The liturgical symbolism of the Church of the Dunes did not happen by accident. The symbolism appears as you leave the workday world of Sheldon Road and climb the steep drive upward. This is the first of many times in our church that we encounter the reality that God is found on the upward way. As you reach the crest of the drive, you see the same influence in the appearance of the structure itself. The roof line with the double rise – sides to middle and front to back – continue to focus your eyes upward. This is, again, very evident when you enter the Sanctuary and your eyes are drawn to the cross high in the Chancel.
Steps are eliminated, where possible, in the structure but where present are very significant – in that they are in groups of three. It is three steps to the Altar, three steps in the base of the Altar Cross, three steps for the minister to reach the Pulpit, and three levels for risers in the Choir Loft. This is ever reminding us of the three-fold nature of the Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
As you enter our Narthex you come through bright red doors – calling us to worship. The doors are large, but it is in width – not height! This provides easy access, as do the door pulls. They are a part of the door, not added on. The pulls go from bottom-to-top, inviting all, young and old – to enter His house. The inner doors to the Sanctuary are exactly like the outer doors in structure – another step in preparation to commune with God.
As we enter the Sanctuary beneath the low main entrance, our eyes are again led upward as we become aware of the vastness of the Chancel area. The Chancel appears to occupy over half of the Sanctuary to remind us of the large place God must have in our lives. The high ceiling and the Choir Loft far above the congregation with the vertical lines of the Organ Chamber Grilles are continuing the upward look. Our Sanctuary is designed in such a manner that even the back pews can feel the closeness to the throne of God.
Our church has a location that calls for a view of God’s creation at all times. This is the reason for clear glass instead of stained glass windows. Each season – with its sunshine and storms – becomes a part of our worship as we are continually amazed at His greatness. The high hill and tall beech trees as we look westward from our Sanctuary once again remind us of our resurrected Jesus.