What a year it’s been for the Waitsfield United Church of Christ Village Meeting House! Along with the usual weddings, celebrations of life, monthly community suppers, Festival of the Arts exhibit, boy scout meetings and Thanksgiving gift basket packing, the dream of preserving and enhancing the iconic church building that has been at the center of the Mad River Valley community for over 140 years has taken shape and is about to come to fruition. The Building to Serve Capital Campaign, which was launched last Christmas, is successfully drawing to a close after the holidays. Plans have been drawn, and timelines established for improvements that include flood-proofing, kitchen expansion, ADA-compliant bathrooms and enhanced community meeting space. The new front steps have already been built, and will be ready for paint next spring.
Collaboration with Partners for Sacred Places, a national, non-sectarian, nonprofit organization focused on building the capacity of congregations of historic sacred places to better serve their communities as anchor institutions, guided the campaign’s success by solidifying an already active partnership between the church and the community. Congregants, community members and visitors have excitedly shown their support of the Village Meeting House as an integral part of the Valley’s history and future. “We have been so honored by the generosity of the wider Mad River Valley Community,” said Jon Jamieson, Chair of the Capital Campaign Committee. “It’s really exciting that we have been able to reach our goal, and to move forward with the improvements.”
Ongoing support for the church and its mission is further evident in the assistance the church has received in continuing its work during the construction. Our Lady of the Snows has generously offered its space for Sunday worship beginning in mid-January, and Waitsfield Elementary School will host the monthly community suppers, which will be served on the last Saturday of every month.
On January 15, there will be a celebratory service in the sanctuary, followed by a luncheon in the ground floor gathering space that will, in all probability, look drastically different a year from now. Thanks will be given for the dedicated group of community and church members who served on the Capital Campaign Steering Committee, and for the generosity of the wider community in helping to achieve the goal of a beautiful, historic building that will continue to serve the Mad River Valley for years to come. All are invited to stay connected to the Village Meeting House by checking the website from time to time, and watching for periodic updates in the Valley Reporter. Upon completion of the renovations later in 2017, the entire community will be invited to come together for a grand Open House.
Although the campaign is officially coming to a close, contributions will still be accepted to assist with some of the finishing touches that will be required once the core construction is completed. Contributions can be made through the church’s website, www.waitsfieldchurch.org, or by mailing a check to Waitsfield United Church of Christ, Village Meeting House, Building to Serve, P.O. Box 16, Waitsfield, VT 05673. You can also check out our Facebook page. For additional information, please contact the church at 802-496-3065.
Visit the Capital Campaign page to view the elevation drawings of the planned renovations that begin January 2017.
Worship services will be held at Our Lady of the Snows on Rt 100 south of Waitsfield during the construction process.