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#92886 - 11/25/04 09:00 PM
Help St. John's Melkite!
Dear Forum Members and Lurkers,
St. John Chrysostom Melkite Catholic Church in Atlanta is a small church of loving and friendly congregants. Unfortunately, the temple has determined quite recently that the church building must have a new roof. The congregation is struggling to raise the funds necessary for such an endeavor. If they fail to raise the money, it could potentially be a major problem for the church community...perhaps even meaning relocation.
I invite any and all of you who wish to generously contribute any funds whatsoever to send your money to
1428 Ponce de Leon, N.E., Atlanta, GA 30307
Below is an article written by the Finance Council at St. John's.
Dear Parishioners and Friends,
As members of the Finance Council, we are writing to inform you of a very serious matter concerning the well-being of our Spiritual Home, the church building.
As you may be aware, the Finance Council has been researching, analyzing, and discussing the roof situation for quite some time. Although most of this analysis has been since the interior of the church was damaged a year ago by heavy rains, the topic of the roof has been an ongoing topic of concern for many years. After much serious deliberation, the Finance Council has approved a new roof for St. John.
This was a serious decision, taken after much discussion and deliberation, including extensive research with roof consultants and contractors that included:
Inspection and analysis by a roofing company recommended by the Atlanta Roman Catholic Archdiocese
In-depth inspection and assessment by a roof construction company
Assessment by an independent roof consultant
Analysis by a general contractor who is also a parishioner of the parish
All four of these inspections resulted in the same conclusion, mainly: St. John needs a new roof. In addition, there were some obvious signs that did not require a roof consultant to know that our roof was in major disrepair. These included:
Flood in the dining room from roof leak(s)
Continuing damage and growth of effervescence in the residence kitchen and den
Water damage/mold over the fireplace in the reception room, now our Bookstore and Heritage Room
Continuing water damage and paint peeling in our church; recent damage to the holy icons and worship celebration area
Heavy rains that caused great leaks and damage to the church one year ago
The roof is almost 30 years old, and its original lifespan was for 20 years
The numerous inspections and the clearly visible damage lead us to the only conclusion possible:
UNLESS WE TAKE ACTION NOW, WE WOULD BE PUTTING OUR SPIRITUAL HOME IN RISK OF CONTINUED AND EVEN MORE SERIOUS PERIL.
Hence, before the continuing strong summer thunderstorms do further peril, we have made this key decision and then moved quickly to get estimates and choose a contractor. We are being aggressive, because we believe there is no other choice Ė it is the same you and we would do for our own homes, and our Spiritual Home deserves no less.
Another reason we are writing is because we need your help in funding this project. The cost of the replacement of the entire roof will be between $65,000 and $70,000. Our Melkite Diocese has already provided us with a gift towards the roof. And, although you have given generously in the second collection, we would prefer to have this money be applied towards the many upcoming and desperately needed interior restoration projects rather than applying these funds towards the roof. Regardless, we are still left with a very large amount of funds that need to be raised quickly to provide for our new roof.
We know and understand that we are a small parish, and that this is a very large amount of money. We are suggesting a donation for each family in the parish in the amount of $500 to $1,000. We know that God has endowed each of us differently, and we ask that you give according to your ability. But, first we remind you that giving to any additional church project such as the roof should be done after you provide your normal monthly church support. Unfortunately, St. John continues to fund the operation of the church on a month-to-month basis, so the church is not in a financial position to fund the new roof through a decrease in your church support.
Our Finance Council and Parish Advisory Council members will be approaching you to seek your help. For your convenience, we have enclosed special envelopes and would request that you give generously to help protect the beauty of our Spiritual Home.
One final note: Like us, you are probably excited about the wonderful changes we have seen in St. John Chrysostom over the last few years. There are too many to mention, but here are some: restoration/re-painting of the church interior, completion of the Cultural Center Lower Level, greater participation in our Divine Liturgy, more active choir and altar servers, a formal usher program, new liturgy books, the new icons in the church, a Sunday school, and much, much more.
Letís thank God for the continued blessings of these many improvements, of our strengthening community, of each other, and of our beloved Fr. John Azar who is helping to lead us as we continue to improve and grow spiritually. The cost and effort of putting on a new roof is clearly a very large endeavor, but together we will succeed. It will put us one step closer to the goal of restoring our Spiritual Home to its original glory.
To Visitors and Friends:
We gratefully welcome your support also for this endeavor. From other pages on our website, you may know or learn that St. John Chrysostom Melkite Catholic Church was once the mansion home of Asa Candler, the Coca Cola magnate, a philanthropist and former Mayor of Atlanta.
A renovation down the street from us is recently advertizing itself as "Atlanta's first church to residence conversion". We gratefully pride ourselves as a return to the ancient custom of utilizing a home for community worship...the historical custom of the early Christians. The popular phrase and philosophy of "the domestic church" is being used today.
We are the only Melkite Greek Catholic Church in the Greater Atlanta area and offer the centuries-old Byzantine tradition of theology, spirituality, worship and ecclesial lifestyle for all who seek to journey to the Kingdom in a different and uplifting mode.
We are a small community in numbers but our house of worship is open to all of you and we hope that you will feel connected to it and to us.
We look forward to your help, your thoughts and your prayers.
"Help Us Save Our Spiritual Home"
Your Finance Council
Tony Ghawi, Jerome Hagley, Zoe Hanna, Sami Jajeh,
Vic Maloof, Paul Oddo, Vic Sayour, Michael Shikany
Thanks and God bless.
P.S.: The parish's website is www.stjohnmelkite.org
if any of you wish to view the website or view the icons and Melkite coffee they have for sale.