Restore, Renew, Rejoice! Capital Campaign Exceeds Its Goal


What follows is the text of a speech delivered on behalf of the Capital Campaign Committee during the worship service on Sept. 26, 2021.  The service focused on the substantial completion of the organ and sanctuary renovation project. It included a dedicatory sermon and congregational litany written by Pastor Tom Sweet, as well as brief remarks by Phyllis Mooney, who chaired the Sanctuary Renovation Committee.

This project, for us, began in December of 2017 with the Organ Study Committee chaired by Tyler Canonico and Ellen Hunt. It’s been four long years - but we are happy to say that the project is nearly complete.


Take a minute  now to turn around and take a look at the loft behind you, and then  let your eye travel around the room.  Everything you see and hear today has been touched by the Restore, Renew, Rejoice! project.


It was budgeted at $1,700,000.  The capital campaign committee was charged with raising $900,000 of that amount. We thought we could do it — at least most days we thought we could do it — and we’re happy to tell you that we did.  As of August 31, pledges and cash gifts totaled $938,423.  The members of our committee were just terrific, as are all of you. Thank you, everyone, for putting us in this happy place.


Although we are no longer actively soliciting donations, anything we raise in excess of the final project cost will allow us to scale back the money used from the endowment. So if any of you who haven’t given yet are moved to participate, we’ll continue to accept contributions.* At a later date we will publicly and permanently recognize all donors.


A few gifts deserve special mention. First, we received $400,000 toward our $900,000 goal from the J. Nedra Schilling Foundation.  Nedra was a long-time and active member of the church and its choir, and Session has agreed that the organ will be known as the J. Nedra Schilling Organ.


Another generous gift, by Tom Arnoldi, allowed us to add back in to the project a component that we had originally cut out in order to reduce costs.  These are the electronic “32-foot” stops.  Although they aren’t ready to make their debut today, they will add the deepest tones that are so iconic in large organs. 


Jim Mumper’s role also deserves to be known.  Jim was so shocked by the estimate for building the loft balustrade that he went home and did it himself.  It presented some major challenges, but as I have heard him say, he is a stubborn guy and he stuck with it and you can see for yourselves what a terrific job he did.


Even with these gifts, we still had a lot of money to raise. It’s the rest of you - the members and friends of the church who gave what they could, according to their circumstances - you are the ones who deserve our greatest thanks. This project makes a statement:  Market Square Church is committed for the long run.  What you have  done, collectively, to  preserve, improve, and pass on our missions 

of worship, music, and ministry is remarkable.


We do want to note that although the organ looks finished, it is not. It contains over 4500 pipes, each one of which must be painstakingly tuned and voiced.  A bit over half of that work has been completed.  We’re lucky that the Létourneau Organ Company has sent us three charming and talented people to do that work, which involves skill, art, and a very good ear.  All three are in the choir loft today, playing and singing along with rest of us. We’re glad to have them. There were almost as many moving pieces in the combined projects as pipes in the organ. Carlin Wenger was charged with making sure that all those pieces moved in the right direction at the right time, and his work as Chair of the Organ Project Workgroup continues.  This position required all of his many intellectual talents, as well as patience, and he has done an outstanding job.

We’re also in debt to the individual members of the four committees involved. Their names are listed on this page and we hope you’ll thank those people when you see them.  


Gwen and David Lehman 

Co-Chairs, Capital Campaign Committee

* We’ve received another $5000 since this printing. 


Photos show the sanctuary renovations as of March 2021.

Organ Study Committee

Ellen Hunt and 

Tyler Canonico, Co-chairs

Ken Kline

David Lehman

Gwen Lehman

Bill Murray

Ron Poorman

John Robinson

John Taylor


Capital Campaign Committee

David Lehman and 

Gwen Lehman, Co-chairs

John Dame

Kari Hultman

Sheldon Jones

Peggy McConnell

Alice Anne Schwab

Tom Sweet, Pastor 

Sanctuary Renovation Committee

Phyllis Mooney, Chair

Chris Baldrige

Jim Crum

Gwen Lehman

Steve McMullen

Jim Mumper


Organ Project Workgroup

Carlin Wenger, Chair

Tyler Canonico

Bob Garrett

David Lehman

Gwen Lehman

Jim Mumper

Tom Sweet, Pastor