Skip to main content
Tuesday, June 22 2021

Dear friends!

Welcome to the first week of Summer! If the temperatures predicted for this weekend are any indication of how my summer will go, I should be completely melted by July 4!

If you were not in church or did not live stream the service on June 20th, what I say may be new to you. My apologies for repeating what those who were at church or who did stream the service heard. Here’s most of what I said:

I am here to tell you that we have finally received the actual bid for replacing the roof. To say that we were (and continue to be) flabbergasted is totally accurate! You know that feeling when you wait and wait for something, and then you actually find out what it is, you are so stunned that you cannot wrap your mind around what’s happened? Well, that’s what those of us on the Vestry executive team felt on Saturday when Lou shared the actual bid for replacing the roof.

WOW! Please make sure you’re sitting down and take a deep breath before reading on…

The bid is almost double the figure that the Vestry and the Capital Campaign have been using for the past year. We are now looking at $1,825,000 for just Phase I of our renovation (versus the figure of $1.2 million we had been using). The amount covers the roof, the seismic upgrades and basic electrical work. With sales tax, the total exceeds $2 million. Much of the increase is because of supply issues created by the Covid pandemic. Steel, wood and insulation product costs have skyrocketed! For instance, one sheet of ½” plywood now sells for over $80, and you know, there’s a lot of wood in our roof!

Oh, and if that’s not enough, this bid does not include anything for the Phase II renovation of the worship space.

I know this is a lot to grasp. It’s taken Vestry leadership a few days to work through the ramifications of this news through emails, phone calls, and in-person meetings, and finally to brainstorming options. And, at the Vestry meeting on June 17, the Vestry itself came to the same conclusions as the leadership team and supports the next moves.

Holy moly, we need to talk! And I’m here to say that the best place to get totally informed will be at the Congregational Meeting scheduled for this Thursday evening, June 24, at 7:00 p.m. via Zoom. This second meeting, originally planned to talk about our budget and shortfalls therein, has been appropriated by the matter of the roof. Please, your presence at this meeting is vital to understanding the path the Vestry is considering and to be informed on where we hope to go from here. I’m sure others in this Chronicle edition will also be talking about these issues. Registration options are many: through the Realm App; in the recent Messenger newsletters; and also by clicking here.

Your prayers for St. John’s | San Juan, for our Capital Campaign committee, and for guidance for the Vestry are very welcome. I look forward to seeing you on Thursday evening!

Blessings & peace!
Fawn Hacker
Senior Warden
(360) 259-5933

Posted by: AT 11:20 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, June 22 2021

Junior Warden’s Report – June 2021 Chronicle

“The building needs work. You gotta get a new roof, and all sorts of infrastructure. While those things may not sound important to some, they are the house that help
make the ministries that you do possible.

For you, the roof, and all that it represents in terms of the building, can help to make the difference…”

– Presiding Bishop Michael Curry

Discernment & Decision
I’m reading Pope Francis’s book, Let Us Dream: The Path to a Better Future. In it, he defines discernment as resisting the urge to seek the apparent relief of immediate decision and to hold different options before the Lord. I think you’ll agree the renovation project has many times required us to hold multiple options before the Lord before deciding our next step. With receipt of FORMA’s construction bid, we’re at that point once more.

Part I Bid
On June 11th, we received FORMA’s bid of $1.835 million. That’s $820,000 (81%) more than the previous estimate of $1.015 million. Add 9.4% sales tax and the
cost is $2,007,490. Here’s a price breakdown by building system:

Orig. Estimate Quote $ Change % Change
Roof $659,000 $1,520,000 + $861,000 + 130%
Seismic $356,000 $185,000 - $171,000 - 48%
Electrical* N/A $130,000 +$130,000 N/A
Total $1,015,000 $1,835,000 + $820,000 + 81%

* The original estimate did not break out electrical separately, it was assumed in the roof estimate.

Why so much higher? How could we have been so far off?

Some context may help here. Material shortages due to the COVID economy, plus pent-up construction demand, have caused prices for building commodities to sky-rocket. Lumber, steel, and rigid insulation are up 300-500%. For example, half- inch plywood now sells for over $80 a sheet at your local big box store.

In addition, wait times for delivery of some materials exceed three months. Ongoing delays and price volatility have contractors passing on any significant (greater than 10%) commodity price increases to the client, meaning prices could go higher even after the bid is accepted and the contract signed.

Obviously, $2M is a staggering sum, almost double the total of our capital campaign pledges. Because it’s well beyond our actual or projected resources, this bid compels us to review and revise our strategy for the renovation.

As the Treasurer’s June report notes, of the $1.1 million received in pledges, $315,000 applies to project costs and fees already incurred. That leaves only $791,000 available to pay either future project expenses or debt service on a loan.

And remember, the Part II remodel we estimated at $600,000 has yet to be fully designed, then priced. KMB’s initial design fee proposal, which as is we cannot accept, tops $200,000. We’re not sure yet what that implies for construction cost.

Yet, it’s conceivable under current market conditions that the total cost of full renovation – Parts I and II combined – could approach $3 million. So, even with our $1.1 million in pledges, plus that much again from a loan, we may still face a daunting funding shortfall.

Options Being Considered
Last week, the Executive Committee and Vestry wrestled with many of these questions and discussed several options, with these receiving more consideration:

  • Reject FORMA’S bid and wait until next year to rebid all of Part I.

It’s possible market conditions reverse themselves enough over time that prices fall back to more customary and affordable levels. Of course, this is speculation, and whatever reductions happen may not change our predicament substantially.

While waiting does buy us time, not proceeding with any construction this year means forfeiture of our $13,000 building permit, plus additional costs for seismic upgrades that must comply with a stricter building code adopted earlier this year.

And it may oblige us to offer to return capital pledges to donors who want them back. While the right thing to do, returning pledges effectively undoes much of our recent fund raising success. Eventually, we may decide to conduct another capital campaign in a post-pandemic market place and economy that may, or may not, yield much better pricing.

  • De-scope Part I to proceed only with the seismic work under the current permit. Total cost with sales tax and contingency is $213,000.

This options offers two immediate benefits:

o Stabilizes the structure against catastrophic damage in an earthquake
o Resets the permit clock for another six months

By adding $213,000 to the already considerable amount invested to-date on the renovation, this option has potential risk too. If we eventually find
that the renovation will never be affordable, we will have lost considerably more in “sunk” facility costs than had we not done this work.

Aside from what each option would do or not do, think of them as tactical retreats to mitigate the risk of current market extremes, and to buy time to seek further guidance and possible help from the diocese.

Aside from diocesan financial support, assuming it has capacity and willingness to supplement our congregation’s sacrificial giving, we may qualify for other grants or loans from national organizations. The National Fund for Sacred Places makes construction grants to eligible houses of worship nationwide, and the Episcopal Church Building Fund offers construction loans nationally. There may be other programs as well. Having the luxury of extra time allows us to discern whether any of these programs offer benefits sufficient to warrant the time and effort of application.

We Need to Hear from You!
As you see, there’s lots to consider and discuss before we decide, then act. To help us with that, as Fawn announced on Sunday, we need to hear from you!

Please plan to attend and contribute to the Parish Budget Meeting scheduled for Thursday, June 24, at 7PM on Zoom. The agenda will focus on the renovation bid and finance options. Besides informing you, your input is vital to understanding how to discern the best path forward.

Respectfully submitted,
Lou MacMillan, Junior Warden

Posted by: AT 11:16 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, June 22 2021

St. John’s Episcopal Church
Treasurer’s Report for The Chronicle
June 21, 2021

This will be my final report as your Treasurer. I want to thank you for your support, good questions, and continuing commitment to leading our congregation through some complex challenges on our way to a vibrant and sustainable future. Please join me in thanking and welcoming Troy Atwell, our new Treasurer. I look forward to working with you in my new role focused on stewardship and community and financial development.

Our Current Financial Condition

Our Budget Report and Statement of Financial Position for May 2021, as well as an updated Plan to Address the Deficit and Increase Revenue July through December 2021 and Beyond, 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.

Individual Contributions are over budget year-to-date by $5,681 (5.6%), including Income from Pledges over budget by $9,029 (9.5%) and Contributions/Loose Plate Offerings below budget by -$4,009 (68.7%). It is concerning to note that in May, Pledges were below budget for the month by -$5,929 (31.4%).

Capital Campaign Update

Currently, we have secured 70 pledges and accounted for $1,106,617 toward our campaign goal, of which $315,000 has been applied to fees and costs of the project and $791,617 in gifts and pledges is available to apply to future expenses or as collateral for a loan to provide the additional funds needed to complete the work and service the debt resulting from the loan. As of June 15, 2021, the balance in our Capital Campaign Account at Commencement Bank is $149,067.

Respectfully submitted...
...Bob Le Roy, Treasurer and Capital Campaign Chair

Posted by: AT 11:15 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, May 25 2021

Dear friends,

Welcome to the May edition of The Chronicle. Happy Pentecost! It has been so wonderful to see the Holy Spirit doing incredible work in this place! Our Capital Campaign, Sing to the Lord a New Song, finished on Pentecost Sunday and we raised over $1 million! Thank you to everyone who pledged to the campaign. If you would still like to make a pledge, there is still time! You can pledge from the capital campaign website (anewsongforstjohns.org).

In-person worship has continued through Eastertide and what a joy it has been to get to be able to worship in-person together and see each other’s faces. We are still awaiting more guidance from the Bishop’s Office about how to move forward with the CDC’s new guidelines for fully vaccinated people. For now, we will continue to follow the same distancing and masking guidelines that we have been using since we resumed in-person services. Thank you for your patience as we continue to adjust to this new part of the pandemic.

Two things to draw your attention to: the vestry will be hosting two zoom calls, on June 9 and June 23, at 7 pm, to share the details of their plan to address this year’s budget deficit, and to get your input on that plan. Our treasurer, Bob Le Roy, has written about this plan below, and I hope you will read his letter fully and prayerfully. The second thing to look for is the letter from our Junior Warden, Lou MacMillan, addressing issues around the timeline for the renovation work that the capital campaign funded and the completion of the process to receive bridge funding from the diocese. I commend that letter to your careful attention as well.

Bob and Lou have both been working incredible hours on behalf of St. John’s | San Juan, and we owe them a huge debt of gratitude that we can never repay. If you see them around, please be sure to thank them for all that they have done for our community.

It’s an exciting and Spirit-filled time to be part of St. John’s | San Juan! I’m so glad you’re with us for this adventure!

Blessings,

RC+

Posted by: AT 11:45 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, May 25 2021

Greetings!

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 fawn@stjohnsoly.org. 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!

Fawn Hacker
Senior Warden

Posted by: AT 11:35 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, May 25 2021

JUNIOR WARDEN’S REPORT – May 2021 Chronicle

RENOVATION NEWS
First, let’s acknowledge and celebrate the success of our capital campaign! The sacrificial giving of all who’ve pledged financial support to the renovation – now 65 pledges totaling $1,060,137 – is truly inspiring, and brings us ever closer to finally beginning the vital work on the Sanctuary. Thank you!

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:

  • As we requested, the city has extended our building permit to December 6, 2021.
  • We expect FORMA’s price for Part I work by Friday, May 28th. Cost estimating has been greatly complicated by building material shortages and steep price hikes.
  • Even after raising over $1 million, we need a bridge loan from the diocese to sign a construction contract with FORMA. We’ll request an expedited review of our application, but since multiple committees are involved, it will take at least two months.
  • This requirement will delay the start of construction until late July or August, at the earliest. Though later than we’d planned, we can still start work in late summer, or even the fall, without much greater risk due to weather. It’s disappointing, but not a major setback.
  • This delay gives us time to address several other issues, like temporary worship space, moving out of the Sanctuary, the old organ, and storage.
  • We’ve asked KMB Architects for a fee proposal and timeline to finish design of Part II’s interior remodel. They will start with a few parish meetings to get our input on how the space can function and look better. Called “programming,” this work will help KMB develop the best design solutions for our budget.
  • Once complete, Part II design plans must also be reviewed and approved by the diocese. (Part I plans do not, as they relate only to building repairs and safety.)
  • Our goal is to finish Part II design and get the needed approvals in time to begin that work almost immediately after Part I construction ends, preferably later this year. If for some reason that can’t happen, it’s conceivable we’ll come back into a dry, safe Sanctuary for worship during the interim, and start the remodel work in 2022.
  • I’ll be leading a building tour for new Vestry members, possibly with a climb up to the roof, on a weekday afternoon in June. Let me know if you’d be interested in joining us.

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
On the more aspirational side, I’d like to share what I believe may be a deeper meaning of this renovation centered on two words that can truly change things – audacity and trust. Let me give you some examples:

  • In 1861, work on the U.S. Capitol dome, then half-finished, was halted by the Civil War. Congress canceled construction contracts. Iron workers, fearing loss or damage to the cast iron meant for the new dome, continued to work without pay. In 1862, Congress renewed construction. A year later, Abraham Lincoln remarked, “If people see the Capitol going on, it is a sign we intend the Union shall go on.” Amid war, the dome was completed.
  • In May 1941, during the last days of the Blitz, German bombs fell on Westminster Palace, obliterating the chamber of the House of Commons. Two year later, Prime Minister Winston Churchill, speaking in the House of Lords to reconstruct the Commons chamber, said “We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us.” He urged the chamber be “restored in all essentials to its old form, convenience and dignity,” believing its rectangular shape with opposing sides, one of which the party in government occupied, the other occupied by the opposition party, to be symbolic of the strength and endurance of the British parliamentary system.
  • The book Washington’s Audacious State Capitol and Its Builders tells the story of how a relatively young, geographically remote Western state, population barely 800,000, conceived of, designed and built perhaps the greatest example of the short-lived “City Beautiful” movement in American architecture. The capitol, completed in 1927, was built upon the foundations and basement of an earlier design that was canceled by the depression of 1897. From this seeming defeat rose a thoroughly reimagined capitol plan, a “western Acropolis” of six buildings (five were built) in a park-like, campus setting rather than a single domed structure. While never fully realized, Washington State’s Capitol Campus is unsurpassed among U.S. state capitols in its scenic beauty.
  • A few blocks from Washington’s state capitol stands another audacious building, the Sanctuary of St. John’s Episcopal Church. In 1957, eight years after building a Tudor-style Parish House, the congregation opened this monumental house of worship. As if erecting two new buildings within a decade wasn’t audacious enough, the sheer scale of the Sanctuary, its precast concrete construction, French-made stained glass, and rectilinear, Modernist style, were bold expressions of the congregation’s post-WWII faith and values. This building symbolized their passion for sharing the good news and love of the resurrected Christ. In all its glory and flaws, it is their audacious gift to us.

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.
It’s a bold and hope-filled statement about the future of St. John’s | San Juan as a parish, a community transformed by the love of Jesus Christ.

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.


Glory and majesty attend you, O God: strength and beauty are in your sanctuary.  -Psalm 96:6

Respectfully submitted,
Lou MacMillan, Junior Warden

Posted by: AT 11:30 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, May 25 2021

St. John’s | San Juan Episcopal Church
Treasurer’s Report for The Chronicle

May 25, 2021


Finance and Audit Committees

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.


We still need to stand up a small Audit Committee, ideally comprised of three members with a background in finance, which would meet only twice a year, before and after the annual audit. Pat Le Roy and Lou MacMillan has agreed to serve. If anyone from the Vestry is willing and able to join them, please let me know.

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:

  • $63,367 in Round 2 Paycheck Protection Plan (PPP) Funds will be converted from a loan to a grant.
  • $57,000 in Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) proceeds have also been applied to the deficit. The EIDL money, totaling $150,000, will have to be repaid to the Small Business Administration (SBA). Monthly payments in the amount of $641 will begin June 1, 2022.

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%).


We have two additional sources of funds for operating expenses:

  • Diocese of Olympia Master Trust General (Unrestricted) Account = $49,835
  • Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Account at Edward Jones = $83,644

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.


Respectfully submitted...
...Bob Le Roy, Treasurer and Capital Campaign Chair

Posted by: AT 10:25 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
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
recovering our common life following the pandemic. April also saw us publicly launch our capital campaign, “Sing to the Lord a New Song.” Thank you to everyone who has made a pledge and contributed to the campaign! We are making steady progress toward our goal, and we look forward to celebrating the conclusion of the campaign on Pentecost, May 23!


Once we’ve funded the work we’re going to have done, it’ll be time to actually do the work, and we’ll need to move out of our worship space for the second time in 2021. Unlike last time, when we had the asbestos abatement done in February & March, we will have to move absolutely everything out of the sanctuary for the seismic retrofitting work to begin. We’re devising a plan now for how we will store things like our concert grand piano and organ console; our altar, pulpit, and lectern; all the chairs and pews in the nave and the chancel; all of the video and sound gear; and all the items stored in the tower room. We’re going to have things stashed away all over the building, and we also have to figure out where we’ll do worship while the work in the building is being done. It’s a complicated set of problems, and every solution we’ve come up with has drawbacks. We’re working hard to figure out the best plan, and we’ll let you know as soon as we have one that will work.

It’s an exciting time to be part of St. John’s | San Juan! I’m glad you’re with us for this adventure!

Blessings,
R.C.+

Posted by: AT 12:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, April 27 2021

Greetings!


Can you believe the abundance of beautiful flowers everywhere? As I walk around my neighborhood, spring continues to amaze me with new offerings every day!

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
vaccinated. Don’t forget to register on Realm! It’s very easy!! Keep an eye out for a Realm email every Tuesday, or just click here o haga clic aquí!


The Capital Campaign, Sing to the Lord a New Song! officially kicked off on Easter Sunday and will run through Pentecost. As I said above, I’m sure there will also be information about this somewhere herein. On Tuesday evening, April 27, beginning at 7:00 p.m., there will be a Zoom meeting where we can meet the architects of the new roof. Hope you are able to attend. You can register by clicking here!

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!


I need to share with you that with so much going on at St. John’s | San Juan, I have found myself at a point of in-action. I have become overwhelmed by the sheer number of tasks facing this Vestry and this congregation. Over the weekend, I came to the realization that when I am overwhelmed, I do nothing. I become frozen and can barely function. At one time I would have said about myself that I worked best under pressure, but that’s not so true anymore. I believe that Covid has affected how I process information and do things. Now when I feel myself coming under a lot of stress and become anxious, I shut down. Nothing gets done.


I am telling you this because I know that I owe phone calls and emails to some of you out there in the St. John’s | San Juan community. I’m sorry I haven’t responded yet, but I will, soon. I promise! I had thought that I would beg off and not write anything for The Chronicle, but I am forcing myself to remember two of my Mother’s favorite snippets of Scripture: “into thine hands” and “not my will, but thy will be done.” I have asked the Holy Spirit for inspiration with this article and I think we’re doing okay.

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, fawn@stjohnsoly.org.


Welcome month of May and more May flowers! Blessings and peace…


Fawn Hacker
Senior Warden

Posted by: AT 11:55 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
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
Sanctuary renovation to include our two other buildings in the future, this report focuses squarely on the renovation. It’s quite long, so please bear with me.


VACATING THE SANCTUARY

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
After moving our pews twice in the last couple months, we found they’re not in good shape – some are damaged, a few badly warped. If we reuse them, they’ll all need repairs and/or refurbishment before being returned to the Sanctuary. The extent and cost of those repairs are unknown.

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.


II. Temporary Worship Space
Obviously, a pew-filled Parish Hall is not an option for worship space, so we plan to hold worship outdoors for the summer, under one large tent or multiple smaller ones. When we learned how much space FORMA will require in our parking lot for their “lay down area,” it left us with little room to accommodate both a large tent and still have any space for parking.

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.


III. Disposal of the Moeller Organ
The Moeller organ must come out of its east chancel location to replace the roof above it. We’re planning to have FORMA remove the architectural wooden screens, which will likely go to architectural salvage. We may have two parties interested in taking the Moeller’s console, blowers, wind chests and pipes, though we may keep some of its pipes with the intention of someday building a small portative organ for the chapel.


IV. Chancel & Bell Tower
As with the pews, we will need to remove and store (if not dispose of), or protect-in-place, everything in the chancel space, from the altar, chairs, and music stands to the suspended altar cross and Schlicker organ towers. Likewise, everything now in the nave or stored in the bell tower must be moved out and stored on the first or second floor of the Parish Building during construction. We’re identifying every room, nook and cranny that can be used for storage space.

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.


PREPARING FOR CONSTRUCTION

We don’t yet have a firm bid price or signed contract with FORMA due to multiple factors:

  • They’re still updating cost estimates due to price increases for steel and other building materials caused by COVID-related supply chain disruptions.
  • We’ve asked them for more demolition work and removal/protectionmeasures, which must be priced.
  • We’re clarifying some of the design details to better meet program needs, such as appropriate access to the Sacristy for the Altar Guild. These changes require engineering recalculations and design modifications, which take time.

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:

Parking Impacts

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.

Grounds Impacts
The seismic upgrades at the north wall of the Sanctuary spell doom for the two tall yellow cedar trees, azalea bushes, ground cover, and lamp post at that end of the building. All those must be removed or demolished to allow for excavation of the foundation during construction.


BUILDING PERMIT

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.


SOLAR POWER WORK GROUP

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.


CAPITAL CAMPAIGN ZOOM MEETING

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.


MAKE YOUR PLEDGE!

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.


Onward…together.


Respectfully submitted,
Lou MacMillan, Junior Warden

Posted by: AT 11:50 am   |  Permalink   |  Email