Planning for Adult Education

Judy Parr provided information summarized by the Adult Education Ministry earlier in the design exploration process. Adult education events happen at a variety of times and in a variety of spaces, currently:

  • Between worship services (9:40 to 10:45 a.m.) on Sunday mornings during the program year (September through May)
  • In the summer, events may be after worship, at 11:15 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.
  • Evening events might occur at any time during the year; they could include book discussions, Bible studies, or intergenerational gatherings.

Depending on their size and room availability, events may occur in Commons I (most often Sunday mornings), Room 106, or the Garden Lounge. Sunday morning events may attract from 25 to 65 people; when there are concurrent events, the total attendance has ranged from 30 to 70. Caring for Creation events, which have been held in Room 106, have seen 20 to 30 in attendance. Evening gatherings may draw from 25 to 50 people.

What works and doesn’t work in the current Commons I:

  • Equipped with the t-coil hearing loop system (although the sound system is flawed). There is only one clip-on mike for a speaker and a hand-held microphone.
  • Has the right furniture for both lecture and discussion set-ups: plenty of comfortable stacking chairs, both round and rectangular tables.
  • Floor-access electrical outlet for computer and projection equipment; there is no built-in projection or technology support.
  • Easy to find.
  • Large enough to seat more than 100 people.
  • Can accommodate small-group discussions of six to ten people; does not lend itself to concurrent meetings of larger groups.
  • The current room-sharing with Early Worship means a rush for set-up and reinforces a late-start pattern for Sunday morning events.
  • Sound from the Choir Room or the kitchen can be a distraction.
  • The overall impression of Commons I is not of a bright and inviting room.

What works and doesn’t in Room 106 for adult education:

  • Not easy to find.
  • Does not have a t-coil hearing loop system–or any other sound system.
  • Does not have coffee service, although it has a sink and cupboards.
  • The room divider (which is rarely used) is not soundproof.
  • The orientation of the room means people enter from the “front,” which is not inviting.
  • There is  no technology or presentation support.

Adult Education observes that the Garden Lounge is not very suitable for discussions because of low furniture, the absence of tables, and the distance across the room.

(Adult Education notes it would be helpful if the church had a laptop available with the current version of PowerPoint so that presenters only needed to bring a memory device; set-up could also be done in advance. This is outside of the capital project.)

For the future, Adult Education would like the flexibility to offer simultaneous classes of different scales, character, and settings. Rooms available for small discussion groups (six to 12 in a less formal setting) and study groups (six to 30 in a more structured setting), in addition to the large, t-coil-loop- and presentation-equipped room would be helpful.

One more note: “We ought to consider the possibilities of providing a space where adults can play together. The Gathering Area and Commons I have been and are used for stretching exercise and martial arts instruction.”

This page represents conversation in process; the Living Hope Design Team will continue to develop this thinking, and Hope Church members are welcome to add their perspectives. If you subscribe to this blog, please look online for the latest version of any post.


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