As hope increases for a return to normal life, the final pieces of Market Square’s ambitious organ and sanctuary renewal project are falling into place. Delayed by almost a year due to the coronavirus pandemic, the return of the church’s newly rebuilt organ is now scheduled to begin the week of June 7, 2021.
It will take roughly six weeks to reinstall the organ, followed by the remainder of the sanctuary renovations: installation of the pews and pew cushions, and carpeting in the rear and down the two main aisles. The last step in the process is the final tuning and voicing of the organ, which takes several weeks and can only occur once the sanctuary renovations have been completed. The entire Restore Renew Rejoice! project should be completed around September 24, 2021.
In-person services may be possible well before that time, however, since we have the option of using portable chairs in the sanctuary until the pews are installed. In fact, in anticipation of this the new hardwood floors have already been covered temporarily with a protective product called “ram board.”
The decision about opening will be made by Session. The decision depends in large part on the pace at which Americans are vaccinated during the next few months, as well as evolving public health guidance. In the meantime, live services will continue on the radio (WHYL 960 AM FM 102.9) with the participation of our pastors, our director of music, and our “quarantine” choir.
The entire project is an investment in the mission of worship at Market Square, supporting its continuing presence as a beacon of hope in the community. The Capital Campaign Fund in support of the project was suspended when the pandemic was declared in March of 2020, just two months after it began.
Despite the hardships of the past year, members and friends of MSPC have continued to give generously to the fund. We are optimistic about reaching our goal when the campaign resumes, likely sometime after in-person worship resumes.
Photos show the sanctuary renovations as of March 2021.