Our facility served as a gathering place for a variety of groups, events and ministries, both within and beyond the Oak Hills congregation. We continue to share our space with a vibrant head-start preschool, as well as a Spanish-speaking congregation, Iglesia Shalom. The facilities team took major steps this year in several areas
- Connecting with our custodians and our various renters to facilitate better sharing of the space and communication about building needs.
- Renovation of the CE building: a small team headed by Building Elder Hank Brown worked through the summer months to renovate key spaces in the CE building. New plumbing, cabinetry, countertops, radiators, window and light fixtures and paint were added, creating a whole new atmosphere in the main preschool classroom. Electrician Jeff Emra worked with Hank Brown to enable the electrical wiring needed to restore heat in several spaces.
- Plans were laid for the creation of a “First Responder Rest-Stop” at Oak Hills, allowing area law enforcement officers and others to have a private haven during their on-duty hours. Look for this space to be completed and operational in mid-2017.
Church members contributed time, energy and financial gifts to allow us to keep our facility functioning well for all who use it.
Our church grounds are maintained with the help of a small team of volunteers. Thanks to Norm Smith for faithfully mowing the playfield. The lawn tractor was completely maintained and repaired by RMT Equipment in Troutdale. Because of the age of the machine, it was difficult to find parts for it.
Thanks to Hank Brown for spearheading the parking lot repaving and restriping this summer (2017).
Thanks also to Becky Ives for her landscaping assistance and overseeing the work of our grounds custodians. We rented a front-end loader to move the heavy stones from the mailbox area, and Becky oversaw where to relocate them in various positions on the property. Becky helped get a new sprinkler control system so that we could get it back online.
For those of you in the neighborhood, you likely noticed that we added onto our church building in 2012. Our sanctuary for the past 50 years, originally built as a chapel, has become our fellowship reception area and most of the new construction is our new larger sanctuary.
We planned for years to enrich our church with more space for worship and fellowship. Finally, we we have construction completed and look forward to the many blessings our new space will provide.
The Build With Faith blog is dedicated to the construction process from the building campaign to final dedication.
Planting a Future – Our new Sanctuary
Groundbreaking for the new Oak Hills Presbyterian sanctuary was Sunday July 17, 2011 at the outdoor service. The congregation worshiped on the lawn where the new sanctuary arose in 2012. The Construction Team overseeing the project was chaired by Dwayne Foley. Glad Tidings (Newsletter) interviewed Dwayne for this issue. Now a very active retiree, Dwayne was Senior Vice President for Operations Support at Northwest Natural Gas Company. He also served as President of the Oregon State University Foundation and director of the OSU Alumni Association.
Q: How does this construction project compare with other projects you’ve been part of?
A: I’ve helped plan cross-country gas pipelines, I’ve renovated residential properties, and helped raise funds for a new engineering building at OSU. Some of those projects had more zeros on the price than this sanctuary project. The big difference is the Client we are serving. We are building a house of worship to honor God and to do a service to the greater community.
Q: Where have you seen evidence of God’s presence in this process?
A: I see it in the great upwelling of support and effort from this congregation. There is a sense of fellowship and commitment and faith. There are many kinds of prayer, and this project has been a kind of “prayer in motion” shared by the whole congregation.
Q: How do you expect this to change Oak Hills?
A: This is a tangible affirmation of a sense of renewal. It’s so easy for a church to grow complacent, but this project is a decisive step toward the future. My father once said, “Time goes by. Things change.” This is a change we needed to make for the times in which we live.
Q: What has it been like leading this construction team?
A: I can’t say enough about the effort and energy the team has given. It is definitely a team effort, and this is a talented, committed team. At groundbreaking, we want to again thank them for a job well done.
Q: When the shovel goes into the ground, what does that mean for us?
A: We’re planting a future. I think of how Jesus once compared the kingdom of God to seeds. Some seeds fell on rocks, some on weeds, and some on good soil. On groundbreaking day, we’re turning over some soil, but we’re also opening ourselves to the future God has for us. We want to be fruitful soil for God’s Kingdom.
Submitted by Rev. Greg Lund, D. Min. June 2011