Thursday, June 25, 2009

Good Stuff in TEC: California

From Santa Cruz-

St. John's church moves into new building in Aptos

With sawdust still on the pews, St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church opened the doors to its new building Wednesday, though construction will continue for another few weeks.

The church outgrew its 120-year-old former home, a house on Depot Hill in Capitola, said Suzanna Krakover-Nickel, a church volunteer.

"We couldn't grow where we were," she said. "You can't grow a congregation with no place to park."

The new building on Canterbury Drive off McGregor Drive can seat more than 300 churchgoers.

"Everybody was attached to it emotionally, but we finally said the church is the people, it is not the facility," Krakover-Nickel said.

The new building was built with sustainibility in mind.

"We consider this part of our stewardship," Krakover-Nickel said.

The main hall is a soaring mosaic of skylights, which permit natural light. There is a cistern in the back of the building that will collect and store rainwater for irrigation.

The total cost of the project has reached $9 million, according to Karen Greenleaf, co-chair of the campaign to raise funding for the project.

She said the congregation has raised $2.8 million over the past two years.

"Our congregation has been absolutely wonderful," she said.

The church also has taken out a loan and used reserves.

Ray Wolfe, the project manager, said he has been at the construction site every day for a year. For him, Wednesday's ceremony was bittersweet.

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