Sunday, March 15, 2009

Painting the Church

We started the painting yesterday. We needed to return the scaffolding so we decided we would finish the high ceilings and dome then work the bottom part of the Church after the scaffolding was out of the way. I have a commercial airless spray paint rig and an extention pole. I sprayed the dome first with primer so it could be drying while we painted the rest of the ceiling.
The "two man" trick to painting the 14 foot ceilings is I sprayed them with a heavy coat of paint, then Javier comes behind me after a few minutes and "backrolls" the still wet sprayed paint. That lets the paint soak into the drywall surface and the roller evens out the paint and puts a stipple on the surface so if there is touch up later the touch up won't "flash". (The difference between a sprayed surface and a rolled or brushed touch up is the texture of the paint...that's what you usually see when a touch up shows).
After we finished the ceilings, I sprayed the dome with a lighter white finish coat then cut in the bottom edge with a brush.

The test of a drywall and paint job: Let there be light. It looks a little streaky because the paint is still wet. (The Christian joke is "Drywallers and painters hate the light because their finish jobs are evil.)
The light shines and it looks good. We took the scaffold down and now have an unobstructed view of the whole building. It looks a lot bigger without the scaffold in it. This is the view from the altar. The door will be the entry to the Church at the back of the nave.
This is a view of one side of the nave from across the room. The choir will be on one side and the chanter's stand will be across it under the arch to the right.
This is a view of the altar from the doorway. The iconostasis will be just to "this side" of the door you see on the left. It will be about 9 feet tall and you will be able to see the 4 by 6 foot Panagia icon that will be mounted on the high wall between the windows.
One of the amazing things about this whole project is the cost so far is under 5,000.00. Father Damian returned the scaffold and they charged us one fourth of the price of a one week rental and we had it for 3 weeks. That is typical of how people (who are not members of the Church) have helped us. We've had to buy lumber and some supplies, but Fr. Damian is not shy about just asking people if they'd be willing to give us things. An A/C contractor donated the air conditioner unit, an electrician donated all the electrical supplies, we got 1,500.00 of insulation for 200.00, a drywall supplier donated 70 sheets of drywall, we got the paint on Craig's list for 40.00, and we've bought quite a bit of stuff from Starlight, the Habitat for Humanity construction thrift store. We've gotten help from the Homeless Shelter, a tech school teacher who brought his class over and wired the building, and our Church members (not to mention Javier, my helper who has put in hours and hours on our days off without asking to be paid.)

I told my wife last night, this has gone so well it is almost too good to be true... we are either being REALLY blessed, or we're being set up for a huge delusion. But, all of this has basically "fallen into our laps" and we've stepped up, gone out on a limb and taken some big risks. I can only pray that if we stay faithful in the small things and don't bury our talents God will continue to open the doors to greater service.


Philippa said...

It is so humbling to see this beautiful edifice come to fruition. I cannot even imagine the silent joy of being a part of it. There is a part of me that is envious that there are so many working and giving. To be a part of something like that I can only imagine.

I look forward to seeing the finished product and the first Liturgy.

Come Lord Jesus! Come!

Fr. Christian Mathis said...


Your work is amazing.....I am just working on an icon of John the Baptist and it make me nervous. You have a whole church! May your work be blessed!

Fr. James Early said...

Sweet! Philippians 4:19! Glory to God!

s-p said...

It is humbling to be able to do something like this (and things like building houses and Churches for monks and nuns). 26 years ago when I was fired as a minister and was forced into "manual labor" to feed my family, I would have never dreamed I'd be using my accumulated experience doing so many different things over the years "for money" for these purposes. Fr. Christian, I am building a nice box that will contain the glory of those with your skills, together we will create a sacred space for God to dwell among His people. Each gift contributes to the whole, and the one who sweeps the floor when I am done painting is as much a part of the glory of it all as any other.

-C said...

I simply can't believe how quickly this is coming together. What an honor and a privelege it must be to be a part of it.

Anonymous said...

I wanted to say the same thing as -C. Following the progress updates, I am simply amazed how quickly this is coming together; such a blessed undertaking!

Jason said...

Steve: Forgive the crass question, but are you getting paid monetarily for building this church? If not, how do you pay the bills! :) Thanks for your faithfulness. Blessings to you always.

s-p said...

Hi Jason, Not a crass question at all. At the risk of "giving alms on the street corner", I'm doing this in my spare time, which I have a lot of lately because work is really slow. If I wasn't working at the Church I'd probably be sitting home blogging or podcasting which pays the same as working on the Church. :)

The Church did help me pay Javier a week's wages a while back and I've been subsidizing him as I can because he as a wife and a couple kids. Fr. Damian has budgeted some money for our work in our fund raising efforts, but realistically, it'll end up being a labor of love. That said, whether the Church comes up with money or not, I'd be in the same financial boat I'm in with the economy the way it is...but, obviously the lights are still on and the Cox internet bill was paid this month (and I'm not losing much weight). I've never concerned myself with money, actually and I always seem to get by somehow. Its weird how when you seek the kingdom first, all that "stuff" just seems to show up. hmmmm....

Jason said...

Steve, Thanks for the note. You’re a good man (by the grace of God, of course!) and have way more faith then I’ll ever have. I fret about money and earthly things way too much. Please look me up if you ever get to the Twin Cities for any reason. The Lord bless you and your efforts.