For the week of November 18 thru November 24, 1998  

St. Thomas church plans to expand

Two-phase project starts with $1.6 million capital campaign

The congregation of Ketchum’s St. Thomas Episcopal Church got together for a joyous luncheon with a joyous purpose on Sunday, Nov. 8 at Warm Springs Lodge.

It was the kickoff luncheon for a $1.6 million capital campaign designed to expand the 38-year-old Sun Valley Road church building to meet the needs of an expanding congregation.

St. Thomas Episcopal Church was the first church in Ketchum starting in 1883 when it was located in the building that is now Louie’s Pizza and Italian Restaurant.

The congregation continued meeting in the same building until Dec. 1954. The building and property were sold in 1955, and the congregation met in several places like the Sun Valley Opera House until its present building was completed in 1960, and consecrated in 1961.

Rev. Brian Baker, Rector, said in a letter to parishoners, "We are faced with a wonderful problem: the church’s ministry is so vibrant our building is bursting at the seams.

"Fortunately we have an inspired solution. The plans for expansion are stunning. They maintain the beauty and intimacy of our current building while allowing us to expand.

"More important than the plans is the expanded ministry that we can perform in the Wood River Valley. St. Thomas serves a vital role in the community that will only be enhanced by this new facility."

"We are hoping to raise $1.6 million this fall and begin construction of the first phase in the spring."

The most urgent need is to provide additional seating for Sunday worshipers.

"Building to Serve," the name of Phase One of the capital campaign, will nearly double nave seating from its current 105 to 200. Expanded capacity will allow St. Thomas to accommodate larger wedding and funeral services.

For expanding the nave, the goal summary is $750,000, largest in the campaign.

Also included in Phase One:

2—Construction of a new entry on the south side will provide space for overflow attendance during holiday services. It will also serve as a greeting area. A new vesting room for clergy and a sacristy for the Altar Guild will be adjacent to the sanctuary, providing better access.

Fund-raising goal is $200,000.

3—The well-used Fellowship Hall will be enlarged to better serve parish and community events. The remodeled meeting area will seat 75 in a conference setting, up to 200 when arranged as a theater. Doors will provide access to additional seating in the adjacent hallway.

Fund-raising goal is $170,000.

4—Three new rooms below the expanded nave and entry will house Christian education, adult and youth meetings and Sunday School classes, and will be available for community groups.

Fund-raising goal is $95,000.

5—A new elevator will make access available to everyone.

Fund-raising goal is $100,000.

Phase Two of the expansion program will take place several years after Phase One is completed, and will include construction of a choir loft, additional meeting rooms, a new kitchen and a courtyard.

The "Building to Serve" campaign leadership includes Rev. Charley Burger, honorary chair; Dave Carter, campaign chair; Cindy and Bob Kesting, stewardship co-chairs; Jim Watkinson, campaign coordinator; Bill and Jeanne Cassell, advance gifts co-chairs; Doug Taylor and Curt Johnson, congregation gifts co-chairs; Ellen Spencer and Cathy Spiller, communications chairs; Chip Mills, Planned Giving chair; Jaris Collins, spiritual emphasis chair; Katrina Cord and Nancy Cord, kickoff chairs.

Marc Oliver is chair of the Church Expansion and Planning Committee which includes secretary Ellen Bazzinotti, Tony Mabbatt, Lucy Gibson, Henry Silvestri, Cindy Kesting and R.G. Reeder.

At the Nov. 8 kickoff luncheon, Rt. Rev. Harry Bainbridge, Bishop of Idaho, gave remarks and issued the blessing.


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