The Space: Sanctuary

In 1992 the sanctuary was dedicated. The beautiful setting was the result of years of praying, thinking, and planning. After worshipping in the “sanctanasium” for many years, the church found itself longing for a space dedicated to the practices of worship and evangelism. The design of the space incorporates many very intentional expressions of our theology and our mission. The beautiful stained glass windows accent the lofty ceilings, lifting the eyes of the worshipper to the soaring heights, orienting us to the light of God’s Presence. The deep blues of the lower glass give way to the ever brighter colors as we look toward heaven, anticipating the coming of the Spirit in light and beauty. A cross is located in the very center behind the platform, reminding us of our redemption provided by Christ’s death and resurrection. The redemptive theme is carried further through the visible presence of the Sacraments of the Lord’s Supper, on the right of the platform, and Christian Baptism, on the left. Those two sites and the cross are stable symbols, always present in the place of worship. As you approach the platform there are kneeling altars reaching across the entire front of the sanctuary. Those altars remind us of the privilege given every person who enters the sanctuary. We may commune with God, on our knees, in personal conversation with God, as often as we need or desire. The sanctuary design includes an amazing flexibility of space for the various components of the platform. The choir loft, so important to the life of Kansas City First Church, is situated just left of the center during most of the year. However, as is the case with everything about the platform, the choir space and the space for other musicians is capable of a wide variety of designs and placements. The space provides a beautiful setting for worship that lifts the heart to God, invites the hungry to seek God’s face in repentance and confession, and brings the congregation together as we grow into increasing likeness to Jesus, both individually and as a community of faith. This is a missional building, meaning that it has, from the earliest plans, been intended to provide space for us to meet God, to grow to love one another, and to provide the means by which we are equipped to go from the building into the world around us as the living, breathing demonstration that the Kingdom of God has come.  We are passionate about inviting everyone we know to join us in that mission. We love our building, as we do the history of our congregation, but we are well aware that, in reality, the Church is not the building. The Church is the people. We are the Body of Christ. We are the temple of God. We are the living stones. The building is our instrument for use as we, the Church, carry out the mission of God in the world. DSC_0234

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