Greetings, Creator Family!
It has been a joyful last several weeks to gather in-person in our sanctuary. Though we operate under an attendance limit (65 people), have the added step of an online RSVP, and come observing the long-endured PPE requirements, I don’t believe even these necessities can dampen the spirit of love and joy that we feel. Thanks be to God, our merciful and abiding Lord, who will see us through this day. I am so grateful to worship with you in the place that he calls us, be that in our beautifully bright sanctuary or the familiar surroundings of home.
Still, as my Mom used to say, “There is no rest for the weary.” So, as we prepared for our regathering, felt confident in our process and have met with the relief and gladness described above, we have been afflicted with yet another problem—septic system failure. After 50+ years, our septic system has completely failed. We are in communication with Hanover County Public Works and gathering bids to remedy the situation. After thorough research and assessment of the situation, we were hoping to have two options: 1. Replace our current system with a like system, or 2. Hook up to County Sewer. Unfortunately, due to current service regulations, we may have no choice after all and will be required to hook up to the county service. Either way we go, we have received preliminary estimates which put the repair at approximately $35,000.
There are many ways to look at this very large number so as to keep it in perspective. Perhaps the easiest, and the manner in which we should be thankful to God as we undertake this venture, is that our current septic system has lasted years beyond its measure. Everyone I have spoken with in this profession has remarked how amazing it is that our system lasted this long, with a life expectancy of a commercial leech field around 25 years! As I’m sure you’re aware from taking care of property of your own, the repairs never come when we’re ready for them or cost what we wish to pay. I am choosing to thank God for the five decades of fully functioning works!
For the purposes of our gathering this spring, I have undertaken a “Band-aid” approach, as we continue our County and contractor negotiations. As you all know, the Sunday services have been hampered by the bathroom being shut down, but I have made it possible for us to use them again, with care. I won’t bore you with the details here, but you are welcomed and encouraged to ask. The more stewards and those knowledgeable and invested in the care of our property and its upkeep, the further, frankly, will we be able to go. For now, the upstairs and downstairs restrooms are fully functional. In practice, you are encouraged to preserve water where you are able (e.g., shut off the faucet when washing hands and turn it back on to rinse off), but all services are up and running. The issue remains top on our Vestry’s agenda, I assure you. Lee Barron and I are working on this every day and we hope to have a permanent solution and more details soon. In the meantime, please pray for our worship life to grow and flourish like the pollen on all those trees this time of year. See you Sunday!!
Faithfully in Christ,
Father Bill Burk†