By Tracy Trudell
The opening our new 27,000 sq. ft. church complex exceeded our expectations,” says The Rt. Rev’d John Miller, Rector of Christ Church Vero Beach. “Of course we had a few bumps in the road considering we were altering all three of our service’s times and formats. At the same time, the end result was very satisfying. We give God all the glory,” he continued.
The opening culminated over two years of planning and building for the church started in a rose garden in April 2008. For the past few years, the church has worshipped in a former shopping complex. “Although adequate in size, the ‘store front’ type church did not fully meet all of the needs of our members,” said Bp. Miller. “Our new location and facilities give us much needed room to grow and fulfill our mission of being the best Church we can be for Vero Beach,” he continued.
The June 18 Sunday worship services were preceded by a Friday evening celebration for church members called “Prayer, Praise and Testimony.” Following the service, a meal, prepared by Christ Church parishioners, was held in the spacious Welcome Area and Community Center.
According to Bishop Miller, “We designed our new facility with glass walls in front to allow us to be as transparent as possible to the people in the Vero Beach community. Thoughtful use of spaces both inside and outside of the church will allow us to better enrich the lives of our members and groups using our complex.”
“An example of this is our multi-use Welcome Area,” he continued. “Commonly referred to as the church Narthex, the Christ Church Welcome Area is flanked by a cafe on one side and a library on the other. Tables and seating can be set-up between them to accommodate large banquets, meetings, and other functions.” Designed by the architectural firm of Rardin & Carroll, the church’s Worship Center interior features massive, supporting, wood laminate arching pillars, a large stained-glass window above the altar designed by Conrad Pickel Studios of Vero Beach and movable congregation seating. The Proctor Construction Company of Vero Beach served as general contractor for the Christ Church complex. On the north side of the Church are located the kitchen, the 9.23 Community Center, and a dedicated Teen Center. In additional to modern worship services, the 9.23 Community Center will annually host over 500 community events by organizations such as Scouts, Military Moms, Buggy Bunch, Community Bible Study, Classic Conversation Homeschoolers, and the Coast Guard Auxiliary. The Teen Center, with both indoor and outdoor Wi-Fi-equipped recreation areas, provides a safe gathering space for teens.
The church’s Education Wing on the south side, in addition to the regular children’s Sunday School, provides a weekday mom’s morning out program called Teaching Our Toddlers Spiritually (TOTS). A variety of children’s activities can be accommodated with an outdoor enclosed playground and separate indoor classrooms for various ages.
A Memorial Garden, with walking paths and benches for meditation and reflection, is located between two lakes on the south side of the property.
Additional information on Christ Church can be found by going to its website, www.christChurchvero.org or by calling the Church Office at 772-562-8678.
Christ Church Vero Beach is a member of the Gulf Atlantic Diocese within the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), which unites nearly 1,000 congregations across the United States, Canada, and Mexico into a single Church. The ACNA is recognized as a province of the Global Anglican Communion, comprising approximately 85 million members, by the Archbishops of the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans.
Christ Church’s clergy include The Rt. Rev’d John Miller, Rector; The Rev’d Nathan Bistis, Associate Rector; and The Rev’d Richard Demsick, Missionary Pastor. Debra Gordon is the Director of Children and Family Ministries.
Tracy Trudell is Communications Coordinator at Christ Church, Vero Beach, FL.