The House that God Gave Us
Dear Creator Family,
As we move into the beautiful season of fall with cooler temperatures and changing colors, we are, at last, beginning the process of repairing our broken hot water mains. The hot water mains are the supply and return pipes that facilitate heating the Church. In our system, the boiler pumps hot water from the parish hall to the Church air handler, located in the narthex behind the louvered doors. The water passes through a radiator—very much like the radiator in the front of your car, and the air is blown through the radiator by a very large fan. The air, now heated by the water in the radiator, is passed through ducts into the Church (this same process is in effect in the summer to cool the air by using the air conditioner beside the Church).
The heating system at the Church is not complicated; it is a tried-and-true boiler system which—believe it or not—finds its root design in France in the early 1700s. While changes to water delivery and the invention of the fan have improved efficiency exponentially, the basics remain unaltered. Our water main failure was caused by time, not design.
After receiving three bids and reviewing re-design proposals for routing the new water mains (one hot water delivery and one cool water return), we contracted with Gundlach Heating and Cooling, Plumbing and Electrical to do the work. The bid we approved, without unforeseen complications, is $20,766.00. While this may seem high, it is, we have discovered, a very reasonable price for the size of this job. The work is on schedule to begin tomorrow (Wednesday, September 28) with hopes that the job will be completed by early next week.
I would love to say we have reached the end, but I am afraid there are several areas we have yet to attend to. As we move towards 2023 Creator will face other needed repairs. Our parish is fifty-six years old, and much of the infrastructure needs replacing or repairing. It is to be expected and embraced if we love the house that God gave us! In just the past year, we have borne the brunt of two other high-dollar repairs: the A/C unit for the Church and the parish septic system. In addition, we have had several lower-level repairs including fixture replacements and leaks (toilets), as well as smaller plumbing failures.
Next on our list? The concrete at the base of the parish hall steps must be re-laid, the floors in the parish hall must be stripped and waxed, the current and expanding erosion issue from the portico to the parking lot must be addressed, and the portico roof must be repaired where it has failed due to the poor initial installation. Indeed, there are other areas, carpet, lights, and grounds, that also need attention, but we may postpone these items for larger urgent repair issues.
I know this may seem overwhelming, or at least beleaguering, but as God’s stewards of this place, we are the ones called to care for and repair that which we have received. At a time when we are all stretched to the breaking point financially, we are faced with difficult decisions and deliberations for the long-term health of our parish plant and our parish family. Some days I wonder what God is up to here in our midst. Then I know. I look around our beautiful grounds, I sit to pray in our beautiful sanctuary, I let the memories and the ministries of these years wash over me, and I know there’s a reason we are the Church of the Creator. Ours is a living God, a merciful and loving God, who never ceases bringing all things to God’s Glory—and who creates ex nihilo out of nothing. Let us respond out of our lack, our needs, and our fear of “nothing left” with the same abundance and self-giving sacrificial love we have in our Creator God.
Please pray and contact your Vestry with questions or suggestions. As we are approaching our Stewardship Sunday in the fall, these concerns, as well as our working budget, will help us as we contemplate our financial support of God’s work here.
Peace in Christ,
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Father Bill Burk†