I have some sad follow-up news about the damage sustained from Hurricane Ida. While initially it seemed we had come through the storm relatively unscathed, time and subsequent walkthroughs have revealed more substantial damage. We discovered that our entire campus was subject to significant roof damage, leaks, and moisture damage that continues to appear. Sustained power loss has only exacerbated the problems. All this damage requires mitigation and extensive repairs which will prevent us from accessing our facilities for several weeks.
The good news is the repair work has already begun. Contractors have been approved by Church Insurance Company, our insurer, and are at work now—you may have seen the equipment and trucks in the parking lot. A crew of workers are removing moisture from all rooms, hallways, and spaces using dehumidifiers, as well fans to recirculate the air. The air is then being “scrubbed” through HEPA filters. Once that is completed in phases, construction may begin, with timeframes for different parts of the campus ranging from a couple of weeks to a couple of months.
For the school this is a substantial problem. The priority for the school is to have an in-person school year for the children all year. The school’s board of trustees, faculty, and administration are working on several options to make that possible. I ask for your prayers and support as they make these plans for the restoration of our wonderful school for our amazing children.
While this is unfortunate for us as a worshipping community, it is only temporary, and is manageable. We should be worshipping, learning, and growing together in our church building in approximately 4-6 weeks. Here is what we will do in the interim:
- Keep an eye on the ePISTLE Friday email for opportunities to help and support our neighbors.
- All church-wide Christian education opportunities will happen via Zoom. Please watch the ePISTLE Friday email for details.
- This Sunday, September 12, 2021, we will worship in front of the chapel doors on Canal Blvd. Bring your own blankets or lawn chairs for a brief service of Holy Eucharist at 10:15 AM. Please note that the parking lot will be unavailable this Sunday.
- On Sunday, September 19, and the Sundays following while the church is undergoing repairs, we invite you to join us for in-person worship at 10:00 AM at Christ Church Cathedral, 2919 St. Charles Ave. We are grateful to The Very Rev. David duPlantier, Dean and Rector of Christ Church Cathedral, for graciously extending an invitation for us to join in. The Cathedral also has a new AV system which will allow those still worshipping at home to be a part of our worship via Facebook or YouTube.
I am sorry to deliver such disheartening news. It is an extremely frustrating set of circumstances capping off an extremely frustrating 18 months. We are, nonetheless, people of hope. We are graced to be part of a supportive, Spirit-filled, and loving community, and we will get through this together as we always do. Please reach out to me if you have questions or concerns. Keep the faith.
The Rev. Rob Courtney, Rector