Capital Campaign Update

The Capital Campaign Committee wishes to express deep gratitude to the Rheinstrom Hill Foundation for its recently awarded $5,000 grant to the Church of St John in the Wilderness in support of the accessible church entrance project. We are also immensely grateful to those individuals who have so far generously responded with $16,700 to the April 28, 2022, pledge request letters, covering calendar years 2022 and 2023. In summary, in that letter, we stated we sought $42,500 to complete the in-progress and anticipated Capital projects. So, with the funds received or pledged since April 28th, we need to raise only $19,650 to complete the prioritized Capital projects. The Committee is scheduled to meet next on August 31, 2022.

Since the publication of the previous newsletter, we have witnessed much activity on the planning and elaboration of Capital projects. For example, the old pavilion has been removed; a gravel base footprint has been laid where the new pavilion will be installed later this summer; the landscape has been regraded for a new parking lot next to the Rectory; granite stones for the accessible entrance to the church have been delivered to the front parking lot; and renovation on the Sacristy is moving forward. We want to thank Marjorie Hoog and her Buildings & Grounds Committee for all their good work on these projects.

Upcoming Capital Project activities highlighted by Marjorie Hoog for this report are as follows:

  • Pavilion – the new main pavilion building will be delivered on Friday, August 19 and the porch will be added on to the building on Monday and Tuesday, August 22 and 23; we will have to schedule bringing power to the pavilion and water next to the pavilion at a later date.
  • Prayer Circle – the benches for the prayer circle could be completed and in place by September 17.
  • New Parking – the new parking area adjacent to the Rectory is almost complete; the grass at the new berm is growing nicely; Dale and Marjorie are looking at solar powered light fixtures to light the area; barrier at the gas tank need to be installed.
  • Sacristy – renovation is now progressing rapidly, with painting and new wood flooring completed; the cabinets are expected to be installed the second week of August, and then Herrington’s will have to measure and fabricate the countertop. Completion expected in late September.
  • Accessible Church Entrance – Dale reports that Robbie Haldane, owner of Robert Haldane, Inc., and two members of his team, Ciarán Haldane (one of his sons) and Dave Karr, were on site starting August 8 and will complete the new church entrance, including stairs, in the coming days. The balance of work, including walkway (ramp) will be installed later, toward the end of August, and the handrail for steps also will be completed at a later date. It is a significant accomplishment of the Capital Campaign that the entrance with its ramp walkway will make our church much more accessible for the elderly and others needing special accommodation.

These are very exciting developments for the Church of St John in the Wilderness and the Copake Falls community! We are quite close with completing the funding needed to realize the projects highlighted above and several other prioritized initiatives. We thank very much those organizations and individuals that have contributed to the Capital Campaign over the past several years.

If you have already contributed to the Capital Campaign and would like to make an additional pledge, that would be most appreciated. If you have not yet pledged toward the Capital Campaign and would like to be part of achieving the goal, we would be pleased to send a pledge form to you. Of course, if you would like to speak with us to discuss a donation, please just let us know. A gift in any amount would make an important statement of support for the Campaign, which The Rev. John Thompson summarized so well in our April 28, 2022, pledge request letter:

“As has been said, the SJITW Capital Campaign is about sustaining people, place and peace. As we work on maintaining and improving the beautiful, historic church building, rectory and grounds, we are aware that the peace for which St John in the Wilderness is known will continue to spread. It’s all about love – between and among people rooted on a hill in Copake Falls.”

Brian Boom and Lucy Eldridge, co-chairs

Pictured, left to right, Robbie Haldane, Father John Thompson, Ciarán Haldane, and Dave Karr at construction site of the accessible front entrance to the Church of St John in the Wilderness, August 9, 2022.

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