Slideshow: Arborlawn UMC opens renovated facility

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Arborlawn United Methodist Church boasts a renovated 46,000-square-foot facility.

The church has spent more than three years working out every detail that has gone into the final design.

The design mixes the traditional with today’s technology. Flat screen televisions sit above ancient church symbols and stained glass from chapels used by the two combined congregations that now make up Arborlawn.

Arborlawn was founded when the Central Methodist Church moved from Lipscomb Street to Overton Park in 1969. Westcliff UMC combined with Overton Park UMC to create Arborlawn in 2005. The old sanctuary, which held up to 700, soon reached 85 percent capacity.

The new larger chapel seats 1,200 and traditional services are held at 8:45 and 11 a.m. Sunday mornings.

The new auditorium is significantly brighter than the former sanctuary. Specially designed column-shaped lamps hang from the ceiling. The church’s symbol, a large vined cross, seems to float right above the chancel area.

There are now two sanctuaries. A smaller room for 275 has been set aside for alternative worship services that are at 11:11 a.m. on Sundays. Called “InSearch,” these services are grounded in the traditional understanding of worship, but combine contemporary music with an authentic and practical message.

The two worship spaces are close, but the church has made sure ample sound barriers will be in place so one service will not interfere with the other.

While the two groups may be separate during services, everyone has an opportunity to come together in the large connecting commons at the center of the new facility. The cross from the former chapel hangs on the commons main wall. A large triquetra has been laid into the center of the floor, a symbol representing the Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

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