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Little Church Update – It’s Ready for Worship!

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As I write this (July 22, 2019) we can actually see the “end-of-the-tunnel” of the work that started right after Easter. We haven’t arrived, but we should have by the time you read this. As the photographer for the project, it has been fun to document the progress. Please note that others have contributed photos as well. Enjoy the accompanying photos.

Do you have any idea how much painter’s tape we used to mask off walls and pews from the floor? Rolls and rolls.

The floor: Some areas of high traffic and the floor between pews required filling; all the wooden areas were primed and at least two coats of Chocolate Bon Bon floor paint were brushed on to protect the floor from parishioner’s feet in the future.

Underneath the grime of ages and a fair amount of chewing gum, we found beautiful redwood pews. Alas, the pew’s baseboard next to the carpet did not stand the test of time so new baseboards were manufactured (by Fremont Cabinet) of a harder wood and stained to match. Some pews required repairs with glue and nails and we hope you will not detect the workmanship. A new center-brace, manufactured by Dave Nelsen, supports each pew, lessening the creaks and squeaks from before.  Al and Mary Casas had stored a damaged pew in their garage for many years; now it is repaired and sits facing the Columbarium.

Bookracks: The original bookracks (cleaned, repaired and coated) on the backs of the pews have been relocated to the side of each pew closest to the outside wall. New, matching book racks, crafted by Dave Nelsen, twice as long as the originals, have been placed on the aisle-side of each pew. We hope that no Prayer Books or Hymnals will lie on the newly cleaned cushions (see below).

As the dust from repair and reconstruction rose (we covered the organ and parts with plastic to protect them) we could see a major dusting job ahead of us at the end of the project. It continues. Also, a couple of ceiling lights, so far above the floor and out for some time, were replaced on a recent Saturday.

So many parishioners participated in the project, giving so many ours of their time, talent, and even material. People of varying expertise contributed in many ways that made the project a success. See the list below.

The new Cathedral Red carpet (a churchly name, already installed) will be a positive, colorful finishing touch for the Little Church. Note the transition molding between the carpet and the floor; it should help the carpet last longer. Much of the work on the pews may not be noticed, covered up by the red cushions professionally cleaned by Integrity Cleaning.

The Altar, Bishop’s and Priest’s chairs stand in their places, all carefully refinished and repaired as needed. If you can now see the details in the carving of the lectern and pulpit, it’s because they were lovingly cleaned, stained and poly-coated. Once dull, the Altar now glows after loving cleaning and a new coating.

Extras for free: Refinished the bench under the altar, the historical stool found in the choir area, the cupboard in the columbarium area with ornate doors, the piano stool, and the end table which also had its faux alligator skin removed.

Finishing touches: The marble font, repaired and polished, the lettering repainted, is now ready for use. Odd holes in the floor were replaced with wood. As the smells of paint, stain and polyurethane fade away, we hope the work will be appreciated, but not really noticed, that the Little Church will retain its character as a place of worship from long ago to the now we live in…and beyond.

We saved an eclectic collection of original square nails, pew baseboard pieces and other odd pieces of wood. Our hope is to create an “art work” showing Little Church history. Do you have a suggestion?

Tools, labor and materials: All tools and their use were donated for our use by parishioners and the labor was lovingly donated as well. Jim Cunningham provided major knowhow and many tools as well in the process. Materials were charged to the Little Church Project. Cushion cleaning was paid for by donation.

Sylvia Ma kept us in-focus, on-schedule, and on-task so that we finished on time, and under budget!

Next Project: Painting the Little Church, by professionals, while we all watch – whew!

List of helpers:
Sylvia Ma
Jim Cunningham
Bob Doherty
Walter Wodka
Lyn Wodka
Dave Nelsen
Marcus Pun
Bruce Roberts
Tom Blalock
Laura Winter
Meg Amouroux
John Amouroux
Ruth Poole
Sally Morgan
Cathy Knotts
Gregg Feeney
Ken Trant
Don Rose
Bob Bynum
Greg Miller
Jan Brandt

Love to All from the Little Church Restoration Team,
Bruce Roberts