The original mission to restore our Möller Pipe Organ involved cleaning and fixing pipes in their current arrangement. This would be necessary to keep the organ functional. However, additional work is required to bring the important instrument to its full potential. The Session joined in a great amount of discussion, research, and prayer. Financial considerations, current membership, as well as the demographics of worship trends, all played a part in our decision.
Popular aesthetics in the 1950s dictated that organ pipes be invisible. This led to the pipes being enclosed at an angle above the stairs on the east side of the church. They were also installed in reverse to better fit within the space. This compromises the sound as each note must bend and bounce before reaching the ear. A later sanctuary renovation also added more hard surfaces further exaggerating the sound distortions. Organ specialists have said our original plan to simply fix the pipes would not solve the problems inherent in this design. And addressing these problems separately later could cost two or three times as much.
The organ will be removed in the summer of 2016. Work on the existing pipes will be performed and a few additional pipes will be added. Reinstallation will be done about three months later. During this same time, improvements will be made to the lighting and stage structure at the front of the sanctuary. When finished, we have a better functioning organ with improved sound, plus the Great Division pipes will be displayed on both sides of the south sanctuary window.