Sunday, April 24, 2011

New Location Announcement

Church of the Nativity is delighted to announce a new step of faith: the purchase of a new location.  Since January 2008, we have been meeting in a 5,000 square foot office building suite, provided courtesy of one of our members.  Our lease on that space expires at the end of 2012, and we have been diligently searching for a new home for our growing, lively church.

On Wednesday of Holy Week, we finally reached an agreement to purchase an incomplete building located just south of the southeast corner of Williams & Miller in North Scottsdale.  We have a due diligence period ahead to determine whether all inspections and so forth are in order.  We have already raised the funds necessary to purchase the building, and will begin work right away on raising the funds necessary to complete it.

The building was originally intended to be a 24,000-square-foot, 2-story office building.  In 2009, as the recession deepened, it was abandoned in mid-construction.  What is there is simply a concrete foundation and cinder block walls, open to the sky.  Here are two pictures, one from the inside and one from the outside:

Here are some exciting facts about this building;

  • It's right in the middle of a terrific neighborhood - close to the center of where our members live; near a school, a retirement home, a hospital, a post office, a library, and many homes; right on a major street (if you exit the 101 at Hayden and go 2 miles north, Hayden turns into Miller and you pass right by this building).  It's just south of Pinnacle Peak Road, which is one of the two cross streets that go through to Tatum, meaning there is easy access from Desert Ridge/north Phoenix.  The park where we have our church picnics and animal blessings is less than half a mile away, so we can still use it for outdoor recreation activities.
  • We will have 50 parking spaces full-time, and will be able to use 200 parking spaces in the office development on evenings and Sundays - so we don't have to pay a million dollars an acre for land to park cars on, or for that matter, pay to build and maintain a parking lot.
  • As you can see in the photos, the building is in a state of incompletion that will allow us to completely redesign it to look like a church.  We have spoken in detail with the head Scottsdale city planner, who assures us that the city is eager to see something happen with this property, and will be very favorably disposed to our redesign ideas.
  • We will have a high-ceilinged, 2-story nave, allowing for terrific cathedral-type acoustics and a truly worshipful feel.
  • The rest of the building can be built out as 2 stories of classroom, office, parish hall, etc.  We would start Phase I by building out the ground floor only: 12,000 square feet, leaving expansion room for later.
  • We have a right of first refusal on the 6,600-square-foot office building just to the north, which might be a future expansion site for classrooms and offices.
  • We will have room outdoors for a patio for gathering, and either a playground or healing/worship garden.
More than anything, here is what I love about this location: it will allow us to be the incarnated presence of the Risen Christ in the midst of our community.  For the past 30 years or so, suburban churches have tended to build on large campuses, somewhat isolated from the community (at least by a parking lot).  This site harkens back to an older tradition: the tradition of building the village church right in the middle of the village, where people live, work, and go to school.  We can be the welcoming church community for our neighborhood.  We can reach out to help the hungry, the lonely, and the lost.  We can preach the good news of Easter to a world that only believes in Good Friday.  We can worship, grow, and transform lives with the love of Jesus Christ.  Thanks be to God!


  1. Wow!

    Congratulations to the Parish Family at The Church of The Nativity from one of your friends and brothers in Christ in Victoria British Columbia Canada.

    A couple of years ago I worshiped with you at The Holy Eucharist in your Church one Sunday morning with our good friends Bill Bonstetter and Karen.

    As a worker priest, I could see and rejoice with you in all the signs of a vibrant, growing parish family with excellent lay and ordained leadership.

    The fact that you were worshiping in the center of a commercial complex was, I thought, innovative and exciting.

    Now you will be taking an even greater step in faith. That is just terrific. Instead of retreating to the suburbs you are plunging into the heart of a dynamic secular community.

    Even the site and state of your new building bears witness to the theme of resurrection. What a wonderful coincidence that the final decision to proceed in faith was made in Holy Week.

    You have been and will be in our prayers. May God bless you all as you seek to widen your sphere of ministry.

    Please include us in your prayers.

    The Rev. Walter Donald
    Victoria British Columbia (Canada)
    Member of St. Barnabas Church, Victoria which is also an exciting and growing part of the Body of Christ.

  2. Walter, thank you for your encouragement and your prayers! I remember your visit to us, and I appreciate your kind words. I am very excited about this site's resurrection potential!

    Susan Snook