Mercy patients and co-workers in Lebanon will soon have more space to pray and reflect. Mercy Lebanon Auxiliary has pledged $100,000 toward the construction of a new chapel and large illuminated cross.
The auxiliary plans to raise at least $20,000 a year over the next five years to support Mercy Health Foundation Lebanon’s $1 million fundraising goal for the project on the hospital grounds at 100 Hospital Drive. It will replace the current chapel, located in a small room across from the gift shop.
“It’s in a public area,” said Shantelle Posten, volunteer services coordinator at Mercy Hospital Lebanon. “We’re in desperate need for more space for families, and even co-workers to go when they need a quiet spot to get away for some down time with God.”
“The chapel we have now is very small, dark and hard to find,” said Carol Leikers, president of Mercy Lebanon Auxiliary. “When the plans were presented to us, it didn’t take me very long to approve them. I had goose bumps on my arms.”
The stand-alone chapel will be open and inviting, with ample room to accommodate large groups – as well as memorial services, bereavement s or educational sessions. “On a daily basis, we see so many people trying to shut the door for privacy. For large families, there isn’t enough space for them all.”
The chapel will include the following elements: a metal roof to match the hospital, vision glass, cast stone, stained glass and natural and stone walls. “When patients wait for test results or procedures to be done, they’ll be able to sit and admire it,” added Posten.
“The garden is beautiful and a lot of people like it,” added Leikers. “The new chapel will incorporate the natural rocks and greenery. It will be beautiful.” A large, illuminated cross will be built on the exterior of the hospital, atop the elevator shaft, which is the highest point of the building. It will serve as a beacon of hope and healing to be seen for several miles.
The former chapel will likely be converted into an office after the five-year fundraising period is complete. “We’d like to wrap up even sooner,” said Leikers. “We’ll have to see how it goes.”
Mercy Lebanon Auxiliary will ask for donations and host many fundraisers. “Our travel club will raise funds,” added Posten. “We will hold monthly fundraisers – shoe sales, bake sales, linen sales and book sales.” If you would like make a donation, contact Posten at 417-533-6017.
The $100,000 pledge is one of the biggest donated by the Mercy Lebanon Auxiliary. It marks $250,000 in pledges in the past nine years.
“We’ve had great support from the community on previous projects, and we’re hoping for in-kind donations, too,” said John Carr, board chair of Mercy Health Foundation Lebanon. “We want to ensure we have the majority of the funds in place to make this chapel happen. It would be nice to break ground in the next year or two.”
Mercy Health Foundation, a non-profit organization, works to enhance health care in Lebanon. It supports projects that provide health care scholarships, advanced technology and capital needs. To learn more, visit http://bit.ly/MercyHealthFoundationLebanon.