This Week at St. Stephen’s–February 24, 2013

RENOVATIONS AT ST. STEPHEN’S

Feb 24This week (though not in time for this writing) we will have received the contract bids for our renovation work. By next week we will likely be back in campaign mode, approaching the parish once again for its financial support, and cutting back on the overall scope of the project.

We can say this with confidence because in spite of our care in costing out the project and our diligence in raising over $1 million from parishioners, none of us on BRAG have any experience of bids ever coming in under the original estimates … or renovation projects coming in on time, for that matter. So we are preparing for this next round of adjustments before the contract is awarded and the work begins.

Our hope is that work on the elevator, the new washrooms, and the exterior accessibility ramp will begin immediately after Easter. This will make things messy but it will allow us to continue worshiping in the church and working in the offices.

Work on the church itself should begin in May and at that time we will move our worship down into the lower Memorial Hall. Think of it as a kitchen renovation that requires a family to eat its meals down in the basement for a while: a temporary break from routine that makes everyone appreciate even more the routine itself.

God willing (and the creek don’t rise) we will all be back in our new digs by Start-up Sunday, September 8th. Or by Christmas.

This Week at St. Stephen’s–February 17, 2013

WE ARE BLESSED

Feb 17This week we see a changing of the guard in the leadership of St. Stephen’s. We recognize again how blessed we are by the gifts and resources of our membership.

Four members of Parish Council stepped down at last week’s Annual General Meeting: Jill CoggIns, Craig Melton, Craig Mushens, and Emma Westcott. All were part of our attempt to revitalize Parish Council this past year by having individual members each take responsibility for one “cluster” of parish ministries. They are replaced by four newly elected members: Grant Broadhurst, Janine Mitchell, Jackie Mootoo, and Rob Roach.

Neil Miller will step down as Rector’s Warden this year, but not just yet. Gary McCone was to have taken his place as Neil ended his term, but Gary moved away in November. So Neil will now remain until the summer when former People’s Warden Louise Redmond will return to fill out Gary’s term as our new Rector’s Warden, that is, until 2015.

Meanwhile we are pleased to announce that at our AGM Mary Lou Flood was elected Deputy People’s Warden. She will serve as deputy for a year and then follow People’s Warden Dariel Bateman who now enters the second year of her two-year term.

Jack Walker has accepted reappointment as Treasurer and also as the Co-Chair, along with his wife Heather Walker, of our Open Doors Campaign. Keith Moe and Louise Redmond continue as co-chairs of BRAG, our Building Renewal Action Group.

See? We are well blessed by the leadership of our Parish!

REPORT OF BRAG (Building Redevelopment Action Group)

The Building Redevelopment Action Group (“BRAG”) members have continued to work diligently throughout the past year towards ensuring a Spring 2013 start for the Open Doors renovations.  Considerable time has been spent working with Sturgess Architecture in order to finalize the many details involved in the architectural drawings and the construction work specifications for the project.  We have also worked with a variety of consultants to obtain pricing for various elements of the renovations and to complete design aspects, particularly in regard to the mechanical, electrical and structural upgrades to be undertaken.  In addition work has been undertaken to obtain pricing for a variety of items including new furnishings, lighting and sound systems.

In the past year BRAG has put into place a financial planning model to ensure accurate recording of funds received and expenses paid, and to permit the tracking of invoices to ensure that they fall within budget.

On the matter of fundraising, we are grateful to have continued to receive donations to the Open Doors campaign throughout the past year.  We were also fortunate in receiving a $125,000.00 grant from the Province to be applied towards the cost of the new lower level washroom facilities.  We have applied for further grants and hope to know the outcome of those applications shortly.

As of the date of writing this report we are advised by Sturgess Architecture that the project will go out to tender on January 31, 2013.  Four contractors have been invited to bid on the project.  Tender is scheduled to close on February 21, 2013. Once tender closes BRAG will then review the bids received.  At that point we will know, for the first time, the actual costs for the elements of the renovation work.  BRAG will then be in a position to evaluate actual project costs against funds available.

Even if we receive additional grants, our preliminary estimates at this point put us behind what we anticipate we will need to accomplish the entire scope of work.  A final financial appeal will be made to the congregation once we have received the tender bids and have assessed costs against funds received.  Any final shortfall will be dealt with by removing or revising portions of the renovation plan.

The construction work is scheduled to start at the end of March and is expected to be completed by September 8, 2013.  We are very grateful that one of our parishioners, Kalum Galle, has volunteered to act as BRAG’s construction representative during the construction process.

Finally, with respect to the Memorial Hall we are continuing to work with the City to explore funding for options for the redevelopment of this space as an arts incubator space.

We thank everyone for their continued support of the Open Doors project.  We especially wish to thank all of the members of BRAG for their hard work and dedication over the past year.

Respectfully Submitted

Keith Moe
Louise Redmond
Co-chairs, BRAG.  

Women’s Soup Group

Join other women in deepening fellowship and sharing the journeys of faith at this monthly group hosted in members’ houses, on the 3rd Sunday of each month.  Whether you’re a regular parishioner, or even if you’ve never been to St. Stephen’s before, all women are warmly welcome!   Meeting in the Canterbury Room (where the coffee is served) right after the 10:30 service, we depart in style to our hostess’s home to enjoy soup, explore a spiritual topic together and share fellowship.

Food is provided: just come as you are!  If you’re curious and would like more information, please contact the Rev. Clara King (curate@ststephenscalgary.org).  So that we prepare the right amount of food, RSVPs are required by the Wednesday before.  Please phone the office: 244-4879 or email Lynn McKeown our parish administrator (administrator@ststephenscalgary.org) to put your name down and find out where we’re going this time!