The largest United Methodist congregation in the United States is constructing a new sanctuary that will include 3,500 seats and a 3,400-square-foot stain glass window installation.
The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection, a multi-site congregation with an estimated 20,000 members, is in the process of building the new impressive sanctuary at its main campus in Leawood, Kansas.
Cathy Bien, director of communications for the Church of the Resurrection, told The Christian Post that the Leawood church's current sanctuary was meant to be a "temporary worship space."
"In 2012, following an 18-month feasibility study, our membership elected a building committee and hired architects to guide the design process which included building a permanent sanctuary," explained Bien.
"The driving reason for a permanent sanctuary is the role it will play in helping fulfill our mission and vision as a church. We believe buildings are tools for ministry, and this project will help us have the right tools for reaching future generations and continuing to fulfill the church's vision."
Bien also told CP that the design for the new sanctuary will be a "more intimate and sacred worship space" than their current space, which "was designed to become a fellowship hall."
"In the new sanctuary, the architecture and art will create a sacred space, drawing people to God. At the same time seats will be in smaller sections in a wraparound balcony, bringing people closer and creating a sense of community," continued Bien.
"Seven panels rise above the limestone base and represent each day of creation, the wholeness of life, and the seven days of Holy Week. The eighth panel is The Resurrection Window, telling the story of Easter. It features a 3,400-square-foot stained glass installation that contains three scenes — each set in a garden and telling an overarching scriptural narrative of creation, redemption and hope."
Founded in 1990, Church of the Resurrection is headed by the Rev. Adam Hamilton, a prolific author and influential United Methodist pastor.
Church of the Resurrection launched a capital campaign for the $90 million expansion project in 2014 and broke ground in February 2015.
In addition to the new sanctuary, the $90 million expansion project will also go to remodeling spaces at preexisting buildings belonging to the congregation.
"Funding for the project comes from the sacrificial gifts of our congregation — gifts above and beyond what they regularly give to mission and ministry," explained Bien.
Construction on the Church of the Resurrection's new sanctuary with its 3,400 stain glass installation is expected to be completed by Easter Sunday of next year.