Augustana University’s Chapel of Reconciliation Expansion

Page 1


et us build a house where love can dwell



Let us build a house where love can dwell And all can safely live A place where saints and children tell How hearts learn to forgive Built of hopes and dreams and visions Rock of faith and vault of grace Here the love of Christ shall end divisions All are welcome, all are welcome, all are welcome in this place All Are Welcome — Evangelical Lutheran Worship #641


ugustana University’s Chapel of Reconciliation was built in 1981. Both the building and all that takes place in it centers the university, its mission and values. The campus community gathers daily in this space to worship together as God’s people. Saying thank you, confessing our mistakes, eating together, giving generously, listening carefully and praying earnestly. These are all practices that ground what is done in every corner of campus, every part of our lives. As times change and needs evolve, so too have the needs in the chapel. Students and staff alike desire more flexible space for small and large group meetings. Worshippers comment regularly on the lack of natural light in the building. In an era where people’s religious commitments are shifting, campus ministry must do all it can to make not only its programming, but also its facilities open and accessible. Hospitality and welcome are values driving the vision for the renovation of the Augustana chapel. Rooted in the radical hospitality and welcome of Jesus, the university is committed to making every effort to invite and serve the neighbor. Creating a space full of windows and additional entry points that naturally invite others in is a critical step toward a more faithful and authentic welcome. Offering gathering spaces that can accommodate myriad sizes and needs of groups is another way that Christian hospitality is offered.

“ All who believed were together and had all things in common...Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts…” - Acts 2


larger narthex and multipurpose room are significant pieces of the proposed chapel renovation. Additional gathering space outside the sanctuary will give worshippers greater freedom to linger before and after worship. This fellowship time is as important as the worship itself, as God’s people connect and care for one another, sharing stories of all that their classes are teaching them about faith and the powerful ways that faith inspires their learning. Students and faculty members will have a less crowded and more comfortable space to chat about life both in and beyond the classroom. Guests for special events will appreciate a spacious area for registration and enjoying refreshments. The new multipurpose room offers both beauty and flexibility. Large windows to the north and west give those outside the building a glimpse into exciting ministry and other events taking place in the space, and frame stunning South Dakota sunsets during evening activities. The room will provide needed accommodations for large group meetings and receptions. It is especially exciting to dream about creative worship configurations taking place in the multipurpose room. Groups gathering to pray and praise will now have a dynamic space with the option to set up chairs in the round, in addition to the stationary pews available in the sanctuary.


new entrance to the chapel on the north side of the building, just off the multipurpose room, will make it easier for the community to find their way into the facility. Doors will open to a marvelous outdoor patio that intuitively connects the Morrison Commons and Chapel of Reconciliation as a campus hub. Students may gather to drink coffee or study on the patio when the weather is nice. This additional entrance and outdoor gathering space will invite more people to discover God’s promises of faith lived out in community. Jesus regularly drew attention to the created world as a place to more fully understand the work of God. God’s word is always best understood in the context of the place in which we live. Liberal arts education helps learners to make similar connections between worlds. An especially stunning piece of the chapel renovation will be new windows installed along the east wall of the sanctuary. T​​he original space was built for the sung voice and so was fully enclosed with stark, cement walls that allow for choral music to “ring.” But the room is dark and the lack of windows can communicate a hiddenness and isolation from the rest of campus. Large, clear windows along the east wall will not only brighten the sanctuary, but also serve the integration of faith and life, offering a glimpse out into the world one is called to serve. Also significant is the invitation the windows will offer for passersby to see in and be curious about what is happening in the space. Again, in a day and age where religious identity is rapidly changing, ministries are called to do all they can to draw others in. New windows will let in the light of a morning sunrise. Transparent glass will profoundly connect the word of God with the world God made. As worshippers hear preaching and sing songs, they will catch glimpses of birds, squirrels and people on the sidewalk. Sermon hearers will reflect on how the Holy Spirit might be calling them to serve the creation on which they gaze. Imagine the powerful experience of singing hymns like “This Is My Father’s World” and “For the Beauty of the Earth” while enjoying clear views of the sun, sky and trees.

“Look at the birds of the air...Consider the lilies of the field…” - Matthew 6


n addition to these new spaces, two offices for campus ministry staff and a reception area will be created to replace the current spaces repurposed into the renovation. All are designed with both accessibility and privacy in mind, as campus pastors and others regularly host students for deep and sensitive conversations. A conference room will also be added to address a long-standing need for meeting space for Bible studies, grief groups, gatherings of pre-seminary students, Campus Ministry student staff and others. While these new gathering and meeting spaces will certainly serve faith-based activities, Campus Ministry is eager for the facility to be used by many groups on campus. As nursing or journalism clubs, for instance, meet in the chapel, they may be inspired to make new connections between faith and vocation, rooting their learning and work in service of God and neighbor. Augustana University’s Chapel of Reconciliation has served the community well for 40 years. The next 40 years will bring opportunities to gather in new ways, yet always for the purpose of God’s mission, lived out at Augustana by integrating faith with learning and service. Each brick laid and piece of art hung bears witness to the generosity and care of those investing in Augustana, its mission and values. Each door, window, office and pew hold stories of the Holy Spirit active in our learning and growing together. Every piece of this exciting renovation, start-to-finish, is an offering of praise and glory to God.

Soli Deo Gloria!








MEN 206 SF








Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.