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Visioning of Our Future in Worship

By the Reverend Imogen Rhodenhiser, Associate Rector

At Christ Church Cranbrook, there is always something new to discover. Whether it’s the misericord carvings in the choir stalls or the sculptures overlooking the columbarium, hidden gems abound in this place. One of my favorites is an inscription carved into the stone high up above the door by the library. It reads, “Teach us what we shall do unto the child that shall be born.” This quotation from the book of Judges encapsulates for me so much of our longing as we gather to worship God in this place: that God might indeed teach us what to do when we encounter the Christ Child in the face of any of God’s children whom we meet.

With regards to worship at Christ Church Cranbrook, hardly anything will change in terms of our parish redevelopment plans. No adjustments will be made to the sanctuary or to St. Dunstan’s Chapel. Our liturgies will remain the same as they have ever been. But one major difference that stands to be made is that treasures which have been somewhat hidden will become much easier to find and more readily available to all.

The door by the library will become the focal entrance for the church. When newcomers arrive, they will be able to spot clearly where to enter. The parish reception office will be located where the Parlor is currently, and a staff member will be there to greet and assist anyone who walks in as soon as they do so.

A second elevator running up through the staircase by the library will make all of our worship services far more accessible. Anyone will be able to go down to St. Dunstan’s Chapel or up to the main sanctuary without having to walk all the way to the other side of the building to find an elevator there. Meanwhile, parking for those with mobility challenges will also be greatly expanded in front of the church, so that the journey to worship need not involve a labyrinthine quest from the Little Lambs parking lot.

When we come to worship to Christ Church Cranbrook, we want to feel at home as quickly as possible, whether by recognizing “the front door” or by discovering we all have the ability to access this gem of a place in its fullness. It is that treasure of homecoming that our parish redevelopment seeks to make recognizable and possible for everyone.