Mark's Minute 

June 15 2017
 
For a while now, I’ve been talking about the need for us to do some upgrades to Parkland’s building and grounds. Today, I want to tell you about the plans we’re making and invite you to be involved.
 
First off, though, let me clarify something that could be misunderstood, and that’s why we’re doing this. Culturally, we live in a world that cares about aesthetics. That doesn’t mean we’re all shallow—it just means that how something looks matters to us more than we think it does.
 
When the environment around us is nice, we allow ourselves to relax. And when the environment of the church allows people to relax, the Holy Spirit has a clearer pathway into our hearts, and the hearts of those who need to hear the truth of the gospel. 
 
That’s why we want to do this. It’s not about making people think that Parkland is a cool place with awesome aesthetics; it’s about allowing the environment to remove obstacles to hearing the Word of God and responding in faith. 
 
So, what’s the plan? Good question. I’ll break it up into three categories.
 
Category 1: The Grounds
We’ll start outside the building. This summer, we’re hoping to bring in some machinery and redo most of the grassy areas in the front and back. The terrain is pretty uneven, so we’re going to make it level and decide whether we need to replant the grass or if we could go with a lower-maintenance solution. We’re also going to remove all the pieces of broken curb from our parking lot and, if finances permit, get some of them redone.
 
As much as I’d love to repave the lot itself, that’s probably not going to be feasible yet. 
 
Category 2: The Foyer and Public Areas
Stepping inside the building now, we’re going to take care of a couple of nagging things: we’re going to replace all the ceiling tiles that have been stained by water, which includes putting the ceiling tiles back up in the Fireside Room, where they were obliterated by a leak; we’re going to replace a bunch of the floor tiles in the kitchen, which were also damaged by water leaks this year; we’re going to paint all the interior doors to match the colour of the front door; and we’re going to add decorative touches to make our foyer look less drab and more energized.
 
Category 3: The Sanctuary
The final area is the sanctuary, where we have a number of really exciting things planned. As you know, our projector is, well, terrible, so we’re going to replace it. But more than that, we’re going to rethink the way we do projection entirely. This will require a bit of experimentation to figure out, so you can expect us to try a couple of different arrangements before we land on the one that works best.
 
We’re also going to repaint the doors in the sanctuary to match the front door colour; we’re going to do some painting of the front wall to accommodate our projection plans; we’re going to redo the floor covering on the stage; and, if finances permit, we’re going to redo the sanctuary carpet.
 
At this point, the issue that’s most challenging is the chairs. A while back, a number of people got together and took apart all of our broken chairs to build as many whole chairs that we could. Unfortunately, we found that we don’t have a lot of fully intact chairs, which will present a problem for us when we start to grow numerically. We’ve looked into a bunch of options and still haven’t found one that satisfies us, so we’ll keep working on it. 
 
The Invitation
You may have read through what I just wrote and think to yourself, “How can we get all this done?” Here’s the answer: with your help.
 
We don’t have the luxury of being able to hire people to do these jobs, so we’re going to have to do them together. (Note: we’ll hire people for the technical work when we need to in order to comply with the law or when doing it ourselves presents too much of a risk.)
 
If what I’ve said above sounds like something you want to be involved in, then email or call the office (parkland@parkland.org or 604-582-0282) and let us know that you’d like to help. We’ll put together a list of interested people, and, as the projects come up, we’ll work on putting together some teams.
 
Also, while we’re not hiring outside professionals, we still need to pay for the materials, so I’d invite you to consider whether you’re able to help out financially. And I want to tailor that invitation especially to the people who read this newsletter every week but who aren’t part of the Parkland family. We could use your help with this. If you’re interested, you can make a one-time donation online (go to parkland.org/give) and your gift can be anonymous if you’d prefer. 
 
Ultimately, anything that you’re able to contribute to this project—whether it’s time, skills, or finances—is an investment in the kingdom mission of our church. We don’t want Parkland to get the glory—we want Jesus to get the glory. We want to see his kingdom grow. We want to see people come to know him. And we want to take away any obstacle that might be standing in the way of them hearing the Word of God so that the Holy Spirit can do his work.
 
I’m excited about what’s coming, and I hope you are too.