It is good to have returned to our Sunday worship schedule of 8 & 10:00 am. And also to Sunday School. And Bible Study. And choir. And all those activities that take a break during the summer. It is part of the regular rhythm of our church year and living with some normality is helpful when we continue our dislocation from our traditional worship space. i know that the Merrifield Room is not optimum — we are accustomed to spreading out in a much larger space. Now we are sitting rather closely to others and perhaps it is claustrophobic for some. Perhaps, we can view it is a great opportunity to get to know folks whom we’ve only shared the peace with in the past. My hope is that we continue to gather each Sunday as the community of St. Paul’s as we worship and give glory to God and care for each other.
It’s hard to remember that all that we do and are, is not about a building, when so much of our focus is on a building. What we are about is God’s work and we may need to remind each other about that as we rub elbows on Sunday morning. Our ministry and relationships with each other and our community is what makes us God’s people.
Now, what is going on with the building? The transcept no longer holds the Rose Window but rather a beautifully stuccoed trefoil design. The roof repairs on the chapel and cloister roofs are completed. Additional downspouts will be installed this week. The new tongue and groove pine ceiling in the narthex is being stained as we speak. The foundation for our new St. Paul’s sign will be poured in the next week or so.
During the week of October 2nd work will begin in the Memorial Garden. We need to install new drainage that will connect into the city sewer system and re-grade the ground so that soil no longer washes away in heavy rains. We will add a small retaining wall in the area so as to hold the dirt in place. Digging by the landscape architects in the garden has been carefully mapped out so that no interred ashes will be disturbed. The new pipes will be laid out in a manner to avoid any areas of interment — underneath several concrete slabs and through the middle garden area next to the altar. You will soon see signs of new landscaping in both the front and on the side of Seymour Avenue. All new shrubs, plantings, sod, etc. will be installed.
As for the interior work of the sanctuary — we are still waiting word on when the aluminum frame and Te Deum window will be returning. We are hoping for December but there are no guarantees. We do have plenty of work in the sanctuary to complete prior to the return of the window. The brick arch holding the organ pipes and wind chests in the north east wall needs considerable work — crack stitching, inject caulking into all cracks, cleaning all of the walls and tuck pointing. As you can imagine this will not be inexpensive as all of the walls need attention. The current plan is for this work to begin in October but prior to this work, all of the pews will need to be removed and placed in storage. That task alone is daunting at best.
Much continues to happen. Soon you’ll see them working outside to get our yard back in shape. Please hold all of St. Paul’s in your daily prayers; also pray for the contractors and sub-contractors and their suppliers and anyone who has anything at all to do with this facility. One more thing, please join us for worship on Sunday if at all possible. It does make everything more hopeful if we do this together. God called us to be in relationship — even if the seating is tight — it all makes it a bit easier if we share prayer and God’s holy meal as the gathered Body of Christ.
Interested in helping us fund the restoration project? Check out our GoFundMe page.