An Update from FUMC’s Bequest Team

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First United Methodist Church
Photo courtesy of Jim Broaddus’s Gallery.

Haydon Bequest Team Update: Summer 2019

Have you noticed that you can see clearly out of our windows and the wind is not blowing through them? If you have come to ring the bells on the 11th of the month, have you noticed that the paint is no longer peeling off the ceiling? In 2016, our church was fortunate to receive a generous bequest from long-time member Thelma Haydon. Half of it went into our endowment funds and the other half was directed to be used for new programs and building/infrastructure improvements. A focus team was formed of people representing various committees to formulate a plan for disbursement.

To date, the bequest has been used to help fund the salary of Celene Lillie through the end of 2019 and Finance is working to fund her compensation through the program budget in 2020. As for programs, Music for the Soul last summer was funded as was a new website.

One of the first building improvements was a new sound system in the Sanctuary, we are now looking to upgrade the video system. Many of the building improvements have been to address deferred maintenance issues and are not necessarily readily seen.

• These include re-glazing of the windows and cleaning them. This will help with the insulation of the building.

• A major safety issue was addressed in the masonry work on the Bell Tower, several large stones were ready to fall out and some chunks did, luckily there were no injuries. This had also led to water leakage into the building and that was also repaired.

• Our 40 year-old boiler sprung a leak, and after attempts as repair was deemed beyond repair. This summer the boiler will be replaced, and plans are being drafted how to get it out of the building. Fortunately, we have a back-up 60 year-old boiler which has been called into service, but it is not very efficient and is costly to run. It will remain in place as a back-up and also would be too costly to remove since there would have to be asbestos mitigation. There have also been other controls put in place for the heating and cooling systems.

• There have also been sewer line repairs and the fire alarm system had a much needed upgrade.

The team is looking at bringing our building up to current codes where possible, compliance with the American Disability Act (ADA) for our restrooms and to make the upstairs Parlor kitchenette more usable. Present day building standards would require us to have more toilets to accommodate our space and the corresponding events it can host and none of our restrooms is fully ADA compliant. This will mean a reconfiguring of some of our space on the main floor. We want to make our space accessible to all. The plans for this are still in the draft process and there will be an informational rollout as to the design and timeline soon. This will be followed by new flooring on the first floor and parts of the second floor and painting. The flooring in the basement and offices upstairs are on hold until we review the future programs and building usage.

The team consists of Justin Livingston, chair; Ruth Irvin; Homer Knearl; Jon Kottke; Lenna Kottke; Mike McCue; Rick Powers; Connie Takamine; Ginny Wells; and Matthias Krier. They have put a lot of time and effort into assessing the priorities needed. Although this bequest was very generous, it cannot cover all the needs. If you are interested in also contributing, contact anyone of the members, and use Thelma as an example and consider putting First United Methodist Church in your estate planning.

United Methodist Women will be having a Christmas in July yard sale fundraiser this summer to help raise funds to pay for new appliances in the new kitchenette.

This generous bequest is truly helping us create a better space for our beloved community.