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  • Special Congregational Meeting, January 8, 2017

    A Special Congregational Meeting was held in the sanctuary after worship on Sunday, January 8. The meeting was called to hear a report of the Fisk Organ and Ripley Chapel Working Group and to consider two motions. Bruce Alexander, leader of the Working Group, reported on the preparations to undertake the full restoration of the Fisk Organ and the status of the funds given to the church by Jena Roy and a number of others in her memory.

    The Working Group asked for approval of the congregation for hiring the Fisk Organ Company to proceed with the restoration beginning on February 13, 2017. The work is expected to take 6 weeks and be completed before the Easter holidays. The budgeted cost of the restoration is $130,000. Funding for this would be drawn from the Music & Worship Arts fund created by Jena Roy’s gift. Additionally the working group recommend that the congregation vote its intention to raise money for an organ maintenance fund so that the organ can be maintained better than we have been able to do in the past. It is estimated that about $60,000 would generate enough annual income to support the organ properly. Regular maintenance should lengthen the time before the next major servicing of the organ and likely reduce its cost. Major servicing of an organ like ours can be expected every 50-60 years.

    The Working Group also asked the congregation if it agreed that the original gift of Jena Roy of $100,000 should be authorized for the use by the Working Group as it proceeded with its work on the organ and Ripley Chapel improvements. The church formally accepted Jena’s gift at its May 2016 Annual Meeting and voted that it be invested until such time as the church voted on the spending of the gift.

    The Working Group explained that the Music & Worship Arts Fund currently holds $284,388. $100,000 of that is Jena’s gift and is not available for use. Of the remaining $184,388, $130,000 is budgeted for the organ restoration and $34,650 is budgeted for the current schematic study design for Ripley Chapel which is being undertaken by Torrey Architecture, Inc. Forthcoming possible expenditures would be the full architectural design for Ripley Chapel (the construction-ready plans) once the church decides on what renovations to Ripley it chooses to make.

    A question and answer session concluded the presentation by the Working Group.

    The meeting, led by Church Moderator Penny Sparrow, proceeded to consider two motions:

    • Moved: That the Congregation approves the full restoration of the Fisk Organ. Further that the Congregation agrees to raise funds for the project to include a special fund for the ongoing maintenance of the organ.
    • Moved: That the Congregation authorizes the funds from the gift of Jena Roy and received by the Church at its 2016 Annual Meeting be used for the purposes of the Fisk Organ and Ripley Chapel Project.

    The congregation voted in favor of each of the motions.

    Questions on the organ and the Ripley Chapel efforts can be directed to any member of the Working Group: Laurie Roby, Carolyn Plosky, Bruce Alexander, Rev. Will Burhans, Rev. Judy Arnold and Jane Ring Frank