Wednesday, October 9, 2013
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
A few months ago our piano technician, Beverly Wells, informed me that we might want to consider replacing the bass strings on our Yamaha grand piano that lives on the Sanctuary stage because the bass strings (which were original to this 40+ year old instrument) had lived out their useable life. They were pretty much "dead" as she put it. Now I know what a dead string sounds like on a guitar because I've had years of experience with that instrument - you have to replace guitar strings about every six months to a year - more often depending on how much you play. Dead guitar strings sound dull and "thunky" when you play them rather than full, round and "rich" in overtones. So I put the same ear to the piano and could hear what Beverly was talking about - the bass strings on the Yamaha did not sound full round or rich - they sound "thunky" and rather lifeless. So I asked Beverly how much does it cost to replace strings on a grand piano of this size. The answer came back - over $2000... I wasn't terribly surprised knowing what other upkeep on this kind of instrument has cost but I was going to have to think about this one as $2000+ is quite a chunk of change.
Luckily we had an asset in our back pocket here at the Center that we were not using. So I thought I'd see if Beverly was interested in a trade for the work on the piano. The asset was the Beckstein grand piano that our former music director Linda Webb-Khakaba had played. It was sitting backstage - never being used. We didn't use it because it was over 100 years old and had never had much renovation work done on it which it badly needed. I thought to myself - what if Beverly were interested in taking the Beckstein to fix up and keep or sell herself in exchange for all or part of the price of the bass string replacement on the Yamaha... good news is - she was interested.
Fast forwarding here.. I had the Beckstein appraised in its current condition and was able to make the trade with Beverly. It was a win/win which I love. The Beckstein that had served so well during Linda's time (and which she loved by the way) would get a much deserved renovation by an experienced and talented piano technician and our Yamaha would get new bass strings. The appraisal price of the Beckstein was such that we even recieved some cash above and beyond the price of the work on the Yamaha - win/win/win!!!
I could hardly wait to play the Yamaha with the new strings on it - of course hoping that I could tell a big difference in view of such time and treasure spent for the work. I was not disappointed. When I opened up the case and struck chords using the new bass strings for the first time the sound was incredible... rich and full and absolutely glorious. I couldn't have been happier.
And now you know why (if you've noticed) the bass end of our Yamaha grand piano sounds "different".
Director, Music Ministry
Saturday, June 8, 2013
Wednesday, June 5, 2013
Thursday, May 23, 2013
Monday, May 6, 2013
(1) Social Hall, left of the Prac board in a white cabinet.
Please note that these cabinets do not lock for obvious reasons, and a very laud alarm will sound when they are opened. Bets will be taken as to when we have our first false alarm.
If you need to open the cabinet, and would like to have the alarm not sound, you will need a key which is in my office. If you need this, let me know.
I am so pleased that we have these AEDs.
Visit our Heart Safe Ministry Here
Thursday, April 18, 2013
This project has been in the works for several years – now that we’re seeing physical changes to our property to prepare for solar, I wanted to share history and details with you.
In the fall of 2010, our Board of Trustees appointed a committee to investigate the possibility of solar power for our Center. They quickly found out that it would be too expensive for the Center to consider installing on its own (about $300,000).
Fortunately, they discovered the existence of Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs)! Under this type of agreement, an outside company buys, installs, and maintains a solar installation at your property, and you agree to purchase the power produced by the solar installation.
The committee located three companies who were willing to look at an installation for an operation of our size, and met with each of these companies several times. After analyzing their proposals, the committee recommended contracting with California Clean Energy. The Board signed a Power Purchase Agreement with them in October 2011.
The initial idea was to install the solar structure on our roof. However, when the City of Santa Rosa Building Department reviewed the engineering analysis, the City decided the structure of our roof was marginal to hold the weight. Fortunately, installing a covered parking structure along our border with Occidental Road proved to be a workable alternative.
As of this writing, we don’t have a schedule for when the construction will begin. We’ll continue to put up information posters in the entry to the Social Hall as we get further details.
Thank you for your ongoing support and your interest in the health of our community.
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
The big news is the progress in our lighting renovation project. Our team is Jan Davis, Keith Kelsay, Keith Eggel, Paul Sarran and Evan Dow-Williamson.
So far we have:
- Cleaned and repaired the dimmer-pack (an electrical component that conditions the electricity for the lights) saving the cost of $2000+ for a new one. (Yeah Paul!!!)
- Purchased, flown and focused 4 new Fresnel fixtures that give a much more gracious and "kind on the eye" light for the middle section of the stage.
- Refocused and put the necessary diffusion (filters) on the rest of the lights still in use)
- Repaired existing fixtures.
- Installed 4 new ceiling can lights that shine from the backstage ceiling down onto the gold curtains - and put them and the previously existing two cans on one dimmer switch backstage. This will enable us to light the curtains without blasting light through the speaker from the trapeze causing unnecessary shadows.
- Ordered a new lighting board (it's on route now).
Still to do:
- Create an extension cord that will allow us to move the lighting board across the balcony to its new home between the sound and the video areas.
- Refine the lighting design. Codify our lighting practices for each service and invite volunteers to be trained on the newly renovated system so that we have a designated person running lights for each service.
- Test a few more fixtures for some accent lighting.
- Purchase a platform ladder for use in adjusting lightings (this will greatly improve our ability to do this safely).
Our Lighting Renovation Team Member and new volunteer Lighting Director Keith Kelsay working to upgrade one of our spot lights...
Lighting Renovation Team member Paul Sarran was able to rehabilitate and repair our dimmer pack - saving us over $2000 for the cost of a new one!!
In action, up the ladder, making it work.
Monday, February 11, 2013
Hello beloved colleagues,
Our new Parking Ambassador seva program is working. Demonstrations include but are certainly not limited to:
- NO vehicle break-ins since we started the program on December 3, 2012;
- A radical reduction of unwanted / suspicious activity in our parking lots; specifically ZERO incidences this year;
- Our Parking Ambassadors report gaining an increased sense of peace and acceptance of others;
- Congregants, class & workshops attendees, staff and visitors alike are increasing their practice of gratitude by saying “Thank you” to our Parking Ambassadors as they arrive and leave our Center;
- Increased and on-going education of our Parking Ambassadors and our Congregants, class & workshops attendees, staff and visitors alike to situational awareness and listening to our intuitive voice.
The Parking Ambassador seva created an abundance of opportunities for service to our Spiritual community. While the number of people volunteering for this seva is growing, many more are needed to fill all the coverage times.
I am reaching out to each of you and asking that you take this into your spiritual practice: prayer, mediation, visioning, etc.
If this calls to you come join us.
If you think this might call to someone else, have a conversation with them and send them our way.
If any information / awareness / guidance is revealed to you – share it with us.
At the very least, please know with us, in consciousness, that the volunteers we are seeking are already seeking us and that everything is coming together perfectly to support this program and the safety of our beloved spiritual community.
If you have questions, you can contact me directly at:
- Home: (707) 604-7580
- Cell: (707) 490-2240
- Email: Love-In-Service@comcast.net
(Note: I will be having knee surgery on Friday, February 15 so I might be unavailable or slow to respond for the first week after my surgery)
You can also direct questions to:
Evan Dow-Williamson, Facility Manager
- 546-4543 x114
Jan Davis, Chief Operating Officer
- 546-4543 x101
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