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a passionate repentance



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may God stand
I know I so do not have a huge flist, but I thought..if I could just spread the word maybe it could get some help sent to these people.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Christ is in our Midst!

I write to you today with an urgent appeal for help. Many of you are aware of the situation at our Cathedral here in Utica. For those you who don’t, the Cathedral is currently without a heating system and the roof needs to be replaced. In 2003, we paid $26,000 as a deposit to begin work on the installation of a new roof. The remainder of the money ($26,000) was to be paid upon completion of the job. The contractor started the work and 80% of the work was done but he walked off the job in midpoint. The workers never tarped or secured the portion of the roof from which the old shingles were removed and this has caused significant water damage to the interior of the Church. When it rains, the water literally pours into the building. To make matters worse, a portion of the new roof installed by the contractor is defective in installation and leaks significantly. A recent visit to the Church last week revealed new leaks in the Altar area and in the temporary library which were not there before. We have an attorney who has sued the contractor but no progress has been made on the litigation. As the Church currently does not have heat, we are faced with a serious crisis now. Ice is forming on the interior walls and in the roof which will further cause damage to the plaster walls and the wood. Unless we can get heat into the building and stabilize it and secure the leaks, the damage that will be done to the building over the winter months will be significant.

As it stands right now, it will cost us $71,000 to put on a new roof. This means all the work that the previous contractor did has to be removed because it was installed improperly. No contractor will touch the job unless everything the previous contractor did is eliminated. The only option available to us is to start from scratch and install a completely new roof. Also, we need to get heat into the building which requires the installation of a new system. All the copper piping was removed from the building prior to our purchasing it, so we will be putting in a new system.

The cost of a new roof, without any repairs to the support structure if needed, is $71,000. The new heating system is $62,000 and is a high energy efficient system. Our total immediate need is $133,000.00

I am writing to you to ask your help in raising this amount and to consider making a donation to this emergency appeal. Whatever amount of money you donate will be placed in a restricted account. If we do not raise the entire amount necessary to repair the roof and install the heating system all donations will be returned. Our plan is as follows:

The money for the heating system is to be raised by January 31, 2006. If the entire amount of $62,000 is not raised by that date, all monies received will be returned to all donors. If the entire amount is received by that date, work on the installation of the new heating system will begin on February 14, 2006.

The money for the new roof is to be raised by January 31, 2006. If the entire amount is not raised by that date, all monies received will be returned to all donors. Weather permitting, work on the roof will begin immediately but given the severity of the weather here during the months of January and February, work on the new roof may not begin until March. If we raise the money necessary for the roof, the exposed areas and the areas that leak can be secured with tarp to prevent any further damage until the Spring, when the replacement of the roof can be accomplished.

If you wish to make a donation, you may do so in two ways:

1) Make a check directly to the Cathedral made out to: Cathedral of the Theotokos of Great Grace. In the memo section on the check, please include the notation “Roof and Heating System Fund.” Also, include a letter stating that you want your donation used exclusively for the roof and/or heating fund. Make sure that you include your complete name, address and contact information so that we make return your donation to you if we are unsuccessful in raising the money necessary. All monies will be held in a restricted account at Citizens Bank, Genesee Street, Utica, NY. Mail your check to: Cathedral of the Theotokos of Great Grace, 1101 Howard Ave. Utica, NY, 13501.

2) Make your donation through Paypal. Simply send it to cathedral@igoarch.org. Include in your email your name, address and contact information so that we may have the necessary information in the event we have to return your donation. Include in your email notification that you want your donation used exclusively for the roof and/or heating system.

We are in a crisis situation my friends. If we are not able to rectify the situation, it may be necessary to permanently close the building. No services are currently being held in the building and it is our hope that by getting heat into the building as quickly as possible, we can resume worship while at the same time, be there to secure the building and its contents from any further damage or deterioration.

Please forward this email to your friends. The more people who are made aware of this situation, the better our chances of saving this beautiful and historic house of worship and meeting our goal.

Commending you all to God’s care and love, I remain,

Gratefully yours,

+Metropolitan Stephen

Bishop of Utica

Primate of the Italo-Greek Orthodox Church in the Americas and Canada
  • Utica. That's right around the corner from where I grew up.

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