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Wednesday, July 28 2021

Dear Friends:

It’s been a very full month at St. John’s | San Juan. July saw our 2021 Jumble, which was pushed to July to give us time to organize and prepare for a garage sale in a pandemic. The event was a terrific success, with over $2,000 being raised, to be split between the Busy Bees, a longtime organization of St. John’s which supports education and advocacy for women and girls, and the building fund at St. John’s, as we prepare for the seismic retrofitting that will precede replacing our roof. 

The Executive Committee has worked tirelessly this month meeting with folks from the Board of Directors of the Diocese of Olympia (the governing body which oversees the Diocesan Building Fund), and members of the Standing Committee (who are canonically charged with signing off whenever a parish takes out a loan). This is leading toward our application being reviewed first by the Joint Finance Panel (JFP), who make recommendations to the Board of Directors, with whom we will meet on August 19. After that meeting, we’ll know a lot more about the timeline for our project, and what to expect going forward.

One thing we do know at this point is that we will have to move the Möller organ out of the organ loft before the seismic work can begin. The Möller, which was the first organ installed in our church, will have to be removed pipe by pipe, first through the hatch in the Sacristy ceiling, and then once we get to the bigger items, down scaffolding that will have to be erected in the chancel. We haven’t been able to find a taker for the organ (though we’ve offered it to just about everyone we can think of, and free of charge at that), so we’re looking at what other options there are for a new life for it. Möller was prolific; they built over 12,000 instruments in over a century of building. Most of these instruments, like ours, need considerable work to be refurbished every few generations. Even if we gave our organ to another congregation, it would still require more than $50,000 of work to be restored and fully usable again. Sadly, there isn’t any demand for an organ like ours, so we’re looking at creative options for its use going forward.

We were sad to say good-bye to Tieran Sweeny-Bender this month, as he prepares to finish his undergraduate degree in the fall. We sent him back to school with the gift of Accordance, the premier Bible study software suite, so he can focus on his thesis, which will be on the Revelation to John. And we have welcomed Alessandra Portaro as our new administrator, who is quickly learning the ropes and getting settled in, including editing this month’s edition of The Chronicle. 

I had hoped that we would be able to start sharing the common cup at Communion again in August, but unfortunately the newest guidelines from the CDC, which were sent out on Tuesday, will likely slow us down in doing so. It’s hard to see how we can both keep our masks on, and also stand right in front of someone to drink from a cup that they hand to us. It is my fondest hope that the transmission rates in Thurston County decline, and we will be able to return to using the common cup again soon. 

In the meantime, blessings to you and yours, and I look forward to seeing you at church!

Faithfully,

R.C.

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