August marks the beginning of our ramp-up to the fall. Every summer, Committees and Ministry Teams come back online after a month’s respite from meeting in July. We jump right into plans for September, especially Welcome Sunday on September 15. But before we get to September programming, we have a number of summer activities and projects to wrap up first.
Parish Hall is getting the first stage of an update during the transitional week between July and August. An asbestos abatement company spent the end of July encapsulating Parish Hall and the old crib room (more recently used for storage). Next began the careful process of removing each of the old asbestos tiles as well as the mastic that has held them in place. Even the trim around the floor will be removed. When they leave on Friday (hopefully!), every speck of asbestos will have been removed, and Parish Hall will be returned to the bare, concrete floor that’s not been visible since construction was completed in 1963.
On Monday, August 5, the new tile will be delivered, and installation will begin right away — maybe even that day. We’re hopeful that the job will be completed by the end of the week, but it will take however much time is required to get the job done. Once installed, the new floor should be far easier to clean and maintain, with an anticipated lifespan of 50 years or more. Here’s hoping! We’re grateful for the gift of the new floor, which has been sorely needed for several years now.
Simultaneous with the completion of the Parish Hall floor installation, our annual MAN, Inc. Back to School Project is coming into full swing. Please see Lisa Ferry’s article later in this issue of The Beacon to see the details. This is an essential part of our ministry in our community, and it will take many helping hands to make it a success. Please come and lend your support!
The search committee continues its work in searching for our new part-time Minister for Family and Community Life. This newly configured position replaces the half-time Christian Education Director job, and is designed to help us consider new and renewed ways to facilitate effective ministry with children, youth and adults. We’re not certain when the search will be completed, but are moving as quickly as due diligence permits. It is possible that our final candidate will be an ordained minister, which will likely entail a congregational vote to complete the process. Serving on the search committee are Rebecca Wright, Joe Yarid, Marla Yarid-de la Cruz, Steve Boyko and myself.
I do have some challenging news. In July, multiple leaks in our worship space made it clear that the roof over the sanctuary has failed. The Stevens Street side of the church has been roped off with caution tape. Pew cushions, hymnals and bibles have been removed to protect them from water damage. We’re awaiting the final results from a survey completed this summer of our entire facility to determine what needs to be done immediately to remedy this problem, and to address any other urgent matters we may be facing. The Trustees will make a recommendation to the Board, who will work with the congregation to facilitate funding to address the urgent matters as quickly as possible.
Well, here we go! Summer break is rapidly coming to an end, and the faster pace of the fruitful life and ministry of our church is resuming, full swing. I look forward to seeing you on Sunday mornings, and at the special activities and projects we have coming up. And as always, I ask you to hold our church in your prayers, as week seek faithfully to live into our mission in this time and place:
Seeking God. Caring for each other. Improving our Community.
See you in church!
Written by Rev. William D. Ingraham
This post can be found in the August 2019 Beacon