WHERE WE WORSHIP: A HOUSE OF PRAYER
I recently ran across a great line from the prophet Isaiah (56:7): “For my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.”
There are two main reasons I like the line. The first is that Isaiah clearly supports wide ranging hospitality. That works for me. And it certainly fits with St. Matt’s tradition of hospitality to all peoples.
The other reason is more prosaic. It’s that the bricks, mortar, and other concrete aspects of our house of prayer need constant attention. Buildings are expensive. We have to take care of them, however, so that we can take care of people.
I see our two main capital needs in 2023 as (a) replacement of the flat roof of the 1928 (north end) portion of our school building; and (b) replacement of the 1970s-era electrical panels in the boiler room of the church.
We had originally hoped to work on the school roof last year, in conjunction with the smaller roof projects on the Parish Center and church building. However, we didn’t have financing in place. For projects of this size (c. $250-300 thousand), we work with experts from Catholic Finance Corporation (CFC). That’s how the parish was able in 2016 to install an elevator in the school building ($800 thousand) and replace aging boilers in the church ($200 thousand). We took out loans, and we’re paying them off on schedule.
As for the electric panel in the church, a preliminary estimate is $150-200 thousand. That means we’re in the neighborhood of $500 thousand in capital expenditures this year. (Insert gasp here.) How will we do this?
The answer is multi-part: through prayer, the continued generosity of St. Matt’s supporters, and financial assistance from CFC. I’ll expand on all of these in the coming weeks, as we learn more about each step of the process.
In the meantime, I ask for your continued support in prayer. There’s an additional step I ask everyone to consider: contributing to our St. Matt’s Capital Needs Fund. You might have noticed a new monthly envelope to that effect. Feel free to use that.
Alternatively, let me know if you’d like to set up a regular Electronic Funds Transaction (EFT) dedicated to our capital needs. Email me or call the office for more information.
Thank you for your support, and have a great week!