The heart of Church of the Good Shepherd is our worship space. The simplest description is church-in-the-round; however, the seating is not actually arranged in circles. Three banks of pews face inward toward the altar, which is in the center of the room on a raised triangular platform. Across from the main doors are podiums for the priest and other readers and musicians, as well as a balcony.
A chapel is tucked behind the set of pews opposite the doors. Looking out over trees, it’s a place for some private prayer, and it’s also the location of our columbarium
The design is attractive, but what’s more important is the impact of the architecture on the nature of our faith community. Unlike most churches, in which people are far from the altar and look at the backs of heads, our altar is nearby and we can see each others’ faces during the service. Bonds run deeper because we interact so much more each week. We praise God as a family, laugh at jokes together, and share our sadness when we hear of any bad news, like, for example, a friend who’s been hospitalized. Consistently through the years, the worshippers and clergy who’ve been drawn to Good Shepherd have been open and friendly, reflecting the less formal seating arrangement and optimizing the connectedness the parishioners experience.
The original building, as it was designed in 1958, consisted of two wings: the worship space in the east and a parish hall in the west. The latter is now referred to as the West Wing to differentiate it from the third wing that was added later. Naumann Hall, built in the late 1980’s, was the result of a church member’s vision to construct an addition to provide more space for parish life. The wing was financed with individual pledges and with memorial funds from the Naumann family. In Naumann Hall, style elements from the worship space were incorporated, such as the color of the brick walls and the rich tones of the high wooden ceilings. Most breathtaking, however, is the large picture window, overlooking the woods. The main floor includes a kitchen, restrooms, storage, a cozy fireplace area, and the main hall. The main room is used for the weekly coffee hour after the church service, for meetings, and for our many, many parties and dinners. The lower level is the location of classrooms, a children’s chapel section, a room for the youth group, a utility room, and storage. Naumann Hall has become an indispensable part of our church life.
The West Wing
The West Wing takes its name from its location. Originally the building had only two sections: the worship space and the parish hall, which contained offices, a kitchen, restrooms, storage, a main hall for fellowship, and so on. The worship space is in the east, and the parish hall is in the west, hence the name “West Wing.” When entering the building, turn right through double doors for worship and turn left through double doors for the West Wing.
All the locations mentioned above still exist in the West Wing as well as a couple more. After coming through the doors, you’ll find a library section with comfortable seating. One set of restrooms is here too. The utility room and offices face the driveway on the south side of the building. The parish manager, rector, and director of the Montessori School have offices. If you visit during a school day, you’ll see the Montessori children and all their activities and educational materials. On Sundays during the school year, the school is packed up. During extended vacations, their equipment is packed away. At the end of the row of offices is a small meeting room, known either as the parlor or the lounge. The rest of the West Wing is a large parish hall with an attached kitchen. The room overlooks grass, trees, and a birdfeeder, with the woods visible in the distance.