Services returned to our church building on Sunday, September 17, with a joyful celebration of Holy Communion. The building is a little bare, and shows the marks of the recent flooding, but the chancel area and the organ were undamaged. We will for the time being continue with one combined service on Sunday mornings at 10:30 am in the Church. Children’s church has resumed, and is also at 10:30 am in the Upper School building. Sunday school for children begins at 9:15 am, and Adult Sunday school resumes at that time on October 8.
Some details about damage to the church
The church building had about 2 feet of water inside, up to the first row of the choir stalls. Fortunately, the walls of the church are of plaster, and impervious to water. All of the pews, which, were built of press board, were destroyed. All of the carpeting on the main floor of the church also had to be removed.
The bases of much of the carved woodwork, which were built of plywood, also did not survive, including the base of the pulpit. The pulpit itself, and the carvings on the rails, did survive. The School’s former athletic director, George Alderete, is a master woodworker, and is rebuilding the base of the pulpit. All of the cabinetry in the vesting rooms and narthex had to be removed, as well.
Once all of the flood-damaged furnishings were removed, we had teams sanitize the church, using a process approved by Dr. Robert Reimers, a parishioner who is a widely recognized expert in remediation.
We are using the rear part of the now-sanitized nave of the church for temporary storage of papers and equipment salvaged from the flood (these will be moved to our temporary buildings when they are ready in a few weeks), and we have set up folding chairs for the congregation and choir in the front. There are some obstacles and obstructions, which we have marked with cones and barrels, so we ask you to exercise care as you move about the church.
The church had flood insurance, and the adjuster has visited, and we should receive information about compensation from our insurance company soon. The rector will appoint, with vestry approval, a committee to work on church restoration, and to establish a budget and priorities for the restoration.