Incarnation Opens New Doors
Church of the Incarnation officially opened the doors to a new chapel, welcome center, education building and center for at-risk youth during a recent ceremony that celebrated the near doubling of the 130-year-old parish’s physical footprint.
Church leaders raised more than $30 million to fund the project that will help meet the needs of a growing congregation that has reached an average Sunday attendance of about 1,300.
During the ceremony the church’s rector, Bishop Tony Burton, told the crowd of about 300 that the parish experienced heavy growth as the neighborhood around it grew and as a result they had run out of space for people coming through the doors to worship.
“Who would have thought this parish, this grand and dignified old lady would have such attraction for young adults? Who could have foreseen the numbers of homeless teenagers God would bring to her doorstep or the openness, generosity and imagination with which she would get to serve him? God has been and is glorified here and in so many ways.”
Church growth in the Episcopal Church nationally was declining at the time Incarnation was becoming larger, younger and healthier, Burton noted. “The junction of what was happening nationally and what was happening locally was obvious to us all and we decided to rollup our sleeves and do what we could to help.”
During a sermon prior to the celebration, Bishop George Sumner told the congregation, “We creatures know Him through the things He gives us, the words of Scripture, the water, oil, bread, wine, indeed the whole all-too-human, broken luminous things which is the Church. Of all such gifts, this building too is a sacrament, and we consecrate it today, so that through it, Jesus Christ himself, the true Temple, may consecrate us and many more in many days to come.
Now that the construction is complete and the spaces are being used, the parish leaders are focused on raising additional funds to supplement the operating budget, ministry and programs.
“Today we do not come to the end of anything but to a new beginning,” Burton said.