WFX....Day 2

Today was the first day of the exhibit floor. Steve Reed, Nancy the Insightful and I had booth duty.

The conference is hosted by Church Production and Worship Facilities Magazines. After several years of working with and writing for the magazines I’ve gotten to know their staff--who are the coolest. It is great to get to see people face-to-face who you usually connect with via e-mail and phone.

WFX focuses on houses of worship—one of the markets AD is very active in. The exhibit floor is filled with architects, technology manufacturers, stained glass crafters, stewardship consultants, seating manufacturers, staging—essentially everything you would need to build a worship center of your very own.

The speakers for the sessions are people who are leading the conversation on the construction of sacred space. With escalating construction costs and greater client expectations, it is becoming more and more difficult for churches to relocate to build. One of the sessions I helped organize was on the renovation of existing worship facilities. I am receiving more and more calls from worship facilities that are 20+ years old and no longer meet the needs of the congregations worshipping in them. The session outlined the reasons to consider renovating space you already own and that it is possible to make substantial improvement in how well the room connects the people.

Rex Miller was on the panel with Bill Chegwidden and Craig Janssen. Rex began the session with an image of a 1960's housewife in a kitchen with "Harvest Gold" appliances and "Avocado Green" tile. "This is a trend," he said. "I want to make the distinction between trends and major shifts." "Harvest Gold appliances in kitchens, like coffee bars in churches are a trend. The reformation was a shift." Rex went on to explain the premise in his book--that we've moved from an oral culture to a print culture to a broadcast culture and now are moving to a digital culture. He explained how that was reflected in church architecture.

What was really cool is that the audience got particularly engaged in the cultural dialogue. Not once did the conversation shift to color of carpet or theming for children's spaces. Pretty wonderful.

The rest of the day was spent on the trade show floor. I love the randomness of the engagements. You never know who you will connect with or how their story crosses with your own. For me, this type of interaction makes me feel like I'm operating at my highest level. It energizes me. I get immersed.

After the floor closed, Craig, Steve, Nancy and I all went to Cafe Sunflower for a fabulous meal...appetizers all the way through dessert. Now I feel all content and sleepy. Best of all, my day doesn't start until 9am tomorrow. Mmmmm...a late wake up call. Joy!

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Maira Gall