You will notice some light construction in the Grand Mall throughout the summer months. We’re excited to share the vision of this project with you! You may recall the wonderful ways the generosity of Ward’s people (through the Open Doors initiative) made it possible to upgrade and reimagine how we use our building. ReNu Coffee, the Climb ’n Slide and the dedicated Special Needs Suite are just a few of the endeavors made possible through that generosity. One project that was left on the cutting room floor, due to budgetary decisions, was a project called “The Connection Center”.
The Connection Center was born out of the desire to create one, cohesive space where connecting to the life of the church could be made simple and seamless. The space would span the length of the hallway between the Sanctuary and Knox Hall – where the current Kiosks live.
One anonymous donor, excited about the value this space could bring, pledged a designated gift to see it come to fruition! This generous gift, providing the base of funding for the project, will allow us to improve the space with three main areas:
- Groups and serving area to be staffed with volunteers who can help anyone connect somewhere! There will be a few individuals who can help navigate a large church with robust programming, no matter their season of life, to find a good first or even fifteenth step into a life of faith and community.
- Comfortable, conversational living-room area where those who consider themselves new to Ward can connect with volunteers and/or staff.
- Focus area where three current events or initiatives can be highlighted week to week.
The Connection Center will provide easier registrations and sign-ups through updated technology as well as printed materials.
Thank you in advance for your patience as there are still several weeks of construction remaining (between the Sanctuary and Knox Hall in the Grand Mall).
The Connection Center will span the area where the current Kiosks exist – In the Grand Mall from the corner closest to the Sanctuary (across from the Elementary Wing) all the way to the hallway leading to the main Knox Hall entrance (across from the Climb ’n Slide).
The current guest service desks will remain and will be utilized as they are now. The only thing that will change is the relocation of the new-to-Ward gift bags. Once construction is complete, the Connection Center will be the place we direct all new-to-Ward guests to visit to receive a gift and make that initial step of connection. The location of the two guest service desks (at Entry 1 and 6) at high-traffic entry points make them ideal to remain staffed with volunteers excited to welcome each guest and help them get to wherever they are looking to go.
The connection center will include an area for current focuses. There will be three desks, placed in front of three screens that will help us create a simplified, cohesive space for event promotion and other current initiatives. These three current focus spaces can be updated week to week. Connecting to groups, classes and serving opportunities will occur in the Groups + Serving area of the Connection Center.
Absolutely! There are several roles available, all of which are planned to serve once a month for less than an hour. We are looking for individuals with the gift of extra-mile hospitality, with a desire to connect people to the vibrant life of Ward Church. Sound like you? Please email email@example.com.
One, generous donor provided the bulk of the funds to make this project come to life. They caught the vision for a cohesive, simplified and comfortable space to welcome visitors and to connect returning guests to groups, events and serving opportunities.
We have experienced a few additional weeks of work time not initially planned. We should have everything wrapped up the week of August 5. A lot of progress has been made with flooring, framing, and electrical, drywall and paint! Up next: finishing paint, building out a few design elements and installing the furniture.