“Each of us has some gift that God has given to us. You will be surprised at all of the talents that can be combined to get things done and keep the church looking like God’s house.”
— FUMCFW Carpenter Gerry Grieser
God’s house is our church home — the place we spend our time as a faith community. Here at FUMCFW, we strive to keep it in the best shape possible. That’s why our Trustees inspect the property each spring to determine what repairs are needed. From there, they establish which ones require experienced contractors. For minor repairs, we call on the Carpenters. This group of volunteer church members come together each year to perform small but important jobs through this special ministry. From painting to landscaping and much, much more, the Carpenters save our church thousands of dollars each year.
“The Carpenters’ minor repairs keep our buildings in top physical condition at a minimum of cost,” says Carpenter Byron Baird. These savings are acquired through donated materials and free labor for projects that do not demand a licensed professional. Gerry Grieser, one of the first Carpenters who still serves today, points out that — between the trip charge, time on the job, and materials — costs add up fast when it comes to contractors. “A simple repair can be rather expensive at times,” Gerry explains. “The Carpenters can provide free labor, and in some cases even provide the parts needed. It is a good feeling to see that we have helped the church save money that can be spent on more important things.”
Beyond the financial side, there are many other benefits to being a Carpenter. “One of the ways to support the church is through service, which means volunteering,” Byron says. “Carpenters have the opportunity to give a small amount of time for the betterment of the church.” Gerry agrees and adds that he enjoys meeting new friends and sharing skills with each other. “In addition to feeling good about helping the church, it is a great way to meet other church member volunteers and have a good time working together.”
According to Gerry, every church member has a talent — whether it’s visiting the homebound, teaching Sunday School classes, singing in the choir, or being an usher, we all have something special to offer. For Gerry, in addition to carpentry he says he enjoys running the TV camera for the Television Ministries and helping his wife, Carolyn, with audio/video equipment in the Library. “Each of us has some gift that God has given to us,” he adds, “and when we gather a group of volunteers together, you will be surprised at all of the talents that can be combined to get things done and keep the church looking like God’s house.”
As Gerry sees it, this committee is the Carpenters’ chance to help in a different way by using their hands. Past projects include fixing window latches, extending rods for venetian blinds, removing unusable materials from the basement, replacing signs, mounting fire extinguishers, and a host of other small but necessary repairs. Last spring the Carpenters worked on the outside grounds, roof, and all floors (plus basement) of the Main Building along with the Justin Building. Their project list included such tasks as covering all roof air conditioning lines with foil to protect them from sun, installing stones in the grass from the Justin parking lot to the pedestrian crossing that leads to the Garden, and painting the handrails near the Narthex.
Sometimes the Carpenters even take their work home with them. “Members of our group frequently find projects that need to be done, take responsibility for repairing or building what is needed, and do these projects by themselves,” Gerry says. “I have a woodworking shop at home, and have taken a number of items home for repair as needed, so it was not necessary to wait for a Carpenters’ Committee project day.” Plus, he reveals that the flexibility of this ministry is a big plus. “There are no meetings, no requirements, no timeline to follow,” he elaborates. “Members volunteer strictly depending on their time available and talents.”
The Trustees are making their annual inspection to identify repairs on June 10, and then the Carpenters will make their list of jobs for this year. For more information or to join this ministry, contact Byron Baird (firstname.lastname@example.org) at 817/294-5490. As Gerry encourages, “Get involved and enjoy fellowship in a different way — you won’t be sorry you did.”