CHRIST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH - READING, PA
(recently purchased and being rehabbed by volunteers)
Found this inside the church. You can see that in her heyday, she was gorgeous! -Hawton
Dear Reading Mission Supporters,
Today we kicked off the first official day of the Reading Mission and made great progress.
Despite the distribution of 700 flyers and much advertising, the VBS (Bible study for the children) initially drew only a few kids at 10:00 AM when it began at Reading City Park. But, as the day wore on, many more moms and kids saw what was happening and joined in. By the end of our first session we had roughly 15 kids participating. While I was unable to attend and take any pictures due to my church renovation duties, those who ran the VBS had some wonderful stories to share at the end of the session. First, most of the kids were open to our Biblical teachings and one little girl actually came up and said she was new in town and wanted to start attending church. She said her parents were splitting up, but she would tell her mom how much see enjoyed the VBS and would ask if they could start attending CPC. Since we want to connect with each child as an individual, name tags were made and names memorized by the VBS staff. I was quite moved to learn that one young immigrant lad is named "America".
(Oh, that made me cry with joy! You can just imagine what it meant to this mom to call her son "AMERICA"! WOW! - Hawton)
But of course nothing ever goes without a hitch. Just after the VBS ended and the Westminster VBS staff got back to CPC (mostly moms, their kids, and some teens), they realized they were short one of our 6 year old boys. As you can imagine, mom his was understandably in tears, dad was comforting mom, and the rest of us immediate spread out to walk several parallel streets back up the hill to the park which is about 2 1/2 long city blocks away. Happily, our young wayward volunteer had only stayed behind to try out the swing set adjacent to the area where the VBS is being held. So of course, more training on safety and the two person rule promptly followed.
Our renovation efforts began in a flurry of demolition and dust. Since we lack the manpower, not every project is worked concurrently. but I will attempt to update you on those projects that saw the most focus and progress.
Basement Community Room with Mission Team Tools
PROJECT 1 - LADIES' ROOM RENOVATION
We are blessed to have Dan lead this effort. Dan is a contractor who specializes in home remodeling, and, the ladies room renovation is our most ambitious project. We have been told several times by different CPC members that this is the one the ladies of the church are most excited about. This is the only ladies room that serves the basement level where the community room and its adjoining kitchen are located. Today, those assigned to help Dan, stripped out the two old toilets, the sink, and vanity. Then, they began to frame out the new walls and install drywall. Tomorrow the volunteer plumber will come and install all the new plumbing.
Smiles of Success - After Learning How to Use a Hand-Held Power Saw
Katie Gives a Smile of Approval for Her Day's Bath Renovation Efforts
PROJECT 2 - OLD BOILER ROOM REHABILITATION
Those who helped clean out the mountains of junk that collected over the last 100 years were easily identifiable. It was as if we all rolled around on the floor and used our clothing in lieu of brooms. But, much was accomplished. In the morning, Benji (a college student) and I removed most of the junk and Andy joined in to help us dismantle the old chain driven cargo dumbwaiter that was powered by a hand crank. We then filled a 3' by 4 ' opening in the floor that was 4' deep with concrete chunks, bricks and large cut stones that were piled in the corner of the room. Sadly, we had about 15 large pieces of stone left that had to be hand lugged up stairs, carried around to the back of the building, and deposited in the dumpster.In the afternoon, the VBS teens returned and we put them to work scrubbing the stainless steel sink, vacuuming the walls so we can paint them, and emptying two cabinets so we could move them and refill them with maintenance supplies. Most learned new skills and found how satisfying a job well done can be.
Some of Our Teens Vacuuming, Spackling, and Scrubbing
Brick and Stone Filled Pit
Holes Filled on Wall Where Overflowing Cabinets Once Stood
New Life to a Once VERY Stained and Dirty Sink
The Junk is Gone and the Walls and Floors are Clean
Our Contributions, As Seen In the Once Empty 20' Dumpster -Oh My Aching Back
PROJECT 3: REPAIRS WHERE HOT WATER RADIATOR WAS REMOVED
I prepared the floor by removing four damaged floor tiles, but time ran short, since the boiler room cleaning took so long.
PROJECT 4 - PAINT ENTRY DOOR AND HALL
To be done Wednesday.
PROJECT 5 - INSTALL BASEBOARD IN BASEMENT COMMUNITY ROOM
To be done Thursday.
PROJECT 6: REMOVE OBSOLETE STEAM PIPES IN NARTHEX
To be done Wednesday.
PROJECT 7 - REPAINT FOUR HANDRAILS IN FRONT OF THE CHURCH
Two of our teens, Mathius and Zack, sanded and cleaned all four railings and then swept the steps and sidewalks around them. Weather permitting, tomorrow they paint them.
PROJECT 8 - GENERAL CHURCH CLEANING
The VBS ladies completed the Sunday School spaces. Tomorrow they will do the sanctuary and choir loft. LOTS of vintage wood to clean and polish.
Pic of a Few of the Ladies Cleaning and Reorganizing
PROJECT 9 - INSTALL WALL AND DUTCH DOOR TO CHILD CARE AREA
(An exciting project for the Team to do for the ladies of Christ Church...this is something they really wanted for the children area)
We all would like to do this project since it is also high on the CPC ladies list. The ladies room team may try to frame it out on Tuesday while the plumber is working in the ladies room. While we don't expect to have enough time to complete this project, we think we may be able to frame it and put on dry wall this week. The door would then take two weeks to be delivered, so a few of us would come back and install it on a Saturday and then let another team do the drywall taping and painting at a later date.