From left to right, are Mark Pinguey, David Foster, and June Foster.                                        Photo by Martha Hanson

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The congregation of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 1004 Greenwood St., dedicated its newly revamped, energy-efficient, fully accessible annex and sanctuary on Jan. 14.  The renovation was designed to promote energy efficiency and to make the entire complex fully accessible. 

For several years, St. Paul’s has hosted the weekly Interfaith Sunday Soup Kitchen, plus a daytime warming center and emergency overnight shelter for the homeless during cold weather. The church also provides space for Evanston Interfaith Action and hosts various AA meetings, music, and other community groups who need meeting and practice space. 

To make the old building handicap-accessible, St. Paul’s has extensively rebuilt the annex portion of the church to allow for construction of a lift serving three levels, four fully accessible bathrooms, and a new accessible entryway ramp for its Maple Street doorway. To promote energy efficiency, the church has re-roofed and insulated the sanctuary and annex with high-tech R38 open cell injectable foam; installed an ultra-efficient heating and cooling system in the annex; and installed high-efficiency LED lighting throughout the renovated areas.  While engaged in renovation, the century-old sanctuary was restored with a total re-plastering and painting, the first in many decades.

“St. Paul’s made this substantial investment – a huge financial undertaking for a tiny congregation – out of a recognition that the building is not merely the place where we worship. More than that, it is a hub of compassion, service, and civic engagement for the Evanston community,” said Paula Ketcham, a member
of the congregation.