As many of you know, our church leaders have been seeking to address our accessibility issues. As much as we love our church building, its many levels and stairs present abarrier to any who have difficulty with mobility.
As I told you back in November, our leaders have been considering a proposal to install two vertical lifts (one in each building), enabling interior access to our entire facility, for an estimated combined cost of around $350,000. While that is a substantial amount, it is within range of what we as a congregation could raise. On Monday, December 15, our Administrative Board affirmed this project and recommended it to the congregation. The final decision will rest with the congregation at a special Church Conference meeting on Sunday, January 25. We will have only one worship service that day at 9:30, followed immediately by the church conference. Child care will be provided.
Some of us may not be familiar with vertical lifts, which are a safe but less expensive
alternative to an elevator. Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Chelmsford installed a vertical lift a few years ago and they have offered to let people from our church take a look (or a ride) and see what we’re talking about.
We are continuing to research how to fund the accessibility project. It would likely
involve a capital fund drive during the early months of 2015, where the church would ask for
pledges toward the project, to be paid over 3 to 5 years. In the meantime, we would borrow
money to get the work completed, and use the proceeds from the capital fund drive to pay off
that loan. With interest and other possible costs, we will likely have a target for our capital fund drive of $400,000.
I ask that you keep our church in your prayers as we consider this important decision in
the coming months. And I especially encourage everyone to attend the special Church
Conference on Sunday, January 25 immediately after our 9:30 worship service.