By Father Casey
At Annual Meeting this past Sunday, I shared about two major events in our church’s life. In case you missed it, I want to hit the highlights, as this affects everyone.
The first big thing you need to know is that we’ll begin renovating the church and sacristy in April. This the biggest and most complicated of all the projects associated with the Transfiguring Our Foundations campaign, and the work will include replacing old electrical systems, improving lighting and sound, repairing ductwork, replacing the pews, transforming the south transept into a side chapel, and totally renovating the sacristy from top to bottom. We’re even going to put in a wheelchair ramp to the chancel. Our last Sunday in the church will be the Second Sunday of Easter, April 7, and we hope to return sometime around Thanksgiving.
During those months we’ll be worshipping in Roper Hall. The staff and I, with the input of dozens of lay leaders, are already planning ways to foster beauty and reverence in that large, versatile room. We will offer our very best – we always do – but it will be different. So, I’m asking you to choose to see this as an adventure. Embracing these months with a patient and resilient attitude will help us not just endure, but actually grow as a community. These six months will be a chance for us to remember how God is with us everywhere we are gathered, and the holiness of our worship emanates from our hearts, not the room in which we’re standing.
The second big thing you need to know is that this huge, complex project is costly – more than we had anticipated. The Vestry has been patiently preparing for this work for three years, and over that time nearly every aspect of the work has grown significantly more expensive. We have enough cash on hand to do the work, but using all of it would require us to invest far less in our Infrastructure Fund, which is critical to our ability to fund future maintenance. We need to put the full $3 million into that fund that we set out to do in 2020.
So these twin realities – the rise in costs and the need to fully fund our future – leaves us with a shortfall of $1.5 million. This is money we must raise to reach our campaign goals.
So I’m asking everyone to support us in one of the following ways:
- If you’ve already pledged to the campaign, would you consider adding a sixth year to your commitment? The term of the campaign is five years, and many of our pledging households are contributing roughly a fifth of their total each year. By adding a sixth year, you could significantly grow your total gift. If all of our 300+ pledging households do so, it would add up quickly!
- If you haven’t made a pledge to this campaign, now is a great time. We need not only the help of all those already involved, but everyone who loves and calls our church home now. The duration of a new pledge would be three years, so I wonder what you could give between now and December 2026?
- Finally, we invite everyone to consider sponsoring the new furnishings in the church. As part of the work we’re doing, we need to replace the pews and light fixtures. The pews are made of a composite material that can’t be refurbished again, and the chandeliers will be replaced with fixtures that give much more light to the room. Plus, in the transepts, the pews will be replaced with chairs, giving us more flexibility. This presents us with a rare opportunity to be part of furnishing the church, something that hasn’t come along since the 1970s . By donating a chair, pew, or chandelier, you can help us fulfill the vision of our campaign and bless future generations at our church.
You can learn more about all of these opportunities by visiting transfiguration.net/sixthyear. And don’t hesitate to reach out to me with questions. These are major events in our life, and I want everyone to feel informed and included!
Father Casey +