And so that is what a lot of our projects were in October:
Spirit builders finished the restoration of the huge wooden columns in the front of the Church toping them off with a coat of marine white paint : )
Around the corner from the front of the Church Spirit Builders removed the broken concrete sidewalk along with the steps there to the Narthex door. We also reset higher the large semi-circular bluestone entrance to the Memorial Garden there. That whole area was low, puddled and encouraged dampness infiltration into Martin Hall. The new higher sidewalks are SO much more natural : )
Spirit Builders fabricated and installed an impact-absorbing standing-seam copper apron at the base of the dormer on the Carriage house roof so that ice crashing off of the dormer roof above will stop smashing slates.
We started researching and experimenting making our own custom clay tiles for the Church roof (we have run out of spares). We hope to make two dozen for $400 instead of having to buy 100 for $3,000...plus shipping!
ON THE COMMUNITY FRONT:
Spirit Builders worked for five different accessibility-challenged people in the Hartford area and one in Wilton. Jobs included: building a 35 foot long ramp, a front walk railing for a fellow with ALS, enlarging doorways and a hallway for a woman stuck in her bedroom, removing a ramp for an ALS patient not needing it any longer and reassembling it for a fellow paralyzed from the waist down.
Saturday November 4 we will be building more ramps for people who need them
BACK IN THE SADDLE!
Indeed Spirit Builders volunteers came off of their Summer Sabbath and hit the ground running in September.
First they took down two ramps and one wheelchair lift that were no longer needed by ALS patients, a sad part of the process.
A 70 ft ramp install for an elderly woman was next using the parts from the other two ramps.
Spirit Builders crews have also been working on a list of Capital projects for the Church. The two projects that we specifically worked on in September look, at a glance, more like maintenance (maintenance is not in Spirit Builders’ are- na), but they are capital to us.
Almost ten years ago a generous anonymous donor gave $10,000 specifically so that we could make the interior of the Carriage House main room look upscale instead of like an old school room. This is how we funded the fancy columns for one thing. At that time we also chose and installed the Pergo floor then with the expectation of changing out worn sections after 8-10 years and replacing it about 8-10 years after that.
Well, a Spirit Builders crew rehabilitated that Carriage House floor during the September Saturday work day with parts that we had originally stored in the Carriage House attic.... (Phase II of that capital floor project). And we still have $4,000 of the original donation set aside for the replacement in 8-10 more years.
Spirit Builders worked a few Thursdays in September at the Senior Parsonage on the siding. Three years ago the Trus- tees considered a $28,000 bid to replace the old shingles whose paint was coming off in sheets. Spirit Builders took on rehabilitation of the siding in stages (for a cost of $600 over 9 years) as a capital project. Three years ago we re- moved the loose 30% of the paint, hard brushing the ex- posed wood and putting back tenacious primer and match- ing top coat paint there.
In September Spirit Builders did Phase II of that Senior Par- sonage siding restoration project.
Many fun projects in the community and at the Church are on the agenda for this fall. All of you are welcome to pitch in as so many of you have done over the years and continue to do. God blesses you to have fun being a blessing.
SAVE THE DATE!
Our Saturday work day in October will be 10/8.
So, August really was a much needed Sabbath month for the Spirit Builders. : )
BUT! they are ready to hit the ground run- ning on the first (non-holiday) Saturday in September.
On Saturday September 9 we anticipate building an access ramp for Grace United Methodist Church in Fairfield where our Associate Pastor from the mid 1990’s, Kun Sam Cho, is now the Senior Pastor. They will work along side us and host lunch for us. Should be fun.
We also expect to have lined up at least one other ramp job by then... stay tuned!
Finally, there are a number of capital projects at the Church campus and parsonages that Spirit Builders will be doing this coming year, one of which we may start that Saturday depending on the ramp needs. God blesses all of you Spirit Builder volunteers to have fun being a blessing. WE LOVE WORKING ON A CHURCH!
Submitted by Peter Seirup
In June our Spirit Builders finished off the season with a burst of speed!
The first Saturday of the month we had a large group at the Church finishing tasks on the Jesse Lee Accessibility Project Phase I (the elevator and second floor handicap bathroom) and building the new brick and bluestone steps outside of the Narthex for the new Bridge fire exit.
People keep asking where those new brick steps go (since we are not installing the door through the wall of the Church until the fall)… So we have fondly called our new construction the “Stairway To Heaven”…. after all, this is a Church. : )
Our June Spirit Building team at the Church enjoyed our traditional Thanksgiving-in-June turkey dinner at lunch time. Indeed we have a lot to be thankful for.
Also on that first Saturday another group of Spirit Builders went to Wappingers Falls NY and built a 40-ft access ramp for a family with a 6-year old boy with cerebral palsy (below). Little Keith can walk but he cannot do stairs. He was delighted to go up and down the ramp when it was done! His Grandma made a wonderful lunch for the volunteers. It was a transformative day.
And now it is Sabbath Summer for Spirit Builders. Just some emergency ramp projects probably.
The Church Council and Church Conference decided to re-order the application of the Capital Campaign funds by paying off the mortgage next year and building The Bridge across the Portico the following year instead of the other way around. This will represent a substantial saving in mortgage payments.
Therefore, starting in the fall Spirit Builders will be doing other capital projects at the Church in between meeting the accessibility needs of our community.
See you at Ocean Grove July 31-August 3?
Saturday May 6 is the second to last Spirit Builders work day before our summer break.Now that the Sanctuary will be air conditioned starting this summer. On Saturday April Fool’s Day Spirit Builders from the congregation and beyond installed ten A/C supply vents along both sides of the Sanctuary ceiling. Have a look! These will pour out cool air as needed from now on so this sacred space will now also be a Sanctuary from the heat in the summerOn the Thursdays before and after April 1 Spirit Builders relocated components of the former steeple air conditioning system left behind by AT&T and installed a full set of ducting in the Sanctuary attic. Indeed the whole thing is very cool. And the modest cost was covered by the elevator project coming in under budget!The positive energy in the air on Saturday April 1 was electrifying as around 30 volunteers showed up to not only work on the A/C project but to prime and paint the new elevator surrounds, coat closet, stairwell to the choir area, new second floor handicap bathroom and more.Spirit Builders, of course, continued to field requests for ramps from people with access issues during the month. April saw us providing two tiny ramps. One 6ft ramp prefabricated by youth veterans of the Belize trip to be picked up by a family in Old Lyme so the mother with ALS can get up the two steps from the family room to the living room. The other actually was a folding “briefcase ramp” that we bought and shipped to a man with MS who is between jobs and staying at his nephew’s house in Bridgeport.MARK YOUR CALENDARS!Saturday May 6 is the second to last Spirit Builders work day before our summer break. We have an ambitious plan for volunteers that day. We will be building two long ramps in Trumbull and Waterbury, one of the ramps will have one of our wheelchair elevators attached. We will also be laying the concrete block of the foundation and superstructure of the new brick and bluestone fire exit steps outside of the Narthex. Finally we will be tiling the new handicap bathroom floor and working on the punch list from the elevator project.Master chef, Doug Clewell will be having one of his renowned cookouts for the volunteers here at the Church for this Sat May 6 work day featuring his legendary pulled pork….won’t you join us?WE LOVE WORKING ON A CHURCH!-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------A woman is stuck in her house in Trumbull and you can help build a 50ft ramp to set her free. It is profound how much positive difference this makes to a person with ALS. A gentleman suffering from MS, and his wife are living in the garage level of their home in Waterbury since he is unable to get upstairs. You can help install one of our wheelchair elevators and a 50ft boardwalk leading to it. They promise to make you the best Jamaican food for lunch that you have ever had! We will also be laying concrete block outside of the Narthex for the new fire exit steps, laying the new handicap bathroom floor tile up in the choir area and working on the punch list from this Phase I of the Jesse Lee Accessibility Project.Here at the Church Doug Clewell will be putting on one of his signature cookouts with his legendary pulled pork. It is ambitious, but so important.LOVE WORKING ON A CHURCH!--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------The accessible Playscape at Farmingville elementary school is finished. The dedication at theschool was moving and electric. Third grader Edwardo emerged from the second floor of the Barn and swooped down the ramp in his wheel chair to address the crowd. Beaming he summed our creation as “EPIC”!Please give some thought as to what days you might be able to give to these endeavors to serve those less fortunate. Sign up in the NarthexGod blesses you to be a blessing.