Ceiling Tile Report May 2017

Update on Ceiling Repairs

As we came into Church this weekend, all of us should have noticed something quite different. The scaffolding is gone! It allows us to view the beauty of the church unobstructed and to have greater capacity for seating.

We are grateful for the workers and consultants who helped us ensure that our ceiling was secured and everyone would remain safe, especially during these past few weeks. Their work has helped us to clarify the plans we were making as we move forward with the first phase of the Enrich, Expand, Grow Capital Campaign in the coming months.

The work also presented us with an additional problem. The company which insures our buildings will likely cover the greater portion of the repairs as part of our insurance policy, but they now require us to demonstrate that the remaining ceiling tiles are secure or they will discontinue future claims from the ceiling made against our insurance policy.
Some parishioners may recall that we have done this process in the distant past. These kinds of tests have a life-span and the term of our previous inspection have now expired. We must therefore undergo another inspection of the ceiling to guarantee our insurance policy. The process will not be as obtrusive as the scaffolding was. We can bring in a lift that will bring a worker to physically examine every tile in the ceiling. We are certainly grateful that this process will ensure ongoing safety but I am also mindful that this comes at a financial cost, one that we did not anticipate in our parish planning.

At this point in time, I am hopeful that we can absorb the cost of the inspection and repairs which will be at least $50,000 if not more. I think we should be able to cover this cost from our ordinary parish giving and our parish fundraisers, but it will mean that other sacrifices need to be made.

When Fr. Pawel left this past February, we have one less staff person to serve the parish community. Knowing that the Archdiocese does not have an abundance of ordained ministers to replace an associate pastor, I was hoping to hire additional staff. Our current staff is already stretched thin although they continue to be enthusiastic to serve our community as best they can.

This plan now seems dimmed by the need for our current repairs. At the same time, we are also experiencing a drop in our ordinary Sunday collections. I was expecting some decline given the extraordinary support we have received from our planned giving. Donors to our Capital Campaign continue to give generously and new pledges keep coming in. Wearing the Green was an extraordinary success and within Wearing the Green, donors supported our Fund a Need for the updating of our auditorium in excess of $58,000.
While this is tremendous, we need to remember that we cannot use donations made for specific causes to pay for our ordinary expenses. Believe me, I understand that it is difficult to balance long term needs and immediate needs and that you face this problem every day in your own financial planning.

What I can share at this moment is that we as a community are presented with some divergent needs. I am confident that, as a community, we will be able to address them if each of us continues to prayerfully consider how he or she can be a steward of the gifts God has given, and responds in stewardship for the welfare of God’s church. Thank you for your care of Saint Andrew and may God bless you with everything you need and more.

-Fr. Sergio Romo

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