Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A Building for the Houston Mennonite Church

We here at Urban Architecture have been tasked by the Mennonite Church of Houston to create a building that communicates the core Mennonite values. They are as follows:

1. Jesus is our core value for life and worship. 
2. Sharing life in community (Size: 160-180)
3. The gospel is Good News about God and God's actions of peace
4. Being "In but not of the world"
       a. Engaged in the world, welcoming to all
       b. Alternative, counter-cultural
5. Stewardship, simplicity and "green" design
6. Space for growth

It’s an exciting opportunity and challenge for us. Our initial sketches came to this:

Rev. Marty Troyer had these thoughts:
"This concept embraces the gospel goodness of Jesus' presence in our lives through the primary symbolism of the skylight, which shines brightly into every area of our building. Indeed, it cuts its way into our sanctuary at an angle that reminds us of God's surprising and life-giving way. God - and therefore also the church - is not in perfect symmetry with the world. This building is welcoming, rather than imposing, on our property and is being designed with multiple community-building spaces; with particular emphasis on the narthex. And so much more!
 We recognize this is not the final product. Indeed, there is MUCH to discuss and discern and dream about together. But this is an expression of these beliefs that uses physical building materials - rather than words - to shape our faith. "
We are excited to continue developing this project and hope it engages and excites you as well.

Reverend Troyer can be found on blogging as The Peace Pastor or on Twitter @ThePeacePastor.