Skip to main content
St. John's Episcopal
Tuesday, April 27 2021

Welcome to The Chronicle. It’s been a busy month at St. John’s | San Juan! We resumed in-person worship on Palm Sunday, March 28, and attendance has been great since we resumed! It’s been surprisingly emotional for many of our parishioners to worship in our sanctuary again, after the pandemic kept us away from the church for over a year. While it isn’t exactly the same as it used to be quite yet (we still can’t do food and fellowship indoors, for example), it’s been a major step toward
recovering our common life following the pandemic. April also saw us publicly launch our capital campaign, “Sing to the Lord a New Song.” Thank you to everyone who has made a pledge and contributed to the campaign! We are making steady progress toward our goal, and we look forward to celebrating the conclusion of the campaign on Pentecost, May 23!

Once we’ve funded the work we’re going to have done, it’ll be time to actually do the work, and we’ll need to move out of our worship space for the second time in 2021. Unlike last time, when we had the asbestos abatement done in February & March, we will have to move absolutely everything out of the sanctuary for the seismic retrofitting work to begin. We’re devising a plan now for how we will store things like our concert grand piano and organ console; our altar, pulpit, and lectern; all the chairs and pews in the nave and the chancel; all of the video and sound gear; and all the items stored in the tower room. We’re going to have things stashed away all over the building, and we also have to figure out where we’ll do worship while the work in the building is being done. It’s a complicated set of problems, and every solution we’ve come up with has drawbacks. We’re working hard to figure out the best plan, and we’ll let you know as soon as we have one that will work.

It’s an exciting time to be part of St. John’s | San Juan! I’m glad you’re with us for this adventure!


Posted by: AT 12:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, April 27 2021


Can you believe the abundance of beautiful flowers everywhere? As I walk around my neighborhood, spring continues to amaze me with new offerings every day!

In my last article, I spoke about returning to in-person worship and how much I was looking forward to doing it. Well, beginning with Palm Sunday, I’ve attended every service that’s been held and I must say, it’s been WONDERFUL! It’s a blessing just being able to gather together, but add in the music and singing and being with others outside my “pod.” WOW, what a rush! If you haven’t ventured to a Sunday service yet, please consider doing so, especially if you’re fully
vaccinated. Don’t forget to register on Realm! It’s very easy!! Keep an eye out for a Realm email every Tuesday, or just click here o haga clic aquí!

The Capital Campaign, Sing to the Lord a New Song! officially kicked off on Easter Sunday and will run through Pentecost. As I said above, I’m sure there will also be information about this somewhere herein. On Tuesday evening, April 27, beginning at 7:00 p.m., there will be a Zoom meeting where we can meet the architects of the new roof. Hope you are able to attend. You can register by clicking here!

We have found a Junior Warden in Lou MacMillan. Since he already attends every Vestry meeting as the main contact for the building renovation, Lou graciously accepted our offer to serve in this very important capacity. He is doing, and will continue to do, a wonderful job! We had a very good Vestry Meeting last week Thursday, April 22, 2021. Normally our meetings are on the third Thursday of the month, but that day (April 15) came upon us so very quickly, what with Holy Week and then recovering during the first week of Eastertide. As related in the Rector’s message in last Friday’s Messenger, the Vestry made some hard decisions at this meeting. We talked about the Capital Campaign and the renovation and our finances and where will we worship during the summer. So very much going on!

We started a new Bible Study journey. We are reading The Acts of the Apostles, using a companion book from Forward Movement. Join us on Thursday afternoons at 1:00 p.m. You can email Fr. R.C. to get signed up to recieve the zoom link. We’d love you to join us!

I need to share with you that with so much going on at St. John’s | San Juan, I have found myself at a point of in-action. I have become overwhelmed by the sheer number of tasks facing this Vestry and this congregation. Over the weekend, I came to the realization that when I am overwhelmed, I do nothing. I become frozen and can barely function. At one time I would have said about myself that I worked best under pressure, but that’s not so true anymore. I believe that Covid has affected how I process information and do things. Now when I feel myself coming under a lot of stress and become anxious, I shut down. Nothing gets done.

I am telling you this because I know that I owe phone calls and emails to some of you out there in the St. John’s | San Juan community. I’m sorry I haven’t responded yet, but I will, soon. I promise! I had thought that I would beg off and not write anything for The Chronicle, but I am forcing myself to remember two of my Mother’s favorite snippets of Scripture: “into thine hands” and “not my will, but thy will be done.” I have asked the Holy Spirit for inspiration with this article and I think we’re doing okay.

Thank you for reading. You will be able to find more information on almost everything I’ve mentioned in some other location within this Chronicle edition. As I close, I must tell you that I am also overwhelmed by all the kindness, thoughtfulness, compassion, and generosity of the parishioners here at St. John’s | San Juan. Thank you! I am committed to St. John’s | San Juan and every one of you! Please remember that if you have any concerns, comments, or issues, you may contact me on my cell phone at (360) 259-5933 or through my church email,

Welcome month of May and more May flowers! Blessings and peace…

Fawn Hacker
Senior Warden

Posted by: AT 11:55 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, April 27 2021

Junior Warden Report April Chronicle

If you haven’t heard yet, the Vestry elected me as your Junior Warden last week, so I’ve renamed my report. While my “portfolio” will expand beyond the
Sanctuary renovation to include our two other buildings in the future, this report focuses squarely on the renovation. It’s quite long, so please bear with me.


With less than a month left in the capital campaign, we are moving full speed ahead on preparations to vacate the Sanctuary after the last Sunday worship service on May 29th. Father R.C. and I are meeting weekly to coordinate all aspects of the renovation, including plans for temporary worship. Several moving parts are in play simultaneously, and the decisions we make on some issues bear directly on the options open to us on others. It’s a bit like playing whack-a-mole, but we are making progress. We’re working as thoroughly, thoughtfully, and quickly as possible to identify the pros and cons of all workable options, including costs, to better inform ours and the Vestry’s decision-making. To give you a sense of the range of issues, here are four of the bigger ones:

I. The Fate of Pews
After moving our pews twice in the last couple months, we found they’re not in good shape – some are damaged, a few badly warped. If we reuse them, they’ll all need repairs and/or refurbishment before being returned to the Sanctuary. The extent and cost of those repairs are unknown.

We’ve heard that some parishioners may prefer a new seating configuration, perhaps slightly angled, but it’s not clear that geometry can work with our straight, 15-foot long pews. Re-bolting them to the floor at an angle (rather than parallel) to the radiant heat system’s hydronic piping that’s embedded in the concrete may risk damaging the pipes. We don’t yet have a reliable enough map of the system to be sure it would (or wouldn’t) work.

One alternative is to purchase new pews, perhaps in a style that gently curves, to provide a traditional look with a more intimate configuration. Still, without more design work on the interior remodel and some cost estimates, we aren’t ready to make that call just yet. Research is ongoing.

Buying new pews would present us other options too. One is donating our oldpews to another church in the diocese, or possibly selling them to an architectural salvage or recycling company. Another idea is to raise funds for new pews by creating collectible items from the old ones, like benches or cutting boards branded with the “Sing to the Lord” capital campaign logo.

Suffice to say we don’t have enough information yet, but believe the best option will be to store the pews, at least for now, in the Parish Hall, the only room large enough to accommodate them. We did investigate storing them in rented shipping containers placed outside so we could keep the Parish Hall open for worship, but the number of containers we would need, the cost, the logistics of siting them, and the space they’d take up were simply too great.

II. Temporary Worship Space
Obviously, a pew-filled Parish Hall is not an option for worship space, so we plan to hold worship outdoors for the summer, under one large tent or multiple smaller ones. When we learned how much space FORMA will require in our parking lot for their “lay down area,” it left us with little room to accommodate both a large tent and still have any space for parking.

Instead, we’re leaning toward the purchase of two or more 10-foot x 20-foot pop up tents that we could erect and place ourselves for worship services somewhere on the 20th Avenue side of the building. These smaller tents are relatively inexpensive and could be used at other times as well. A “bares bones” audio/video cart must be wheeled out to live stream each tent service. The logistics will be challenging too, because we’ll need volunteers to erect and take down the tents every Wednesday and Sunday.

Where will we end up on pews and tents? We’re not completely certain, but exercising all due diligence to close in on economical and practical decisions.

III. Disposal of the Moeller Organ
The Moeller organ must come out of its east chancel location to replace the roof above it. We’re planning to have FORMA remove the architectural wooden screens, which will likely go to architectural salvage. We may have two parties interested in taking the Moeller’s console, blowers, wind chests and pipes, though we may keep some of its pipes with the intention of someday building a small portative organ for the chapel.

IV. Chancel & Bell Tower
As with the pews, we will need to remove and store (if not dispose of), or protect-in-place, everything in the chancel space, from the altar, chairs, and music stands to the suspended altar cross and Schlicker organ towers. Likewise, everything now in the nave or stored in the bell tower must be moved out and stored on the first or second floor of the Parish Building during construction. We’re identifying every room, nook and cranny that can be used for storage space.

FORMA will take down and crate for safe storage both the altar cross and the aumbry lamp. They plan to build additional protection for the organ towers. While its down, we’d like a structural engineer to inspect the condition of the altar cross suspension cable – and replace it, if necessary – before FORMA re- hangs it at the end of the project. We will ask them to also protect-in-place both the Schlicker organ console and the grand piano, as they are risky to move, provided this approach works with their scaffolding plan.


We don’t yet have a firm bid price or signed contract with FORMA due to multiple factors:

  • They’re still updating cost estimates due to price increases for steel and other building materials caused by COVID-related supply chain disruptions.
  • We’ve asked them for more demolition work and removal/protectionmeasures, which must be priced.
  • We’re clarifying some of the design details to better meet program needs, such as appropriate access to the Sacristy for the Altar Guild. These changes require engineering recalculations and design modifications, which take time.

As these issues are resolved, we expect to see a draft of the construction contract with FORMA soon, though possibly not before the capital campaign concludes. In the meantime, they and we are working out the important details for contractor mobilization, which brings us to two of those:

Parking Impacts

FORMA needs a large “lay down” area for a job shack, storage containers, building materials, lifts, and other items. They’ll need the entire north end of the parking lot, from Capitol Way to the second lot entrance on 19th Avenue. A second lay down area will be in the NE corner of the lot, near 19th and Washington. (Hey, that’s where I park!) Both areas will be fenced, gated, and locked, with a driveway between the two fenced areas to allow cars access from 19th to the Parish Hall entry doors.

This means the loss of 60% (23 out of 38 total) surfacing parking stalls. The recycle bins and dumpsters must be moved to a new location, and the building entrance on the north side of the building (“the Choir door”) will not be accessible.

We’ll likely keep only 15 parking stalls, those facing Washington Street and those closest to the building entrance, including the three ADA stalls. Staff will need to park in that area once FORMA begins to mobilize. We’ll let you know when these parking changes will go into effect.

Grounds Impacts
The seismic upgrades at the north wall of the Sanctuary spell doom for the two tall yellow cedar trees, azalea bushes, ground cover, and lamp post at that end of the building. All those must be removed or demolished to allow for excavation of the foundation during construction.


FORMA cannot possibly mobilize and start construction by June 6th, when our building permit will expire. We will apply for a one-time, six-month permit extension very soon to avoid any possibility of the permit lapsing, which would compel us to not just re-apply, but also redesign all the seismic upgrades to the more stringent and costly 2018 International Building Code, which the City of Olympia adopted in February 2021. A permit lapse would cause a major delay to, if not derail, the entire project – it’s a top priority to extend it soon.


The Solar Power Work Group held its first Zoom meeting on March 31st. Attendees were Tom Loranger (facilitator), George and Karen Bray, Dennis Cooper, Anne Hall, Bill Van Hook and myself. The solar project is on a separate track from the renovation, and it is not competing with the renovation project for funding from the capital campaign. It is a related, but stand-alone, project and financial decision.

The work group has collected and reviewed building electrical energy usage history and conferred with two solar vendors, South Sound Solar of Olympia and Capstone Solutions of Redmond. They are considering the pros and cons of different funding methods, including formation of an LLC or something called “CrowdLending” offered by Collective Sun, a nationwide nonprofit that helps nonprofits convert to solar. The topic is technical, the analysis and financing options complex, but this group is learning fast and clarifying the opportunities and choices.

The work group meets again on April 28th to review all the energy data, vendor input, and financial information, then determine next steps.


A “Meet the Architects” Zoom session will be held tonight from 7:00-8:00PM on Zoom. Meeting links can be found in the latest Messenger, in this Chronicle, and on Realm. (Click here and register for it just as you would for a church service). KMB Architects Mark Beardemphl, Bill Mathews, and Ruben Nunez will be on hand to talk about the project and field your questions about the roof, seismic upgrades, and interior remodel. Please join us, bring family members, tell your friends! This should be an enlightening evening. We will record the session to make it available for later viewing by those who cannot attend tomorrow.


Please visit the campaign website to find more information on the project, FAQ document, testimonials from fellow parishioners (you can add your own), video from Bishop Rickel (more videos coming), and an I’m Ready to Pledge button to pledge online.

Or complete a paper pledge card. Volunteer gift workers are reaching out now to send you a pledge packet – please respond to their email to get yours. The church needs either an electronic pledge or campaign pledge card for its recordkeeping.

We have 38 pledges totaling over $825,000 so far, but we need everyone to participate! Please add your name and financial commitment to this growing list by the campaign close on the Day of Pentecost, May 23rd.

And, if you have already made your pledge – THANK YOU! We are deeply grateful for your generous support to the future of St. John’s | San Juan.


Respectfully submitted,
Lou MacMillan, Junior Warden

Posted by: AT 11:50 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, April 27 2021

St. John’s | San Juan Episcopal Church
Treasurer’s Report for The April Chronicle

April 27, 2021

Finance and Audit Committees

The regular monthly meeting of the Finance Committee was held on April 20, 2021. Joining me were members Andrew Bird, Fawn Hacker, R.C. Laird, Christian MacMillan, and Lou MacMillan. We reviewed our current financial condition and a proposed plan to address our operating deficit and generate
additional revenue.

We still need to stand up a small Audit Committee, ideally comprised of three members with a background in finance, which would meet only twice a year, before and after the annual audit. Pat Le Roy and Lou MacMillan has agreed to serve. If anyone from the Vestry is willing and able to join them, please let me know.

Our Current Financial Condition

Our Budget Report for March 2021 may be found by clicking here. As of March 31, 2021, we are projecting a budget deficit of -$204,037 for this year. This deficit will be reduced by $10,000 upon our receipt of a check (which is literally in the mail) from Bessemer Trust representing an unrestricted bequest from the Peter Overton Living Trust, and it may also be reduced to the extent we have over-budgeted for parish health work in 2021.
Thanks to financial relief made available to us in the pandemic we will be able to reduce the deficit further to -$73,670:

  • $63,367 in Round 2 Paycheck Protection Plan (PPP) Funds will be converted from a loan to a grant.
  • $57,000 in Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) proceeds have also been applied to the deficit. The EIDL money, totaling $150,000, will have to be repaid to the Small Business Administration (SBA). Monthly payments in the amount of $641 will begin June 1, 2022.

Income from Pledges year-to-date is over budget by $7,780 (13.7%).

We have two additional sources of funds for operating expenses:

  • Diocese of Olympia Master Trust General (Unrestricted) Account = $48,398.00
  • Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Account at Edward Jones = $83,581.89

A proposed “Plan to Address the Deficit and Increase Revenue June through December 2021” was approved by the Vestry at its meeting on April 22, 2021. We look forward to sharing this plan with the entire congregation in a series of Zoom meetings in early June. Dates and times for these meetings will be announced soon.

Capital Campaign Update

As of April 25, 2021, we have received 38 pledges and raised $825,315 in gifts and pledges for Sing to the Lord a New Song, our capital campaign for St. John’s | San Juan. Thank you to everyone who has contributed so far!

We are currently in the midst of the Congregational Phase of the campaign, in which e invite everyone to thoughtfully and prayerfully consider the importance of our church in their lives and challenge themselves to make gifts that go beyond the usual limits of their giving. This phase will continue until we celebrate the conclusion of the campaign on Pentecost, May 23. If you have not yet received a pledge packet or would like additional packets to share with family and friends, please contact me at

If you would like to make your gift or pledge online, please go to our website to our special campaign website, If you prefer to make your gift by check, please make the check payable to “St. John’s Episcopal Church Capital Campaign” and mail it to St. John’s Episcopal Church, PO Box 977, Olympia, WA 98507. If you would like to make a gift of stock, please contact me at for instructions on how to transfer the stock to the St. John’s/San Juan account.

As always, I welcome your comments and questions about our financial condition and capital campaign.

Respectfully submitted…
…Bob Le Roy, Treasurer and Capital Campaign Chair

Posted by: AT 11:45 am   |  Permalink   |  Email