“Lord, it is good for us to be here” is inscribed on the cornerstone of the first nave of our church. Our church, grounds, day care center, and rectory provide us with a beautiful worship space and places where we can gather in joyful fellowship, support one another in times of trouble, and grow in discipleship.
Built in the 1960s, our sanctuary is strikingly modern, but with medieval sensibilities in its high, narrow nave and excellent acoustics. The building fits comfortably into the surrounding landscape of rolling hills and primary forest at the crossroads of 86th Ave and McCarthy Rd; we are a church in the midst of the trees. Amidst this landscape, our bell tower stands out, home to an original 300 lb. Church of England bell.
Richard Caemmerer, Jr., then a professor of art at Valparaiso University, designed and built the unforgettable cross above our altar to “represent the Good Friday event transfigured by the power of the Resurrection.” It has remained a powerful symbol of our identity as the Church of the Transfiguration. Mr. Caemmerer went on to co-found the Grünewald Guild of Leavenworth, Washington, whose mission is to awaken the creative spirit through art, faith, and community.
Transfiguration is home to a one-manual, eight-rank Roederer tracker pipe organ (Evanston, Illinois, 1970) purchased from the Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago, where it had been used for only a year while their new organ was being built. The organ has six stops (16′ Subbass, 8′ Gedackt, 4′ Principal, 4′ Rohrflöte, 2′ Octave, and Mixture III), one 61-note manual, 32-note pedals, and a manual-to-pedal coupler. Musical guests occasionally play the organ, but on most Sundays, we enjoy the gifts of our pianist and choir. Transfiguration has two pianos (one in the choir loft and one in our fellowship hall) and a three-octave set of chimes.
On our grounds, our Memorial Garden committee and Green Team maintain a beautiful Memorial Garden, a reflection space where the cremated remains of members and loved ones can be interred. Members plant annuals each spring to augment the perennial plants and trees, replace perennial plants as necessary, and place memorial/commemorative bricks in the garden path to honor those interred in the garden. The cross at the center of the garden is based on the cross above the altar in our sanctuary. Roger Carlsen of Ephraim Forge in Frankfort, IL designed and executed the cross, which was installed in May 2004.
We hold coffee hour and many of our social events in Leach Hall, a large fellowship hall added in 1990. Just down the hill from the church is a spacious rectory, built in 1960, which has helped our rectors to maintain close ties to our church community. With a recently remodeled kitchen, it is a lovely space for hospitality and fellowship, and our rectors have hosted Over-21 gatherings there. The dining room window offers a majestic view of the surrounding woods.