Thursday, July 27, 2006


I haven't been posting because I've been pretty busy (had another mercy wedding this morning), but now I have to write...

Oh, sisters and brothers, little MCC-Windsor (aka River City) has had a blow. Torrential rains tonight flooded the roof drainage system at the church where we lease space, the water leaked into (onto?) the suspended ceiling over our office, and, well, the rains came down and in and all over. The soaked ceiling tiles dripped for a while on the desk and file cabinets, then gave way over the desks, bending the metal supports that hold up the tiles, pointing directly at the spot where I usually sit...pouring water all over the desks, the furniture, our files, our intra-church mailboxes, the items we were gathering together for Pride...

We aren't a large church or a wealthy church, we lease space from another congregation; all we had was in that office and the storage closet nearby.

One of our members had stopped by, praise God, to drop something off in the office, and discovered the water pouring in. Unfortunately, there was nothing to be done but get as much out as possible before the ceiling gave way completely. Anything that was on the top of the desks or on the floor was soaked, much else was splashed, and therefore wet, and even some items that were in the kneehole shelves under the desks were damaged.

We were preparing for a fundraising dinner theatre downstairs in the social hall--it had to be cancelled, because the theatre troupe couldn't get there because of the weather (power out all over the city, lines down, no phones, trees down, etc.). This was one of our biggest fundraisers of the year, for our new worship space, and for a plan we have for the youth.

The desks are almost certainly a write-off--they were particle board with laminate, and already puckering when we left the church a while ago. Some files and some of my music books got wet; some of the office supplies and things are gone. My favourite datebook--I blogged about it in January in the new books meme--was destroyed. We have no phone access, no internet access. We have no office anymore.

But because several of us were there preparing for the dinner, we had plenty of help to move items out of the office into the sanctuary. No one was hurt. The cabinet with the worship supplies was moved out before the water got to it. Many of our worship items were already packed up in the basement ready to go to the park for our Pride service on Sunday, so they were safe. Our computer did not get directly wet, so it may be OK. Our filing cabinets were also safe and our financial record files as well. A friend who was there for the dinner took pictures and loaned us his cell phone to call our insurance company, the rest of the Board of Directors, and our Regional Elder (= bishop, more or less). The custodian of our landlord church and his sister were amazing, cleaning up and mopping, wet-vacing, and insisting we go on down to our dinner. Of course we insisted they come down with us and eat.

Our new Communications Team swung into action, too--they wrote up a press release over dinner (well, it was cooked anyway, and we needed something after all that furniture moving), and hand-delivered it to the local radio and TV stations, as well as the local paper. We've already gotten a call from the CBC-Radio.

But I don't know what we're going to do. The church we lease from can put us in one of the classrooms, I suppose--but there's no phone service, no internet down there. It looks to me as if I'll be working from home, with forays into the church for reference works. Meetings will have to be at Timmy's*...which actually could be a good thing! On the other hand, we have a wedding planned for the afternoon on Monday. The chapel will be OK if we get our stuff out of it, but we have to figure out how to deal with the paperwork, with everything everywhere--all ahoo, as Captain Aubrey would say.

I'm tired, no, exhausted, I'm swinging from "it was just things we lost, we can replace things," to "what are we going to do? Will the insurance cover it? Now we have to deal with the insurance hassles, too..." to "it wasn't so horrible, it was one room, you saved most things, think of New Orleans and Katrina."

But it was the only space we had. And it's unusable for the foreseeable future.

Rain is in the forecast for overnight.

I'm going to bed now so I can deal with insurance adjustors, the media, and cleaning up tomorrow.

Pray for MCC-Windsor, please.

*Timmy's = Tim Horton's, a chain of coffee and lunch places; mostly in Canada, but also in southeastern Michigan, and parts of New York. Iced caps and nanaimo bars are to die for!!


Friday Mom said...

Prayer ascending, RB. That is a blow.

Questing Parson said...

You and your congregation are in my prayers.

It's summer. Can you worship outside?

Rainbow Pastor said...

THanks to both of you for the prayers.

QP: Part of the blessing is that this was our office space, not the worship space. So worshiping is not an issue; it's the office adn administration part.

And I almost feel ashamed to be so upset; there are many churches that have no office at all.

But I have to say, on the lighter side, it was the first time I have seen our office administrator speechless!

Songbird said...

I am so sorry to hear this! Prayers that meeting at Tim Horton's will work well for you, and working at home, too.

revabi said...

Here we are talking about heat and you all are flooding. Wow hope it goes well with the adjusters. So sorry it happened. Hope wedding goes well. And I hope the rains don't do any more damage.

Sue said...

Praying here too.

Susie said...

Oh dear, I'm sorry to hear this... prayers for you and the congregation as you try to move forward!

Marie said...

I'm so sorry and I'm so late. I'll keep reading. Just wanted to leave a thought and a prayer.

Clarence Darrow--Beyond Scopes and Leopold & Loeb

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