Dear St. Christopher’s,
I have some wonderful and exciting news! Upon recommendation (and hundreds of hours of work) from the Kitchen Committee, the Vestry has approved an extensive upgrade of our kitchen. As most realize, the kitchen / parish hall area is the place where fellowship and friendships are galvanized. Not only that, but with a workable kitchen, mission opportunities to the sick and poor will also have the opportunity to begin to expand. Throughout the last 50 years, piecemeal improvements have been made to our kitchen, but now is the time to integrate a holistic system of improvements that will serve us for next 30 years of ministry.
The architectural diagram showcasing the improvements will be displayed in the Parish Hall for all to review. In brief, they include:
- Ensuring our cooking area is up to “code” with all mandated health & safety requirements,
- Enhancing efficiency in food prep and table set-up.
- Providing more work space inside the kitchen so it’s not so congested,
- Incorporating a more efficient “work triangle” by flipping the oven around, thus eliminating traffic back-up
- Including a new coffee-bar inside the parish hall; a retractable sound-proof window closure; a larger air-conditioner; a more efficient hood system over the stove & ovens,
- Integrating & finishing the two un-finished storage rooms on the north-side of the kitchen.
The cost of the entire project is just under $200,000.
As in any home-improvements, you may wonder how are we going to pay for it?
Here’s the finance plan: Graciously, we have received a $20,000 gift from Henry Baggett’s family plus a $5,000 ECW gift from their 2017 Caravan event; both for this project. On Tuesday, May 22, 2018, the Endowment Board approved our request for a loan of $180,000 for this capital improvement. This Endowment loan will have to be repaid over 6 years, and we feel financially secure enough to make those payments with the help of our annual Endowment dividend, that goes specifically toward the major maintenance of the church.
Just for some perspective… When I speak of this amazing gift of St. Christopher’s Endowment to other clergy colleagues, they can only sigh. What a gift of sustainable growth that’s been given by parishioners who came before us in establishing an Endowment for our church and ministries! That’s a whole separate issue – but I encourage everyone to consider how your family might commit to our Planned Giving Program (Endowment) that will continue to launch future missions for the goodness of the world in Christ’s name.
Here’s the impact of the project: Starting in early June, after the last concert, we will not use the kitchen, as we start to move items out for temporary storage in preparation for construction. Construction could be as short as four-five months. Since this is happening over the summer and fall time period – the impact is minimal since the parish hall will still be available. Unfortunately, it will impact our ability to offer the use of our kitchen for three of the fall weddings already scheduled. Be aware that we will still have access to the refrigerator and freezer in the storage area on the south side, and the coffee bar and sink will go in first – so no impact to that all important “cup of joe” when you come to church.
I hope you are as excited and grateful as I am to see this improvement come together! The Kitchen Committee did an amazing job in coordinating a complicated project. They and the staff will work together as we monitor construction. Grace upon grace, God’s hand is felt as our Architect, Carter Quina, has offered his services pro-bono! More so, I am exceedingly proud of our vestry! This has been a thorough and rigorous review of multiple options for growth, to include the options for Capital Campaigns. In the end – we were 100% unanimous to address and take action in making important improvements to our church, starting with the renewal of our kitchen. There’s more to come.
In our stay at St. Christopher’s and in the world, we want to leave it in better condition than when we arrived. God willing – we will do our part!