Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Flood recovery....still?

Yes....we are still working at it. Although, you might call it "restoration" now. We have been working since mid-January on the rebuild of the Sunday School space in the basement of the Parish Hall. Hard to believe that only 4 weeks ago, the Vestry was meeting to discuss how to proceed on the question of rewiring the areas affected by water. If you remember, we had just over 4.5 feet of water in the basement. The conduit in which the electrical wiring is jacketed was submerged. That means that paper wrapping and insulation around the copper wires was exposed to the corrosive "stuff" in the flood water. Every expert we talked to advised us that replacement was a good idea. So, after reviewing a proposal and talking about the "whys" and "wherefores" of the work at hand, we moved forward with a contractor. That was just a month ago. In the space of that time, we have
  • had the basement rewired and volunteers have worked with determination and spirit to accomplish the designation of a new chapel space (while creating a utility area for the installation of a new dehumidifcation unit,
  • hung dry wall throughout the space
  • installed new light fixtures and new drop ceilings, trim, new doors
  • created a new space for a Sunday School staff work
  • and now the first coats of paint are going up on the walls
As of last night, the Vestry voted to designate funds for new flooring and capreting, and for the refurnishing of the space with tables, chairs, cabinets, white boards and tack strips/hanging rails.

God willing, we are only a week or two away from the final touches that will allow us to reenter that space and bless it for the use of our ministries, programs and prayers.

It's really hard to compare this:

 as we began to pump out and clean up...

...and from the point of having finished demolition, abatement of ACMs and final cleanup to the beginning of construction; 

...to this....

 ...and after four weeks, to this!

When our Bishop visited just a few weeks ago, only 10 days after reconstruction began, he got the opportunity to see the progress we had made. Having experienced capital work in the past in parishes he has served, he offered up that he was impressed by the progress. When I told him that what we had accomplished so far was due for the most part to volunteer labor...his jaw dropped and he praised God for the people of St. Peter's.

Lord knows that this has not been an easy undertaking. We are all on a very steep learning curve, but it is in this moment that I am seeing the Church truly offer up its best. Faithful volunteers are working long hours, weekends and any off time they can squeeze in so this first phase of our required capital work. It's remarkable to experience Christ in the kind of physical, spiritual, emotional and mental exercise that is our current state. Even as the dust begins to settle in this first phase, as psalm 121 says...we "lift [our] eyes to the hills, from where is [our] help to come?*Our help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth."

God bless us and keep us...and keep all the churches that are in recovery and restoration, may we be preserved to God's glory as witnesses that what is broken is being made whole....

God bless the people who through prayers and donations continue to support this parish in its reclamation of mission and ministry after a season of loss and destruction.

To God be the Glory....Amen.

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