Moving Forward

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ.

In the fall of 2012 we began a process regarding the decisions facing us as we look to the future. A general letter was sent out informing you of the work of the ad hoc committee and the gathering of information on the health of our church building. It was addressed from the pulpit on a number of occasions in December and again in January. During the month of January there was also a workshop, led by Rev. Roger and a congregational meeting where facts were presented and brainstorming happened. As a result of this, 5 options were identified and a synopsis of the meeting was circulated.( If you do not already have a copy of the information from the workshop and the congregational meeting it is available at the back of the church, in the church office or can be forwarded to you electronically.) We returned to these options at the Annual Meeting for further exploration and then opportunities for smaller group discussions took place during Lent. There is no written report from the annual meeting. However, the conversation reflected the same as the previous congregational meeting.

Throughout this process several things became clear:
1. That as a congregation we are vibrant, viable and engaged
2. That we understand our ministry to be one of worship, care, fellowship and outreach
3. That our sanctuary is a place that speaks to our spirits and empowers us to be who we are called to be
4. That the conversation focused on restoring and redesigning our building
5. That our biggest concern is how we will raise the money to do what needs to be done.

Should we decide to open the doors and work toward restoration and redesign we will have our work cut out for us. We will have to embark on a major capital campaign that will require personal commitment; an appeal to the wider community; and exploring grants that may be available through various levels of government. It is impossible to know exactly the amount that we will need to fulfill our dream. What we do know is that the necessary repairs and restoration is estimated to be approximately 1.3 million. The break down for this is as follows:

1. Re pointing of east and west masonry facades (Sanctuary)
2. Re pointing of south masonry facade (including tower)
3. Asphalt shingle replacement
4. Replica moulded cornice with modillions
5. Rheinzink gutter system (bulk water management system upgrade)
6. Replica windows (14 units)
7. Stained glass conservation
8. Gallery window guards (between the Gallery floor area and the exterior glazing);

The work could be done in the following phases and costs:
1. Re pointing the tower masonry and steeple repairs estimated at $154,422 to $283,107.
2. PMC Roofing estimate shingles is $145,000 to $270,000 depending on the shingles
3. Marvin Windows and Doors estimate for 220 feet of Replica moulded cornice with modillions is $56,199.

4. The estimated installation cost of replica moulded cornice and modillions (east and west facade) is $16,000 to $24,000.
5. PMC Roofing estimate for Rheinzink Gutter system is $70,000.
6. Marvin Windows and Doors for replica Sanctuary windows is $462,994.
7. Estimated Cost to install the replica sanctuary windows is $116,000 to $125,000 (based on installation costs of a similar church).
8. Cranberry Stained Glass Studio & Supply estimate for stained glass restoration is $66,675.
9. Estimated installation cost of gallery window guards at 12 replica windows is $14,700 to $18,900

If we move forward, the necessary repairs will be at the top of the priority list and done in the order presented above. The costs for further improvements and possible redesigns will need to be worked out as we proceed and done in phases.

While this work and cost is scary, there comes a point when we must decide on something and then step out in faith! As a result of the information gathered, the conversations and brainstorming, your Council feels that some members are leaning in a particular direction. The Council has not officially endorsed any option however, in light of the conversation focus to this point and in order to test the will of the Congregation the Council brings to the Congregation a motion to approve moving forward with restoration and redesign of our current facility.

The process to make a decision according to the policy of the United Church of Canada is as follows:

1. Notice of a congregational meeting must be given for two consecutive Sundays. A congregational meeting will be called for May 5th immediately following worship.
2. The purpose of the meeting will be to entertain the following motion from your Council: that We move forward with the appropriate maintenance, restoration and redesign work in the Sanctuary (church) and that we enter a visionary process to carry it out.
3. All those who claim First United as their church home (members and adherents) are entitled to vote and must be present at the meeting to do so.
4. Vote will be taken by show of hands unless otherwise requested.

Once we have made a decision regarding our future the Council will proceed with the formation of a Capital Campaign committee to take on the responsibility of raising the funds necessary. The remaining four options will not be pursued. If the motion from your Council does not pass then, as a congregation, we will move to explore our other options.

The Council, First United Church

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