A “Behind the Scenes” Story by Mel Ingalls (Facilities Upkeep Team)
The opportunity to expand our Youth Ministry space began with what seemed like bad news.
Dr. Richmond, one of our tenants downstairs in Unity Heights, retired. His office, Suite 106, was vacant. The rent from our tenants pays most of the monthly mortgage payment for Unity Heights, so our plan to pay off the mortgage in May of 2019, was in danger. The office, of course, could be rented, and that was what the Board of Trustees set out to do. But the space adjoined the Youth Ministry space. Since Youth Ministry has been a special interest of mine for a long time, I could see using Suite 106 to give the Youth Ministry more space. I knew our Facilities Upkeep team was capable of remodeling Suite 106, because we had already done several remodels in Unity Heights.
But how to make up the rent we would be missing? An anonymous donor volunteered to make up the rent until the mortgage was paid off. The way was cleared to add to our Youth Ministry space! Consultations with Jennifer Gates, Youth Ministry Director, revealed what she needed and wanted for the additional space. With preliminary plans sketched out, it cost was estimated and submitted to the Board of Trustees; for approval. I have always been impressed with the members of the Board Trustees, they truly work hard and long to see that the money contributed by the congregation is spent wisely to get the most “bang for the Buck.” That is why the facilities upkeep team proposed to do the work ourselves – a professional remodeling contractor would be too expensive to even be considered.
The board approved our plan and costs, and we began our work. For this project, our team consisted of Dutch Berkley, Gary Murray, Steve Megs, James Lambert, and myself. The Facilities Upkeep team is resourceful and determined, but we are not professional remodelers. I would like to tell you that work proceeded smoothly, but it did not. We ran into lots of problems (but hey, so do the “Property Brothers”). But we persevered and got the job done, but only with the help of the entire Youth Ministry. When it came time to paint, the children, teens, and parents all showed up for a paint party! Now the Youth Ministry have moved into their new space.
The Facilities Upkeep Team is always there behind the scenes, making sure there is light when and wherever there should be, there is hot water for the restrooms, and in general or facilities are safe. However, without your financial support, we couldn’t do our job.
We meet on Tuesday morning every week to get the minor maintenance items done. Almost every week we spend something: either light bulbs, paint, or plumbing and electrical supplies. We probably average $40 week on just basic supplies.
So I am asking you to consider being an Intentional Giver. You know you will give something to your Spiritual Community next year. Why not take some time and figure out how much you would like to give and fill out and Intentional Giving card. It gives you a good feeling and enables our finance team to make a more accurate budget. Intentional giving cards are available in the sanctuary seatbacks, or you can sign up online by clicking the donate button at unityofsa.org
So thanks in advance from “Behind the Scenes.” And the next time you see all the lights on it the Sanctuary and Community Center, you flush the toilet in restroom and it works, or look at our expanded Youth Ministry space (it’s an ongoing project), you can say “I helped do that through my Intentional Giving!”