August Building Update

We’re getting closer to being finished!

Here’s the latest scoop on what’s happening at Zion with our construction and building projects:

-Julie and Martha have begun moving their office to the new main office!  There are now two entrances to the church offices during the week.  The first is on the 1604 side, east of the sanctuary.  The second entrance is through the gazebo.  In the next few days, the door that has been our main entrance (off the conference room) will be locked.

Leslie Road Office Entrance.

 

1604 Office Entrance

We’ve got some of our stuff in the new offices, but not all of it.  All the office supplies that were in the old main office have to move down the hall into the new office space, so it’s going to take some time to get things set up in the new space as Julie and Martha move and keep the day-to-day operations running at Zion.

(An aside:  Several people have asked, “what will happen to the old main office?”  Great question!  First, our campus minister, Tia Mathre-Adams, will have a part of the room as her office.  The other part of the room will be used as a space for classes and other meetings.)

-In the sanctuary, work continues.  Our organ builder, John Dill, and his crew worked very hard last week.  There is a large blower motor that provides wind to the pipes so they can “breathe.”  The next step is starting today.  John and his crew are putting a whole lot of pipes up in the organ chambers.  After the pipes have been installed, it will take some time to do some fine tuning.

Across the street, we’re also doing some sprucing up and changes:

-In our education building, Karen Stein is working with several volunteers to spruce up the classrooms.  While our eventual goal is to move all our education classes across the street into our new building, we want to do what we can to make our current classrooms as inviting as possible.  If you’ve not been in the classrooms behind Churches 1 and 2, check it out.

-Later this fall Travis Baker will be working with a group of volunteers to do some work on Church 2.  We are excited to use this space as a youth space and want to do what we can to make it a better space for youth ministry.

-After years of making major repairs and fixes to the modular classrooms next to Church 1, it is time to say goodbye to the modular classrooms.  We have listed them on Craigslist in the hopes that someone could use them.  If you know anyone that could use something like this, let them know.

It’s an exciting time here at Zion.  We give God thanks for your continued support in this adventure!

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

Christmas Eve Hospitality

Christmas Eve is our most attended worship service of the year.  One of the most important things we can do is to show hospitality and welcome to everyone that comes through our doors to worship the Christ child.

We invite you to greet everyone that you come in contact with, not just the people you know.  While we are sure our ushers will do a great job of welcoming people on Christmas Eve, your welcoming others matters.  All Christians have a calling to be hospitable to others as Jesus has welcomed us.

Here are six things to expect on Christmas Eve as it relates to hospitality:

  1. Expect for things to be crowded. If past trends hold true, we will have lots of people here, especially at the earlier worship services.  That’s a wonderful thing!  But it also means that you could very well need to scoot down a seat or two to help make sure everyone fits into the Family Life Center.  With our limited parking because of construction, it might mean that you have a little bit more of a walk than a normal Sunday morning.   Look at it as the wonderful thing that it is!  God is bringing together all of these people to worship Jesus.
  1. Expect for lots of children to be in worship. Some of those children might be squirmy and move around.  Welcome them!  Remember, Jesus holds children up as model citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven, so their presence here is a very good thing!
  1. Expect to see people that you don’t normally see. Some people talk disparagingly about people and families that are present only for Christmas and Easter.  Don’t ever chide anyone for coming to worship.  Let them know that you’re glad they’re here and that they’re always welcome here.  God might just use your warm welcome to bring them back to more frequent worship attendance.
  1. Expect to sit near someone who isn’t familiar with our worship service. If they are looking lost, gently ask if you can help them find where we are in the bulletin.  The pastors will announce that all are welcome to the Lord’s Table, but there might be some hesitancy when it comes to that, so you might have to let them know that when we say all are welcome, we really mean all!
  1. Expect to help people find important places like the nursery and restrooms. If you see someone that looks lost, ask if there’s something you can help them with.  If you don’t know, ask an usher or someone else that might know.
  1. Expect people to ask about our construction. Let them know what an adventure this past year has been.  Like any construction project, there have been some surprises, but we are all excited to get back into the sanctuary this coming summer.

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

Sept. 1 Building Update

Here’s a visual update on what’s happening with some of our construction.

 

Corner Stone

The limestone is starting to go back up!  We had to remove the cornerstone on Church #3 to make the necessary repairs.  It is installed and you can see the first pieces of limestone to the left and right of it.  Yay!!

Sanctuary Interior

Work continues on the sanctuary.  This is a picture from under the large stained glass in the sanctuary looking towards the balcony.  Notice how the back wall has changed significantly.  The holes in the wall are where the glass will be.  Also, notice that the back wall of the sanctuary, which was not straight, has now been straightened out.  This will add some additional seating on the main floor of the sanctuary.

 

IMG_3212

Here’s a picture of the wall between the narthex and the sanctuary.  On the left side of the picture are the center doors into the sanctuary.

IMG_3220

Here’s a picture of the narthex from the admin wing of Church #3.  You’ll notice that the wall is flat and has less glass in it.  This will help with the acoustics in the sanctuary.  I really like the niches that will be at the end of each side of the narthex.

 

Fire Sprinkler 1

One of the things we are required to do is install a fire sprinkler system throughout the whole building.  Here are the pipes for the sanctuary.  Our contractor had them painted to match the wood ceiling in the sanctuary so it will blend in with the building as much as possible.

 

Fire Sprinkler 2

Here’s another shot of the fire sprinkler in the nursery.  It’s the black pipe running through the picture.  The fire line will be covered by the ceiling tiles (except for the sprinkler head) in the rest of the building, so there was no need to paint those.

As a gentle reminder, this area is still strictly off limits during construction.  We know that a lot of you want to get into the space and see it, but it’s just not safe for us to get in there right now.

If you have any questions, you are certainly welcome to ask either of the Pastors or Don Josephson, our building team chair.

Pastor Russell

Preparing for Worship

As you prepare for worship tomorrow morning, we thought we’d share with you a little bit about our bulletin cover.  It’s a beautiful picture from the Hubble Telescope in a distant galaxy called NGC 1569.

(http://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/goddard/2016/hubble-hotbed-of-vigorous-star-formation)
This particular galaxy is interesting because it’s “busting at the seams with stars” and keeps producing stars at an astonishing speed.  So, why did we pick this picture?
In our first reading this Sunday, Abraham is talking with God and is wondering how he and his elderly wife, Sarah, will have descendants.  God tells Abraham to count the stars in the sky, if he can.  Of course, Abraham can’t and he gets God’s point that one day there will be lots of Abraham’s sons and daughters.  Because of Jesus, God raises up children of Abraham in the church.
In Abraham’s day, there was no Hubble Telescope for humans to explore the vastness of the cosmos.  So as we hear these words on Sunday, we hope you’ll think about how the stars in the universe continue to grow, just as Abraham’s descendants do.

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.

More Building Adventures! Part 2

Yesterday we shared an important post about the installation of the fire sprinkler system.  Today we want to share with you some more important information about as well as answer a few frequently asked questions.

As we said in a z-mail to the congregation yesterday, it’s now time for us to stop using the Narthex doors as our main entrance.  Please use the 1604 entrance outside the conference room.  If you require assistance (i.e. wheel chair or other assistance entering the church office), please call the church office first.

And now onto some Frequently Asked Questions.

Q. When will the parking lot in front of Church #3 be open again?
A. This is the question we are getting asked most frequently. The short answer is that it will be a couple of months. Our contractor has advised us to wait to pave the parking lot until heavy trucks are no longer needed in that parking lot. If we were to go ahead and pave the parking lot now, trucks would be coming in and out of the parking lot, potentially causing damage to the asphalt and we would have to pay to have the parking lot paved again.

Q. I wasn’t at the June 26 congregational meeting. What did we vote on?
A. We voted to approve a modified Phase I of the construction that shells in the exterior of the education building, renovates the sanctuary, and fixes the water damage to Church #3 and administration offices.  We also authorized the congregation council to secure any additional financing through Mission Investment Fund to pay for this remediation.  We are hopeful that through your generosity, we will not have to take out any additional loans.

Q. When will we get back into the sanctuary?
A.  It looks like we will get into the sanctuary in the late Spring of 2017.  As we have more information we will share that with the congregation.

Q. What’s happening to the limestone on the exterior?  I see piles of it on the ground and I thought we were re-using the limestone.
A.  Two things:

  1. We are reusing as much of the limestone as we can.  The limestone has mortar in between each piece and has to be removed with some force.  Some pieces of limestone will be cracked as they are removed, but the overwhelming majority of limestone will be reused.
  2. Just because the limestone is on the ground doesn’t mean that it won’t be reused.  Each piece of limestone has to be organized and put on a pallet, so that takes some time to do properly.

Yours in this Adventure,

prp

The Adventure Continues, Part 3

In the previous posts, we shared information about what we know about Church #3 and how that impacts the rest of the construction project. Let’s look ahead to what’s coming –

1. Scaffolding is going up around the sanctuary and administration building.  It will take several weeks for the scaffolding to go up.
2. One of the commonly asked questions is – When do we expect to be back in the sanctuary?  We expect to return to our sanctuary in late Spring 2017.  In the meantime we will continue to meet in the Family Life Center for worship.
3.  Our architect and contractor are aggressively working on finding us savings. They understand our predicament and have spent many hours working for us.
4. We are working on the financial implications on all of this. Our capital campaign team that did such a marvelous job with Connect*Give*Grow has reconvened.
5. It is important that members of this community keep their offerings to the general fund and building fund current.
6. We will have a congregational meeting on June 26, immediately after the 11:15 service (at approximately 12:30). We need you to be present for that meeting.

If you have other questions or comments, please feel free to send an email to the church office and we’ll be happy to answer them the best we can. The building team, council, and staff have committed themselves to communicating as much as they can about this.

Finally, we invite you to be in prayer during this time. We went into this trusting that “God is calling…” and we continue this trusting that God is still calling.