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Coming together on Hill Street, refurbishing a church

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Coming together on Hill Street, refurbishing a church

By Taylor Beard | Posted September 28, 2011, 7:26 am at CopperArea.com

Some of you may have noticed the serious influx of people to Superior these last few weekends.

If you live on or around Hill Street than you definitely noticed it.

Anything warranting the help of hundreds of volunteers is worth sitting up and taking notice.

Not only are there hundreds of volunteers, but these volunteers have been coming together from all over the Valley and even the state these last few weekends in a highly organized manner for a dedicated purpose. Kingdom Hall on Hill Street in Superior needed some refurbishment. So like bees to pollen, hundreds of Jehovah’s Witnesses from all over the state have come to Superior every weekend since the end of August to make that happen.

Some of you may be thinking, no big deal, people do this all the time, but this is a little different…when I arrived Saturday morning to speak with Rudy Carreno (many of you know him from Bank of the West), I literally thought I had arrived at a professional project and found myself thinking ‘so the volunteers are to help with odd jobs?’ No, NO, about this I was entirely mistaken. It looks like a professional project because many of the volunteers working on the project are professionals in one trade or another in their daily lives. They just happen to be volunteering their efforts for this noble cause. Certainly there are non-construction minded individuals volunteering their efforts and each of them are being taught a discipline that they can then master and pass on to someone else, Rudy explained to me.

I am not going to beat around the bush, it was fairly spectacular to behold, this hum of activity which looked like it had either the mastermind of a pro or at least had been planned out for months, coming together in a highly effective fashion.

The building was first constructed in the early 1960s and naturally things come due for some improvements. This was the case and it was decided that this building needed to be fully gutted. After this was decided, between six and seven hundred different volunteers have lent their help to the cause, coming from as far away as Tuba City each weekend to make this dream a reality.

“We call them our brothers,” Rudy said. “It’s all voluntary. They come here and we feed them and we work together.”

He explained how projects like this come to fruition within their church community.

“Everything we do whether it’s a remodel of a Kingdom Hall or building a new Kingdom Hall, we have departments and skilled individuals who come to use the skills from the ground up,” he said. “The projects are always very safety conscious with first aid and safety inspectors at every build.”

So in essence, the project is run exactly like a professional project would be. No wonder I thought it was a professional job when I cruised in.

He explained that it hasn’t just been volunteers within the congregation, but that there has been community help as well.

“We would love to thank Resolution Copper and CRC for their help with this project,” he said and beyond those two major contributors, he added, “Sandra at Circle K and Richard at Save Money have been very kind in giving us ice and helping with other products.”

Due to all of the volunteer labor and help from outside sources, the Superior congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses is able to complete this remodel for roughly $30,000, the cost of supplies, which is incredible considering that a similar project with labor and supplies would easily cost around $250,000. They’ve even had the equipment necessary donated by other members of the church.

Even though they have been able to keep their costs so low, they have also been able to give different members of the community leftover materials that they do not need for the project. They are getting down to the last two weeks of the project so you can really see it coming together…and beyond this you can see the quality of the craftsmanship and the dedication they have to making this a beautiful church for their brothers. As Rudy and I were walking around the project (I was, of course, given a dainty white hard hat), he pointed out the new block wall that was being built (and it looks pretty awesome) and then told me that they began working on that only a few hours earlier. One big thing that I noticed was that people were happy, smiling and laughing, they were genuinely having a good time with one another; I don’t know about you, but if I was doing hard labor in 99˚, I probably wouldn’t be smiling, let alone laughing.

As work has progressed on the project, there have been behind-the-scenes help as well in the form of volunteers who take shifts to cover the security that has been necessary 24/7 since the project began, and the meals that have been provided on weekends for the volunteers who have been so kind to come and help out. Rudy explained that every morning before they start work they have morning worship and remind everyone about safety.

“Safety is foremost for us, even though they are professionals, we just remind them not to get in a hurry or rush, but just to keep it safe,” he said.

Even without the rush, the project has made remarkable progress over the course of the last month. It is expected to be completed the second week in October and they will be holding an open house for their neighbors, “since we understand that people are naturally going to be curious about what’s going on,” Rudy said.

As I said before, it looks like a pro deal and I can tell that everything, inside and out, is going to be simply beautiful once it is completed. Look out for news on the open house once the project is completed within the next two weeks.

Article Source: CopperArea.com

The Bee

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