Fire Recovery Committee Formed

by Amy Hiestand, First Church Moderator

At its October 25 meeting, the Church Council approved the formation of the "Fire Recovery Committee" (FRC), a new, ad-hoc council committee to serve as a coordinating body for the fire recovery efforts at First Church. The 12-member group will work closely with church staff. 

While many from our congregation and staff jumped immediately into action in the days following the September 30 fire, for which I feel so grateful and blessed, it was evident that we needed a coordinating and oversight body comprised of congregation members who could readily respond to the immediate assessment, recovery and rebuilding issues associated with the fire. 

The members of the committee bring significant experience in a variety of areas that will be useful as the church navigates a complex insurance claims adjustment process, and the subsequent task of rebuilding. Members? expertise includes building and construction, design and architecture, insurance and insurance law, finance, and capital planning and funding. They are all dedicated to serving our church?s best interests during this important and full time in our church life, and as a congregation, we are so fortunate to have this expertise represented on the committee.

Members are Roger Bash, Lorenzo Llanillo, Nathan Hood, Moe Wright, Milton Fujii, Paul Chapman, Scott Sporte, Bob Hester, Steve Randall, and Margie Allen; Moderator Amy Hiestand and Moderator-Elect Rod MacKenzie will serve as ex-officio members; and Senior Minister Molly Baskette and Business Manager Nate Mazur will provide staff support.

The Fire Recovery Committee will meet regularly and present updates to both the Church Council and the congregation. 

At the October meeting, Council was updated on the church campus building status, and work underway to stabilize the remaining structures of Pilgrim Hall and prepare the sanctuary for renovation. BBI Construction will serve as the general contractor for the sanctuary renovation project and work will begin in November. The sanctuary will be renovated in a ?like-for-like? manner?just over ten years ago we undertook a beautiful renovation of our sanctuary (for which BBI served as lead contractor) and this will enable us to be back in our sanctuary, hopefully, by early 2017! 

Check out photos of the work that is already being done on the Sanctuary and around the church...

The future of the Pilgrim Hall space remains uncertain pending damage assessment and resolution of insurance claims. One of the FRC?s roles will be to develop a proposal for the Council to establish a Blue Sky Team that will be charged with leading the congregation in a visioning process on the rebuilding of the Pilgrim Hall site, once these steps are completed and we know the realistic range of options for rebuilding or reusing the space. 

Read the complete Council report including the FRC?s expected roles and responsibilities...

Please check the Carillon for updates on the FRC?s progress. Also, save the date for a ?Congregational Conversation? led by members of the FRC on Sunday, November 20 (to be held after the worship service and communion concludes). This will be an opportunity for an update and Q&A time on the building status and Sanctuary Renovation project.  Look forward to seeing you there!

Read answers to some frequently asked questions published by the Fire Recovery Committee on December 22, 2016...