Tuesday, May 25 2021
Although I have lived in Washington since early 1983, I have never truly taken proper notice of the movement of the sun as it journeys northward across the spring sky to set in the northwest. Being from Hawaii, where the sun doesn’t seem to move this significantly, I am so totally astonished by it. When we first moved to our current dwelling in late December, the sun was far to my left (south) as I looked out my window. Last night, it was far to my right (north) out the same window. WOW! This world is so amazing! I’ll be sure to continue watching and noticing the position of the sun through the entire year!
Truth be told, I have never been totally comfortable with the cardinal directions. I do much better with landmarks. I guess it’s because in Hawaii, we rarely use those directions, preferring instead to refer to the mountains (mauka) or the ocean (makai). The use of these directions doesn’t matter where on the island you are, the mountains and the ocean are immovable. Then, depending on where you were headed, we use place names, like Pearl Harbor (indicating west from Honolulu) or Hawaii Kai (indicating east from Honolulu) or Kaneohe-Kailua (indicating that you have to go around or through the Ko’olau mountains to get there. We’re also big on windward and leeward. I can remember getting onto the H1 Freeway and not knowing which way I wanted to go, east or west – can’t tell you how many times (in the beginning) I got on the freeway going in the opposite direction of what I really wanted. Doesn’t matter where I live, I’m usually second guessing myself about which way I really need to go.
That reminds me of an Up With People song I used to perform in the late 1960s with Sing-Out Hawai’i and with Up With People (International cast B). The song is called, “Which Way America,” and asks which way this nation should be heading. Relevant even today. Fascinating note, Glenn Close helped write this song way back in 1965, before she was an actor. Interestingly, she calls UWP a cult, having been raised in it from age 7 until she broke free at 22. It probably was a cult in those early days of the Moral Re-Armament (MRA) movement. I was in it for the singing, not so much their message, although I’m sure I was affected by all their “Absolutes.”
The St. John’s | San Juan Capital Campaign, Sing to the Lord a New Song! has reached the goal set for the campaign which officially ended on Pentecost. Don’t worry, it’s not too late to send in a pledge card! This is a complicated time to be doing construction, but with the help of our Heavenly Father, we will have enough to proceed. Look for other articles in this Chronicle about the campaign and where we go from here.
We had a very good Vestry meeting last week Thursday. There are so many moving pieces to the renovation project that I thank God for the wonderful members guiding all the parts. Thank you especially to Father R.C., Junior Warden Lou MacMillan, and Treasurer Bob LeRoy, who share these shepherding responsibilities.
I’m still excited about being in the church for services! It’s also been wonderful to be able to have funeral services again to give families/friends that closure which has been lacking during this time of pandemic. I may be even more excited when we are out of the sanctuary and the roofing/seismic work has begun.
Our Bible Study group continues to meet. We will soon be choosing a novel to read over the summer. Please join us if you can, or if 1:00 p.m. on Thursdays doesn’t work for you, please let someone at the church know a good day and time, when YOU could be there. My St. John’s | San Juan email is email@example.com. Or call me at (360) 259-5933 and leave a message – I will call you back.
I’m still thinking about which way I’m heading; which way I need to go. Since the Holy Spirit came with wind and fire on Pentecost, and is a new beginning, I’m hoping to find more truth and life from here forward. The renewal of our baptismal vows always makes me think harder about the way, the truth, the light, the life.
Thanks for reading my ramblings and for being so supportive! Remember to contact me with any concerns, comments, or issues. My information is shown above. Have a wonderful week and enjoy the long Memorial Day weekend! I look forward to seeing you and worshiping with you soon at St. John’s | San Juan!
Tuesday, May 25 2021
JUNIOR WARDEN’S REPORT – May 2021 Chronicle
My report is meant to be both practical and aspirational, so I’ll start with the practical by updating you on recent developments, which are something of a mixed bag:
Lastly, remember that large-scale renovations are often hard to predict and usually include a few surprises. Plans must be flexible to account for unknowns, adapt to moving targets, and accept those things beyond our control. Despite all these changes, we’re making progress, moving onward together.
ON AUDACITY & TRUST
After years of prayer and planning, and now amid a global pandemic, we are attempting the audacious again. Replacing the roof preserves the building, and fortifying the structure against earthquakes makes it safer, but I envision this renovation as much more than a simple repair job or even an homage to the past.
Lincoln and Churchill saw their respective buildings not simply as structures, but as symbols of trust that shaped the people who engaged with them. Reimagining our mid 1950s structure will both shape and support our 21st-century mission of hospitality, openness, inclusivity and welcome to the community.
Together, we’re building and renewing a community of trust in God’s unending love and abundance. This can be our gift to the St. John’s | San Juan of the future.
Tuesday, May 25 2021
St. John’s | San Juan Episcopal Church
May 25, 2021
The regular monthly meeting of the Finance Committee was held on May 18, 2021. Joining me were members Fawn Hacker, R.C. Laird, and Christian MacMillan. We reviewed our current financial condition and an updated Plan to Address the Deficit and Increase Revenue June through December 2021.
Our Current Financial Condition
Our Budget Report and Statement of Financial Position for April 2021 may be found by going to our website, www.stjohnsoly.org, clicking on “About Us”, then clicking on “Our Vestry” and scrolling to the bottom of the page. As of April 30, 2021, we are projecting a budget deficit of -$181,622 for 2021. This deficit has been reduced by $10,000 received from Bessemer Trust representing an unrestricted bequest from the Peter Overton Living Trust, $10,000 resulting from a revised estimate of the amount we will spend for parish health work in 2021, and $2,415 reflecting a decrease in health insurance premiums for Jim French and his wife. Thanks to financial relief made available to us in the pandemic we will be able to reduce the deficit further to -$61,255:
Individual Contributions are over budget year-to-date by $7,950 (9.8%), including Income from Pledges over budget by $11,682 (15.4%) and Contributions/Loose Plate Offerings below budget by -$3,879 (83.1%).
Last month, the Vestry approved a “Plan to Address the Deficit and Increase Revenue July through December 2021”. On June 9 and June 23 at 7:00 p.m., we will host meetings via Zoom to share this plan with the congregation and respond to any questions you may have. Details about the meetings will be provided shortly. Please plan to join us.
Capital Campaign Update
Last Sunday, Pentecost, was a festival day—a day for celebration and gratitude, a milestone on a journey that began nearly five years ago.
In August 2016, St. John’s | San Juan engaged the Episcopal Church Foundation to guide us through a proposed capital campaign which would fund a comprehensive project to address our leaky roof, seismic structural concerns, and the overall design of our worship space. From December 2016 to early 2019, our congregation engaged in a discernment process regarding the proposed campaign. In the Summer of 2019, many of you participated in interviews and a survey as part of a feasibility study conducted by the Episcopal Church Foundation and its consultant, Jerry Campbell. From the feasibility study, the Foundation concluded that we could raise $964,000.
Sunday, as we formally concluded our capital campaign, nearly five years after we first spoke of it, 64 years after our roof first began to leak, and in the midst of a global pandemic—thanks to 98 of you who have pledged and given, perhaps more than you originally thought possible—we have raised $1,060,137.
And for those of you still considering a gift or pledge, you are not too late. Please reach out to anyone on our team or visit our website, A New Song for St. John's | San Juan (anewsongforstjohns.org), and walk with us.
I’ve been accompanied and inspired on this journey by a wonderful team: Andrew and Caitlin Bird, Lucy and Michael Clifthorne, Fawn Hacker, Anne Hall, Pat Le Roy, Lou MacMillan, Bob Peck, Adele Roberts, Joby Winans, Tieran Sweeny-Bender, Jerry Campbell (our consultant), and Barbara Scheppele (R.C.’s aunt, who created and provided all our printed material and these commemorative pins). THANKS TEAM— great work! You know, asking other people for money ranks for many on our team somewhere between root canals and broccoli on their list of favorite things—but they did. We asked you to meet with us and take our calls—and you did. THANK YOU. We asked you to be kind when we asked you for money—and you were. THANK YOU. We asked you to make a commitment that challenges you and goes beyond the usual limits of your giving, that causes you to catch your breath, but not choke—and you did. THANK YOU.
In the coming weeks, we will continue our discussions with the Diocese of Olympia about a loan for the balance of the funds we need to complete the replacement of our roof and the enhancement of our sanctuary for seismic safety. Your generous commitments to our capital campaign have given us vital leverage to carry these negotiations forward in a meaningful way and significantly increased our chances for a successful outcome.
With our capital campaign, we have truly sung to the Lord a new song. But there are more verses yet to sing before we fully realize our vision of our building as a welcoming, inclusive, safe, accessible, beautiful space for worship and fellowship. Now, let us commit to singing these new verses together and celebrate how far we have already come on this long and winding journey in faith and friendship.
Tuesday, April 27 2021
Welcome to The Chronicle. It’s been a busy month at St. John’s | San Juan! We resumed in-person worship on Palm Sunday, March 28, and attendance has been great since we resumed! It’s been surprisingly emotional for many of our parishioners to worship in our sanctuary again, after the pandemic kept us away from the church for over a year. While it isn’t exactly the same as it used to be quite yet (we still can’t do food and fellowship indoors, for example), it’s been a major step toward
It’s an exciting time to be part of St. John’s | San Juan! I’m glad you’re with us for this adventure!
Tuesday, April 27 2021
In my last article, I spoke about returning to in-person worship and how much I was looking forward to doing it. Well, beginning with Palm Sunday, I’ve attended every service that’s been held and I must say, it’s been WONDERFUL! It’s a blessing just being able to gather together, but add in the music and singing and being with others outside my “pod.” WOW, what a rush! If you haven’t ventured to a Sunday service yet, please consider doing so, especially if you’re fully
We have found a Junior Warden in Lou MacMillan. Since he already attends every Vestry meeting as the main contact for the building renovation, Lou graciously accepted our offer to serve in this very important capacity. He is doing, and will continue to do, a wonderful job! We had a very good Vestry Meeting last week Thursday, April 22, 2021. Normally our meetings are on the third Thursday of the month, but that day (April 15) came upon us so very quickly, what with Holy Week and then recovering during the first week of Eastertide. As related in the Rector’s message in last Friday’s Messenger, the Vestry made some hard decisions at this meeting. We talked about the Capital Campaign and the renovation and our finances and where will we worship during the summer. So very much going on!
We started a new Bible Study journey. We are reading The Acts of the Apostles, using a companion book from Forward Movement. Join us on Thursday afternoons at 1:00 p.m. You can email Fr. R.C. to get signed up to recieve the zoom link. We’d love you to join us!
Thank you for reading. You will be able to find more information on almost everything I’ve mentioned in some other location within this Chronicle edition. As I close, I must tell you that I am also overwhelmed by all the kindness, thoughtfulness, compassion, and generosity of the parishioners here at St. John’s | San Juan. Thank you! I am committed to St. John’s | San Juan and every one of you! Please remember that if you have any concerns, comments, or issues, you may contact me on my cell phone at (360) 259-5933 or through my church email, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tuesday, April 27 2021
Junior Warden Report April Chronicle
If you haven’t heard yet, the Vestry elected me as your Junior Warden last week, so I’ve renamed my report. While my “portfolio” will expand beyond the
With less than a month left in the capital campaign, we are moving full speed ahead on preparations to vacate the Sanctuary after the last Sunday worship service on May 29th. Father R.C. and I are meeting weekly to coordinate all aspects of the renovation, including plans for temporary worship. Several moving parts are in play simultaneously, and the decisions we make on some issues bear directly on the options open to us on others. It’s a bit like playing whack-a-mole, but we are making progress. We’re working as thoroughly, thoughtfully, and quickly as possible to identify the pros and cons of all workable options, including costs, to better inform ours and the Vestry’s decision-making. To give you a sense of the range of issues, here are four of the bigger ones:
I. The Fate of Pews
We’ve heard that some parishioners may prefer a new seating configuration, perhaps slightly angled, but it’s not clear that geometry can work with our straight, 15-foot long pews. Re-bolting them to the floor at an angle (rather than parallel) to the radiant heat system’s hydronic piping that’s embedded in the concrete may risk damaging the pipes. We don’t yet have a reliable enough map of the system to be sure it would (or wouldn’t) work.
One alternative is to purchase new pews, perhaps in a style that gently curves, to provide a traditional look with a more intimate configuration. Still, without more design work on the interior remodel and some cost estimates, we aren’t ready to make that call just yet. Research is ongoing.
Buying new pews would present us other options too. One is donating our oldpews to another church in the diocese, or possibly selling them to an architectural salvage or recycling company. Another idea is to raise funds for new pews by creating collectible items from the old ones, like benches or cutting boards branded with the “Sing to the Lord” capital campaign logo.
Suffice to say we don’t have enough information yet, but believe the best option will be to store the pews, at least for now, in the Parish Hall, the only room large enough to accommodate them. We did investigate storing them in rented shipping containers placed outside so we could keep the Parish Hall open for worship, but the number of containers we would need, the cost, the logistics of siting them, and the space they’d take up were simply too great.
Instead, we’re leaning toward the purchase of two or more 10-foot x 20-foot pop up tents that we could erect and place ourselves for worship services somewhere on the 20th Avenue side of the building. These smaller tents are relatively inexpensive and could be used at other times as well. A “bares bones” audio/video cart must be wheeled out to live stream each tent service. The logistics will be challenging too, because we’ll need volunteers to erect and take down the tents every Wednesday and Sunday.
Where will we end up on pews and tents? We’re not completely certain, but exercising all due diligence to close in on economical and practical decisions.
FORMA will take down and crate for safe storage both the altar cross and the aumbry lamp. They plan to build additional protection for the organ towers. While its down, we’d like a structural engineer to inspect the condition of the altar cross suspension cable – and replace it, if necessary – before FORMA re- hangs it at the end of the project. We will ask them to also protect-in-place both the Schlicker organ console and the grand piano, as they are risky to move, provided this approach works with their scaffolding plan.
We don’t yet have a firm bid price or signed contract with FORMA due to multiple factors:
As these issues are resolved, we expect to see a draft of the construction contract with FORMA soon, though possibly not before the capital campaign concludes. In the meantime, they and we are working out the important details for contractor mobilization, which brings us to two of those:
FORMA needs a large “lay down” area for a job shack, storage containers, building materials, lifts, and other items. They’ll need the entire north end of the parking lot, from Capitol Way to the second lot entrance on 19th Avenue. A second lay down area will be in the NE corner of the lot, near 19th and Washington. (Hey, that’s where I park!) Both areas will be fenced, gated, and locked, with a driveway between the two fenced areas to allow cars access from 19th to the Parish Hall entry doors.
This means the loss of 60% (23 out of 38 total) surfacing parking stalls. The recycle bins and dumpsters must be moved to a new location, and the building entrance on the north side of the building (“the Choir door”) will not be accessible.
We’ll likely keep only 15 parking stalls, those facing Washington Street and those closest to the building entrance, including the three ADA stalls. Staff will need to park in that area once FORMA begins to mobilize. We’ll let you know when these parking changes will go into effect.
FORMA cannot possibly mobilize and start construction by June 6th, when our building permit will expire. We will apply for a one-time, six-month permit extension very soon to avoid any possibility of the permit lapsing, which would compel us to not just re-apply, but also redesign all the seismic upgrades to the more stringent and costly 2018 International Building Code, which the City of Olympia adopted in February 2021. A permit lapse would cause a major delay to, if not derail, the entire project – it’s a top priority to extend it soon.
The Solar Power Work Group held its first Zoom meeting on March 31st. Attendees were Tom Loranger (facilitator), George and Karen Bray, Dennis Cooper, Anne Hall, Bill Van Hook and myself. The solar project is on a separate track from the renovation, and it is not competing with the renovation project for funding from the capital campaign. It is a related, but stand-alone, project and financial decision.
The work group has collected and reviewed building electrical energy usage history and conferred with two solar vendors, South Sound Solar of Olympia and Capstone Solutions of Redmond. They are considering the pros and cons of different funding methods, including formation of an LLC or something called “CrowdLending” offered by Collective Sun, a nationwide nonprofit that helps nonprofits convert to solar. The topic is technical, the analysis and financing options complex, but this group is learning fast and clarifying the opportunities and choices.
The work group meets again on April 28th to review all the energy data, vendor input, and financial information, then determine next steps.
A “Meet the Architects” Zoom session will be held tonight from 7:00-8:00PM on Zoom. Meeting links can be found in the latest Messenger, in this Chronicle, and on Realm. (Click here and register for it just as you would for a church service). KMB Architects Mark Beardemphl, Bill Mathews, and Ruben Nunez will be on hand to talk about the project and field your questions about the roof, seismic upgrades, and interior remodel. Please join us, bring family members, tell your friends! This should be an enlightening evening. We will record the session to make it available for later viewing by those who cannot attend tomorrow.
Please visit the campaign website to find more information on the project, FAQ document, testimonials from fellow parishioners (you can add your own), video from Bishop Rickel (more videos coming), and an I’m Ready to Pledge button to pledge online.
Or complete a paper pledge card. Volunteer gift workers are reaching out now to send you a pledge packet – please respond to their email to get yours. The church needs either an electronic pledge or campaign pledge card for its recordkeeping.
We have 38 pledges totaling over $825,000 so far, but we need everyone to participate! Please add your name and financial commitment to this growing list by the campaign close on the Day of Pentecost, May 23rd.
And, if you have already made your pledge – THANK YOU! We are deeply grateful for your generous support to the future of St. John’s | San Juan.
Tuesday, April 27 2021
St. John’s | San Juan Episcopal Church
April 27, 2021
The regular monthly meeting of the Finance Committee was held on April 20, 2021. Joining me were members Andrew Bird, Fawn Hacker, R.C. Laird, Christian MacMillan, and Lou MacMillan. We reviewed our current financial condition and a proposed plan to address our operating deficit and generate
Our Current Financial Condition
Our Budget Report for March 2021 may be found by clicking here. As of March 31, 2021, we are projecting a budget deficit of -$204,037 for this year. This deficit will be reduced by $10,000 upon our receipt of a check (which is literally in the mail) from Bessemer Trust representing an unrestricted bequest from the Peter Overton Living Trust, and it may also be reduced to the extent we have over-budgeted for parish health work in 2021.
Income from Pledges year-to-date is over budget by $7,780 (13.7%).
We have two additional sources of funds for operating expenses:
A proposed “Plan to Address the Deficit and Increase Revenue June through December 2021” was approved by the Vestry at its meeting on April 22, 2021. We look forward to sharing this plan with the entire congregation in a series of Zoom meetings in early June. Dates and times for these meetings will be announced soon.
Capital Campaign Update
As of April 25, 2021, we have received 38 pledges and raised $825,315 in gifts and pledges for Sing to the Lord a New Song, our capital campaign for St. John’s | San Juan. Thank you to everyone who has contributed so far!
We are currently in the midst of the Congregational Phase of the campaign, in which e invite everyone to thoughtfully and prayerfully consider the importance of our church in their lives and challenge themselves to make gifts that go beyond the usual limits of their giving. This phase will continue until we celebrate the conclusion of the campaign on Pentecost, May 23. If you have not yet received a pledge packet or would like additional packets to share with family and friends, please contact me at email@example.com.
As always, I welcome your comments and questions about our financial condition and capital campaign.
Tuesday, March 23 2021
Welcome to our March issue of The Chronicle. It has been an incredibly busy month at St. John’s | San Juan! We’ve completed our asbestos abatement, moved worship back into the church (which has required setting up all the audio/video equipment again), and have spent the month preparing to resume in-person worship on Palm Sunday, which is March 28. A lot going on!
We’ve also been preparing for the start of the public phase of our capital campaign, “Sing to the Lord a New Song,” which will launch publicly on Easter Day, April 4. The leadership team for the campaign has been working incredibly hard in the last few months to get us to this point, and we are all blessed to have them working on behalf of our community! Thank you to Bob LeRoy, our campaign chair; to Lou MacMillan, chair of the Renovation Committee; to Anne Hall, who has been our administrative support for the campaign; and to Michael Clifthorne, Fawn Hacker, and Andrew & Caitlin Bird, who have been meeting with parishioners and preparing for the big day on Easter; and to Jerry Campbell, who has been our consultant and mentor in preparing our team for their tasks. None of this would be possible without the efforts of each of them.
This is an exciting time to be at St. John’s | San Juan, and I am eagerly looking forward to welcoming folks back to worship in-person this Holy Week. While it won’t be exactly like it was before the pandemic, it will be a stop on the way back to being normal again. I’m looking forward to seeing you all again soon!
Tuesday, March 23 2021
I hope this issue of the St. John’s | San Juan Chronicle finds you safe and well.
I’m very excited about returning to the sanctuary and in-person worship beginning on Palm Sunday. And the reason I’m jazzed is that I received the Johnson & Johnson vaccination last week Sunday and I will be fully protected (almost) by Palm Sunday. Of course, I plan to continue masking and to practice social distancing, but attending church services is very high on my list of things I really want to do. I’m looking forward to being able to get registered once the new database is fully operational. Look for information about Realm!
During the Parish Health Committee meeting held a few days before the Vestry meeting, those on the team recommitted ourselves to the goals of building trust, transparency, openness, accountability, and social connections.
The St. John’s | San Juan Vestry met on Thursday evening, March 18, 2021. We spent some time doing small group breakouts to meet and greet and thereby get to know one another better. Everyone agreed that it was 15 minutes well spent at the beginning of the meeting. And, we did a “test run” of this Friday’s upcoming social connection, the “Heavenly Happy Hour” where this month we will do a Show & Tell event. There’s more information in other articles in this edition of The Chronicle! Please join us for this social time. We’re going to have a so much fun. Find your most interesting “thing” and be ready to show and tell about it. There are links to the event in all St. John’s | San Juan communications! I look forward to seeing you there.
I think the Vestry meeting went well. The new class learned a lot about what they have volunteered to do for the next three years (and I learned more about what a Senior Warden does). There is so much going on at St. John’s | San Juan, and it will be so for many months, as we move forward with the Capital Campaign, the re-roofing adventure, and figuring out how to sustain all of our programs and missions! Please read the Treasurer’s Report for more information on our finances. Other contributors to this edition will have lots to say about what’s happening at the church. I believe, with your continued support, the Vestry will do amazing work this year.
In addition to this Friday evening’s Zoom Show & Tell gathering, other offerings from the church include: book/Bible study on Thursday afternoons and a new program for Holy Week. We will read The Last Week by Marcus J. Borg & John Dominic Crossan which deals with Jesus’s last week, from Palm Sunday through Easter Sunday. Beginning on Palm Sunday at 9:00 am, those interested will meet via Zoom for 30-45 minutes to discuss the chapter for the day. I’m in! Of course, there will be all the actual Holy Week events to consider – live streaming and in-person. More information will be available in this Friday’s edition of The Messenger coming out later this week.
The Capital Campaign will be officially kicked off on Easter Sunday and run through Pentecost. Please be thinking about what St. John’s | San Juan means to you and how you can help reach the goal of a dry, seismically stable sanctuary along with new, more inviting and useful space where we will be able to gather for many years to come. We must complete this work for us as well as our future members! Won’t it be amazing to not see rainwater running down the columns?!
The Vestry is still seeking a Junior Warden. Ricci Weatherman left big shoes to fill! Interestingly enough, Father R.C. mentioned that because we have a volunteer to take care of the building’s issues (along with those others serving on the Renovation Project), our newJunior Warden does not have to be someone willing to climb up onto the roof. And, the Junior Warden may be a member in good standing at St. John’s | San Juan and does not have to be a Vestry member in order to serve the church in this capacity. If you feel a calling to learn about taking care of St. John’s | San Juan’s church building and grounds, please let me know.
As Covid-19 vaccinations continue to be rolled out to every adult who wants one, I look forward to being able to greet folks in person perhaps as early as July. We have each adjusted our lives to staying safe and healthy and I believe we are so close to being able to get back to some semblance of normalcy albeit a different normal. Like everyone, I long to be able to see (in- person) those whom I have missed so much for the past year.
Thank you for reading this far – basically I think I’ve just restated most information that’s already elsewhere in this edition. I am motivated to continue working to making St. John’s | San Juan better than before and especially by everyone on our Vestry and their commitment to being connected and invested in the church. Please remember that if you have any concerns, comments, issues, you may contact me on my cell phone at (360) 259-2933 or my church email, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a wonderful, blessed Holy Week and Easter! Looking forward to seeing and worshiping with you soon.
Tuesday, March 23 2021
Build for the Lord a New Roof! Submitted by Michael Clifthorne
“Get thee behind me, Leaky Roof!” Matthew 16:23, Humorously Amended Version
As a thirty-one-year parishioner of St. John’s | San Juan, I can say without a doubt that I am ready to be done with The Leaky Roof. Like the Great Adversary, The Leaky
One, it has served as a powerful barrier to needed upgrades and renovation to the interior of the sanctuary for years. How can we direct time, energy, and money to
“So give me something new, where ceiling tiles don’t hang askew!” Poet, Renee Oelschlaeger
I recently came across a very short poem by Gary Snyder, haiku-ish in its brevity: “After weeks of watching the roof leak/I fixed it tonight/by moving a single board.” My first thought was, “Gee, we REALLY need to get Gary Snyder to attend St. John’s | San Juan because he’s got a delicate sense of just exactly how to shift things around.” It’s certainly a lesson in how even a slight change in our actions can have an important effect. Unfortunately, we are well beyond “weeks” of leaks, even decades of leaks. Are we aiming for a century? And we know that we are also beyond “moving a single board”, and that Gary Snyder’s efforts would probably pale in comparison to what our own Ric Weatherman and others have dedicated to the effort. Thank you, Ric et al!
So what makes the “something new” different this time? Personally, I am deeply impressed with the incredible preparation, assessments, and planning that lie at the foundation of this capital campaign. There have been a couple of forays into such campaigns in the past, but nothing compares to the careful, thorough, professional preparations that have characterized this campaign since discussion began three years ago. This project will rely on a team of professionals who’ve done extensive assessments of our building and put forth an expert plan for remediation and repair. I feel a confidence in this undertaking that is refreshing and inspiring, one that allows me to envision a truly leak-free roof, necessary safety-orientated seismic repairs, and the ensuing, uplifting remodel of our sanctuary space. In a nutshell, this capital campaign is something that my wife Lucy and I can step up to in a way that goes beyond the usual limits of giving. While it is a gift to ourselves and our church home, it is also a gift to those in our faith community who will follow us, long after we depart. St. John’s | San Juan’s sanctuary is a unique expression of our love for and faith in the Lord. That sanctuary needs our help in a significant way at this time. Lucy and I hope that you, too, will consider boldly stepping up to getting that darn Leaky Roof and its attendant problems behind us - once and for all. Let’s claim a new beginning! Please join us as we “Sing to the Lord a New Song, and Build for the Lord a New Roof.”
As you can tell by now, I’m prone to poetry, which I believe helps us capture essences of life. I leave you with this final excerpt from Joyce Kilmer’s poem about the wandering and homeless entitled “Roofs”. It spoke to me; it may you as well.
"They say that life is a highway and its milestones are the years,