Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Tear down the Walls!

I got a call from the renovations committee the other day wanting to schedule a time for a personal interview about the planned destruction/reconstruction of the Episcopal Church of Our Saviour. The Pewster does not do personal interviews, nor can I take time out from my busy schedule to meet with yet another paid consultant about this project. I offered to meet at night, but there are no after hours consultations available. Therefore, the interview process will be biased towards persons who have idle time during the day. I propose that since these persons may not be the donor pool for the 1+ million dollars requested, the results of this survey will not provide an accurate assessment. My suggestion of course is to do a free web based survey using the following questions: (feel free to add more)
1. Are you willing to pay for a new roof for the parish hall every 7 years since that seems to be what we are averaging?
2. Would you be in favor of simply replacing the peeling paneling and worn carpet?
3. Now that the breezy porticoes have been replaced with "historically accurate" porticoes, do
we still need them?
4. Will you continue to contribute if you or your parish leaves TEC?
5. Is there anything better we could do with all that money?


  1. Agree. I have consistently requested a web survey, a mail survey or, God help us, even another all-parish meeting on a Sunday, simply to get the maximum possible participation. My suggestions have gone unanswered. My suspicion is that the parish definitely supports all the deferred maintenance...carpets, wall paneling, etc. But there may be resistance to the proposal to lower the altar, to eliminate the first few rows of pews or to tear out the existing communion rail and replace it with a "more modern" circular model. Do we really need (and are we willing to pay for pay for) a bell in the tower or a covered front porch? All this should be openly and fully discussed--not in the hallowed (and secret) confines of a committee meeting or vestry meeting, but in an open parish-wide meeting. Because vestry and committee minutes are not published in the ACORN at all, and are not posted on the bulletin board until a month after the meeting, many of the more egregious ideas make it into the proposal and we never see/hear about them until we are asked to pay for them. Is it any wonder that fourth quarter 2006 and year-to-date 2007 contributions are off substantially? And, if regular contributions are off, is this really a good time to start a major capital campaign?