A Renewed Sanctuary for a New Day

Starting May 9th, Knox will be opening our doors for in-person worship again.  This marks the first time since March of 2020 that we will host indoor services. The pandemic forced congregations like Knox to close our sanctuary doors.  We set our minds and hearts to worshiping God online.  We found powerful ways to connect through video conferencing, remote worship, social media, and live streaming.  Outdoor services were held in the Knox parking lot and on our lawn.   But we eagerly awaited the day we could worship in our sanctuary again.  Based on current health and safety guidelines, and the exceptional work of Knox’s re-entry task force, we believe that day has come.  All who wish can now register on Knox’s website to attend an upcoming worship service in person.  When you register, you can read the list of safety protocols we will be carefully observing.

Months ago, Knox’s session wisely recognized that when congregants were not entering the sanctuary each week, it was a great opportunity to tackle some much-needed renovations.  One major change we realized we needed to make was to better equip our sanctuary to live stream our worship services.  Many of us have recognized over this past year the power and importance of online worship.  Our session and worship committee wanted to ensure regulars and newcomers alike could continue to worship with us remotely once we re-entered our sanctuary. So we installed cameras, cables, computers, and other audio-visual equipment.   We first utilized the new equipment for our Good Friday service, and were delighted with the results.

We have made other improvements as our sanctuary has sat empty.  The wood throughout our central worship space had not been attended to since 1961 – the year it was first installed.  The color had faded, and the wood had gotten scratched, chipped, and worn.  So, we had the pews, pulpit, choir loft, communion table, baptismal font, and narthex all beautifully refinished – a project ideal to tackle when the sanctuary was not in regular use.      We repaired some lighting fixtures and installed new backlighting for our chancel cross.  After receiving a grant through the city, we replaced all our sanctuary bulbs with energy-efficient LEDs.  We even started renovating the glass-windowed enclosure along the south side of our nave.  As a finishing touch, we are giving the pew cushions and carpet a more thorough cleaning than they had received in years.  The result is a warm, beautiful, and inviting sanctuary space – all set to host vital worship in person and online.

Early on in the pandemic, Knox set about using our facilities to better serve the needs of the homeless and hungry.  We organized supply drives and began hosting Shower of Hope and Pasadena City College’s Lancer Food Pantry on our campus.  Those two ministries still operate from our campus today and have met essential needs in the community during the pandemic.  I am grateful that under the leadership of our facilities and worship committees, we have also taken the opportunity of these pandemic days to renovate our worship space.   I pray this site on the corner of Hill and Del Mar may continue to be a place of vital service and vibrant worship for years to come.

~Pastor Matt