Tuesday, December 11, 2007

GoodSearch Good News

The folks at GoodSearch have calculated our earnings in the fiscal year that runs from October 2006 through September 2007. Each search, estimated to earn a penny, actually earned 1.3 cents. We began on GoodSearch in July, and sometime this month, we should receive a check for Compton Cares in the amount of $40.99.* GoodSearch pays but once a year, after their total ad revenue is calculated, but already our estimated earnings for next year are almost $50, thanks in part to shopping. And we have nine more months to go! The total amount you have raised for Compton Cares since the inception of this project is $87.25 and rising. The cumulative total will be updated weekly in the Fund Raising column at the right side of this page.
* Update: the actual check was for $41.09!
Thanks to everyone who has searched and shopped. Your choice to use GoodSearch and GoodShop is making a difference at Compton Heights.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Hope, Feast, Share

Advent has come to Compton! On Dec. 2, the first banner, the Star of Hope, appeared, along with an Advent Wreath in the sanctuary. The Hanging of the Greens made the rest of the sanctuary look festive as well.

Today the Peace banner appeared as the second candle was lit. The angel joined the empty manger in the creche. The angel's message: Be Not Afraid.

The project continues to show progress! This photo was taken two weeks ago in the new kitchen- ette. This room as well as both bathrooms are completely dry-walled and primed for paint. Overhead lighting was added after this photo was taken. The new cabinets are assembled and ready to be installed. The paint colors have been ordered as well. We are still waiting for the front entrance work to begin. All week we have had cold weather and freezing rain. Not the best for concrete work.

Advent may reign in the sanc- tuary, but Christmas was evident in the well decorated fellowship hall for the Christmas Fellowship dinner today. Beyond the dessert table is an exhibit of Alternative Gift possibilities. If a group is tired of exchanging gag gifts, why not contribute what you would have spent to one of these worthwhile causes? Or give a gift to a worthy organization in honor of someone? As we enjoyed the food, we exchanged ideas.

A crowd began to gather as the food appeared. Finally Pastor Jacque gave the blessing and everyone could dig in!

Please keep track of our progress on the accessibility project as well as the Compton Cares Financial campaign in the column to the right. And if you are shopping for a special gift, please consider purchasing it online, using either Good Shop or EScrip. Over time, these contributions are adding up! We thank you for your support and wish everyone a blessed Christmas. Next year, we can hold our dinner upstairs in the Library, using the new kitchen and the festivities will be accessible to some folks who simply can't get into the church building today. Being open and accessible to all is what Compton Cares is all about.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Picking Out Tile, Contractor Changes

Over the past two weeks, we haven't had much additional construction progress, but many new things are happening at Compton, just the same.

We pored over choices for counter tops in the bathrooms, as well as divider materials and floor tile. A sample of the cabinet doors for the kitchenette and counter top for the kitchenette, both of which have been donated by a member, allowed us to pick the floor color for that room, too.

Shortly after the photo at right was taken, we had a change in contractors for the carpentry work. So progress in putting up walls has slowed, but should pick up again when the new carpenter arrives in another week.

Donations and fund raising continue to be amazing. Please check the updated figures in the far right column.

In worship this morning, Nov. 11, we cele- brated the licensing of our student pastor, Jenn Simmons, witnessed by all present, including pastor Jacque Foster and area minister Penny Ross-Corona. Jenn gave the sermon today and celebrated communion. She also played guitar and led the congregation in singing an upbeat version of Be Thou My Vision. Thanks, Jenn!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

We Have Drywall!

Late last week, the carpenters started putting up drywall on the partitions in the accessible bathrooms. After a couple of months of staring at framing, this feels like real progress. At left is part of the entrance to the restroom area.

The west wall of the kitchen- ette is getting green board. This wall will back the sink, stove and refrig- erator.

Drywall also covers the framing of the east wall of the kitchen, between it and the Gleaner's classroom. Lighting the photos is a challenge, since the light fixtures aren't connected yet.

We caught up with our construction manager, Zac, today as he met with the carpenters. This is the other side of the entrance to the new restrooms.

Party, Party, Party

On Sunday evening, Compton folks held a chili supper and costume party in Fellowship Hall. (Note: once the new kitchenette is finished and the accessible entrance is built, we can have such events on a level where everyone can easily take part.)

Marsha and Shannon came as the dirty laundry and the detergent.

Mary, our mistress of costume changes, came as Little Bo Peep this year. We still remember the Halloween Happy Friday when she came as a pumpkin!

Jacque and Dave had the most literary disguise. Can you guess what they are? (Hint: if you are from the South, you put them on your New Years Day menu.)

Jenn came as a bee, much to the delight of the youngsters present. About two dozen Compton folk of all ages, plus some friends from Isaiah 58, took part in the games, cakewalk, food and fun.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Update on Construction and Finance

The accessibility project continues to make progress. As of last week, we were waiting for a second inspection of the electrical work. Once that passes, the framing can be inspected, and after that passes, we can have drywall! The plumbing has already passed inspection.

The top photo shows the framing and some of the electrical behind the door that leads into the new restroom space. At right is the plumbing and framing along the wall that will divide the men's and women's restrooms. A window in this former classroom straddles the new wall and will be bricked over.

Down the hall in the kitchen- ette, all is ready for the next phase. Pipes are ready for the sink, electrical outlets are in place for the stove and new refrigerator. All that is needed for carpentry and installation of the cabinets are those inspections!

An unexpected glitch was the need to install a new cutoff valve for the main water supply. As you can see, that ditch from a few weeks back has now been replaced with this clearly marked valve by the education building door.

We expect the contractor who will do the front entrance work to be available near the end of October. We are all hoping for a mild winter!

Please visit the sidebar articles about our financial progress, both from pledges and contributions as well as from fundraising. GoodShop is really taking off! You can painlessly donate $1.00 to Compton Cares by making 100 web searches on GoodSearch. Or, you can go through GoodShop for an online purchase and spend $100 with a merchant that donates 1%, or $34 with a merchant that donates 3%, or $20 with a merchant that donates 5%. Your cost is the same, but that $1.00 comes to Compton Cares. Just a thought as the holiday shopping season draws near. Thank you, everyone, for your support, your interest, your prayers for this project. We will publish updates here weekly, or when new developments take place.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Invisible Progress

Another week of electrical and plumbing work that doesn't really yield itself to being photogenic. Instead, this photo of Caroline Chueh, with her husband, daughter and relatives in Taiwan, serves as a reminder of what God's radical hospitality is all about. Last fall, three nurses from Taiwan who were studying for their doctorates traveled all the way to St. Louis to take courses at St. Louis University's School of Nursing. Caroline, Nissa and Catherine, as well as a fourth student, Pateree from Thailand, found Compton and worshipped with us until the semester ended. Although homesick and missing their children, they found a spiritual home with us and returned to look for new connections with Christian communities in their hometowns. This photo was taken Oct. 3 as the family was on holiday. On Oct. 6 and 7, Typhoon Krosa battered Taiwan before moving on to southern China. We pray that all of our friends and their families are safe. Thanks to the Internet, once they have electricity restored we can look forward to hearing from them again.

In the last few weeks, Compton outreach has resulted in some 29 hygiene kits being gathered and sent to the Festival of Sharing for women in Missouri prisons. Our Book Circle was featured in the "Find a Book club" booth at the Big Read in Clayton this past Saturday. And our special offering for Reconciliation Ministries is nearly $500, on its way to help transform the larger church and society to eradicate racism.

And giving to Compton Cares continues to grow. Use of GoodSearch is increasing, and we are thankful to all who use this means to contribute. If you have not tried GoodShop, please note that one modest online purchase through this site can equal 100 searches or more in contribution. Case in point: recently a relative was hospitalized in another state and I wanted to send flowers to her. Instead of looking for 800 numbers to call, I clicked on GoodShop, picked flowers and gifts, browsed the selections of some 4 different florists. I made my selection and my purchase. My relative had the flowers I ordered early the next day. The transaction was on secure sites and appeared correctly on my credit card. And just yesterday, 5% of the purchase price of $42, a total of $2.10 was added to Compton's credits on GoodSearch. It's a great way to do good while doing something for yourself or others, so feel free to check it out.

Hopefully by next week there will be more construction progress, and pictures, to show. Meanwhile, thanks for your support and prayers for Compton Cares.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Out of Sight

No new photos this week. Most of the progress has involved wiring and plumbing pipes, being laid along ceilings, under floors, through various holes in walls, ceilings and floors. Lots of drilling and noise in the building, according to those who are there during the week. And a new cutoff valve for the main water line has been completed; that hole in the ground in last week's post is filled in.

In addition, Dave has been working with Zach (the supervising contractor) to figure out how best to use a gift we received from Jan--base and wall cabinets and a counter top that can be adapted to fit the new kitchenette! Additional cabinet doors, inside fittings and maybe another cabinet or two have been found on closeout from the manufacturer, so the new cabinets and counter top will be not only functional, but lovely. And quite a bit of expense saved there, thanks to Jan's generosity and Dave's ingenuity.

As soon as something new and photogenic arrives, we'll post more pictures!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Beyond Pipes and Walls

This week found some of the Compton Heights women at the Southeast Gateway Area retreat at Orchard Crest Camp. The retreat keynoter was our own pastor Jacque Foster.

, Eva, Janice, Norma and Judi repre- sented Compton at this gathering of about 35 women. The rustic accommodations at the camp are both charming and something we are more aware of as we think about accessibility. Very little of the camp ground is easy access if a person has issues with arthritis or other mobility limits. But we had fun, anyway, and Jacque was a great leader. It was great to share Compton's mission with others from the area--note those Compton T-shirts!

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, or church, most of the past week in construction has been about water, how to route it, how to drain it, and how to turn it on and off. Or so it seems. At right, new pipes are roughed in to serve a new sink in the kitchenette.

Both waste and supply pipes that once inhabited the space between the old kitchen- ette and old bath rooms have now been completely rerouted through the floor, up the walls and criss crossing the ceiling to gain access to the upper floor. A marvel of cast iron, copper and pvc.

As they have worked, the plumbers have been frustrated by the lack of working shut off valves in our building. Most of them appear to be frozen open, not a good thing. New this week is this excavation just outside the education building entrance to uncover a supply line that enters the kitchen on the ground level. Yes, it has a valve. The valve is open. It needs to be replaced. Stay tuned.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Compton Homecoming Sunday

Today was Homecoming Sunday at Compton. We had many guests and visitors in worship--calling and inviting people works wonders! Food helps, too. Almost 60 people dug in to the various dishes brought in for the feast. And yes, there was some left--a little bit, anyway.

The maze of pipes and drains that used to be between the kitchenette and the tiny bathrooms was completely relocated by the plumbers this week. The noise of jackhammers and the dust from holes being punched through the floor did interrupt the work of Isaiah 58 so much that the food pantry will be closed until Sept. 24, and the director had to temporarily relocate her office. All will soon be back to normal downstairs, we hope.

Meanwhile, in the former nursery, the studs for new walls are in place, and some of the plumbing is also relocated. Soon two new accessible bathrooms, separate for men and women, will be going in. So the photos above and below are not of a jail, but of what will become a liberating new feature for our building.

We also received word this week that the concrete contractor is finishing up a prior job and will be ready to start on our front entrance sooner than we thought, possibly by the last week of this month. So watch the space soon for news of an impromptu "concrete breaking" ceremony.

Also this week, our former student associate and sabbatical pastor, Darla Glynn, sent this e-mail:
It is so exciting to see all the changes going on with the Compton Cares Campaign! I can't tell you how this warms my heart to see God powerfully at work in the life of the community. Grace has always abounded at Compton and now the cup seems to be running over in so many miraculous ways. All of you and each of you remain in my hopes, thoughts, prayers and heart. I look forward to seeing the ongoing progress. Know that I am celebrating with you as your new space unfolds! Christ's love to all, miss you much, Grace & Peace, Darla

Thanks, Darla! Everyone, feel free to add your comments, or to send an e-mail. The e-mail link is found on my profile.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

New Faces at Compton Heights

The Compton Cares accessibility project is about more than construction; it's about extending a hospitable welcome, and doing something new in this place. So today we welcomed our new student associate pastor for this year, Jenn Simmons, a student at Eden Theological Seminary. Jenn read the psalm and participated in other parts of morning worship. Welcome, Jenn!

Another new face belongs to 5- month- old Madison, who visited the new nursery today with her grandma Judy. Norma took care of Madison during worship and said she was a delight. (Jacque, the photographer apologizes for getting you faded out in the backlight.)

Now about those newly exposed pipes. Many phone calls and e-mails went back and forth this week, trying to decide if any of these are too crucial to move. At last word, all should be well. But this morning during coffee hour, Sarah, Darrell and Bryan took a closer look at our "maze" of plumbing and also marveled at what a solid structure the education building really is.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

More Deconstruction

More progress this week in the removal of the old bath rooms and kitchen is visible in this photo taken today. This view is from the same vantage point as the view of the old kitchenette that I posted previously. The sink, cabinets, cook top and refrigerator are gone! So are the two tiny bathrooms. Plumbing and pipes will be removed or relocated so that this corridor can become a new, more functional kitchenette stretching from the door back toward the window.

And where has all the rubbish gone? Into the big trash bin parked behind the building. It is causing some parking and access issues for Isaiah 58's food pantry, but staff and volunteers are working around it. This phase is supposed to last 3-4 weeks, we were told initially, and this is week 2.

Monday, September 3, 2007

At Last, Construction!

After almost a year of planning and fund raising, work has begun on the interior phase of the Compton Cares project!
The old kitchenette, above, will be removed in this phase.

Also to be removed are the two tiny toilet compartments behind the kitchenette. These were originally designed for small children and the cramped quarters and unisex arrangement lacked privacy.

Workers began dismantling the toilets and adjoining spaces on Wednesday, August 29. By Sunday, Sept. 2, all that remained of the former "water closets" was this array of pipes and conduits.

The previous nursery, with its cheerful mural of Noah, will become the space for two new accessible restrooms, for men and women. Additional space from the former Gleaners' classroom will be needed, so the wall between them was also demolished at the end of the week.

We are equiped for little ones, however! A smaller, cheerful nursery has been set up in a former associate pastor's office space near the sanctuary. During construction, the Gleaners' class is meeting in Fellowship Hall, and members are using restrooms on the lower floor.

We know that others who use our building will be impacted during the project, and we are working with them to minimize disruptions. The outdoor phase of the project should begin toward the end of September, or as soon as the contractor is available.

Updated information about the project will be posted here weekly, so check back often!