Methodist volunteers turn out for ‘demolition day’ at new center

October 3, 2009 by

Volunteers from the First United Metholidst Church, maintenance employees from the Motherhouse and three Sisters of St. Joseph made up the demolition crew at the new Neighbor to Neighbor center this morning.

Volunteers from the First United Metholidst Church, maintenance employees from the Motherhouse and three Sisters of St. Joseph made up the demolition crew at the new Neighbor to Neighbor center this morning.


Loren Swenson, a member of the Stewardship Committee for the First United Methodist Church, helped organize todays volunteer work party.

Loren Swenson, a member of the Stewardship Committee for the First United Methodist Church, helped organize today's volunteer work party.

Fifteen or so members of the First United Methodist Church showed up this morning, ready to flex their muscles and their faith in a show of support for the new Neighbor to Neighbor center in downtown Concordia.


The volunteer crew joined employees from the Sisters of St. Joseph Motherhouse maintenance staff to work on stripping the inside of the two-story building at 103 E. Sixth St. so renovating can begin. Also on hand were the three Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia who are behind the plan, and who will eventually run the center — Sisters Jean Befort, Pat McLennon and Ramona Medina. Martha Bryant, executive director of development for the Concordia sisters and the person responsible for fundraising for the project, was also there to lend her support.


The Methodists’ effort was led by the Stewardship Committee of the local church. Committee member Loren Swenson, who helped organize the effort, said he had hoped more church members would have joined the volunteers today, but that several other events had kept the number lower than he had hoped for. But, he said, the committee may plan another day helping on the center if it’s needed.


And while the number of volunteers might have been lower than anticipated, the enthusiasm and energy of those taking part was definitely high.


By the time the group took a lunch break about 11:30, walls in the second story had been completely removed and much of the framing for the old suspended ceiling and the interior walls were down.

Kale Pearson was the youngest member of the volunteer crew this morning.

Kale Pearson was the youngest member of the volunteer crew this morning.

The Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia purchased the 121-year-old building in late March. Today’s effort is a major step toward essentially gutting the interior. The next steps, according to the sisters’ facilities administrator, Greg Gallagher, will include repairing old water damage throughout the building, and then installing all new plumbing and fixtures, plus new sheetrock, dropped ceilings, carpet and other flooring, lighting and paint. Many of the windows will be replaced as part of the restoration, and the front entrance will be modified to be handicap accessible.


Neighbor to Neighbor, when it opens late this year or early in 2010, will provide a wide array of services for women and for women with young children and be a resource center to help them find other services they need, said Sister Pat. Services offered will likely include nutrition and parenting classes, workshops on healthy living, personal counseling and information on what help is available through other agencies. The center will also have small facilities to meet what Sister Pat described as “basic needs” — showers, a washer and dryer and a kitchen. Sister Ramona noted that services and volunteer opportunities will be added and developed as the need for them is identified.


While the renovation continues, a small interim program has started at the Motherhouse, welcoming women and women with young children two mornings a week. For more information on that program, click HERE.




If you’d like to help support Neighbor to Neighbor or any of the sisters’ other ministries, you can make a donation through a secure server with Amazon Simple Pay, simply by clicking on the Donate button:
















 
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One goal was to salvage as much of the lumber as possible, and that meant removing nails — a task taken on by, from left, Penny Larsen, Pam Campbell, Joyce Swenson and Christy Hasch.

One goal was to salvage as much of the lumber as possible, and that meant removing nails — a task taken on by, from left, Penny Larsen, Pam Campbell, Joyce Swenson and Christy Hasch.


But even a seemingly never-ending task has its light moments, as Pam Campbell delights in the banter from Penny Larsen.

But even a seemingly never-ending task has its light moments, as Pam Campbell delights in the banter from Penny Larsen.


Kale Pearson was also recruited as a nail-puller, under the watchful eye of his mother, Kalyn.

Kale Pearson was also recruited as a nail-puller, under the watchful eye of his mother, Kalyn.


Sister Pat McLennon stands at the ready to carry away dismantled pieces as Motherhouse facilities administrator Greg Gallagher, left, and maintenance worker Jim Helton take down the old suspended ceiling frame.

Sister Pat McLennon stands at the ready to carry away dismantled pieces as Motherhouse facilities administrator Greg Gallagher, left, and maintenance worker Jim Helton take down the old suspended ceiling frame.


The grassy area catercorner from the Neighbor to Neighbor building provides a welcome picnic area for lunch on a day when the weather has cooperated beautifully.

The grassy area catercorner from the Neighbor to Neighbor building provides a welcome picnic area for lunch on a day when the weather has cooperated beautifully.


The outside of the building, formerly Conns Appliance and TV, belies all the changes going on within. Before Neighbor to Neighbor opens, however, the exterior will undergo some renovation as well, including making the front entry handicap accessible.

The outside of the building, formerly Conn's Appliance and TV, belies all the changes going on within. Before Neighbor to Neighbor opens, however, the exterior will undergo some renovation as well, including making the front entry handicap accessible.

Comments

11 Responses to “Methodist volunteers turn out for ‘demolition day’ at new center”

  1. Ramona Medina, CSJ on October 6th, 2009 6:34 am

    My heart is filled with gratitude as I reflect on the many blessings of October 3rd. However, the highlight of the day was seeing our Methodist friends, women, men, young boys and our employees working side by side with such a joyful generous, and gracious spirit. Thanks for helping “Neighbor to Neighor” become a reality!

  2. Jeanette Wasinger on October 5th, 2009 4:27 pm

    The “dear neighbors” did it again! They showed up with their good will and talent with hearts open to the future. What a great name for this new ministry … NEIGHBOR TO NEIGHBOR! May blessings continue, Jean, Pat and Ramona. This is just the beginning of a fruitful ministry.
    Jeanette

  3. Jodi Creten, CSJ on October 5th, 2009 12:27 pm

    Wonderful pictures, wonderful people, wonderful work! That neighborly atmosphere is catching! Thanks to all who participated to further this dream along.

  4. Carm Thibault on October 4th, 2009 2:45 pm

    With everyone else – I say THANKS to our Methodist friends who offered their hands and hearts in another step in this building’s history of becoming what it will be in the future for the city of Concordia. Neighbor to Neighbor – in action!

  5. Norma Schlick, csj on October 4th, 2009 8:13 am

    Sorry for the typos in my message. It was sent with love!

  6. Norma Schlick, csj on October 4th, 2009 8:11 am

    I really njoyed reading about the work done on Neighbor to Neighbor this past Saturday. As an ad abouy a product on TV says, “This is priceless.” This is surely a community project.

  7. Loretta Jasper, csj on October 4th, 2009 7:03 am

    There is nothing that truly compares to the side-by-side rolled-up sleeves approach to making a difference: making new friends; moving dreams along; overall making our worlds and beliefs smaller and smaller. THE very best of neighboring!
    Concordia is much richer as a result of yesterday. Kudos to all who showed up!

  8. phyllis douglass on October 3rd, 2009 6:09 pm

    good job Penny nothing like some good physical labor to liven up a Saturday. love from the Jersey shore

  9. Bette Moslander on October 3rd, 2009 2:19 pm

    When Neighbor to Neighbor becomes fully operative, hopefully later this year, it will already have firmly established a foundation for its name. This generous gift of hours of labor by our Methodist neighbors is but of many gifts that is slowly bringing this ministry of service to birth. Thanks to all who have been involved. And a special word of thanks to Pat, Ramona and Jean who have kept the dream alive.

  10. Marcia Allen on October 3rd, 2009 1:31 pm

    A wonderful act of generosity and a beautiful day for it! Thanks to our neighbors from a neighboring people of God.
    Marcia Allen

  11. Betty Suther on October 3rd, 2009 12:46 pm

    What a great job! So glad that so many people are participating in the project, in deed a communitiy project that makes “neighbor to neighbor” truly a neighborly project.
    Special thanks to our Methodist friends!

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