We have two awesome opportunities to volunteer with the new building this week. Take a look at them below and we hope you can make it to one of them!
Friday April 9 at 5:30 PM
On this day we need strong volunteers ready to help us relocate some of the equipment and materials in the building so that we can prepare for the cleaning day on Saturday. Show up at the new building around 5:30 and check in with the coordinator. Mask wearing is expected for Covid safety.
Saturday April 10 at 8:00 AM
On this day we need people to bring any and all cleaning equipment – vacuum cleaners, mops, buckets, rags and cleaning solutions. We will be removing the dust and preparing the building for some really great finish work that will come in the next few weeks. Show up at the new building around 8:00 AM and check in with the coordinator. Mask wearing is expected for Covid safety
As Holy Week continues and we look forward to Maundy Thursday services this evening, there are some exciting improvements at the new church building to celebrate as well.
The walls of the worship area have received their first coat of paint and are looking fantastic!
Also check out these new doors. Much thanks to our color committee for helping us with all the design of the new building.
There is also a coat of paint on the stage back wall itself and if you look up and to the right you can see that the track is installed for our new stage curtain! It will be very important to have not just for the look of the stage but also to protect stage equipment from any errant sporting equipment when the room is used for other purposes.
A new and exciting time is coming for our church soon after Easter. We wait mostly on good weather now for a concrete pour and the arrival of some important indoor equipment and finishes! Please contact the church office if you’d like to help with the project in any way and may God bless your Holy Week.
A lot is happening at the new site, and we are getting close to being finished! We wanted to share an update of what has been done in the past few weeks.
The bathrooms have appliances! We have sinks and toilets in the bathrooms now that the tile work is finished. Soon we will be putting in the nice sink fixtures in the mens and womens restrooms.
The stage is ready for the inclusion of all the stained glass pieces! We have the cutout ready now for all 4 pieces.
The team is working to get all of the duct work for the gym space painted, this is the duct work currently drying in the Chapel!
Outside the front doors, ground work is being prepped for concrete! Sidewalk coming soon!
Our awesome tech guru Darla has been hard at work getting wifi in the building. It is up and ready to go, along with a phone line!
After church last Sunday our amazing UMW group made a trip to the new building to discuss logistics of the kitchen, Fellowship Hall and some of the areas of the entry way.
We are not finished with the work site just yet, as you can see there is plenty of things to still be done. We would love to have some extra hands to clean and prepare the building for the next steps, carpets and flooring!
Contact the Church Office for info about how to get involved!
Lots of new improvements at the sight this last weekend and this week let’s head inside and take a look!
There are quite a few new elements of plumbing being installed. The toilets are in most of the restrooms (including the new restroom in the nursery for the smallest of our members). We’ve also seen the sprinkler system being finished up in the ceilings.
The work is continuing and it won’t be too long before we start seeing carpet and talking about moving a few things in. We are hoping to be able to have an opening day in May, but a lot of that will be weather dependent related to the concrete pour.
Thanks for all of your prayers and support. If you want to be part of the work crew, moving crew, or even would like to join one of our walk-throughs please contact us at the church office: 309-378-2651.
Lots of small infrastructure added to the building recently. The running of pipes and cables and wires to all the places they need to go is nearing completion!
But, as exciting as pipes and wifi can be, let’s finish this update up with a few bigger shots of some of our spaces we will be sharing ministry in!
Once again we want to offer thanksgiving for your help and support, and for our fantastic volunteers! We are looking at an opening date after Easter and when we know something more specific we will share it here.
The Lights are in, for the sanctuary and for the youth room. They are being wired and added to other areas of the building as well.
Our church is still doing some of the work on our own as well. A very large thank you to all who have worked on the ceiling grid and ceiling tiles! Here are a few of our volunteers at work.
But the new building is not the only place where the work is happening. Our United Methodist Women have begun to take apart and package up the kitchen! It’s an involved process deciding what we need to take with us and what we may no longer need, but the work has started and we are so very thankful for all who are helping.
In addition to the work in the kitchen other portions of the church are being packed up as well. We’ve just started work in the Library and we want to give a lot of thanks to the sewing group and to our sorting volunteers for tackling some of our storage areas.
Are you interested in helping! Want to join the crew as they work on the new location? Want to help us pack/sort? Please contact the church office and we will put you in touch with the different groups who are at work. You can call the office at 309-378-2651 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for all of your support, and please pray for the safety of all who are working.
Some exciting new portions of the project are happening this week, and you can also see some of the great work done by our volunteer team with the hanging of the ceiling tiles!
Thank you for your prayers and support! The work continues and we are busy planning an opening day. Right now that will be largely dependent on the weather (an important factor for the concrete that will need to be poured). As we get closer to naming an opening day we will let you know.
Our newest work team has been installing the grids and hanging ceiling tiles in several areas of the building! Thanks to everyone who has been helping, and if you are interested in joining the work, simply contact the church office – 378-2651
The work is progressing well, and it’s been a great place to get even more people involved in helping with the church project. A huge thanks to our trustees and building committee whose hands on work have helped to bring the cost down over 100,000 dollars! Thanks also to the new volunteers joining us for this second part of the project!
Please pray for the safety of the workers, and for God’s blessing on the project.
Work is continuing inside the new building at a quick pace now and it is a blessing to watch things beginning to take a more finished look! Take a look at the stage.
The entry is also ready to paint, and yesterday there was some fantastic sunlight coming in through the entryway doors!
And when you turn around to look at the entryway to the new worship space, this is what you see.
The new entryway to the church is beautiful, wide, and welcoming. Not only does it make a great first impression, but it will be a fantastic place for fellowship and meeting one another.
Please continue to pray for the good work that is being done in the building. If you are interested in joining the team that is hanging the ceiling, or the many teams preparing to help us pack and move please contact us at email@example.com The list of awesome people willing to help is growing, but we’d love to have you join us!
How amazing to realize that we are only 2-4 months from using this new facility! There is a lot of good work that has been completed, namely on the stage!
With our team of volunteers finishing the framing we have also gained a second floor of storage space behind the stage. This is a great addition to the plans and provides some much needed storage in the church.
As you can see in the picture above, the drywall is up, and in many places it is ready for paint.
As the church staff and volunteers begin to organize our “big move” please know that we will be needing your help and that you can volunteer by contacting the church office at: firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 378-2651 any time.
Also, in a short while, we will have a second team of volunteers who will assist with the hanging of the ceiling tiles. Contact the office if you are willing to be a part of that team as well.
A new place for ministry is fast approaching for our congregation, share the good news, share your excitement, and please pray for continued safe work. Please pray also for the Holy Spirit to bring hope and healing to our land.
With all the excitement focused on the New Building, we thought this week might be a cool look at what is going on behind the scenes here at our current home while we prepare for the big transition!
We have a new team that is working diligently to prepare what we have to take with us. This new team has started sorting and packing, to make for an easy move to the new building.
Right now this team is small, but we are soon going to be looking for help in preparing our current supplies and property for the move (stay tuned for how you can get involved in this).
These pics show you the current situation in the classrooms. Our team has begun clearing out closets and cabinets in an attempt to consolidate what we have into ready to go packages. The big overall plan here is that when we get to the new building, all of this stuff will be in the Workroom.
We want to create an easier way to find the items everyone needs for their specific groups. For example, if the Children’s Church class on Sunday morning needs crayons, construction paper, scissors and glue… they can find it all in the Workroom! No more going classroom to classroom in search of the materials you need for the day.
This last picture is something I (Kyle) am really proud of. Not only is my office completely cleaned and packed (if you know me at all, this is a small miracle itself) but the big pile of amazon boxes in the back hold some treasures that are going to be essential in the new building.
The Amazon packages contain the equipment we need for the new gymnasium space! These boxes have basketballs, volleyballs, soccer balls, footballs, dodgeballs, and other cool stuff for us to use!
As a sports guy, that purchase was one of the happiest days of my time here at the church.
On the final day of 2020, feels like a good time for a long building update.
We have been blessed with an amazing Construction team, that has given hours of their time to the church in what has turned into a really fun project for everyone involved.
The exterior of the building looks fantastic and has become a great topic of conversation in the Downs community. Please don’t stop telling your friends and neighbors about this project!
As you can see in the first picture, we have gravel down in the parking lot, making it accessible for work trucks and the many helping hands we have in and out of the building each day.
The real fun is what we have going on inside…
Here you can see the work being done in the worship space. With the walls up, we have a better idea of the space we will have in this area, and the word that comes to mind is…. WOW.
We have been in with many different people to brainstorm and plan for the ministries we have planned for this space – from worship, to music, to sports!
Here we have the hallway that makes up the Administrative Wing of the building. On the right side are the offices and work room, at the very end of the hallway is the library (that will also act as a small conference room). The wall on the left will be lined with artifacts and memorabilia from church history – specifically the history of Downs UMC.
This space is our new nursery. The exterior door leads to a fenced in playground area. This space gives us so many new ministry opportunities for the little ones!
Welcome to the Youth Room! This wide open space is going to the perfect place for youth group, as well as serve as the largest classroom space for groups that come into the church. There will be a partition in the middle for when the room needs to be broken in half for multiple groups.
This image really gives you an idea of how big the Chapel windows are. This space is going to be a very intimate and Holy space. Perfect for prayer, and small services.
This project continues to grow and create new opportunities to serve. We are in the process of preparing to do the drop ceilings and the building committee is looking for helpers willing to get to work on that project! If that is something you are interested in – get in contact with the office and we will connect you with them.
This last image is brand new as of today… We have front doors!
Wires are going in, networks are being netted (or whatever the right word for that is), rooms are being framed, and there is joy on the worksite!
Take a look at the back wall of the multipurpose area! You can see the kitchen on the right side and the tech booth on the left. There is an entire second story coming together that will house most of the HVAC equipment, but still provide a little bit of badly needed storage.
We are even just now beginning to see some of the drywall being installed. Here’s one of the office as the process is just beginning
And the electrical work is well over halfway finished!
There is still so much more to do, but the joy that is present at the worksite is tangible. As we continue this Advent season, turning our hearts toward the light of Christ as it grows in our hearts, homes, and community, may we rejoice also in the good work done at the site! May God bless our volunteers and contractors with safety and a heart that is directed toward the goodness of God, and the promise of new ministry!
The past couple of weekends we have had members of the Construction team out on the new property to work on a couple of projects.
There have been 2 crews hard at work on site. One crew has been digging outside and putting in drainage tile for the site! Heavy machinery at work.
The other crew has been inside framing the interior walls for all of our classrooms, bathrooms and offices! We can really get a feel for the size of our building now on the inside. It is a true blessing to see these gentlemen hard at work!
The work has resumed! This time it’s with our own volunteers.
Yesterday our volunteer crew began to build the stage, began to dig the drainage tile, finished the office wing walls of the new church and began to chalk out our fantastic real-people-sized bathrooms! All three of them! Remember we have added a family restroom as well.
It is a great crew, led by our Building Committee and Trustees, and we thank them for the donation of their time, skill, and effort. Please pray for safe work, as they are back on the job today as well. Pray too that the Holy Spirit blesses them as they work with wisdom, skill, and fellowship.
The workers from Ameren are at the site today setting up the transformer to provide power to the new building. It’s good weather for the work, and another exciting step towards finishing the project!
Please continue to be in prayer for a safe worksite, and for a safe harvest, as we have many church members hard at work in that area now. It is exciting to see the work continue, and a great thing to look forward to a new building. We miss seeing you all in person so very much, and look forward to the day when the pandemic has ended. Until then, please be safe, show compassion, and know that this project continues because we believe that God is with us, and there is a light of hope at the end of this long tunnel! May the peace of Christ be with you and yours until then.
We have some really exciting news to share with you today! First of all thank you so much for your continued support. We started this year with the project still needing over 28,000 dollars and now only just over 6,000 is needed for construction between now and the end of the year! Your support is making great things happen for our church, and building a new space for the Kingdom of Heaven here in Downs!
We are about to begin an exciting step in the building project now. Several of our great volunteers are about to begin work inside the building. They will be framing the interior walls, building the stage, and more! Some of the chalk lines are already drawn on the floor and the work will begin soon.
Please pray for good weather, for the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, and for a safe workspace for our volunteers as they are soon to get started! We’ll keep you updated with more pictures as the work continues.
Please be in prayer for the sale of the building and this next important step in moving to our new building. Construction is slated to finish sometime in late February of next year. Thanks again for your prayers and support. We’ll finish this update with a picture of the new site now that all the brickwork is finished.
A big step in the building process took place last week on a Tuesday afternoon. The Sunday morning crowd yesterday got to see it first hand, and we have some great pictures to share with you here. Our Stained glass has begun the move from the old location to the new one!
Watching the removal of the stained glass was bittersweet. As the Pastor I can surely say that this location on 102 S Seminary has been used well for ministry, and the beloved windows and artwork have been a focal point for our worship here.
It is exciting to know that we are taking some of the best of the 1909 Sanctuary with us, to display in the new location. In addition to the four pieces we are taking with us, we have also contracted extremely high resolution photographs of all the remaining stained glass. This will allow us in the future to print (like literally print!) windows that can be displayed in the new building! We can call up any of the 19 smaller windows for reproduction at any time!
While I know as pastor that this scripture i’m about to quote is NOT about stained glass windows; I can’t help but think of John 16:16 as we watch the windows head out for renovation. Jesus went on to say, “In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me.”
We take the best of us with us as we go: our love of God, our great ministries, our vibrant congregation, and even our artwork. A new place is being prepared for ministry in Downs, and we thank you for your support and prayers.
It’s time to take a look inside! A lot of the new work that has been accomplished cannot be seen now just by driving by, but good work is being done! Let’s step inside the new building.
Thank you for your continued support. Our Building Committee is hard at work on the interior of the building now and we’re not too far from a big update that will be part of the worship service. Please continue to pray for a safe workspace, and for God to be present in the work as we continue to build for the Glory of God.
In the picture above you can see the chapel on the right. It’s a great sized room for small-style prayer meetings, worship services, meetings, or even small weddings. Notice the two extra-tall (16 feet) windows on the right side. There’s an exciting possibility there.
The company that is working with our stained glass will soon be coming to the church (mid-fall) to do two important things: 1) take high resolution photographs of all of our stained glass windows, and 2) remove and re-set the three central Jesus pictures in the sanctuary windows and one of the rose-circle windows. Those three pieces will be re-leaded and re-framed to be displayed back-lit within the building. Currently we are looking to put them somewhere on the stage in the worship area.
But those high-resolution photos will allow us to reprint our windows on glass. And as you stand in the chapel and look out through those beautiful, tall windows, it looks like a perfect place to do a “phase two” stained glass. While we might not use our originals in that room, there’s an exciting opportunity to use the reproductions we will be capable of making in the future.
Please continue to pray for our Building Committee, who are diligently working on stage lighting, sound systems, stage curtain, and interior colors for the building. Please also be in prayer for all the construction workers, for safety and grace as they continue to build. May the work be blessed by God, and may it be a blessing to others.
The Entryway to the church is coming together really beautifully. What you see here will be the front doors to the building, and the cross that marks our faith is beautifully worked into the design. Extending out from here will be a covered awning which you can see the posts for in the next picture.
Both the siding and the roof are beginning to take shape as the new building progresses. Every day it looks more and more like our congregation’s new home. A place of worship, an outpost for the kingdom of heaven here in town, and a home for our church family!
We ask for your continued prayers as the work is done on the building, prayers for safety and good conditions. We also ask for your prayers of guidance as our building committee talks stage and worship area details (sound, projection, chairs, and much more!). Please also be in prayer for our excellent team of volunteers who have offered to help frame the inside of the building. It won’t be too long before they are called and that work can begin.
Hey everyone! Here is your New Building Update from Kyle.
I wanted to talk a little bit about the excitement I have for the new building. First, if you haven’t driven by lately… You’re missing a lot! The construction team has been hard at work and we can now look at the building and have an idea of where everything is!
One of the newest topics of discussion for us has been the stage space and how to equip our space for everything we could possibility need – sound and power outlets. We are blessed to have some very knowledgeable people here in the church who can help us pick the right set up for our stage!
I had the privilege of walking in before the walls and roof were finished and the space is going to be so perfect for us.
Obviously, I am most excited for the multipurpose gym/worship space. As someone with a sports background, having this space is going to create all kinds of new opportunities for our church. Some of the ministries we already have are going to benefit tremendously from this space – we will have room to do large group games for our NextGen Ministries!
We also have the exciting opportunity to try some new ministries – sports ministries! This is something I am excited about because of the community we live in. We could do some real good for this community by using the gym space effectively.
I see so many great opportunities in this building, and it is starting to feel real! Seeing the building go up so fast has been a true blessing. I have also received a lot of messages from people in the community asking questions about the new building. We are getting noticed and I can tell you it isn’t just our current congregation that is excited.
We will continue to post updates as we get new exciting news.
Are you considering joining us for on-site worship during phase 4 of Illinois re-opening plan? This post is designed to give you a clear picture of what worship at the church on Sunday morning will look like, so that you can make your own best decision about whether to join us or to wait. Whichever you choose, we have a worship service for you! The online service will continue, as normal, all throughout phase four. God is with you, and you’re important part of our church. Please make safe and responsible decisions about when to join us in person. Below is a video explaining worship during phase four, or if you would like to read the main-points just scroll past the video.
During Illinois Phase 4
If you are sick, showing symptoms, or have been exposed to someone who is ill, it is your Christian duty to stay at home and join us online instead of in person. Our church is here to help support you though, please call the office if you have needs we can assist with, have prayer requests, or are low on supplies.
We are strongly encouraging any and all who are in the high-risk categories for Covid-19 to stay home during Phase 4. We’re working hard to provide you with high quality online worship and alternative ways to connect with the church.
Worship attendance will be capped at 50 people in the sanctuary
Worship attendance will be capped at 25 people in the fellowship hall
Masks will be expected no exceptions made. This one of is the best ways we can care for one another at this time.
Seating will be every-other pew, those who live in the same house can sit together as a group, all individuals or family-units are asked to keep the 6 feet social distance guidelines.
We will dismiss by rows after the service to avoid dense crowds in the entry/exit area.
There will be no fellowship meal, no Sunday school on-site, just the one worship event.
The doors will open at 9 AM and the service will start at 9:30.
There will be music, but there won’t be singing, we have been asked to discourage singing.
No attendance pads or offering plates will be passed, and the bibles are temporarily out of the pews (but you are welcome to bring your own Bible) – this is just to try and reduce common contact surfaces.
You’ve been watching the new structure as it quickly takes shape, and let’s have some fun with this update and go inside!
These pictures were provided to show the work being done and they showcase the framing, but more pictures are on the way to show the stage, the entryway, chapel, and more! Please continue to pray for a safe worksite, and thank you so much for your support of this ministry step for our church. To God be the glory!