Calvary Church in Naperville introduced the culmination of a $3 million-plus capital campaign to the congregation last weekend: a new worship space.
The new auditorium is designed with accessibility and connectedness in mind.
“With added seats and better communication technology, we will be able to reach more people in our community with the clear message of the Gospel,” said Tim Loar, Calvary Church’s music pastor.
The project came about as church officials recognized the existing auditorium was too small and outdated. An estimated 7,000 people attend services throughout the course of a weekend — a number that is growing.
“We have three services on weekends: one on Saturday night and two services on Sunday mornings,” said Wanda Burgund, director of the Helps Ministry. “The morning services were very near capacity, so we knew we had to do something.”
Additionally she said, the technology needed a significant upgrade.
“The facility that our main services were held in was over 20 years old,” she said. “We’d updated the sound and lighting as much as we could, but it needed a complete overhaul.”
The renovated auditorium, which was undergoing construction for five months, has an additional 500 seats and what Burgund calls “state-of-the-art” technology.
“One of the biggest updates to the sanctuary is our new sound system,” Loar said. “It is designed so that every seat gets a full, balanced sound.”
The new sound system also includes a hearing loop, which allows those with newer hearing aids to pick up the sound directly from the system.
“That is the main thing,” Burgund said. “We weren’t necessarily looking for volume, we were wanting more clarity. It’s a better way to communicate the messages that we are trying to get across.”
With an expanded audience, it was important to update the video and screen projection systems to keep the speaker visible.
“Because of the size of the room, we do big screen projections so that people can see the preacher more clearly. This is especially important for those in the more distant seats so that it remains personal,” Burgund said.
Additionally, Calvary uses the screens for projecting music.
“We don’t use hymnals. Our worship is more contemporary music. You don’t find it in hymnals, and the music changes often, so we project it for people to follow,” she said.
The renovation of the auditorium earned rave reviews last weekend.
“We want people to feel connected and that can be a challenge within a large church. We want that sense of connectedness,” Burgund said. “We are very much about making disciples, growing people up in the faith, with a small emphasis on community. We are in a large church setting with a community feel.”
Send Our Faith story ideas to email@example.com