Advent welcomes all visitors! We want to grow the congregation by providing the community with a viable and safe place to worship and share God’s gifts. The Vestry and Church volunteers work hard to keep the buildings and grounds as nice as possible so people will feel comfortable coming to our church and joining our church family.
We have a wonderful facility at Advent and we need to think of ways to use it to show it off to prospective new members. Our services speak for themselves, but it is the other events that help to foster a community family. Recent activities that show this were the Artisan Fair and the Lion King production. This brought people into Advent, some of whom are not parishioners, and showed these people what a warm and welcoming place Advent is, and in time will probably bring them back to Advent to share in our services as well. We need more of these types of activities where we can put our Advent Campus to good use to entice more people to join our congregation. We have a first class kitchen facility in the South Wing and Fellowship Hall that could be used for all sorts of events to bring new people into the Advent family. I invite you to contact me or any member of the Vestry if you have any ideas on how we utilize this space or any other in the Advent Campus to show non-members what a welcoming and vibrant Church Advent is.
However, the Advent Campus is getting older and beginning to experience system and building failures. In the last three months we have experienced problems with the roofs and subsequent leakage issues, plumbing issues which included the need to dig up the main sewer line and make repairs, continued problems with the HVAC system and back-up oil fired heating system to name a few. These have been dealt with on a maintenance basis and have been manageable, do point out the need for a long-term planning.
In my last Checking-In article (October), I mentioned that we had commissioned an engineering firm to review our campus and major systems. The Bustamante work has since been completed and their report accepted by the Vestry. In total, it is projected there will be $1.7 million of capital need over the next fifteen years. Our Development Warden, Collis Townsend, has begun exploring how best to raise these funds. The priority is to meet the most pressing needs, while also putting in place an endowment to meet future needs even beyond the fifteen year window. You will hear more about this in the months to come.
The other thing that we have been working on is the Emergency Preparedness Plan, upgrading our previous emergency plans for Advent and getting ready to implement training programs and practice drills to ensure we are prepared in the event of an emergency actually occurring. The team that is working on this is being led by Dawn Deivert and encompasses Len Bieberbach, Pete Peterson, Sandy Hess and in the earlier stages Liz Swain. They have developed a detailed and sound Emergency Plan and this will be rolled out over the next several weeks. Various groups such as the Clergy, Acolytes, Ushers and Greeters will get specific training on how to deal with emergency situations during services. Other groups using the Advent Campus during the week will get similar training as appropriate and will include the Staff and Pre-School Staff and Children.
It has been some time since we have had a fire drill during a service, with to my memory it occurring quite accidentally when we were sending up the Alleluias to heaven at the start of Lent, and tripped the smoke detector in the ceiling of the Sanctuary. The response was fairly good but it is now time for a refresher. These will be scheduled over the next several weeks and you will be alerted beforehand so that you can make sure to be at one of the services and be a part of the practice!
We are also having some security equipment installed in the form of Closed Circuit TV with four cameras covering the Upper and Lower Car Parks, Burglar Alarms on the doors and associated motion detectors in key areas of the Advent Campus, and Panic buttons to alert the police directly in the event of an unwanted intruder incidence.
Finally we will also be having First Aid lessons given by the EMT’s of the local fire department to ensure we have parishioner’s up to date on CPR procedures and the use of the Defibrillator’s that are located in the Advent Church entrance. These sessions will also cover the application of pressure bandages and other first aid applications for significant injuries that might occur.