paused in wonder to consider what the potential is for our congregation and our wider community, you have contributed! We are grateful for all these graceful contributions.

    The congregation has donated $346,050 for the Ripley Chapel Renovation in the past four months in response to the decision we all made at Annual Meeting.

    In addition, Margaret and Robert McIndoe have graciously fully funded our goal for maintenance of our Fisk Organ. This gift of $60,000 not only provides for the perpetual care of our beloved sanctuary organ but it also frees us to focus all our attention on the transformation of Ripley Chapel.

    Jena’s original gift of $100,000 In April 2016 has since swelled to a grand (indeed!) total of $691,481! We have restored our organ and the McIndoes have ensured it will be maintained. We have done extensive work with our architect David Torrey to create preliminary designs and we have received the direction of the congregation from the 2017 Annual Meeting.

    We are now prepared to proceed to the final design of the Chapel with a remaining budget of $474,536.

    Our goal for Ripley is to transform the Chapel into a flexible, sacred space that can be used for both traditional worship and services, and also innovative and creative experiences. It will be a beautiful, modernized setting for spiritual practices, art and music gatherings and much more. It will be a relevant wide-open welcome to our neighbors.

    The Ripley Chapel Working Group has reconvened and is beginning its work to analyze what our final plan should be. We expect to engage David Torrey in the near future to render that plan into construction ready architectural drawings. Over the next months the Working Group will communicate frequently with the congregation. That will include some open hearings to allow all to fully understand the plans as they are developed and provide feedback to the Group. Before construction can begin a formal vote of the congregation will be taken to authorize the project.

    As we deepen our faith in the midst of the turmoil of life, we need places of contemplation, respite and beauty to feed the soul. Faithfully we move into the future. We hope you will continue to walk with us into this new and promising time.

    In Gratitude,

    —Debbie Johnston and Taylor Tresselt, Ripley Campaign co-chairs, with The Ripley Chapel Working Group: Laurie Roby, Carolyn Plosky, Bruce Alexander, Rev. Will Burhans, Rev. Judy Arnold, & Jane Ring Frank