Looking for donors to bolster a sanctuary
United Methodist Church of Patchogue church officers gather by an upper balcony window that needs seaming. They have launched a Save Our Sanctuary campaign. Pictured (left to right) are lay leader Barbara Becker, pastor Chuck Ferrara, bishop Myong Cha Ferrara, church trustee president Dave Hollowell and Save Our Sanctuary coordinator Joan Curtis.

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Looking for donors to bolster a sanctuary

Story By: LINDA LEUZZI
6/6/2019


United Methodist Church of Patchogue is holding a fundraiser on June 20

 

BY LINDA LEUZZI

 

A 130-year-old spiritual hub needs maintenance, so the United Methodist Church of Patchogue is calling for help in a transcendent way via its stewards to fix and restore its building’s walls and treasures. A Save Our Sanctuary fundraiser to restore and repair its treasures is underway, and on June 20 the former Mediterranean Manor — now known as The Manor — on East Main Street is sponsoring the event. Church liaison Joan Curtis is coordinating the S.O.S. event. She praised Evan Abazis to the skies.

Abazis, Manor owner, brushed off the term ‘church hero,’ although he is, in the congregation’s eyes. He’s contributing his space, along with beer, wine, soda, hors d’oeuvres, dessert, cake and coffee. Music is being donated by DJ Chris Biondi of Perfect Parties located in Patchogue. 

“It’s really simple,” Abazis said. “For me, when you’re in a position to give back, that’s what you do. It’s just a matter of getting together people who can contribute as well as trades. It’s ‘what do you need?’ ‘what can we do?’ then ‘done!’” 

The ‘what do you need?’ part came out as Pastor Chuck Ferrara commented on his dismantled office, an example of one of the issues en route to the sanctuary. “There’s water damage on the ceiling and walls facing Church Street,” he said. “The wood framing is rotted. The gutters were too small when they built the church, so water flows off the roof, then rushes into the building on the north wall.”

The whole back plaster wall had to be taken down. 

“It had moved two or three inches from the brick,” Ferrara said. “The brick is exposed now and needs pointing.”  

Dave Hollowell, president of the church trustees, described some of the main issues. Pointing the bricks where there are open seams needs addressing, he said, echoing Ferrara’s comments. “The loose bricks scare me,” he said candidly. A conservator was making a decision on the brick cleaner, which was delaying a total figure that couldn’t be tasked yet.

“Just to do the belfry and east wall alone is about $79,500,” he added.

Then there was the 15-foot-4-inch Tiffany stained-glass wonder, Jesus and the Little Children, in the balcony section. Sunlight was streaming in, illuminating its comforting beauty. “To take the window apart piece by piece and return those pieces and reseal them would cost about $60,000,” Hollowell said.   

Hollowell said the third main issue included rebuilding the inside. And the gutters. 

“At the time when the church was built, they got the biggest gutters they could — 4 feet, 9 inches,” he explained. “But they’re trying to handle approximately 7,000 square feet of water. Think of what happens in a heavy rain.”

So specialty-size gutters are needed; they’ll need two at about $9,000.

“We’re trying to find a contractor,” he said. “One contractor strung us along for nine months,” he said, an extra challenge the church is dealing with.

Overall, the UMC of Patchogue could use $500,000 in donations, whether monetary or donated services, to repair the stately building to its former glory.  

Ferrara and the church officers and congregation are hoping that this center for spirituality that tends to those less fortunate via its food pantry, clothing area and free meals will attract supporters. 

As Hollowell said, there are a lot of building repairs needed. 

“It’s like having 10 houses,” he said. 

Leave a text or voicemail for gift basket donations, gift cards, merchandise or services at 631-213-1546. Tickets to the Mediterranean Manor fundraiser on June 20 are $20. Go online at patchogueumc.org. You can also access United Methodist Church of Patchogue’s GoFundMe account at www.gofundme.com/x99kz-sos-save-our-sanctuary. Donations of $25, $50, $100 and $200 or more would be appreciated.