Epiphany Building Update

February 2017 Construction Update

Here we are half way through February and construction continues. We thought you’d like an update of what’s happened:

-Work continues on the sanctuary and narthex. One of the many things happening this week is that we’ve had people installing some beautiful hardwood flooring in the chancel (altar and pulpit) and choir areas. They’ve put the wood down and now are sanding and staining the floors.

-Pastor Dave, Pastor Russell, Suzie, Julie, and Martha will be moving back to a renovated administration wing February 21. A couple of notes related to that:
-If you have a meeting in the Administration Wing or need to stop by (we always love visitors), the only exterior door that will be open will be conference room door on the 1604 side of the church property. The Narthex is off limits until construction is completed.

-Pastor Russell and Suzie have switched offices. This is because Julie and Martha’s office will be moving once the Gazebo and new offices are completed later this spring.

-The Fire Marshall has not given us clearance to occupy the old nursery until construction is completed on the gazebo and new office spaces later this spring.

-Construction has re-started on the gazebo and new office spaces. I’ll have another post about this tomorrow, but this is a very good thing that happened and will help us as we move towards completing this building.

Finally, here are some pictures:

When you come to anything in the administration wing, please use this entrance until construction is over.  The narthex doors will be locked because it is a construction zone and the gazebo area will also be under construction.

Notice the new tile and paint in the hallway.  (Also notice that the doors that exit to the narthex have the “No Exit signs.”)

The restrooms have been renovated.  We had to make some changes in the restrooms because of the Americans with Disabilities Act.  When you walk into each restroom you’ll notice new tile on the floor, new sinks and counter tops, and new bathroom stall doors.

Here’s a picture of the conference room.  You’ll notice the new carpet throughout the administration wing.

This is a picture of a stairwell next to the church office.  You’ll notice we have new lighting and that the stairwells are now open to the narthex.  We want to do what we can to let people know that we have a balcony that is available for seating.

Here’s a picture of the sanded floors for the chancel (altar and pulpit) and choir areas.  They have yet to be stained.

Here’s a picture of the interior of the new organ console.  If you go to the back of the Family Life Center, you’ll see the roll top down on it.  But here’s what will be coming into our sanctuary later this year.  We’ll have more information about the organ a little later in the year.

More to come tomorrow…

Pastor Russell

Advent Building Update

There’s a lot happening on the building front, so here goes!!!

1. If you were up here on Tuesday morning, you know that there were lots of trucks and people in the parking lot in front of Church #3. That’s because they were busy paving the parking lot! They also paved part of the lower parking lot next to Cemetery #2.

Before we start using the parking lot in front of Church #3, we need to practice a few more days of the Advent discipline of patience. We will NOT be able to use that parking lot until next week. We will make sure to tell you when it’s ok to start parking there.

2. The landscapers have been busy around the parking lot area planting trees, plants, and grass. It looks great.

3. The interior of the sanctuary is coming along nicely. Here’s a picture of what has been done.

A few details:
-The stained glass window is still being reworked and will be installed at a later date.
-The area with all the pieces of wood is where the pastors and musicians will go. The choirs and praise team go towards the back wall on risers, while the irregular shaped front is where the altar, pulpit, and other church furnishings will go.
-There is new lighting in the sanctuary. Each of these pendants uses approximately 90% less light than what we had in the sanctuary, puts out no heat, and will last 20 years before they will need to be changed.
-There is also track lighting that will be used to accent the music and chancel areas.
-The sacristy has been redesigned. The door to it is on the left side of the picture.
-The large open areas to the left and right of the large stained glass window are for the new pipe organ.

Here’s a time lapse video of the last month or so.

4. New lighting has been installed in the narthex area. Each of these lights are much more energy efficient than the old fixtures and will save us money in the long run. Here’s a picture.
A few details:
-The wall is flattened and there is less glass than before the remodel. Both of these changes will improve acoustics in the sanctuary.
-We are currently working on plans to broadcast the worship service in the narthex using a closed circuit system, so people that are in the narthex will be able to see and hear the worship service.

5. The office area is close to being finished. The staff plans on moving back into their offices after the first of the year. When we have an official clearance to move back, we’ll let you know because we’ll need some help with the moving.

6. Since we are doing remodeling, we have to meet current building codes. This means that we had to make some necessary changes to our restrooms to meet the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards.
7. The Building Team is currently getting bids to complete a part of the education building. Because of this congregation’s generosity and because of our contractor’s wise stewardship, we believe we have enough to enclose the gazebo and complete three offices. Our contractor and architects are working hard to determine if that is the case. Having these offices will provide us with 4 additional classroom spaces in the FLC and will give us a beautiful entrance on the 1604 side.

Onward with the adventure!!

Pastor Russell

A picture of the sanctuary from the balcony, December 2016.

This Week at Zion…

Here’s a visual update on what’s been happening since we last posted:

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Limestone is going back up!!  This is from the south side of the sanctuary (closest to Cemetery 2.)  Right now the stone masons are currently working on the south and west sides (the side facing Leslie Road).

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The south parking lot exit from Leslie Road is open.  While the upper parking lots remains closed, the lower parking lot near Cemetery 2 is open.

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This is a picture of workers installing the fire sprinkler system in the sanctuary that we are now required to have.

 

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A few things to notice about this shot of the sanctuary from the balcony:

-At the bottom of the picture is the new location of the sound booth.  One of the acoustical issues we had was that the sound booth was in a difficult place to judge the acoustics of the room.  This change in location will help the sound team with figuring out how much to amplify the room.

-The large stained glass window is still being worked on and will be reinstalled at a later date.

-You can begin to see how the shape of the room will be different when we get back into the sanctuary.  This will also help improve the acoustics of the sanctuary.

-The trapezoids on both sides of the sanctuary will be built up over the next several months.  That will be where the pipes for our new pipe organ will be residing.

 

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We heard several comments about the cemeteries being in need of mowing.   Since several of you asked what was going on, we thought we’d let you know.

If you live in the San Antonio area, you might know that we’ve had nearly double the rain we usually have.  That’s been great for recharging the Edwards Aquifer but it also means that grass grows pretty quickly.  We noticed that the cemetery was in need of mowing and we called the company that we contract with and they have been very busy cutting the grass of quickly growing properties across the city.  The rain caused them to be backed up with all their other work, followed by the Labor Day Holiday, it took a little bit of time to get done.  They weren’t able to come out any earlier than our normal scheduled time, but they did come out on time.

 

God’s Work at Zion

One of the joys of being a pastor is seeing signs of God’s goodness in lots of different places.  I thought I’d share some signs of God’s Spirit stirring here at Zion over the last few weeks.

-We’ve met our challenge grant!!  As was announced in worship last week, we had a family step forward with a generous gift to challenge the people of Zion to help meet some major unexpected expenses with our building.  We were able to collect over $156,000 (with more pledged on the way!) in a little over a month.  $150,000 of that will be matched through the challenge grant.  It looks like by the time the rest of the pledges come in, we will have collected around $325,000.  Thanks be to God!!!

-Last Sunday children in grades 2-5 assembled 210 school kits for children throughout the world in need.  Their kits, along with other congregations, will be sent to Lutheran World Relief.

-Our Sunday School is off to a great start.  Our education director, Karen Stein, is working with the teachers who help form faith in the lives of the littlest disciples.

-Our Blessed Change ministry sent $319 to our partners at Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, Ohio in honor of our former vicar, Pastor Emily Ebert, who was recently ordained and called to serve a congregation in the Buffalo, NY area.

-This Saturday we have a group of 28 people heading downtown to help feed the homeless with Taking it to the Streets.  They will cook the food here at Zion and then feed anyone that is hungry.  Thanks to Tim Tiemann for heading up this important ministry!

-Next weekend we have a group of people going to help build a house for Habitat for Humanity.  We’re working with other Lutheran congregations in the area on this house.  We also have a group of volunteers that are feeding the crew on Saturday.

-We will have the bloodmobile here on Sunday.

-Third Graders are receiving Bibles this Sunday, September 11, as a way of Zion fulling baptismal promises to them. Three year olds have been given Story Bibles in their classroom as a way to introduce the Bible to them. They hear stories from these Bibles in their classroom.

-Our youth minister, Travis Baker, is having a confirmation ministry kick off this Sunday.  We give God thanks for the adults that spend their Sunday evenings with these youth as they go through this important part of their faith journey.

-Our musical groups have started back after a summer break.  We thank God for the people that use their musical gifts to praise the Risen Christ in worship!  It’s not too late to jump into one of our music groups.  For more info, contact Rob Mikulski.

-We recently commissioned a new Stephen Leader for our Stephen Ministry.  Several people in our congregation are considering becoming a Stephen Minister.  If you’d like to have more information about this ministry, contact Pastor Russell.

We are a blessed church!  God is doing some great things through this congregation.

In thankfulness for our partnership,

Pastor Russell

A Visual Update, Part 2

Yesterday we shared a visual building update.  Today we continue with two more pictures courtesy of John Dill, our organ builder.

Organ 2 picture

Our organ’s console is being built in Ohio.  Here’s a picture of the front of the organ.   Notice there are three keyboards that Rob can play.  Each of the round holes to the left and right of the keyboards will be filled with knobs called stops.  Each stop produces different sounds.  When an organist puts different stops together, s/he can create different textures to help with the music.

Console Part 1

Here’s the back side of the console.  When it arrives to Zion, it will have a wood cover over it and a lot more mechanical and electric parts.

July 28 Update

It’s been a while since we’ve posted anything on the blog about what’s happening at Zion with our construction. Here are the highlights:
-The demolition on Church #3 and the administration wing is now over. The contractor is starting to put up exterior waterproofing material called Tyvek and the limestone will be going up soon.
-The sanctuary and administration wing of Church #3 are now being renovated and are off limits. The construction workers are currently working on installing a fire sprinkler system and remodeling the restrooms to meet current building codes.
-The pastors, Suzie, and Martha have moved their offices to the Fellowship Hall for the next two months. Julie Rode-Hickey will be working from home and will be in the church office on an as needed basis. If you need to stop by the church office during the day, please come to the Fellowship Hall.
-Work continues on the parking lot in front of Church #3. We appreciate how patient the congregation has been with the parking lot.
-Last Thursday we fed the construction crew in the FLC. It was a great way to say thank you to a group of people that don’t get all that much recognition. Thanks to everyone who came out to help feed and serve the crew, they appreciated it.
Pipe Organ Update
Our organ builder, John Dill, is currently in Midland removing some pipes from the organ that will be installed in the sanctuary. Yesterday in staff meeting, we heard a fun story we wanted to share.

Removing pipes from a pipe organ is a difficult job. Pipes in a pipe organ are a variety of weights and lengths, but a good average for each rank (i.e. a set of pipes for a particular sound) is that it weighs around 600 pounds. Once installed, our organ’s pipes will weigh around 20,000 pounds.

A local high school football team heard that Mr. Dill was in Midland removing pipes. They were interested to see how a pipe organ gets removed and stopped by to see if they could help. Mr. Dill was more than glad to accept their help because the pipes can be as long as 16 feet and can be very heavy. So they formed an assembly line to pass each of the pipes down the line and put them in boxes for transport to San Antonio. At the end of the day, they had so much fun doing this; they asked if they could come back another time to help! Mr. Dill was more than happy to have them come back and because of their help, we will have a large shipment of pipes arriving to Zion tomorrow morning around 9:30 am.

This is where you can help. If you have a flexible schedule, we could certainly use a few people to help unload these pipes and put them in storage. We will have a group of people that will be meeting in Church #2 parking lot at 9:30. Come and stay for as long as you can and we’ll be happy to put you to work! For more information, contact music director (and organ transplant coordinator) Rob Mikulski.

Building Update

I thought I’d put together a brief update of what’s been happening with our construction:

-Penelope the Organ
To begin with I’d like to show a video from the Christ Cathedral in California after the Roman Catholic Church purchased that property from the Crystal Cathedral.

Our organ project isn’t nearly as large, but you can begin to see from the video how time consuming a project like this can be.

The pipe organ in Church #3, which was nicknamed Penelope, was removed from the sanctuary last week. It was a fascinating process to watch from start to finish. Each of the individual pipes had to be carefully removed, labeled, wrapped, and then put in boxes for transportation to the Dallas area. There are also parts on the inside of the pipe organ made of various types of wood that are made with various types of wood that are bulky and heavy that had to be removed and stored.

After a very full week of work, the final pieces of the pipe organ were removed from the sanctuary on Friday afternoon.

A lot of people have asked – what’s going to happen to Penelope?  If we were going to continue to use her in the sanctuary, she was going to need some significant repair work.  Rather than repairing Penelope, our organ builder took parts of Penelope so they can be re-purposed for future pipe organs throughout the country.

-All The Pews that Fit
Before major construction begins, the pews in the sanctuary have to be removed during construction. So here’s a quick run-down of what’s happened:
1. When the pews were installed, they were anchored into the floor. They had to be removed from the floor.
2. The longer pews in the sanctuary are actually two pieces joined together. They were taken apart.
3. In preparation for moving, the pews were wrapped in plastic to protect them as they’re stored during construction.

After all of that, the pews are being removed from the Sanctuary Wednesday and will be in storage during the renovation and it will be time for some selected demolition in the sanctuary.

-Moving Dirt…
Work on the education building continues…

Last week several parking spaces on the 1604 side were fenced off. There have been lots of loads of dirt dumped on our property that form the base for the new education building. The dirt has been moved around, packed, and will continue to be formed into a solid foundation for this building.  If you come up to the church campus during the day, you’ll probably hear the beeps and other sounds of heavy construction equipment like bulldozers.

-Finally
As always, we’re thankful for the ways in which this community of faith embodies generosity and adventure.  I invite you to keep our building team, staff, and construction crew in prayer.

Getting Ready For Sunday

Before we begin, let us pray.

O God, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown. Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go, but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
-A prayer from Evangelical Lutheran Worship

This Sunday marks an important shift for 2016 at Zion – we are moving down to the Family Life Center for most of the year while our sanctuary is remodeled. This past Sunday we said goodbye for a little while to Church 3 and now it’s time for the adventure to continue.

Before we continue, I want to thank the 60 or so people that helped move us out of the sanctuary this past Sunday. Their work made a major difference! We’ve also had several other projects during the week that others have done to help with this transition. Thank you for your generosity!

Now onto Sunday….
When you pull into the parking lot, you’ll notice we have moved some handicap parking spaces over by the Fellowship Hall. If you are more able-bodied, please reserve better parking spaces for the elderly, families with small children, and those who have mobility issues closer to the FLC.

Also, please don’t park in the loop next to the Family Life Center. That is for people to drop off people and functions much like our port cochere (the covered driveway by the sanctuary) did when we were in Church 3.

Starting at 8:00 we will have some coffee on in Room 101. There are some comfy chairs, tables, and we think it will be a really neat space to visit before or after worship. Come on in and visit!

There are three entrances to the worship space. You can enter through Room 101, the doors next to Room 101, or the doors facing Braun Road (the doors closest to the Coke machine). On days when the weather isn’t bad, we’ve asked our ushers to be outside to greet people.

The layout of the worship space is similar to the sanctuary. You’ll notice some chairs with arms through out the sanctuary. If at all possible, please reserve these chairs for people who need a little more help getting up out of a chair.

As a reminder, the nursery has temporarily moved to the Fellowship Hall. If you need to have your child cared by our awesome nursery staff, enter through the doors facing Leslie Road.

If you see something that we’ve missed or something that could make things run a bit smoother while we are worshipping in the FLC, let one of the pastors know and we will see what we can do.

Here are some common questions we’ve been asked as we prepare for this adventure:
How long will we be worshipping in the FLC?
We will return to the sanctuary at sometime in Fall 2016. We will have an exact date once we are closer to construction being completed.

If I have items to donate to CAM or somewhere else, where do they go?
There is a plant on the main floor of the FLC with a sign that says, “Donation Station.”

Because the pews aren’t in there, I’m assuming we won’t have Bibles, hymnals, or other papers and envelopes in our seats?
That’s correct. Our bulletin will include hymns and songs that weren’t previously in there.

If I forgot my offering envelope or want to make a special donation on Sunday for a special cause, what do I do?
You can find envelopes that were in the pews at the Welcome Center.

What about our theatre ministry? How will that work?
2016 won’t be quite the same as years past, but there are some really neat things planned. Stay tuned!

One final thought:
We are on an adventure together. We have tried very hard to do as much as we can to make this transition as smooth as possible. Thanks be to God for your commitment to the mission and ministry of Zion. It has been a joy to be a part of this time in our church’s history.

The Move Begins!

Moving time is coming soon!  In fact, we’ve already started moving some small items into their temporary locations, but the first big items we moved happened this Tuesday night.  Our handbell choir moved all their items from the balcony to their temporary home in the Family Life Center.  Thanks to Dave Thamm and the handbell players for doing that!

The first week of January is going to be a very busy week here at Zion.  At we finish celebrating the 12 Days of Christmas (which the church has always said START on December 25), we will be moving everything from the balcony, narthex, sanctuary floor, sacristy, attic spaces, and music apse so the renovations in that part of the building can begin in early 2016.  Please mark your calendars for Sunday, January 3 at 2:00.

This is a massive project and it will involve us packing up everything that isn’t bolted down in the sanctuary and we really need your help to make this happen.

See you in worship!*

-Pastor Russell

*Don’t forget about our new worship schedule that starts on December 27.
9:00 – Worship
10:15 – Education
11:15 – Worship