Read my previous post about our plan to create a kid-friendly "upper room" at Tiny Church. A reader requested "before" pictures---here they are with a bit of commentary:
Here's the view from the very back of the balcony, near the door. I love the archway and think one could do something creative with paint, to hearken it to the Upper Room commemorative site in Jerusalem. Or just something fun and warm.
Here's the view from the railing of the balcony. There are about eight rows of pews, so as you can see, the balcony sticks out into the worship space quite well. This means the folks in the upper room are still a part of things, but it also makes foot noise a problem. Thankfully, the building is solid as a rock, and it's carpeted, so there's no major creaking happening when people walk around. I was jumping up and down, trying to make noise, and it was minimal.
The fact that the balcony protrudes so much means we can do fun things up there, like on Pentecost when I had the kids drop red, yellow and orange balloons on the people below as a "tongues of fire" throwback.
The balcony has become home to all kinds of random things, including this fantastically retro couch. Unfortunately it's gone totally flat. Any cushiony feel comes from the sheer amount of dust residing in it. We are thinking Craig's List. That's rolled-up carpet behind the couch. The globe is awesome, but perhaps needs to live somewhere other than our church.
Nobody I've talked to knows where the rocking recliner came from, but it's got a lot of life left in it. I could see a little reading nook in the corner of the upper room. I could also see that being a bone of contention.
Figuring out what to do with the books is a major puzzle. I firmly believe that in the Internet age, most church libraries are going the way of the dodo. However, there is some decent stuff up there---check out the Interpretations series lining that top shelf, and owl-eyed readers can also spot an old set of Calvin's Institutes.
A long view of the balcony. These are the white shelves you just saw.
Our current plan for the church library (such as it is) is to give it a second life by allowing people to take the books they want. They are the church's books, so it makes sense that members of the church should be able to have them. Books that aren't claimed will be boxed up and given to... whom? I bet my readers have some ideas!
More stuff to be dealt with.
Views from either side of the front railing. One of our challenges will be to figure out what to do with all these chairs. Also, notice the two large raised parts of the floor. Those need to go---they are a tripping hazard, but I think that means new carpet. Interestingly, there's some more of this carpet rolled up behind that filing cabinet on the back wall of the last picture. !!
But as you can see, the space has two windows! How wonderful!
So there's your guided tour. I'll be posting updates about our progress as we go.
I'm also considering applying for a worship renewal grant from Calvin College to do some kind of programmatic work, perhaps about children in worship, to go along with these physical changes to our building.