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Our Building Project - 2011 Print

At the March 15th Vestry Meeting, the Vestry approved a contract with Weithman Brothers of Galion for the renovation of our physical facility. The Vision for the Future Campaign will provide a new entrance, a new adult meeting and fellowship space, main floor accessibility, updated handicapped equipped rest rooms, a new narthex space and new nursery and choir faicilities.

We were able to do these renovations within the budget funded by the Vision for the Future Pledges and the Rountree Bequest.

Construction will begin soon and we hope to complete the project by late fall.

Despite the rain and bad weather we still had our Ground Breaking Ceremony for this project after church on Easter Sunday. Most of the ceremony was inside but some braved the bad weather and went outside to break ground. The ceremony was complete with music from David Crane and Steve Ashby and also a visit from WMFD.

Make sure to look at the pictures below and watch each week for updates.

Notes from the desk of Albert Phinius Churchton, our Grace Church Mouse!

Dear Friends!

First let me introduce myself. I am the Grace Church Mouse – Albert Phineus Churchton by name but you can call me Al. Now usually I try to keep a low profile. My first home at Grace was in the old Choir room – that was until the Food Pantry took over and the Sexton decided to run me out with enough traps to catch my whole extended family.– Then, I lived in the Organ console until evicted by one Mr. Lee Singleton. Recently, I have found a home in a small corner of the Food Pantry Office (Marti Wallendorf hasn’t figured it out yet!) But now I don’t know what I am going to do. This morning I couldn’t help overhearing all the discussion about a Building Project at Grace. Yes, I know it seems people have been talking about it forever but now it is a reality!! The date has been set for groundbreaking - EASTER SUNDAY!!! (Talk about new life!!) Father Ashby said that after the 10 a.m. service on Easter, EVERYONE will be invited to join in the procession out of the Church and around the building to the back entrance where we will have a special GROUND-BREAKING CEREMONY!!!

Now I am sure that all sounds very exciting to all of you. But I am at my wits end!!! Living in a construction site is not what I had in mind when I retired to Mansfield and Grace Church. Every week there will be changes in how one can get in and out of the building - what door to use – what bathrooms are available and so on – It seems the Parish Hall might have to store much of the food for the Pantry and can you imagine the dust – NOT EVEN DICK VOGUS CAN KEEP EVERYTHING SPOTLESS IN THESE CONDITIONS! But I will try to be patient and I hope you will too – the new entrance and all the improvements will even make it worth having to find a new place to live when MY office is eliminated. AND just to prove I am harboring no ill feelings, I have agreed to give you a weekly update on what is happening – what door to use, what to avoid and how the project is going. So, please be sure to read my byline in the Advocate each week and in the Grace Notes and soon we will all be able to rejoice in A Vision for the Future being a reality!!

Until next week, your friend,


Al Chronicles, Vol. 2, April 28, 2011

Dear Friends,

Rain, rain go away – come again some other day! Anyone know an UNRAIN DANCE ? Or should we just forget the addition to Grace Church and build an ark instead?

That great big bulldozer sitting at the back of the Parking Lot is ready to go or so they say as soon as the rains stop!

The Groundbreaking Ceremony on Easter Day was great – no way a little rain could stop that day. Good shovels, a staked off area denoting the new addition, jazz music – it was great -And seeing Father Ashby in a cope and hard hat was a sight worth recording – a new liturgical fashion?

And even if the contractors are not here yet (actually I am not complaining – I am already dreading having to move again - Dick Vogus hasn’t found me yet!), things are busy and changes are already apparent. Larry Armstrong and Dick Vogus organized a willing crew of Food Pantry Volunteers and all the food and furniture has been removed from the areas that are being transformed into new bathrooms, etc! There is a little less room available in the Parish Hall but this is the cost of progress!

I’ll keep watching and listening and will try to keep you posted on what is happening - Be patient!

Your friendly reporter.


Al Chronicles, Vol. 3, May 13, 2011

Dear Friends,

If I hadn't taken on the assignment of correspondent during the Vision for the Future Construction Phase, I would be OUT OF HERE!!! Dick Vogus and Larry Armstrong have been so diligent (or obsessed) in clearing out the main floor of the CE Building that there is no where left for a mouse to hide! What is a fellow supposed to do? Listening in on the construction meeting this morning I was afraid they would hear me quivering because of how exposed I was!! But believe me I got an earful!!

Wait till you see how the addition is coming along!! You can even tell where the door is going to be!! But now they are moving inside - the ceilings and walls in the old Food Storage rooms and basement hallways are coming down this week and a hole in the floor will be sawed. This means Dust, Dust and more Dust (it will probably drive Dick crazy and please no white glove tests!!) after they take care of the asbestos tile. Speaking of asbestos - LADIES BEWARE- the tile in the women's restroom across from the office also has to come up and will leave a sticky gluey surface - they say they will cover it with some plastic or something - but I am not taking any chances - sopunds like a big mousetrap to me - don't they call them sticky boards or something - so for now that area is off limits for me and the family!

And uif you walk down the back hallway in the basement you can even see where they are getting ready to cut a hole in the outside wall - hope it is not like Joshua and the Battle of Hericho - AND THE WALLS CAME A TUMBLIN DOWN!

Now please don't think that all I do is complain - actually it is all VERY EXCITING it just requires a little patience - so hang in there and I will too and I'll let you know what comes next.

Until next time:

Your Friend Al

Oh by the way, I took some pictures of the beginning construction. Make sure you check them out. Look below!

Al Chronicles, Vol. 4, June 17, 2011

Dear Friends,

THERE IS A HOLE IN THE WALL!!!! THERE ARE HOLES IN THE FLOOR!!! AND THERE IS DUST EVERYWHERE!! How is a mouse supposed to find some peace and quiet with all the hammering and sawing and you name it? I even hear it in my dreams!

OK enough gripping! Actually, it is exciting to creep out of my hole each evening and check out what has happened. I climbed up to the window sill in the back hallway and saw new walls that reach to the top of the building now - I could see the space for the new stairwell - and it is WIDE and there are openings for huge windows - it's going to be great - open and airy - (OK -not exactly to a mouse's liking but I understand you humans like it that way).

And you can see where the new bathrooms will be just off the parish hall - just be sure you don't fall in the holes - unless you are like me and like dark places. And you can check out the hole in the outside wall in the downstairs hallway - I call it Dick Vogus' escape hatch.

All in all, it is very exciting and before long the new entry into the fellowship hall beside the offices will be going in. So, check it out and please be patient - it is going to be worth it!

Your friendly reporter,


More pictures of our building project as of Friday, July 22, 2011!

Al Chronicles, Vol. 5 - July 29, 2011

I can't believe it! As I am writing this epistle the workmen are finishing the masonry on the new entrance to Grace Church, and preparation is being made for opening the new entrance in the wall of the new Fellowship Hall. I even overhead the Site Manager Jeff telling Father Ashby that carpenters will be here to start work next week. They say we will really see changes now!!

And everything is moving - Dick vogus has run special wiring to the Vestry Room so the office equipment can be moved in there while Pam Armstrong goes on vacation and the workman tear out the wall of her office. I already have a headache thinking about all that noise and dust and I can't help but feel sorry for Dick.

But all this progress means an end is in sight - late this fall we can celebrate a renewed building and maybe I and my family can find a quiet corner for a good night's sleep.

Untel then - patience all and I'll keep you posted.


Your friend,



Al Chronicles, Vol. 6 - August 29, 2011


Dear Friends,

When my family and I arrived back home from our summer vacation, I could hardly believe my eyes. The beautiful stonework is a wonderful sign of the welcoming new entrance that will soon be open and the Canopy over the entrance to the new Fellowship Hall is an exciting site!

But inside is where the changes are really amazing. Ground floor bathrooms are being primed for painting, old leaky windows have been blocked up, the new fellowship hall is a large open space - I never realized how big it would be. And the wall between the old library and the Christina Education wing is coming down. Wow - I can't believe how thick it was! There is also a big hole in the exterior wall of the hallway behind the Chapel. My only question is where in the world will a self-respecting mouse be able to hide in this new, open space?

AND DUST! not even Dick Vogus can keep up with it but he continues to fight valiantly! So be patient - I will keep an eye out and keep you up to date and soon I think I will be able to tell you when Father Ashby hopes we will dedicate the new space!


Your friend,


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Al Chronicles, Volume 7 - October 1, 2011


Dear Friends,


AH, AH, AH Choo!!!!! Excuse me, AH, CHOO!  O dear, the dust is so think in here I can't even breathe.  I sent the wife and kids home with Pam Armstrong until things clear up but I will try to hold down the fort and let you know what is happening.  And what is mostly happening is - AH, AH, CHOO - DUST.


Actually that is not really true.  There is a lot happening - the old library/church office is gone - walls have been removed, a new glass front has been installed into the new Fellowship space, bathrooms are taking shape and shingles are going on the new entrance structure!  And now new windows are being installed throughout the Christian Education Building.


In fact, the vision of a welcoming, accessible and open Grace Church Facility is becoming a reality - (no more dark corners in which to hide - we may have to move!)  It still takes some imagination but the bones of the new space are now in place.  So take a look and see what you think!


So patience all - and pray for Dick Vogus - he of the never ending dust destroying crusade - and give thanks for the new life the renovation is bringing forth.


Your Friend,

Albert Fineaus Churchmouse - Call me Al!

Al Chronicles - Volume 8 - October 28, 2011

Dear Friends,

Oh my goodness!  Where do I start?  Nw, large, bright, accessible bathrooms at Grace Church!  Dry wall up in the new fellowship hall and Narthex areas!  A beautiful, open airy staircase from the new entry foyer to the main floor!  Everywhere I look the vision is becoming a reality!  I am going to have to get a whole new wardrobe to live in such a modern and beautiful home!


Of course, there is still the dust.  (ACHOO!) and the NOISE and it takes a while to find our way around but it is all worth it!


And I hear the Vestry has actually set a date for the Dedication of the New Fellowship hall and addition - February 19, 2012!  WOW!  Of course the first real event will be when we honor my old friend Father Sipes on December 11th.  My Grandfather - the first Grace Church  Churchmouse used to tell me stories about Father Sipes when he first came to Grace Church!  Hard to believe that was 50 years ago!  See you at the party!


Your Friend,


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Al Chronicles - Vol. 9 - November 28, 2011

Dear Friends,

It seems we are in the (achoo, achoo, excuse me) final lap!  The new Bathrooms are beautiful, the new stairwell is soon to be open, new ceilings are going in along with the new bathroom on the main floor of the Christian Education Building!  Pam Armstrong is back in her own office and new windows are going in as I write!


It is so exciting - I can hardly wait to see the finished product!  AND even more so to get RID OF THE DUST!  I want it all gone so I can bring the children and my wife back home from her parents place (St. Luke's Lutheran - in fact I think the grandparents may be moving in with us - but you will never see them!  They are very shy!)


Dick Vogus is a SAINT!  He is like a Timex watch - he just keeps cleaning!  I think his retirement present should be a gold broom!


Well, that's all for now but keep watching.  The rumor is that we may get to use part of the new facility when we honor my old friend David Sipes on december 11th.


Your Friend,


Albert Fineaus Churchmouse - Call me Al!

Al Chronicles - Vol. 10 - January 5, 2012

Dear Friends,

THE END IS IN SIGHT111  I can't believe it - my family and I will be reunited - I have survived - and the result is wonderful!!!

Yes the work is almost done - the finishing touches - kind of like the bows on a beautiful Christmas present are being added!  And Wow what a package - everything looks wonderful, warm, inviting and functional!

I know my ancestors would be as proud as would all of yours and I am lucky to be able to live in this wonderful building.

Special thanks to DICK VOGUS once again - he is our hero - and to Doug Seiler whose wisdom and humor helped us survive.

Now onto the living into the new area and the dedication on February 17th.

Your Friend,

Albert Fineaus Churchmouse - Call me Al!

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