Our Home, Our Future, Our Time

2018 Capital Campaign

Our church is more than just a house of worship; it is Our Home. It is a place where we come together seeking a relationship with God and one another…a place to raise our children…a place to serve those in need…a place to work toward a more just world…a place to sing, laugh, cry, celebrate and mourn…a place to ask, learn and wonder…and a place to find acceptance, comfort and peace.

On January 28, 2018, our congregation said “YES!” to an $822,000 Capital Campaign to restore and preserve our beautiful, historic facilities, make our home more welcoming and accessible, and further our efforts to expand ministry and outreach. We set a “Stretch Goal” of $1.09 million to fund other key projects as funding allowed. With the generous and prayerful support of our congregation and community, the Our Home, Our Future, Our Time Capital Campaign was a tremendous success, far exceeding our base goal and even surpassing our stretch goal! Together, we have helped secure Our Future.

Pledge Total*: $1,129,651.71

*As of April 25, 2022; includes grants and endowment transfers for the elevator project

Capital Campaign Project Highlights

Check out pics of our progress!


Roof Replacement & Repair ($57,000)

COMPLETED – August 2018 – We replaced our 20-year old asphalt roof on the main building and repaired deteriorating slate shingles, including those on the adjacent parsonage building. We added gutters and downspouts throughout the property to better manage water run-off.

Sanctuary Restoration ($231,000)

PLASTER REPAIR & PAINTING – COMPLETED – April 2020 – Our sanctuary was closed for several months in early 2020 while the original plaster ceiling in the sanctuary was completely removed and replaced. This was a massive undertaking, but the investment will result in a ceiling that will last at least another 100 years! Cracked walls were repaired and patched. A fresh coat of paint on the ceiling, walls, trim and pews have transformed the sanctuary into a bright, welcoming, beautiful space for worship.

WINDOW RESTORATION – COMPLETED – November 2019 – Our historic windows and shutters, made of rare “old growth” wood, were completely restored and repainted. New storm windows were fabricated and installed as well. Historic architecture specialist Sally Fishburn recommended that restoration of the windows would improve function, safety, energy efficiency and comfort, while still preserving the historic fabric of the church (click here for full copy).

ORGAN REPAIRS – COMPLETED – November 2019 – Our organ was repaired, cleaned, and restored so that our beloved music ministries may continue to flourish. A second phase of work is planned as a stretch goal project.

Parking Lot Restoration & Entrance Accessibility ($438,182)

COMPLETED – September 2019 – Our facility is now more accessible and welcoming to the estimated 250-350 people who come through our doors every week. We have a new handicapped-accessible bathroom near Fellowship Hall, a new accessible vestibule entrance, a refreshed foyer, and a new worship supply storage area on the upper level of our two-story addition. We have a beautiful new sign and new exterior lights. By addressing major drainage problems, and removing an old decaying oil tank below the surface, our parking lot is now safer and easier to maintain.







Administrative Wing Improvements: Accessibility, Energy Efficiency & Safety ($111,296)

COMPLETED – February 2021 – Insulation has been added to the Marvin Lounge walls, making the room more comfortable and energy-efficient.  The Marvin Lounge insulation project gave us the perfect opportunity to give the room a much-needed makeover, including new paint and carpet along with some bookshelves to house our media center and library. Unfortunately, we were unable to find a feasible location to add a fully accessible bathroom near the Marvin Lounge. We renovated the two bathrooms on the lower level to improve appearance and function, including the installation of new grab bars.

With the help of a $47,000 federal grant from the Department of Homeland Security. we installed a new security system with keyless entry and new classroom/office locks. The grant also helped pay for new doors at the Church Street entrance, making them wider and more accessible. A portion of this grant also paid for upgrades to our exterior lighting.

In 2019 & 2020, we replaced the floors throughout the 1st floor of the administrative wing, including all the hallways, offices and daycare area. This project included professional abatement of old asbestos tile. The halls are now brighter and more welcoming with durable vinyl tile and a fresh coat of paint.

Kitchen Renovation for Expanded Outreach & Ministry ($38,000)

COMPLETED – August 2021 – As in our own homes, our kitchen is a hub of activity and hospitality. Whether used for the food pantry, preparing communion, making pies and pretzels with our youth, the craft fair cafe, Easter breakfast, potluck dinners, AA meetings, Scout meetings, or celebrations and funerals, our kitchen must be functional and efficient. With this renovation, we updated the layout and added a handwashing station and commercial sinks to comply with commercial kitchen requirements if we ever want to increase our food service activities. We also installed stainless steel countertops and new flooring.




A New Priority:  Elevator Modernization ($92,193)

COMPLETED – September 2021 – This elevator modernization project brought the elevator up to date with current building and ADA codes, and will ensure the safe, reliable function of the elevator for many years to come. In June 2020, our long-time elevator servicer indicated that our elevator was in need of modernization and that certain parts would no longer be serviceable if/when they broke. The recommendation was to modernize, not replace, the existing elevator because the modernization would last just as long but cost about half as much. The elevator was first made possible in 1978 by a generous donation from Mr. Harry Teachout, a member of the Essex community who was not able to attend worship due to difficulty managing the stairs. Through his bequest, he wanted to make sure that the church would be accessible for everyone who came after him.

With Council’s approval, the Capital Campaign Steering Committee asked the congregation for additional gifts to support the elevator modernization. Our “Phase 3” fundraising efforts brought in an additional $115,474 in pledges, which covered the cost of the elevator renovation and left some funds available to pursue the last few stretch goal projects on our list.

2nd Floor Hallways & Pre-K Room ($13,094)

COMPLETED – February 2022 – We replaced the flooring in the 2nd floor hallway and the pre-K room off the gym.

Fellowship Hall

IN PROGRESS – 2022 – Plans to replace the floor in Fellowship Hall with a durable vinyl wood-look product have been placed on hold while Trustees work with structural engineers to make sure that we have adequate supports underneath the floor.

Additional Stretch Goal Projects

Our initial Campaign budget included several “stretch goal” projects to be completed as funds allowed. The last remaining Stretch Goal project is the replacement of the floor in the Gym to help with noise control. The ballpark estimate for this project is $14,400.

The following Stretch Goal projects were completed using non-campaign funds:

  • Upgrade the sound system to facilitate online-streaming of worship services ($20,000) (This was partially completed using memorial funds. The pandemic revealed the need for additional investments in this area, which we hope to cover using memorial funds as well)
  • Establish Maintenance Reserve Fund ($25,000) (funded via Endowment distributions and budget carry-over)
  • Sawyer House improvements, including a new furnace and Thrift Store bathroom remodel ($30,000) (bathroom completed in 2019;  furnace replaced in 2020 using Trustee budget)
  • Heating improvement for the Gym (Trustees repaired the Gym heaters in 2020)

The following stretch goal projects were no longer needed:

  • Create a second emergency exit from the choir loft ($5,000)  (the Fire Marshal assessed the space and said that he has no safety concerns about the current egress)
  • Replace organ pistons with new technology ($20,000) (the Music Committee determined that this was no longer a high priority)
  • ADA bathroom in the Marvin Lounge ($14,000) (there was not a feasible location within the original footprint of our building)

Capital Campaign projects were initially developed by our Trustees and then prioritized by a cross-section of the congregation during a 2016 feasibility study. Project plans and cost estimates were further refined by the Capital Campaign Steering Committee with input from architect John Alden (Scott + Partners, Inc.). Project plans were shared with the congregation during a series of Informational Meetings in January 2018.