Capital Campaign Update

Since the last issue of this newsletter, there has been much progress in the Capital Campaign on multiple fronts. In this update, we will report on three Capital Campaign projects that have been completed or substantially advanced with funds raised and the Campaign’s plans for the upcoming weeks.

Concerning the new prayer circle, six new benches fabricated by Lukas Schwartz from black locust logs now form the circle. A layer of small gravel (pea stone) is to be added on top of the existing larger gravel, some enriched topsoil is to be added to existing soil, and several parishioners will donate and plant ferns from their gardens. Planting is to be done after gravel is installed, hopefully in June. This project was largely funded by a St. John’s parishioner as part of the Capital Campaign.

Prayer circle, June 14, 2023, looking west, with St. John’s graveyard, church, rectory (behind tree branches), and pavilion in the distance. Photo by B. Boom

The re-asphalting of the church driveway and area around the church by McCagg Contracting has been completed. The Vestry approved the use of some Upjohn Fund money to do the driveway asphalt from the highway up to the church, considering this component of the project to be an ongoing church maintenance expense. Capital Campaign funds provided by parishioners covered the balance of the work around the church and new accessible entrance.

We are pleased to report that the Rheinstrom Hill Community Foundation recently approved a $14,000 grant to support the Walkway Landscaping Project, which includes the purchase of amended soil and mulch, as well as the purchase and installation of native plants for what will be named the “Rheinstrom Garden.” Many of the previously existing plants were purchased by a parishioner with the remaining plants to be sold at the Father’s Day Plant Sale on June 18th, and any plants not sold at the Sale will be incorporated into other existing gardens.

Stacia Montenegro (left), owner of Garden Tenders, and her team install plantings for the Rheinstrom Garden around a newly re-asphalted walkway, June 8, 2023. Photo by B. Boom

The Capital Campaign Committee is working with the Buildings & Grounds Committee to get quotes from contractors for (1) electrical upgrades and electric power and water connections to the new pavilion, (2) lighting at the new parking area and the church’s accessible entrance ramp, and (3) Pomeroy Graveyard fence repair and embankment stabilization. A paucity of available contractors in the area is hindering the process.

Later this month, the Committee will send out reminder letters to the half-dozen or so parishioners who have pledged funds to the Capital Campaign for 2023 but have not yet made payments on those pledges. We will also send out letters in June soliciting Campaign donations from parishioners who have not yet made pledges to the Campaign but who would like to help in the final push to successfully conclude the Capital Campaign in 2023.

Finally, we would like to thank the many parishioners and friends of the Church of St. John in the Wilderness for contributing to the Capital Campaign to help sustain people, place, and peace at our wonderful, historic church on a hill in the Taconic Mountains of Copake Falls, New York.

Brian Boom and Lucy Eldridge, Co-Chairs

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