Buildings and Grounds Ministry
Doing What Needs to be Done
This energetic Committee is responsible for maintenance and upkeep of the church, Parish Hall, Gentry House, the Red Door Thrift Shop, a garage, and two sheds. Included under this wide umbrella are landscape maintenance, routine scheduled inspections of HVAC and safety equipment, plumbing and electrical issue resolution, light carpentry, painting, roof repair and maintenance, handyman tasks, and much, much more!
Where outside contractors are needed for major repair or maintenance, the Committee researches and selects the most suitable business. Ongoing oversight of contracted work falls to the B&G Committee. The economic advantages of the Total Common Ministry model has allowed Christ Church to think of maintenance and repair at a more professional level as opposed to having to rely on parishioners. It has the resources to ensure work is done to code, when that is important. However, occasional work parties still build camaraderie in the congregation.
When asked about his long-time role as church Sexton, Dale Ramerman responded, “A building can play an important role. The church at its heart is about a community of faith . . . It’s much more difficult to have a community without a building . . . I do think a building supports community, as long as it doesn’t drag it down because it’s too expensive to maintain . . . When you have an old building like we do, it’s even more difficult. In the front northeast corner of the sanctuary is a plumb bob, and every six months I’m supposed to take a measurement to check the slant of the wall and write it in the attendance register.” As explanation, at one point in the past, internal braces were needed to bring the church back up to vertical, and Dale’s vigilance will ensure our 130-year-old building does not fall over. So far, so good!
The following are excerpts from a revealing interview conducted by Sylvia Sepulveda with the B&G Committee:
So . . . Is buildings and grounds work a ministry or a committee completing its actions? “Both,” reasoned Don Ibsen. “It’s committee work sitting here, it’s a ministry once we start the work.” Carleton Manning added, “I think it’s all ministry. We’re all in ministry together.” “It becomes more of a ministry once we age,” Don laughed.
“We’re all here for the same purpose,” Gary Anderson said. “We just divide up what we can give individually to the common good.” June Cook added, “I personally feel that relationship is what holds us together – with God, with each other, with the community at large . . . “ Geoff Holmes reflected on the best part of volunteering. “There’s real pleasure in working with another person . . . When you can take pleasure in something and you’re doing good, all the better.”
A few days later . . . at Sunday coffee-hour . . . Dale said to me, “Worshiping in a familiar place has a strong appeal to people. It’s fun to go to other places from time to time, though that’s more about curiosity. But you’re a visitor when you go. It feels different . . . I thoroughly enjoyed functioning as Sexton,” he said. “I even liked the cleaning part of it. I’d go over there every Saturday evening or early Sunday morning before Eucharist, to vacuum the carpet, straighten the chairs, dust the floors and clean out the breadcrumbs from underneath the railing.”
Because that’s what we do when we feel at home . . .