And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. – Matthew 16:18
Thanks to the tremendous gifts of our Parish Family, we have been able to move forward on the essential repairs of our church and other buildings. While we have experienced several delays already due to Collier County permitting requirements, we have started two of the most important tasks this week. We have ordered the two new Air Conditioning units for the church, which were completely destroyed in the storm. These main units cover half the church, and the strain on the other two units has been intense, as you may have experienced last weekend. The new systems will take several weeks to arrive and install, so I thank you for your patience, even if it does mean we all get a little warm while in church.
The main effort we commenced this week is the repair and eventual replacement of the church roof. Were you aware there is a skylight above the altar? When the church was first built, this skylight allowed natural light to flow down onto the altar. However, over decades of exposure to the sunlight and sea-salt air, that skylight had deteriorated to the point that no light could be seen. Hurricane Irma, with its sheer force, pulled up the tiles and roof materials on that top corner of the roof and cracked the skylight in several places, allowing water into our Sanctuary. While we had emergency repairs completed on the roof itself almost immediately, our roofing partner, Crowther Roofing, determined that the skylight was a total loss, to include the cross that sat upon it. All of it must be removed for the safety of all our Parish Family, especially our clergy and members of our ministries that serve on the altar every day. That effort was accomplished this week, with a temporary roofing system being installed until the full roof replacement can be completed this summer.
UPDATE: Crowther Roofing was able to save our Cross! It was fixed to a metal stud between sections of the skylight, so they repaired and strengthened it so it can continue to be a beacon to the community as still the highest point in the area.
As we Build Our Future, Serve Our Past, we still need all the gifts, prayers, and support of our Parish Family. If you have any questions, please contact Jean-Paul Boucher, at 239-566-8740 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.