All of the busy and able workers of the Silver Lake Institute have been thrilled at the announcement of the three recent grants awarded to the Silver Lake Institute to be used against the expenses incurred at Epworth Hall this year.
These expenses include: a very necessary new roof, repair of the foundation, straightening the building from its lean, elimination of moisture in the basement, the re-installation of storm drainage around the building, and the replacement of badly worn electrical wire, in addition to better lighting and a few more electrical receptacles. Many, if not most of these would be covered under the grant(s), according to the architects.
At this point and time, the replacement of the floor is not covered in any of the grants.
Along with talk of grants, just naturally comes talk of potential restrictions as to what the building use might be limited to. Let's include the following in the discussions:
(1) The recruiter and scheduler on the worship committee has been submitting an increasing number of outdoor services as opposed to Epworth Hall for the simple reason that attendance has been better outdoors. So far the committee and the Board has been approving these plans which actually resemble a time in the SLI history before Epworth was used for worship.
(2) Our largest service is that of the Memorial Service (or "Celebration of Life" Service) where last year we drew 150+. Another increasing concern is that of lighting candles in such an old wooden building as Epworth. The architects have just recently warned us about this recently for our own safety, that of the community, and of the building itself. Transitioning to LED candles would answer that concern whether we do it in Epworth or took the Memorial Service outdoors under the tent.
(3) Since moving into the SLI community, the recruiter and scheduler has received many positive opinions about reviving an old Garden Club idea of constructing an open-walled Pavilion in the Park, trimmed with Victorian accessories. With electrical power coming back to the Park in time for this season, the Pavilion would be available for many uses in addition to those of the worship committee. After the Dock Service, the Service in the Park was the second highest attendance last season.
Percentage-wise, the worship services account for the smallest percentage of time used in Epworth Hall and during the month of August account for some of the lowest attendances of the season. This is why we have raised the question about what God might be doing (through us) with Epworth Hall that's new....
Not just new repairs and rehabilitation, but newness in kicking the faithful out into the community rather than sitting and waiting for them to arrive at the far south end of the grounds. Outdoor services are also more attractive to the other tracks around the lake who prefer more neutral, our-doors-ish locations.
This season there will be three (3) free Hot Dog Fellowships--one at each of the two Dock services and one after the Under the Tent service in the Park. Come join the conversation AND the fun in these exciting days and times.