I imagine most folks at HTELC have a good understanding of the various things that have to happen to keep the church property safe, clean, comfortable, functional, and presentable. Fire safety equipment must be properly inspected and operational. The heating system, water systems, electrical systems, kitchen and restroom equipment must work properly when needed. Equipment and furnishings throughout the building need to be kept serviceable.
The facility must be kept clean. The building exterior, grounds, driveways and parking lot have to be maintained. Grounds equipment must be operated, stored and maintained. That said, I also surmise that far fewer folks understand how all that gets done. For a facility of our size many churches would be relying heavily on outside vendor/contractor services and might well have a paid staff position or a service to manage and coordinate all that has to be done. Historically, we have relied heavily on volunteers. Of course, we also use outside services when appropriate and within our budgets, but week in and week out, throughout the year, our volunteers are heavily engaged in addressing our property needs. The scope of the volunteer work is considerable, and, increasingly, a challenge to keep going as the number of volunteers has gradually reduced over the years. An inevitable consequence of this trend is a growing backlog of work. The regular, routine work of the Thursday Morning Group tends to take all the available resources, particularly when the outside grounds work is heavy, and we are unable to address the backlog.
So, what is the answer? There are really just three ways we get property work done. First, we have volunteers who meet most Thursday mornings through the year to work on a wide variety of property tasks. These volunteers are nearly all retired folks who can regularly get to the church on Thursday morning. The second way uses volunteers who cannot work Thursday mornings, but are willing to work on property tasks at other times that suit their availability. This approach works well for volunteers who are comfortable working alone or possibly with another volunteer or team of volunteers. The third way involves hiring someone to come in and do the work. This usually means a volunteer is needed to seek bids, select a vendor, get the work scheduled, and see the work through to completion.
No matter how we go at it, it always comes down to volunteers, and we need more of them. If you are willing to help us on property related work of any kind, please contact the office, or contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 603 953-3855. Thank you for your consideration. Dave Mercer, Property Team Leader.