The design of Pilgrim Church began with the premise that architecture for churches is a matter of gospel, and if the gospel of Christ is worthy of verbal proclamation Sunday after Sunday, it is also worthy of faithful architectural proclamation, where its message speaks to the community every day of the year. Every aspect of the design had to be an accurate representation of the ministry of Pilgrim Church.

The exterior form of the building is a metaphoric response to the name pilgrim. The ship's bow form constitutes the main worship center. This is augmented by the soaring bell tower which anchors the building to the corner of the site and acts as a beacon for the surrounding community.

The three primary building materials are brick, glass, and copper. All three are symbolic of the Christian experience. The brick, chosen for its earthy qualities and natural imperfections, symbolizes the earthy and imperfect state of humanity. The Sanctuary was designed with no readily visible windows to distract the worshipper within; instead, all interior focus is directed towards the Chancel area, which is bathed in light from the glass clerestory above, a constant reminder of God's creating and sustaining power. Copper was also chosen for its earthy quality. Like the Christian, it changes and matures with time, symbolic of the process that each Christian is called to undertake as we mature into the fullness of Christ.

The Chancel, the focus of the worship experience, is in constant view as one approaches the building, traverses the Narthex, and enters the Nave. The congregation is seated in a gathered fashion around the Chancel, reminding us that we come not to worship in private, but together as a family of believers. The Chancel is simple and uncluttered. No element is fixed in place. This allows for variety and creativity in worship. No railing has been placed around the Chancel, reminding us that God is not separated from us nor is God limited to any special place.

Just as God's Word is a constant reminder of our relationship with Christ, so too, this building is a constant reminder of the response of Pilgrim Church to this relationship.

David F. Schultz AIA
February, 1986