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  • Rev. Barbara Ballenger

Rector’s Note: Wishing Frank and Ernest a happy retirement-5.4.23

We are extending our old, hard-working boilers warm regards!

Let’s call them Frank and Ernest. Behind a closed door at the foot of the stairs leading to KidView, these two boilers have been quietly warming nearly 70 years of ministry at St. Peter’s.

Frank, who runs on oil, was installed when the building was erected in 1955. He was designed at a time when folks thought that oil would remain endlessly cheap and available and when less attention was paid to its damaging effects on the environment. Ernest, powered by natural gas, was installed around 1985 to help lift the heating load as demand increased. These oversized systems use about $20,000 worth of fuel each year.

Now at the end of their work lives, Frank and Ernest are retiring to make room for a new super-efficient natural gas heating system that will be installed this summer.

We’ve contracted with Unique Indoor Comfort and Cooling to install our boiler system in time for fall. (What will we name the three new boilers that are moving in, I wonder?)

The price tag is about $150,000, which will be coming out of our parish accounts this summer. We’ve given ourselves two years to replenish these reserves, which we rely on to supplement our budget, fund repairs and sustain us over time.

Over the next several months St. Peter’s Warm Regards CampaignWarm Regards Campaign, will invite parishioners and community members to help fund our new heating system.

We’ll say farewell to our old boilers, celebrate the warmth of vibrant church community, and express our regard for the earth with a commitment to ongoing sustainability.

Our contractors estimate that our investment will largely pay for itself in about eight years. That means the money we were spending on oil and gas can help fuel new ministry. And it invites us to find ways to become even less dependent on fossil fuels like natural gas and explore alternative energies.

You can help offer your warm regards in a variety of ways over the course of the campaign.

Make an ongoing contribution to the Warm Regards fund. We estimate that if everyone chips in we can replenish our savings steadily in about two years. For example, if 80 people contributed $20 a week to our energy fund, we’d pay ourselves back in about 20 months. More contributors or higher average donations would shorten that time.

You can set up an ongoing or a one-time Warm Regards contribution here or using the button below. Or contact Charlese Freeman ( to request a set of Warm Regards envelopes if you’d like to drop a contribution in the collection basket on Sunday or mail them in. Our goal is to secure ongoing contributions to the Warm Regards fund by June 1, the month construction begins.

Plan or support a fundraising event that engages our wider community. Look for the return of Trivia Night in the fall, among other events. Great ideas for activities that raise excitement, connection and funding are already emerging. Contact me if you’d like to help plan a fundraiser or support one that’s in the works.

Consider your participation in the Warm Regards campaign a donation to Frank and Ernest’s retirement fund.

Over the course of the campaign, we’ll show our appreciation for the vibrant ministry that Frank and Ernest helped warm over the years, remembering highlights from each decade of their service. Look to our newsletter, website, and Facebook page for stories of warmth and welcome spanning nearly 70 years of ministry in the current building.

After leaving St. Peter’s, Frank and Ernest’s work will continue in more sustainable ways, as their many sturdy parts are recycled and put to new uses.

In the 141 years that St. Peter’s has been a congregation, scores of warm-hearted people have erected not only church buildings but vibrant Christian community. We owe it to them to create and steward sacred and sustainable spaces for generations to come.

Visit the campaign web page to learn more about the campaign as it progresses.

Warm regards,

Rev. Barb

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