reBuilding a Cornerstone Community

reBuilding a Cornerstone Community

Over the last few months, you may have heard mention of renovating St. Philip. As we work towards building The Alcena – An Affordable Living Community, We also want to ensure that our building continues to stand as cornerstone in our community. We want to continue to be as a spiritual and community cornerstone in the Albina/Eliot neighborhood, a place where our neighbors can meet and renewed by God as we seek to welcome and care for the vulnerable.

Our building is aging (it was built in 1945!) and requires repairs and updates in order to be a welcoming, flexible, and beautiful sacred space. We would like to do any and all of the following:

  • Create a beautiful and flexible sacred space for ongoing worship.
  • Commission icons to reflect Black people of faith such as Pauli Murray, Absalom Jones, Howard Thurman, and more (Mtr. Alcena has a fabulous list of suggestions).
  • Upgrade the lighting, sound, and electrical in our sanctuary space in order to welcome online participants.
  • Upgrade the kitchen so it is more accessible and usable by our community, especially the elders who may live in The Alcena!
  • Address HVAC issues so we are warm in the winter and cool in the summer!
  • Replace and insulate our roof, which will likely mean repairing if not replacing the cracking ceiling in the Sanctuary…
  • And more….!

In order to to this, the Vestry has taken two initial steps. First, we have hired In Her Own Write, an experienced grant writer, to help us solicit funds from organizations committed to supporting both community engagement projects and rethinking our sacred spaces. Second, we have hired InfillPDX, an experienced engineering and architecture team, to walk with us through the phases of this project. The first phase is wrangling contractor estimates for all the work. We need these estimates to write accurate grants, and it is far more than Rev’d Maria and the Junior Warden Paula can do. We anticipate continuing to work with both Kathy of In Her Own Write and Nicholas and Mia of InfillPDX for subsequent phases pending funding results.

We will be setting aside time as a parish to discuss desired functionality and present design options as we develop our plans and raise the money make them a reality.

Whatever we decide to do, we want to ensure that our building remains a sacred gathering space where community is built, justice and mercy are supported, and God is glorified as we honor and support the vulnerable among us.