Pastor's Blog - September 10, 2017
Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time
News and Notes: A Word about Stewardship of our Buildings and Grounds
As a homeowner, you know that the upkeep or ongoing maintenance of your house and property has to be one of your top priorities. The same is true for the priests and people of their parish Church, Rectory, Business/Pastoral Office, and grounds. We need to be good stewards of the buildings and outdoor space that we have inherited from our predecessors. Over the past four years, we have made some progress in addressing what may be called “deferred maintenance,” in our parishes. As far as our funds have allowed, we have repaired what was broken; replaced what was outdated; and indentified projects that require action in the near future.
To name a few projects that have been accomplished at OLA, we have patched up and power-washed the damaged slate roof on the Church; rebuilt the chipped and aging front stairs of the Church and the hazardous back stairs of the Office Building. In addition, we have refinished and secured the loose railings of these stairs and the ramp leading into the Chapel entrance. We have replaced the leaky ceiling tiles in the Church and are in the process of installing a new sound system in the Church (thanks in part to a generous donation from Everett Bank, our neighbors across Salem Street). The well-worn carpets in the Church are now thoroughly cleaned twice a year and LED lights are gradually being placed in all the Church light fixtures. The Chapel now has statues, votive candles and flowers, all courtesy of a few OLA parishioners.
At SMG, among other things, we have replaced, repaired and re-pitched over two dozen heating pipes that have burst or leaked in the Church Hall in the past three winters. This mechanical plumbing work has covered the whole area from the Boiler Room to the men’s and women’s restrooms, and much of the area covering the meeting and storage rooms on one side of the Hall. We have also taken care of other leaks in the Electric Room, the restroom in the vestibule area of the Church, the Church itself, and in the Janitor’s closet downstairs. LED lighting can now be found throughout the SMG Church and Hall.
All of the above Maintenance and Capital Improvement work has cost a lot of money, but I think it is money well spent. Now, fellow stewards, we need to address other needs, such as repairing the cracked chimney on the roof of the Business Office; and replacing the aging, peeling and energy sapping doors of OLA Church and the Business Office; cleaning the stain-glass windows in OLA Church and many other long deferred projects. Similarly, at SMG, we have to continue our work on the heating pipes in the Church, and repair/replace the loose stairs on the side entrance of the Rectory. This latter project is particularly urgent now since some of the steps are quite dangerous to walk on in the winter months…and it will cost about $7,500 to complete. In the not too distant future, we will need a new roof on the Church.
As you think about your future financial giving to your respective parish, please factor in a generous amount to help us take care of these projects. We have budgeted $50,000 for Capital expenses in each parish for this fiscal year. As you respond to your parish’s Ordinary and Capital needs for the coming fiscal year, please ponder these words from St. Paul’s second Letter to the Corinthians: “Consider this; whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each must do as already determined, without sadness or compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” If everyone gives what they are able to contribute, we will answer God’s call to be good stewards of his Church, and in return we will receive grace upon grace.
Blessings to all of you in the week ahead!