Monday, September 28, 2009

Opening the doors

We have now held our first Sunday worship and education in the newly rebuilt sanctuary, fellowship hall, offices and classrooms. After service, there was fellowship, plus the Worship Committee met, the stewardship campaign directors conferred on a video and the Youth Choir rehearsed.

I caught some but not all of the happy happenings in the accompanying photos.

Our music in worship included hymns "The Church's One Foundation," "Bind Us Together" and "All Creatures of Our God and King" plus the choir anthem, "Sanctify This Place."

Rose was worship leader and Liz and Deb reminded folks of the open house coming up on Saturday, Oct. 17, followed by the formal dedication of our new structure on Sunday, Oct. 18. Carolyn announced that small group meetings begin Sunday, Oct. 11, after worship to educate the congregation about this year's "Welcoming the Future" capital stewardship campaign. Sally told us there will be an all-church bible study after worship Sunday, Nov. 15, as part of the campaign.

Pastor Steve thanked not only Warren, the construction manager for our big project, but his wife, Connie, and son, Coles, for enabling Warren to work long days and most weekends on the project.

Pastor Steve's sermon topic was "The Inviting Church."

Sunday, September 27, 2009

To prepare a place

On Saturday, many congregation members gathered to prepare the sanctuary for our first Sunday worship in the new building.

Construction tools and materials, plus a scaffolding, were being stored in the room or had been moved there as the rest of the building came into use during the week. Earlier in the morning, Kendra's senior project blood drive had set up in the fellowship and entrance area. During the cleanup and move in everyone tried not to disturb that operation.

Warren got us all moving by deciding where the tools would be stored, what materials needed to be kept and what could be recycled or thrown away. He also unhooked a power line that had been loosely installed earlier in the week to see what sort of light some of the new fixtures put out -- not enough it turned out.

When that was done, Sue vacuumed. Then we began arranging the sanctuary furniture. Hank, Alida, Dan and Earl lowered the sanctuary's old folding chairs one-by-one from storage in the garage attic. Several people stacked the chairs on a cart or on handtrucks or just carried them by hand into the sanctuary.

Then, the chairs and pews were set up. Banners were hung. The lectern, communion table and sound equipment, among other things, were positioned. A piano was moved out of the way. Deb cleaned and Bob S. vacuumed again.

Once the sanctuary was set up people drifted off to do other projects they had. I was aware of a few of them. Several went to give blood. Sydney set up the nursery and supervised getting several boxes of stored Sunday School material out of the attic. I got Alida to help me move some big concrete chunks from the parking lot into my pickup, and soon Bill, Paul, Earl and Bram were helping. Bob J. worked on a door in the school offices. Dave McC. helped put together nursery furniture and trim up some of the parking lot vegetation.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Things are heating up

It's getting really close to our first service in the new building this Sunday. There's still a lot of work to be done to get ready.

It would really help to have a crew at the church at 10 a.m. on Saturday to move chairs into the sanctuary. It will take about six of us to get it done: three to get the chairs down from the attic (it's very cramped up there) and three to move them and set them up in the sanctuary.

Sydney would also like the crew to bring down the Sunday School boxes that were moved to the attic last fall.

Then, you can go give blood at Kendra Davison's blood drive in the fellowship area.

There will also be a lot of general clean up to do around the building between now and Sunday morning.

Although a lot of light fixtures have been hung, including some in the sanctuary, there are still several to be put up in there.

On Wednesday, the painter was back doing touch up and finishing the trim on the kitchen pass-through, on the frame and trim for the main doors and on the front wall around the main doors.

Warren was making sure toilet paper holders were installed in the bathrooms, among several other things.

And Larry was up on the roof cleaning the gunk off the outside of the clerestory windows. Paul was spotting him from the grassy knoll outside Pastor Steve's office. Should Larry be so unlucky as to fall off the roof, Paul said, he was prepared to give Larry a good hard shove before he hit the ground. Paul seemed convinced that would be a good thing to do. Don't know Larry's thoughts on the matter.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Let there be lights in the expanse

The fellow in the first four photos was with one of the groups that is already using our building for night meetings. He waited outside to direct those arriving to the right room for the meeting.

Earlier Monday, Warren hung the light fixtures in the central gallery of the clerestory, as well as on both sides near the offices and the entrance to the sanctuary. The uplight was installed down the center of the sanctuary as well. Lights to the left and right sides in the ceiling appear to be on the agenda soon.

Meanwhile, Larry and Dick transplanted roses from the edges of the south garden, where they had been moved during construction, back to the front of the church.

The preschool playyard, which had been created outside the mobile unit during the year of construction, was scraped clean of chips and replanted with grass.

The preschool entered its second week of classes and is going strong.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Goodbye, St. Brendan's, and thank you

Sunday was our last worship service at St. Brendan's Catholic Church gymnasium during our exodus for reconstruction. Next Sunday, Sept. 27, 2009, we will once again worship in our own sanctuary.

Sue took these photos.

The congregation gathered, sang its last "First Hymn" in St. Brendan's, heard Liz thank Larry and Mary Anne, and Jane, who opened their homes once a week for choir practice. And Jane isn't even in the choir. Each got a potted plant for their doorsteps, doorsteps the choir members had crossed so many times.

The 23 directors of this year's Capital Stewardship campaign, Welcoming the Future, were also consecrated.

But the high point of the day was the powerful and moving sermon that Warren delivered. He challenged each of us to come down from our "mountaintop feeling" of completing this construction project to do Jesus' work, not just church work. He used his own experience of homelessness as a young laborer to challenge us to use this new building to help the less fortunate in our society whenever we can.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Curtain wall

USUAL SUSPECTS WITH THEIR HANDS UP   (Photo by Sue)The most noticeable thing that happened on Friday was that the folding wall that used to hang in the narthex was rehung between classrooms two and three. Larry, Paul and Lee spent an hour or so on it. The job turned out to be easier than had been feared.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Moving in

Clean up continued outside.

Inside, departments started to get organized.

Rebecca Kaake of the Puget Sound Blood Center and Kendra Davison of Emmanuel checked out plans for blood drive in the entry area of the church on Saturday, Sept. 26. It will be Kendra's senior project for high school graduation.

The next day will be our first Sunday worship in the new building.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Mopping up

After all of Tuesday's excitement of moving the mobile units out and getting the organ and piano back, Wednesday was less exciting. But Sue was there and caught some of the action in these photos, which are all hers.

Larry mowed the lawn, and Lee fertilized the new parts.

Larry hooked on to an underground power cable for the mobile units with his truck and pulled it out. Paul, Larry and Lee spent several hours moving construction debris and slightly used building materials out of the main church parking lot. The stuff either went in the dumpster, were collected for recycling or were piled up for possible later use elsewhere.

In the evening, Bob J., Paul and Larry trimmed the grill and cover for the organ slightly to fit into its new space a few feet farther back in the sanctuary. Then Larry and Bob lifted it into place and fastened it down.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A joyful noise

Two big events in one day as we get ready to worship in the new building.

Most visible is that the MobileMini crew arrived -- two days early -- and took away the mobile units. Larry, Paul, Warren, Bob J. and Bill were scrambling all afternoon to unhook ramps, water, sewer and electricity. The preschool unit was moved out late in the afternoon. Still lots of cleanup to do.

Sue was there. Here's her report:
I was called at noon today and told to make an appearance at church; the truck was there to take away the admin mobile. I made it in time to catch some of the preparations; putting the tires back on, being sure all the tie-downs were cut. It's a good thing that the guys accomplished as much yesterday as they did, or the mobiles would not have been ready for removal.
Most audible is that the organ and grand piano were returned and set up in the sanctuary. Bob J. was having lots of fun into the evening testing the speakers to make sure each of them was hooked up and working properly.

Again, Sue was there. Her report:
Soon after I arrived to take pictures of the mobile being removed, the truck arrived with the organ and piano. They set them up in the sanctuary with Mary Anne helping to get them placed correctly.

Tables had been set up in the sanctuary for the Tuesday Bible Study. The study was moved to Classroom 1 to make room for the piano movers.

It was quite busy from 1 to 2 p.m., especially. The movers were leaving while the mobile remover was still preparing to leave.
Carpets were also finished in the nursery, the school office, storage rooms, and on the stairway. As a result, the preschool moved its boxed up supplies from the youth room to the storeroom behind the schools' offices. Later, Sunday School supplies were moved in, also. Desks for the preschool director and the director of Christian education were set up in the office.

The ramp came tumbling down

Connie prepared a lovely table in the fellowship area with coffee and cookies for the parents of students on the first day of preschool in the new facility.

The crew of Warren, Larry, Paul, Bob J. and Dick spent much of Monday tearing down the stairways and ramps that an even-larger crew had spent a couple of days building more than a year ago. Much of the lumber involved may find its way into other church projects.

The group also celebrated the ceremonial cutting of the phone line to the admin module, the accidental cutting of which was a frequent if irregular occurence during the construction project. Sue took the photos and noted:

"The old phone line [was] nothing but trouble for the office and workmen. Since it was a line that was mostly on the surface of the ground that is easy to understand. Today Warren, Dick and Larry officially cut it out of our lives. Then Paul went around looking for splices to remove. There were about 5. Larry and Dick were having trouble cutting it with the tools they were using. I wonder why it was so easy to cut when it was the office lifeline to the outside world?"

Each of those five splices Paul found represented at least one place the line had been cut in the past with shovels, backhoes, scoops and, in my case, by pulling apart a previous splice. Lines to the new offices are safely underground.

Almost all the hose bibbs now have a hanger nearby to keep the hoses neat and off the ground.

And Warren was working on the locks for the front door, toilet paper hangers in the preschool bathrooms and vinyl flooring under the kitchen pass-through where we'll be serving coffee Sunday mornings.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Official capacity

The preschool opened today in their wonderful new classrooms.

Pastor Steve and Rena' were both moved into their new offices in the main building over the weekend. The pastor has a lot of unpacking to do today.

Lots of construction related equipment and supplies continue to occupy space in the various storage areas and in the middle of the fellowship area. Dozens of small projects remain to be completed here and there throughout the building, including a multitude of cleaning tasks.

The mobiles are virtually empty. Deconstruction has begun on the ramp from the preschool mobile and can begin now on the ramp and stairs from the office mobile unit, so that both can be removed from the site.

We're aiming for a worship service in the new building on Sunday, Sept. 26.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Let us learn together

Here are some pictures from Saturday at the construction site. The preschool rooms were all ready for their students to arrive on Monday. The sanctuary was pretty much cleared out. The restrooms were nearly finished (a few partition doors were still needed). And deconstruction continued on the mobile units.

Friday, September 11, 2009

We prayed, we built,
we open Monday!

The city of Bothell's building inspector signed off on our occupancy permit late Friday afternoon, allowing the preschool to open on Monday and Pastor Steve and Rena' to move the church offices out of the mobile units and into the church.

Besides all the grins in the photos above you'll notice that there is still a LOT of cleaning up to do. Stop by this weekend if you can. Marvel at what God and Warren hath wrought. And help move some boxes, lift some pails, wash a window or any number of other necessary things.

This report is from Bob J.:
I was fortunate enough to be there when the new building was signed off and was able to get some photos of the excitement. We now have achieved our goal of occupancy!!! Pre-school will be in session on Monday, Sept. 14, 2009!!!

You will note the smiles on Warren's face -- good reason for a job well done. There was a lot of huggin', shoutin', and hand shakin' goin' on.

This report is from Sue:

At the end of the day, after a VERY BUSY DAY, the city inspector finally arrived, about 4 p.m. Warren was concerned that it was getting very late. After the inspector had a look around he SIGNED the important papers. (I understand there was much jumping, dancing, shouting by those present)


Church will still be at St. Brendan's for now.

During the day Bob J. helped Warren install the dividers in the women's room. There were lots of cars on site today. The preschool teachers were busy getting things ready for school on Monday, hoping that we would get the occupancy permit. This evening, after putting sealer on the front doors, Bill put the wood panels back in so the building could be locked up. Glass will replace these panels someday soon.

Come see what Warren has accomplished, with many professionals and amateurs beside him as needed. He has put in MANY hours putting up shingles, spreading any number of things, leveling under the carpet and vinyl, installing bathroom stalls, door knobs and dead bolts, windows, the list goes on and on and on.


The air is full of excitement.

The old gleaming crosses

Sue's photos and report from Thursday:
After the carpet job was complete, Judy Kuiken vacuumed the whole area on Thursday. Then the pews, communion table and pulpit were moved back in. Bill Sharp had taken the crosses home to clean and renew their finish, and had reinstalled them on Wednesday. They look wonderful, and are now back in their place of honor.

Thursday, Warren put the "crash bars" on the front doors. After that was done, Bill and Paul sanded them to ready them for the finish application.
[Note: Particle board covers the areas in the doors where the glass will go. Glass will replace these panels someday soon.]

When I left, Warren had installed the vinyl in the kitchen and was helping install the triple sink and grease trap.

This week has been very busy at church. The goal is to get the Certificate of Occupancy. Then, Pastor Steve and Rena' can move into the new offices. Then, the Mobile Minis can be removed from the property. It will probaby be a week or two before we will hold Sunday services in the sanctuary

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The inner doors ...
and the doors of the main hall

Sue's photos and report from Wednesday:
I was at church on Wednesday while they installed the new folding door. The panels are quite heavy. Once the men were finished installing them Paul got instruction on how to open and close them. It's not something you can just pull across as we did with the folding door in the former narthex, which now is being used in the classroom wing.

Bill came by to reinstall the crosses in the front of the sanctuary.

He also got the job of digging the holes for the fire lane signs. Larry, Bill and Dick worked on getting them in place so fire engines have a path wide enough to access our building in case of emergency.

The front doors were also being installed. Bram and Paul helped Warren get them on the hinges.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

They spread the carpets

By shortly after noon on Tuesday only the school office and some storerooms were without carpets. The carpets went down in the sanctuary during the morning. It looked like the cutting and fitting there could take much of the day.

Meanwhile, there was much activity in the preschool rooms all morning with teachers and assistants getting the lay of the land.

Larry and Paul were everywhere installing things like fire extinguishers, toilet paper holders, paper towel holders and required signs of all sorts.

The plumber was still working in the men's restroom, but it looked like the women's restroom was ready for installation of partitions.

Bob J. continued to work on the speaker loft for the organ. He was also disconnecting the utility hookups for the preschool mobile unit. Also up in the air -- and connected to the ceiling and power -- were a lot of new light fixtures with many more to come.

Pastor Steve and Rena' are getting ready to move from the mobile units, probably by this weekend, if the city signs off this week on the occupancy permit. The main uncertainty in that may be whether the front doors arrive and can be installed in time.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Sanctuary preparations

On Saturday, Sharon the preschool director, her dad and some parents and their children were busy assembling new furniture for the classrooms. Very exciting.

There was a good showing for Work Party day. Just about everything on Larry's list was accomplished. Lots of tools, buckets, boxes and spare supplies were moved from the sanctuary into storage rooms or the fellowship area. The sanctuary doors dragged on the carpet, so Steve M. sanded the bottoms of them, with Kevin's help. There was some other sanding and staining to do, some nails to be pounded, floors to be swept. Larry and Mary Anne installed a coat rack. Susan cleaned the paint off windows. Steve M. improved the baffling of the fluorescent lights in the "steeple" to hide them better.

Plus there were bagels and cream cheese and coffee to keep the workers fortified.

The bathrooms now have handicapped bars and paper towel holders. The nursery bathroom is a three seater!!! Two rocking chairs and one toilet. All of them work just fine. Plus the pocket door. Eventually, a washer and dryer will replace the rocking chairs.

Thursday, September 3, 2009


As Rena' said, "We need your help this Saturday, Sept. 5, at 9 a.m.! We'll be completing work that needs to be done to the church sanctuary."

Not much notice here, but as the new construction has moved along -- carpets were going down in the new areas Thursday and Friday -- lots of tools, boxes, materials and other large things too big to put anywhere else -- were moved into the sanctuary until it is almost filled with them.

But next week it will be time to put down new carpet in the sanctuary. So, everything has to be moved out of there and put somewhere else. Better minds than mine are planning right now where that will be, but they need your help getting it there.

And besides that, the bottom of the outside walls and all the windows inside and out still need cleaning. See you there!

Meanwhile Thursday, besides the carpet laying, Bob J. worked on installing the organ speakets in the "loft" he has reconstructed. Fixtures and partitions continue to be installed in the restrooms. Warren delivered a stainless steel kitchen sink that takes two men to manuever.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Somewhere to sit

Sue took these photos and gives us this report from Tuesday at the construction site:
Warren [was] sponging and putting the leveling stuff on the floor near the entry. ... Since he is now working in the main area of the building he has to do it after everyone else has gone for the day. He was up there until after 9 p.m. Tuesday night.

This group of pictures includes ... the toilets and wash basins in the Ladies room and the tile laying on the counter waiting to be installed. Then the plumber working in the men's' room, the kitchen soon after it was painted, ... the painters up on scaffolding doing some touchup painting in the clerestory and also staining the beams as they move along.

The last picture is of Larry and Paul working on the entry to the utility room; putting in a ladder to specifications: just the right number of degree slope, no impediments to fast entrance, etc. Also, both access lids have been painted to match the lower color of the siding.

Right now it's getting down to it being all in the details. Lots of little things to think about, be sure they are included and right.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

We can't see clearly now

So, Warren is putting out the call for window -- and wall -- washers. The bulk of construction, the sorts of things that get globs of dirt on windows, is over. Now is the time to remove those globs of dirt and films of grime from all the first floor windows, inside and out. Please bring your Windex and towels, and go to it! There are ladders of all sizes available at the church.

Also, almost all around the outside of the building, dirt needs to be cleaned off the lower, dark gray wall panels. Please bring your bucket, some detergent and a sponge. There are lots of hoses around to fill the bucket and rinse the walls. Talk to Larry if you have questions.

Please, click on COMMENT below this item to let us know when you'll be able to help. Don't try to sign in. Technically, you'll be commenting anonymously, but please sign your message.

As the week began Monday, Larry and Mary Anne were getting the playyard ready for the preschool parents to spread play chips. The fence is finished.

Earlier, Larry finished up the sanding of the main beams under the clerestory after Bram did much of the work over the weekend. Bill S. took the crosses that hang in the sanctuary home to be refinished.

Bob J. hung the platform for the organ speakers in the sanctuary. Exit signs went up over the doors. A very official-looking fire alarm control box hangs near the front door, showing a random time of day. Painting continues around the storage closets at the back of the sanctuary. The green toilet has gone missing suddenly, although a sledgehammer is under suspicion in the disappearance.

Warren intends to have all the areas outside the sanctuary prepped and ready for carpet to be laid on Wednesday. He was spreading a self-leveling cement-based product on the ramp and hallway between the nursery and the restrooms and kitchen late into the evening Monday. The main entrance area gets the treatment Tuesday. He said you really realize how much floor space we'll have when you go over it three times on your knees sanding, cleaning and leveling.