Tuesday, September 20, 2016

How we spent that money

We have seen a lot of changes around the St. Matthew's building, much of it paid for by Capital Campaign money. Here's a list of what we have done recently, and how we paid for it.

Paid with money we contributed to the Capital Campaign

  • New kitchen stove
  • Rewiring to improve safety
  • Exterior door replacement (two of them)
  • New roof
  • Painting half the church exterior

Paid with money from memorial contributions

  • Altar candles (this was a while back)
  • New church organ
  • Signs directing people to our front door

Paid with specially designated money

  • Parking lot repair (David Eisel has been collecting money from people who park here to watch the football games. This fund covered the cost of the first repair cycle.)

Paid from savings

  • General landscaping

Yet to do

We are about halfway through the five-year cycle of the Capital Campaign, and contributions continue to come in. Two more building improvement projects need our attention:
  • Parish Hall floor (Currently it is made of disintegrating asbestos tile. We need to fix that.)
  • Second phase of parking lot repair (The parking lot had gotten really bad, and we need to follow up on this year's patch with a more permanent fix.)
  • Remainder of the exterior painting

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Virginia Bemis working toward becoming a Spiritual Director

Virginia Bemis has just completed the first year of a two-year licensing program in spiritual direction at John Carroll University in Cleveland. She will begin her second year in September. After certification, she plans on starting a spiritual direction practice.

Virginia describes spiritual direction as
training to listen to what God is saying in your life. It's growing your prayer life. It's discovering yourself and how you related to God. It's not psychotherapy, and it's not being told what to do. Instead, you start on a journey, along with a guide, to find out more about how you and God speak to each other at this point in your life. This guide is known as a spiritual director and is sometimes described as a personal trainer for your spiritual life.
The first year of the licensing program consisted of theological study, including the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola. The second year will combine theological study with internship. Virginia will work with directees under the guidance of an experienced supervisor, and will then be eligible for certification.

The University offers the licensing program through its Institute of Ignatian Spirituality.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Website not down

Apparently, Google has been refusing to index our church's main website for some time now. (I don't often search for the name of our church, but I should.)

The church and the website are still going, and I have cut the site down to very simple content in hopes that I can get back in Google's good graces, which is why you will not see any pictures or much of anything else fancy there. The bad news is that Google typically takes six weeks to index a site, so if my fixes didn't work, I will not know until the end of October. And if the site still has problems, there is no really good way to find out. The good news is that people do keep finding out Facebook page and the church website will appear if they follow the link.

If you want to see what the new (and very simple) home page looks like, just follow the link to St. Matthew's home page.

Later news:

The church site might have been hacked. Google simply refused to do anything with us, so I went through all the arcane little items and deleted the ones that didn't make any sense. Miracle! Google now can see the site!

We might have some action in the near future!

Still later news (September 9):

Aside from the hacking, another problem with the website is that I used fairly old-fashioned web code to do such things as inserting pictures and specifying where things would actually appear. Google did not love me for that. The home page is now done according to the new style, and the three following pages will soon be revised too.

If you type "Church Ashland Ohio" into Google, we are now on the third page of results. (Too far down in my opinion, but we are getting closer!)

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Home from the hospital

William Bates (Mary Jo's dad) and Kasey Donnovan both hope to come home from Kingston next week. I'm sure they both would appreciate a card.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Mike McKinley is home — again

Mike has had a rough time for the last month, but he is finally home from hospital and rehabilitation, etc. He feels much better now. Apparently his heart problems have been sneaking up on him for a while now. Anyhow, he's carrying a pacemaker and a defibrillator.

He's very much back in the leadership of the Vestry. On his second day home, he arranged for a repair to one of the exit doors, and is making plans for discussing the budget with Dean.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Shirlene is home

Shirlene Reed's gallbladder surgery was successful. She is home now.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Organ Dedication

Today the Norma Elizabeth McKinley organ was dedicated with a recital by guest organist David Powers. We had a large crowd that included members of our own parish and a lot of old friends. Most stayed for quite a while at the reception that followed the dedication ceremony.

Mike McKinley, who generously donated the organ in memory of his wife, was unable to attend because of health problems, but the family was represented by his son and daughter-in-law.

The organ is an electronic organ, but if you are imagining something that sounds fake, the recital was quite a surprise. The first thing we heard were chimes. Later in the recital, Powers showed off the clarinet and harpsichord voices. Modern electronic organs get their voices by taking digital samples of musical instruments and storing them, so when the organist calls for a particular sound, it is not a synthetic guess. It is an actual representation of a particular harpsichord. It was all very impressive.