Westminster to Open Doors on Inspiring Expansion
Westminster Presbyterian Church will open the doors on an inspiring expansion to its historic building on Nicollet Mall on Sunday, January 14. The expansion is part of Open Doors Open Futures, an initiative to transform Westminster’s telling presence in the city.
The day begins with 10:30 am worship celebrating the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., followed by the inauguration of Westminster Hall with a premiere of a commissioned choral work and tours of the building.
“Westminster is a church open to creative new ways to serve and engage the city,” says senior pastor Tim Hart-Andersen. “This new wing gives us the tools to do that: easy access, multi-use space, enhanced technology, inspired green design, and much more.”
The new two-story, 40,000-square-foot wing, designed by James Dayton Design, features open, flexible spaces to serve the changing needs of the congregation and community; cutting-edge environmental design; 300 new underground parking spaces; and significantly improved entrances. New inviting gardens and gathering spaces surround the building and will add considerable green space to downtown Minneapolis. The expansion will also soon house The Harman Center for Child & Family Wellbeing, a new campus and innovative early intervention clinic of St. David’s Center.
January 14 marks the first in a series of inaugural events, which also includes Bold Hope in the North, a January 28th Super Bowl Host Committee-sponsored event supporting Downtown Congregations to End Homelessness; a concert featuring Cantus on March 2; a community open house on March 3; the grand opening of the Harman Center on April 17; an all-church celebration on May 5; and a festival celebrating Palestinian art and culture May 17–19.
A New Building for a Changing Community
The new wing will provide welcoming, flexible spaces to creatively serve the emerging needs of new generations and fulfill long unmet needs for congregational and community celebration spaces. Two new worship services are planned for Westminster Hall: starting February 14, a 6:30 pm Wednesday contemplative service called “The Clearing,” and in September, a 5 pm Sunday service.
Open, youth-friendly places will serve Westminster’s young people as well as youth groups from all over the country who often need a place to connect and stay.
In partnership with Hennepin County Library, Westminster will host an on-site senior community center two days per week to respond to the needs of the downtown seniors dispersed by the recent closures of two senior centers in the area.
The Westminster Counseling Center—which the church has long supported with funding, office space and administrative support—will have offices on the second floor of the new expansion.
The new outdoor areas will reduce the heat island effect and complement the Downtown 2025 Plan through creation of much-needed green space, areas of respite for the public to enjoy, and a skyway connection. Environmental leadership for the project includes:
- High efficiency building design and mechanical and air filtration;
- LED lighting, with 95% of the building designed to receive natural light to reduce need for artificial lighting;
- Green roofs;
- Permeable pavers to control water flow into storm drains and a system to capture and store rainwater for reuse to irrigate trees and plants and flush toilets;
- Participation in a community solar garden program to provide 100% of Westminster’s electricity and to offset energy demand.
St. David’s Center will occupy approximately 8,000 square feet of space on the second floor of the new wing, primarily serving children birth to age five who have experienced relational trauma. Services will include an infant team to assess and treat families with children in out-of-home placement, children’s mental health services and pediatric rehabilitative therapies, a clinical training site for graduate students in mental health, and a new home for the Center’s day treatment program for young Somali children diagnosed with autism.
Open Doors Open Futures also provided $8 million for mission projects to support building the Harman Center; affordable housing; college access and leadership training for young adults; urban ministries; peacebuilding in South Sudan; and global ministry partnerships in Cuba, Cameroon, and Palestine.
January 14 | 10:30 am – 1:30 pm
Kick off of Open Doors Open Futures Inaugural Events
- 10:30 am worship celebrating legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., with Liberty Church and Grace Trinity Church (Westminster partner churches), participating in worship
- Guest preacher Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, II, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church U.S.A.
- Post-worship celebration: congregation procession to new underground parking garage for a blessing and coffee hour; musical inauguration of Westminster Hall (commissioned setting of Isaiah 43:19: “I am about to do a new thing. Now it springs forth. Do you not perceive it?”); building tours
January 28 | 2:00 pm
Bold Hope in the North
- An official event of the Super Bowl Host Committee to showcase Minnesota’s national leadership in multi-faith dialogue and cooperation and to raise money for the Downtown Congregations to End Homelessness Emergency Rental Assistance Program
- Spearheaded by the Downtown Senior Interfaith Clergy
- Music by members of the Steele Family, members of the NFL Players Gospel Choir, and the Alliance and Street Song Choirs (homeless or formerly homeless person and their allies)
March 2 | 7:30 pm
Concert featuring Cantus
- Free and open to the public
March 3 | 10:30 am–12:30 pm
Community Open House
- Brief program with church, architect, community leaders, and the Justice Choir
- Building tours
- Free and open to the public
April 17 | Timing TBA
The Harman Center Grand Opening
Windows into Palestine: Encountering the Heart of a People Through Art
- A festival of Palestinian art & culture featuring visual art exhibition by Palestinian artists, music performances and workshops, films, Palestinian cuisine cooking classes, and an authentic spice market