Thursday, July 28, 2011

This is good work

Lisa Semple is waiting for me when I get to the church.  She’s a professional fundraising consultant who offered her services pro bono for the summit meeting at Councilmember Brewer’s office last Thursday. She’s here for a discussion to  see what it might take to put together a coordinated community wide fundraising effort to make this project happen.  
She has heard pretty clearly that it can’t just be an exterior renovation effort. That the interior and exterior issues are inextricably linked and that for any of this vision to take place, the church must have sustaining, bridge, money to get to the place where partnerships and rentals can begin to carry the financial burden.  And our priorities are clear:
  • the boiler....the key to everything else
  • the loose bricks outside
  • the elevator
  • pigeon guano removal
  • restored bathrooms
And that we want to do this green. Be a model of restoring an old building in a sustainable way. Then exterior has become, after landmarking, part of the community’s cultural heritage. But the interior, and everything that goers on inside, will be a vital part of community livability.  And the congregation is growing to understand that its history of voting to remsin here means having to claim this community comtext not as circumstance, but calling. Our fates are linked together. She agrees to work up a proposal.
We must  keep working on that business plan. 
The enevironmental expert who’s putting together a proposal for the pigeon clean up comes in to go over his findings. This is a big job. Could take a week. Maybe $12000. Depressing news.
A new issue has raised its ugly head. Asbestos. There’s a suspicious looking pipe in the basement outside the boiler room. The Woodshed folk are concerend. We are frantically going through electronic insurance files lookiong for a detailed report. Danielle is making phone calls. It’s all quite unclear. And must be dealt with. Just like those loose bricks. Stephen comes in and we put our heads together.
Hope comes in to sign checks, review items for the next session meeting. I head out to the backyard for a PHEWA executive conerence call.  RL comes in with a contractor to check out the bathrooms again. Get that project started. This weekend. He laughs and says, Not sure why I’m doing this...and why I’m still sober. I say, Both those work for  me.
Andrea stops in to walk me home. I take her down to Stephen’s command post in the old chapel. We walk through the building, see the beehive of activity going on. See all the young people all over the place. (Saying that makes me feel old.) Walking up Amsterdam, she says This is good. You love this. All this creative activity. And you love being around young people. This is good.
And I realize that she is right. If it wasn’t for my worries about money, I would actually be happy. This is good work. And  it is me, why I’m here.

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