Rick Short doesn’t typically build sacred spaces. But when Rosemont’s Ascension Lutheran Church approached his company Red Dog Carpentry to take charge of constructing their new building, he jumped at the chance.
“We’re certainly honoured to build the church and proud to be part of something that will last for years and many people will enjoy,” said Short.
The project began at the beginning of the summer, and work has been progressing on schedule. But the church will need to obtain additional funding before it can be completed.
“It’s a bit up in the air, actually,” Short said, when asked about the proposed completion date. “But we’re going to get this locked up. Roof on, windows in.”
The church plans to do additional fundraising in order to complete construction.
Short described the former church as an “old wood building that had rotted out over the years.” He said the new structure will be vastly superior.
“This one has a lot more character and a lot more richness. It looks more proud,” he said.
One of Short’s employees, Dennis Borden, said working on a church differs from building a home in a number of ways. For one, the structure is significantly bigger. But the main difference is how open the sanctuary is.
“It’s a lot more open, way bigger,” he said. “It’s pretty beautiful in there. We’ve never done much timber frame like this.”
Short said the new building should last much longer than its predecessor.
“I’d like to say this building’s good for more than a hundred years,” he said.
The interior will include a sanctuary, a pastor’s office, some rooms for Sunday School and youth group, and a basement banquet hall.
Ascension was founded in 1969. According to their mission statement, the congregation is “a community of Christians empowered by the grace of God through Word and Sacrament to do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with God.”
When asked whether he felt any additional pressure when constructing something ultimately intended to be holy, Short smiled.
“You definitely feel like you might be being judged by more than just the home owner.”
Borden shrugged at the same question.
“It’s just another day of work for me.”