We are making some changes to our parking and café here at Pantano. I know most of us don’t like changes, especially if we can’t see the immediate benefit! I finally learned where to find things at Target and then they remodel the place and move everything around. What was wrong with the way things were? So, yes, I know and feel your pain and frustration.
“Why” Shapes the “What” and “How”
Before I tell you about the “what” and “how” of the changes, let me tell you the “why.” If there is no compelling why then why change?! Right?! The why is not for most of us already at Pantano; that can make the change a bit frustrating. The change is for those we tend not to focus on, or even see, like those with disabilities and those who are not yet a part of our church! The why behind all the changes is to help us serve our handicapped better and reach folks not connected to God or a church. These changes are part of a bigger plan to make Room for More and add a Student Union.
Research shows that people make an impression of a new place, like a church, within literally the first few minutes they enter the property. So, starting on March 31st, the first change you’ll notice is how we do parking. You can see a full explanation with maps and directions on our website at mypantano.church/parking. Basically, we are asking all regular Pantano folks to park in the back (east) parking lot. We’ll have folks help you find a place to park and we’ll also help expedite the exiting process. We want to reserve our lot to the south (which central to our campus) for those with disabilities. The lot nearest Houghton road (on the west side of our property) is for first, second or third-time guests as well as for families with middle school and high school students (that lot is and will be close to the student building). We want for folks who are new to Pantano to know they are welcome and we have space for them. This change is about and for them, not us! We’ll have signs and attendants to help our guests and everyone else find a place to park.
The other change we are making is in our Pantano Café, which also serves as a venue during our services. To make room for more, beginning March 31st we are going to pull out 5 rows of the stadium seats for all three Sunday morning services. This will reduce the tables by one row but will gain more seating overall in the café. With these stadium seats out, this also means that the location where folks order and pick up food will be too crowded, so we are relocating the food serving and ordering station under the screen (in front of the movable wall). When you order food, the order will be sent electronically to the kitchen, and when it is ready, our great volunteer team will deliver the food to your table. While you are waiting, you can still access free drinks in the same location. The café changes will actually work better for everyone.
Please give us feedback if you face any challenges with these changes. We want to make any and all adjustments before Easter. And, thanks in advance for your help through these necessary changes. Don’t forget the “why!”