We have made great strides during the past several years to enhance the buildings and grounds here at St. John the Evangelist. As I mentioned several weeks ago, the last remaining major project is the lighting in the church.
I will begin with a little history: The church is now nearly 19 years old with the first Mass being celebrated on Christmas Eve in 1992. The original lighting is still in place and the problems are now mounting at an exponential rate. First and foremost, the original lighting was designed and installed for more of a residential application and certainly not a commercial application. In order to change any of the bulbs in the ceiling or on the clerestory windows, a lift must be rented and the front doors removed. This isn’t your basic scissor lift but instead a 45’ boom lift which will allow the operator to reach the 55’ ceiling. The lift must be carefully navigated down the center aisle as to not damage the pews. There is a clearance of ½ inch on either side. There is obviously very little room for error. Just to change the bulbs in the sanctuary, we spend several thousand dollars in lift rental, bulbs and labor. The bulbs in the sanctuary ceiling are a combination of metal halide and par lamp spotlights. The fixtures are controlled by an archaic Lutron dimmer pack system. Even after replacing all of the bulbs in the ceiling, many burn out in as little as six months after replacement. The lighting over the altar is mounted on a track system and consists of the same par lamp spotlights. We replaced every single light and a few of the fixtures following the renovation last September. As you can see, nearly half of these bulbs have burned out in less than a year. Many burned out after only six months. The lighting over the altar is also controlled by the dimmer packs. The dimmer packs have reached the end of their useful life. We have replaced a few and the problems still persist. Due to the malfunction of the dimmer packs, much of the lighting has been rerouted, bypassing the dimmer packs. As for the rest of the church, the lighting is very poor at best. The Narthex is very gloomy and dark. The back wings are also very dark even after removing the old wood ceiling two years ago. The lectors and the celebrant often have a very difficult time reading the word of God from the Ambo. We have made numerous patches over the years but the problem seems to worsen as time goes by.
We have met with a commercial lighting professional to address our problems. They have come up with a solution which will illuminate the church while solving the problems of maintenance. With this new proposal, we will be able to lower the lights over the altar for easy access. We will replace the fixtures in the sanctuary ceiling to new energy efficient fixtures and bulbs with a life over ten times what is currently in place. We will also illuminate the Narthex and back wings by installing very tasteful chandeliers and adding ancillary fixtures. The entire system may be controlled by an Ipad from anywhere inside the church. There are 999 different scenes which may be programmed and accessed simply by the push of a button. The stage lighting proposed above the altar may be manipulated in a plethora of different variations, even including the addition of color. Imagine being able to flood the back walls of the Altar with green or purple to coincide with the particular color of the liturgical season. The technological advances made over the past 19 years with regards to lighting have been numerous. We would like to take advantage of these advances and install a new lighting system which will bring our church into the 21st century. I am aware that many of you have a difficult time reading your missal due to the abysmal lighting in the sanctuary. I apologize for the delay in addressing the lighting, however we made a decision that temporary patches would no longer be acceptable. The church lighting needs a total overhaul.
Our parishioners have shown their extreme generosity on numerous occasions in the past. From the church renovation to the Prayer Garden, your outpouring of support has been key in allowing us to complete projects which would have otherwise not been possible. Such is the case with our lighting project. This lighting renovation obviously comes at a price and we knew that it would not be cheap. The proposal to complete the job is approximately $70,000.00. There is an error of +/- $5,000.00 based on the fixtures chosen for the chandeliers and ancillary fixtures. We are looking for a donor or several donors that see the extreme benefit of this much needed project to step forward and help bring us from darkness into light. By making a gift or donation to this project, you are benefitting every single parishioner that walks into the church. If you are interested in creating a beautiful, well lit environment in the church, please contact me at 566.1678 to discuss.
We have partnered with Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse to offer our parishioners a great deal through the end of November. Simply mention St. John the Evangelist when dining at Fleming’s from October 1 through November 30 and 15% of your bill will be given directly to St. John’s to be used for the Catholic Faith Appeal. This is truly a win-win situation. You get to enjoy a great meal at an outstanding establishment and we receive a donation to the CFA. Please consider using this outstanding opportunity to help us reach our CFA goal for 2011.
Please don’t forget that the Visiting Nurses Association will be offering Flu Shots in the PLC Ballroom this coming Thursday, October 6th from 9:00 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. In addition to the regular Flu Shot, they will also be offering preservative free and high dose Flu Shots as well as Pneumonia, Tetanus Booster and Pertussis. I will be the first in line so I hope to see you on Thursday in the ballroom. Personally I would much rather receive my shot in the friendly confines of St. John the Evangelist versus a retail outlet. If you require further information, please call 239.337.4848 or 866.521.4848.
Everyone remembers the wildly successful Lenten project (Mission Backpack) which provided backpacks and school supplies to very deserving children in St. Lucia. The Mission office has procured a container which will be shipped to Corpus Christi Day Nursery & Preschool in Castries, St. Lucia free of charge. We are looking for donations to fill this container. Included in the bulletin is a Wish List of items that representatives from the Preschool have requested. Any item on the list may be “gently used” or new. I can only imagine how many of our parishioners have old digital cameras which are still viable and play toys that your children have outgrown. You may drop off your donations in the parish office during business hours. You will be given an acknowledgement of your gift for tax purposes. Thank you in advance for your consideration.
In His work together,
Scott Schlossberg, MBA