Dear Friends in Christ,
Grace and peace to you in the name of the Triune God: Our Refuge, Truth, and Helper!
We continue living in a time of ongoing disruption in our world due to COVID-19 but are thankful for the increasing signs of improvement due to vaccinations and precautions. As the days progress, we are thankful for the way our faith community is adapting ministry for this new era! We are excited to announce that beginning on Sunday, June 13th we will have indoor, in-person services in the Fellowship Hall. These services will also be livestreamed as Worship Where You Are to our YouTube Channel for those unable or not ready to attend in person yet.
You may be asking, “Why aren’t we worshiping in the Sanctuary yet then?” At this point that is due less to health concerns than to the water damage our campus suffered during the February winter storm that swept across Texas and left our buildings without power for more than 3 days straight. We experienced significant damage to the CDC, Sanctuary, and Parlor on the main level as well as the Choir and Youth Room on the lower level and the exterior elevator. Here is a glimpse of the resulting damage:
It is difficult to see these sacred and special spaces for worship, gathering, and ministry in this state, but there is a silver lining! Thanks to the work of our Rebuilding Task Force, we are planning to restore and improve these spaces for our ministry in the years ahead! Here is a brief glance at the scope of work:
Rebuilding & Remodeling Improvements
> Sanctuary Lighting and Sound Upgrade
The Lighting Project was already planned & gifts received to cover this cost.
The Sound Project has been on the Council’s list of potential needs for 3 years.
This upgrade will improve in-person & online worship experiences.
> Updating & Freshening “Facelift”
New Tile (from Sanctuary to Elevator Hallway), Paint, and Décor
> Improved Layout & Upgraded Sacristy & Music Storage
> Enlarging Parlor and Connecting to Back Deck
- Choir Room
> Increased Space and Improved Layout
- Youth Room
> Improved Layout & Storage
> Added Shower and Kitchenette for visiting youth groups
> Retrofitting Single Doors to Double Doors for Emergency Exiting
> Outdoor Handrails to Sanctuary/Narthex and Office Doors
> Improved Wheelchair Accessibility & Seating in Sanctuary
> Outdoor Elevator Repair/Replacement
Now you may be asking yourself, “When will all this be completed?” Our first priority is the Sanctuary so that we can regather for worship in that space as soon as possible both because it allows for larger gatherings when social distancing and because we have missed being there this past 14 months. Here is a rough timeline:
Phase 1: Sanctuary, Parlor and Upstairs Hallway
Estimated Completion: Mid-August – Early September
Phase 2: Lower Level Choir Room, Youth Room & Bathrooms
Estimated Completion: October – November
Now you may be asking yourself, “How will we pay for such a large project?” We are thankful to the work of members past and present who coordinate good insurance coverage. Here is a rough estimate to date:
- Estimated Funds from Insurance: $485,000
- Cost of Water Remediation Already Paid by Insurance: $105,000
- Estimated Additional Funds from Congregation: Still to be determined
Since we have only received the insurance estimate and process for reimbursement this past week, we are still determining additional funds the rebuilding project might require from the congregation. Rest assured we will work closely with our insurance provider to attain maximum coverage and with our Rebuilding Task Force and members to be good stewards of the funds received. We will update the congregation as soon as we have further information to share on the overall rebuilding cost as well as our progress.
Finally you may be asking yourself, “What can I do?” We are thankful for the ways many members have already pitched in to move and rescue contents, sort items for storage, wrap pews for protection, and create inventory documentation. There may be additional work that members can do to mitigate our costs. You can also continue your prayers for our TLLC Staff, Council, Board of Ministries, Reopening Task Force, and Rebuilding Task Force as well as our CDC Staff and Board. You can contact Pastor Danielle or Geoff Roach about providing designated financial support as needed.
As we move through the Season of Pentecost into the Summer, we give thanks for the way God’s life-giving Spirit is at work in our ministry through this difficult time and we look forward to finding new and innovative ways to gather in groups small and large, indoors and outdoors, in-person and online so that together we can Form Faith from Roots to Fruit in the years ahead!