Connections: August 2019—A Moment With … Facilities Ministry Moderator Kait Murphy

What did the Facilities, Membership and Evangelism, and Worship Ministries hope to accomplish during the August 24 work day?

We wanted to create an all-ages, all-skill level opportunity for fellowship across these ministries as we cared for our historical property inside and outside in preparation for Rally Day and the start of the 2019–2020 education programming.

We focused on mulching, weeding, trimming, and overall gardening outside and sprucing up the sanctuary and other interior spaces used for education inside.

What are the Meeting House’s biggest facilities-related challenges?

Being the stewards of a beautiful historic property with four buildings and burial ground requires a lot of maintenance and attention to detail. Some repairs or replacements can be costly or must adhere to Historical Old Town Alexandria city codes.

Timelines can range from immediate to needing official approval, so there are a lot of stops and starts. We’re constantly reassessing and prioritizing, so even with staff and volunteers paying close attention, it’s still a challenge to keep up with repairs, weather events, and the historical nature of the buildings.

What are some specific projects you hope to complete this program year (which kicks off on Rally Day [Sunday, September 8])?

  • We’re installing a new boiler in the education building (just in time for the start of education programming and the opening of the preschool).
  • We’ll be making exterior repairs to Elliot House.
  • A newly formed subcommittee will address audio and sound system planning (2021–2025), focusing on sound and video equipment that is used to record worship services, DVD and audio podcast production for people to experience our services.
  • We’re in the process of making repairs to the buildings on campus affected by the midsummer flooding and storms. Heritage Hall and Elliot House sustained damage requiring remediation, and we need to replace materials as well as identify future flood and leak prevention designs for prone areas.
Thus far, what have you liked about being moderator?

It has been a great experience to care for such a historically significant campus. My appreciation for the level of work and attention required to maintain the character of the church and other buildings has grown and has been humbling.

There are so many cosmetic things that we see day to day that we can appreciate, but looking deeper into the character of the architecture and design is truly inspiring and I feel honored to be a part of the Meeting House’s living history.

For more information about the Facilities Ministry and its work, please contact Kait.