On March 8th, St. Paul’s staff made the startling discovery that high winds in the Lansing area had caused the south wall of the sanctuary to move, putting the structure at the risk of collapse.
From that dramatic and tense day, the situation in the sanctuary at St. Paul’s has changed day to day, sometimes rapidly. Additional structural issues have been found by the construction crews working to save the Te Deum window and to rebuild the wall; the structural engineer has concerns about parts of the building we can’t even see or assess fully yet. All sorts of things have been unearthed.
St. Paul’s rector, Karen+, along with other staff, have been here daily, managing insurance, contractors, media, city officials, various bystanders and curious citizens--a task that has at times been overwhelming and sometimes seems to eclipse the other work that the church needs to be doing.
This Restoration Project is intended to be an initiative larger than just the Te Deum window and the south wall. Yes, we want to restore the magnificent physical structure that has been handed down to us, however the name of this project recognizes that we are called to be stewards not just of the bricks and mortar, glass and gutters, but of the many moments in the lives of all the faithful which have been recognized and sanctified here in this space over the past 100 years. In one of her many interviews with local media, Karen+ reflected on the “interesting” timing of the wind storm and wall damage. In Holy Week we journey to death with despair but then celebrate hope in the resurrection: “It’s how we live, isn’t it? We deal with this stuff day in and day out. Suffering and death, but then new life.” The restoration we want to oversee and support speaks to restoring more than just our building.
While structural assessments of the building are still ongoing, project estimates are already coming in at over $1 Million to ensure the building is ready for the work of future generations. We ask that you please keep us in your prayers, and we thank you for any and all assistance!