Dear Beloved Community,
September 22 is an auspicious day in the life of our church, for it was 151 years ago that our foremothers and fathers gathered to make official what long had been understood — that they had become a people, and together with God, they would become a church.
As we learned throughout our 150th anniversary year last year, our congregation shared space in three different church houses, the longest stretch of which is in the building we now call home. So at this anniversary occasion, I give thanks for the gift of our church, and of the spaces in which she has thrived.
With this grand old building, I have to occasionally remind myself that it is indeed a gift, particularly when the building itself causes headaches along the way! That said, I wanted to let you know that we have found a new growth of mold in our church house, most of which is concentrated in the music suite and choir room on our building’s third floor. Perhaps you know that the music library room (tucked up into the 4th floor of the music suite) has had occasional issues with water intrusion over the years. We have found mold there, but also blossoming quickly on ceiling vents in these two rooms as well. As we began to look, we found one small corner of the children’s loft where there looks to be mold growing too. We do not yet know the nature of the mold, nor the level of caution that we would need to take around it.
As the week has unfolded, John Young and David Williamson have brought the House and Grounds Committee up to speed, quickly obtaining three different estimates for mold testing by reputable companies in our region. The Finance Committee approved dollars for this expense, as both committees named a desire to respond to this issue quickly and directly.
One of these mold testing companies will be onsite on Tuesday to test samples from all around the building, out of a desire to ensure our church house is as safe all over as we can be. After testing is complete (which could take up to a week) and the scope of the work is clear, we would then hire a mold remediation company to complete the work. Please know that our staff and related committees are working hard to ensure well-being for everyone! There have been places in the building that have experienced water leaks or intrusion over the years, all of which will be carefully inspected to ensure we are doing all we need to do to clean and make right.
Until we have more information, we will operate out of an abundance of care. We have now vacated the third floor for the time being. David, Amy, and Jake have shifted their offices to other spaces in the building. The choir will rehearse in the Sanctuary, and the children will meet for Sunday School in two side rooms of Kelly Auditorium for the time being. This information will be sent to parents of our kids and to the congregation later today. I covenant to keep you updated as we learn more.
Thank you for your love of our church and her sacred spaces through all the changing seasons of her life!
Together in God’s work of Love,