Sacred Landscape for Outdoor Worship Takes Planning

September 23, 2020 by: Ben Heimsath

On a sunny morning in early August, I joined the Shepherd of the Hills congregation as they celebrated Sunday worship outdoors. Like many congregations, we weren’t inside the newly renovated sanctuary due to Covid concerns. But the key to the success of this outdoor gathering was several years in the making. Careful planning and creative design transformed an underutilized courtyard into a ... Read More

View from the Pew…err…Couch! Attending Church Virtually

April 11, 2020 by: Ben Heimsath

Each morning, for the past four Sundays, I have made preparations for attending church. I toss on jeans and a t-shirt, slip on house shoes, grab a cup of coffee, and settle down comfortably in front of my computer. As the top of the hour approaches, I pull up Facebook or one of several streaming platforms and join an on-line worship service. In normal times, our firm’s specialty in church ... Read More

Worship Space / Religious / Church Change / Austin Churches

Architecture And Covid-19

April 8, 2020 by: Eric Mac Inerney

Heimsath Architect’s team members are now in week 4 of self-isolation.  Like many of you, our communications with the outside are mostly through the various conferences call applications (Go to Meeting, Zoom, Skype).  It has been working well, though I find that looking all the faces in boxes invariably gets the Brady Bunch theme song stuck in my head.  For the past 20 years, we have done our ... Read More

Technology / Design Process / Sustainable Design / Architecture / Church Architecture

Resolving Church Conflict - Buildings and Baggage

July 30, 2017 by: Laura Lincoln

As a leader, the last thing you want is to find yourself in the middle of a complex task you aren’t sure you can do well. This fear is compounded if you’ve been a part of a failed project (of any kind) in the past. How do you get past the past, and put down any old baggage from past failures? Better yet, how do you learn from the past so that you can be calm during change and resolve all types of ... Read More

Design Process / Building Committee / Master Planning / Church Change

Church Transitions - Growing Building Program Support

July 25, 2017 by: Laura Lincoln

Leaders are always ahead of the game in the process of change. They have to be. They came up with the idea, or quickly embraced it.  Everyone else is at least one step behind. That’s just the way it works.  However, growing building program support for church transitions requires everyone, or at least a large number of the congregation to also get on board. Inevitably, there will be people who ... Read More

Design Process / Master Planning / Church Change

Dealing With Church Conflict - Building Projects and Mission Statements

July 14, 2017 by: Laura Lincoln

Crafting Mission and Vision Statements can be excruciating. Most people know that their congregation should have them, but they aren’t sure why. It feels a bit foreign, as though “business-speak” has crept into the vocabulary of faith.  And connecting building projects to mission statements and vision statements may seem to be totally irrelevant.  But in reality these connections are important in ... Read More

Design Process / Master Planning / Church Change

Handling Church Conflict and Change - Importance of Mourning

June 22, 2017 by: Laura Lincoln

Every change, no matter how welcome, causes stress because making a change means letting go of something familiar. That is a loss, and when there is loss there is mourning.  Anyone handling church conflict and change should also anticipate the importance of mourning for individuals and for groups. All of us deal with low levels of change/loss/mourning on a daily basis and manage to find our way ... Read More

Design Process / Master Planning / Church Change

Conflict in the Church - Building, Money, and Stewardship

June 6, 2017 by: Laura Lincoln

Money issues are complicated. It’s hard for a congregation to talk about money. It’s even harder to ask for it. You can expect any issues concerning building, money, and stewardship to produce conflict in the church. While it’s safe to say that the majority of us would like to have more money, perhaps that is all we agree upon. For example, some people think of credit card debt as an acceptable ... Read More

Church Design & Construction / Church Change

Building Projects and Church Conflict Resolution: Are You Being Too Nice?

June 2, 2017 by: Laura Lincoln

Leaders need support during times of change, so do congregations. It’s tough to get through any kind of change, even a good one like a building project, with absolute trust in the process. New parents, kids off to college, brides and grooms all have moments of doubt, if not outright fear. Your congregation members will have doubts too, beginning the second you say the words, “building project” ... Read More

Design Process / Building Committee / Master Planning / Church Change

Managing Change and Conflict during Church Building Projects: What’s Stopping You?

May 31, 2017 by: Laura Lincoln

We’re excited to welcome guest blogger Laura Lincoln, an expert in managing church change. Laura will be contributing a series of guest blogs over the next several weeks dealing with early issues of conflict in planning for a major building program. You know your congregation needs to make changes. Your worship space is too small or inflexible. There’s no place for staff or volunteers to work. A ... Read More

Design Process / Building Committee / Master Planning / Church Change