Fix St. Michael's Roof
Organized by: Isaac Bressler
St. Michael the Archangel Russian Orthodox Church was originally founded by Russian Immigrants with the cornerstone set in our temple at 1901 Ann in 1928. Today there is a very small remnant of lifelong members and a slowly growing younger group of converts, totaling our membership at 24 people. Our Orthodox Temple is unique in the St Louis region in that we are conveniently placed at the intersection of two major city streets and Highway 55, making us a very visible presence of the light of Orthodox Christianity in the heart of downtown St. Louis. This perfectly positions us to focus on our main outreach mission through FOCUS Gateway City, the OCA’s inner city poverty mission group.
We lease our church’s basement to FOCUS, which is used for 3 Sunday evening meals every month which are free to all who come. During these meals our volunteers serve our guests and eat with them at the table, and develop personal relationships with the homeless and poor from our neighborhood. FOCUS uses the basement for many other outreach activities including as job training, clothes and food pantry, and a computer lab used for job applications. Volunteers and social workers are available to instruct people from start to finish on how to improve their job and life skills and opportunities. The services we are able to render through FOCUS are not just focused upon the poor – it is primarily intended as neighborhood outreach, but its main beneficiaries are no doubt those who are greatest in need. This outreach is a Pan-Orthodox endeavor, with volunteers coming all across the St. Louis Metropolitan area to serve this mission in our church building.
As you can see, our Church is a beacon of light in the downtown St. Louis area and gives many people hope where there is no hope. Thus, we feel that it is imperative that this building remain operative in helping people for many years to come, God willing. We are in current need of repairs to the edges of our roof which is not properly draining, causing leaks which have been progressively damaging the surrounding woodwork. While further work will need to be done to fix the leaks in our domes, right now our present focus is on the edges which leak the most. We are presently seeking donors from the greater church community to help with the entire project, but we are hoping to have this first stage completed before the winter this year. We have a quote of approximate $36,000.00 to complete this initial stage of repairs, an amount which we are seeking financing for. I do believe that God has blessed us in the outreach that we have been able to do here, and we hope to continue serving here the best that we can, as long as we can.
Fr. Christopher Phillips, Rector
St. Michael the Archangel Russian Orthodox Church