Churches and church buildings are not just a place to worship on Sunday morning, they are also tools for ministry and can be leveraged to help make ministry possible and successful. Last year a significant roof leak compelled us to look at the stewardship of our facilities. We needed to stop the water coming in, as well as do other important maintenance and upgrades, AND find the money to do it! We realized it was time to focus our energies and resources on being good stewards of our historic and valuable buildings, so we got busy praying, making and prioritizing “project to do” lists, and grant writing – and things started to HAPPEN in an “Outside In” sort of way!
The first thing that happened was filing an insurance claim for hail damage. We received funds for a new roof on our church, parish hall and rectory that will provide close to $230,000 worth of repairs that will cost us only $1,000 (our deductible.) The flat roofs were replaced in May 2018 and the Rectory roof in March 2019. The remaining and most expensive portion – the slate roof on the sanctuary, remains. Last week your vestry met to hear presentations from roofers and vote on which bid to accept. Work to replace the slate sanctuary roof with a new slate roof will begin in late July/early August. The current slate roof is the original roof (with the exception of a few individual tiles replaced here and there) and has served us for 108 years. The next slate roof has a warranty on the materials OUTside for another 100 years of ministry INside!
Last May we discovered extensive tuck pointing needs. Temporary caulking work to the capstones around the top of the parish hall was generously donated to us by Tesson Roofing (our roofing company). We also found cracks and gaping holes in the bell tower, as well as cracks and loose mortar all around the exterior. You’ll see scaffolding go up before Memorial Day to repair the bell tower and work will also begin on the cap stones around the parish hall. Power washing to remove decades of grime and moss will happen to the exterior walls before they are tuck pointed. This work will be completed by mid-July.
We’ve been leveraging our newly-renovated parish hall for an alternative source of income from individuals or groups looking for a safe, attractive space to host parties, meetings and events. This month we have had two such events in our parish hall: a private baby shower hosted by a member and a larger event hosted by an organization of artists.
If you know of an organization or group in need of meeting or event space, please refer them to Pastor Rebecca or me. (Members of St. Paul’s may also use the space for private parties at a discounted “member” rate.) In addition, we plan for St. Paul’s to be used as a wedding venue for people outside the parish, and guidelines (including fees) are in the works. Income from the use of our facilities will help offset the cost of insurance, maintenance and utilities.
Building maintenance and planning have continued this spring, much of it behind the scenes. With the help of Vestry member and Facilities Management Team member Vernon Brown, working with Junior Warden Justin Vitale and Pastor Rebecca, the Rectory has been issued an occupancy permit and is ready for our new Youth Minister, Tilton Yokely, to move in.
Like the rest of our facilities, we’ll leverage the Rectory as a ministry tool for our “Outside In” vision. Tilton will receive rent as part of his compensation, and St. Paul’s will receive his time and talent as our new Youth Minister and 1/3 of the utilities. This won’t have a negative impact on St. Paul’s budget. In fact, it will actually help St. Paul’s financially, because Tilton will bring a roommate who will pay rent and an additional 1/3 of the utilities to St. Paul’s. This income will be used to help offset the costs of maintaining and insuring the building. (In addition to the maintenance and repairs Vernon just made to meet code for occupancy, the rectory was recently tuck pointed, and earlier this year a new roof was put on.)
Rector's Corner posts written by Pastor Rebecca.