Sunday, May 29, 2016

Changes are starting to get visible

We have made a lot of changes around the church building in the last year:
  • Revamped and upgraded electric system.
  • New kitchen stove
  • New roof on the sanctuary
  • Several new doors
A problem, though, is that all of these changes are invisible. Few people go into the furnace room to gaze at (and rejoice in) the new fuse box, and the new roof is exactly the same color as the old one. Even the next big expense item, painting the church exterior, will be invisible because we're having it done in exactly the same brown color as previously. If you don't spend much time in the kitchen, you don't remember the fire-hazard monster that was our previous stove, so you might not even notice that we have a new one. (Fittingly, the old one's name was Vulcan, the Roman god of fire and volcanos.) People who are sensitive to music will probably realize that the new organ is an enormous improvement, but the new one looks pretty much the same as the previous one (and our organists got good at working around the problems of the old one, so a casual listener did not realize that our unique sound came from the organ's inability to play certain notes).

All that is about to change.

The first small visible change is new signs pointing to the church entrance. On Grubby Sunday, the church doors will get a coat of red paint. The big visible change, though, will be the new landscaping, which is scheduled to start appearing this week. Brandon Nardo is doing the work, and his design will give us a continual change of color so there is really no "dead" season for our plantings.

For the future

The Planting for Tomorrow money that is coming in will go toward the paint and the landscaping, but we need to pay attention (and soon) to the parking lot and the floor in the Parish Hall. Once again, unspectacular—we're trying to catch up to years of deferred maintenance.

But why?

Some of the repairs have been very pragmatic. If you want to keep a wooden building, you have to deal with fire hazards (such as the wiring and the stove) and weather hazards (which explains our need for paint and roofing).

There's more, though. If you visit a restaurant that a friend recommended and the place is shabby, with holes in the parking lot and a floor that is falling apart, you might not want to come back. And if the entrance is difficult to find and intimidating, you might not even go in at all. The Vestry is thinking of these things and wants to make St. Matthew's a more pleasant, inviting place.