As many of you have heard, there was a fire in our church building last night and there has already been an awesome outpouring of love and concern from people both within and outside the congregation. Thank you all for your love and your prayers and your offers to help! Once we know how you can help, we will try to make that known.
We WILL worship at the church building on Sunday at 10am.
The Fire Inspector has finished up his investigation and we are in communication now with our insurance company regarding any additional investigating that may or may not need to be done. At this time, there are simply a lot of variables at play and it is difficult to answer many of the questions that are being asked because we simply do not have definitive answers yet.
It is very difficult to see beyond the next day or two, but in the meantime, as we continue to make plans and make decisions about the days and weeks ahead, I intend to continue to update this post with any pertinent information as it becomes clear.
Right now, here is what we know:
Again, thank you all for the generous outpouring of concern! Your prayers and willingness to help when the time comes is very much appreciated!
UPDATE (7:30pm Friday): It's amazing what can be done on one day! There have been so many professional people here working to clean up floors, remove water, board up windows, and so much more. We are grateful for the work that has already been done and it makes worshipping in the sanctuary on Sunday seem feasible.
We've learned a lot over the course of the day. It seems like it will take several months (maybe three?) to completely restore things but the folks who will be doing the majority of work are committed to keeping it available to us for regular use during this time (as opposed to shutting down all operations for 4-5 weeks). We consider this a blessing for sure!
To be sure, during reconstruction, the building will be less available than is normal. We will put together a calendar of regularly scheduled events for which access to the building is required, but we will ask that people try to stay out of the way of the work it is being done and only make plans to be here if you are here for a scheduled meeting or service or event.
Many people have asked how they can help. Here is one of the more immediate options. I could use some help Saturday evening between 6:30-8:00pm to reset up the sanctuary for worship. I would probably only take 45 minutes to an hour for a team of 5-6 people . We need to move some pews and other furniture and instruments around and test the sound system to see if it still works and if not, move the portable system in from the youth room. The Samoan church that rents our facility will be using the narthex at that time, but we can work freely in the sanctuary then. If you are available to help with that, text or call Phil Cannon.
Below are a few photos taken throughout the day.
UPDATE (Wednesday, December 23):
Things at the church facility continue to progress. The remediation phase has come to an end and now we are entering the reconstruction phase of things to get us back to where we were before the fire occurred. If you were here on Sunday, you saw that the stage ceiling had been covered over with plastic and that there was a support post installed to add strength to the trusses that were compromised while putting out the fire. In addition, there is a glue-lam support on the outside of the roof spanning three trusses to evenly share and distribute the weight of the roof. There is now drywall where most of that plastic was and you can see how things are coming along.
The whole project is being overseen by the same folks who recently assisted Community Covenant Church is Eagle River with their building damage and insurance claim associated with some pretty serious flooding that happened there. It is nice to work with people familiar with our carrier (it is the same carrier) and who have recently been through this process and who come with the recommendation of our sister church.
It is also nice to work with people who want to help us keep the building operable so that we are not displaced during the reconstruction and who are committed to our desire to be able to function here throughout the process.
Tomorrow night's Christmas Eve service is at 6PM and we'd be very glad to have you join us! Merry Christmas!
We hope we'll have many contributors from our congregation. I imagine we will have regular and occasional contributors. If you'd like to contribute a poem, a photo, a devotion or anything that you believe enhances our life together, please contact Pastor Criss to learn about posting.