Last week St. Stephen’s Church and School hosted a second round of community meetings with Ron Witte and Sarah Whiting of WW Architecture to discuss our campus planning process. A meeting with the parents and faculty was held on Thursday evening, February 19 and the church community meeting was on Sunday, February 22. The focus of this round of meetings was to present information on the collective impact of the space use of the current program for the church and the school, and then to provide some illustration of what the space use would look like in the future if the program ideas under discussion were instituted.
Dear St. Stephen's Families:
Below are three questions from Ron Witte and Sarah Whiting of the firm WW Architects. WW Architecture is the firm the Church and the School have contracted to guide us through the pre-design phase of our campus master plan. We ask that you please review these questions and respond as you are able directly to Ron Witte at firstname.lastname@example.org. The responses from the community will form the basis for guiding the discussion at our first public meeting with the architects on January 29, in Pecore Hall, 5:30-7:00 p.m.
We have heard many thoughts about enhancing the School's identity. These range from how the School appears as one drives by St. Stephen's; to how the School is perceived as an educational institution by students/parents/staff; to issues of architectural and landscape coherence; to comments related to signage and finding your way on campus.
The Annual Meeting of St. Stephen's Parish was held on January 25. The congregation elected Nancy Cook, John Marsh, Owen Treddenick, and Becky Udden to serve three year terms on the Vestry. Carvel Glenn was elected to serve as a delegate to Diocesan Council for four years. Susan Hawes will serve as the alternate for this year's Council. Julia Wolf was appointed by the rector to serve as the Senior Warden this year.
We want to thank Grace Joseph and Max Zimmerman for offering their gifts for Vestry service. We also thank Gail Creech for her ministry of service as Senior Warden and Michael Hawes for his ministry as Junior Warden.
Ron Witte and Sarah Whiting, the principals of WW Architecture, presented the input of the congregation on the topics of the nave, the relationships of the buildings to our environment, and the potential development of housing on our site. Members of the community were able to share their insights at a microphone so that all could hear. The architects commented on how thoughtful the responses were and how divergent too. A condensed version of the conversation will be available on our website soon.
On January 25, Sarah Whiting and Ron Witte of WW Architecture visited St. Stephen's Episcopal Church to hear from parishioners about their concerns for a longer term campus Master Plan. This was the first of what will be half a dozen community meetings with Church and School members. It was taped and is presented below. It runs about 56 minutes.
These topics are included here in part because they consistently surface as being important and in part because they will have a significant impact on the ideology of the master plan. Rather than pose them in the form of specific and singular questions, we feel it will be more productive to take them up as topics (with plenty of questions sprinkled among them) so that we can have a more nuanced exchange about what they might mean.
The topics, which we gleaned from listening to the terrific conversation on Saturday as well as from our own thoughts on the master plan include:
January 12, 2015
St. Stephen’s Episcopal School – Houston
But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years,
and a thousand years as one day.
In December 2008, Pastor Johnold Strey, a Lutheran Minister, wrote a blog entitled: “A Long Time Waiting.” Pastor Strey writes, “Saint Peter acknowledges that it seems like a long time between Jesus’ First and Second Advent. It’s remarkable for Peter to say that, because the lapse of time for Peter had only been 30 years! But 30 years or 2,000 years doesn’t change Peter’s timeless words: “Do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.”
Below are summary notes from the meeting, highlighting agenda and major points of discussion. Thanks to Natalie Finstad for not only doing a wonderful job facilitating, but also for providing very detailed summaries of the work we did together.
SSECH – Notes from Day
9:00 am Arrival/Breakfast
9:10 am Welcome and Naming Purpose, Goals, and Ground Rules
9:40 am Spiritual Reflection
10:10 am Reflection and Feedback on Tours and Surveys
10:18 am Break
10:35 am Small Group One: Our Current Call
11:35 am Debriefed and Collective Decision Making on Current Space Needs
12:10 pm Lunch
12:40 pm Small Group Two: Our Future Call
1:35 pm Debriefing on Future Space Needs
1:55 pm Next Steps/Closing
2:00 pm Departure and Collective Decision Making
We will be posting articles and documents here related to the Campus planning process for your review and comment.
David Kelley, Church
Paige Pecore, School Board and Parent
John Cornwell, Church and School Board
Ann Rosenwinkel, Church and School Board
Christopher Hysinger, School Board Vice Chair and Parent
Dr. Ken McClain, Church
Gail Greech, Church
Julia Wolff, Church and Senior Warden, Vestry
Brandon Peete, Assistant Rector
Lisa Hunt, Rector
David Coe, Head of School