Dear Peachtree Family,
Gathering for worship is the central act of the church. Eugene Peterson writes, “God’s help is not a private experience; it is a corporate reality — not an exception that occurs among isolated strangers, but the norm among the people of God.” In a world of greater fragmentation and individualization, freely worshiping together is one of the most revolutionary and counter-cultural practices of a Christian. This is why our sanctuary is such an important and sacred space. It is where we celebrate with and calibrate to Almighty God.
We are engaged in some minor sanctuary upgrades that we anticipate will enhance the worship experience of Peachtree Presbyterian Church. They involve two areas: sound and light.
First of all, the most common sanctuary complaint I receive as your pastor is the inconsistency of sound in the sanctuary. Depending on where you are sitting, it is frequently too loud or too soft or too unclear. The sanctuary presents an audio complexity due to the three different sets of balconies in three different directions and the general shape and size of the space. Our current sound system is adequate for spoken word but insufficient for music. Peachtree has world-class musical leadership channeled through a mediocre speaker system. You will notice that, as of this Sunday, we will have completed the installation of a new speaker configuration. Unlike the old speakers, which indiscriminately throw sound into the room, the new system allows to direct sound more specifically. I anticipate that you will notice a difference right away no matter where you are seated.
Secondly, lighting technology has drastically changed in the last twenty-five years. Our lighting system was state-of-the-art back when it was installed in the late 90s. A fun trivia fact about the sanctuary is that we have a separate A/C chiller on the roof just for the lighting system! They are so hot we have to cool them. I imagine at home many of you are replacing traditional bulbs, which generate a great deal of heat and use considerable energy, with LED technology. We are making a similar efficiency transformation to our sanctuary lights. Eventually, this investment will pay for itself.
Coupled with this change is the ability to control the lighting of the room. Currently, the lighting in the sanctuary during our worship times is at the mercy of the sun. Therefore, we are investing in shades for the windows. When not in use, they will be tucked away in the architecture of the room so as to be unseen. But for moments when they would be beneficial (for example during a Christmas Eve candlelight service at three o’clock in the afternoon), we would retain greater control over the visual ambiance of the sanctuary. I know of one church that raises the shades during weddings when the bride walks into the room. We expect the lighting and shading work to be completed by mid-September.
These subtle yet substantive changes make me grateful as your pastor. We are so blessed with a beautiful campus built by the generosity and investment of previous generations. It is now ours to take care of and steward. I am thankful for the wonderful team of people who work behind the scenes to make our worship experience shine. They don’t like to draw attention to themselves, but I particularly want to thank Jerry Flowers (sound) and James Blount (production) for the faithful weekly service of making sure we get to hear and see the goodness of God through worship. If you see them, tell them “Thank you!” on behalf of the church.
With hope in Christ,