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Sierra Pacific Outdoors Work Day

On February 18th and 19th the Synod held two days of service in Oakland at the buildings we hope to turn into a site that support multicultural Lutheran leadership development. Want to financially support projects like this? Donate to Sierra Pacific Outdoors here.

Volunteers from Lutheran congregations around the area, Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary (PLTS), Iglesias Christiana, Synod staff and their families joined together to complete repairs that we estimate saved the Synod over $20,000. We are gratiful to everyone who came to help.

Special thanks to Thrivent Financial for providing food for volunteers through a Thrivent Action Grant.
Special thanks to Thrivent Financial for providing food for volunteers through a Thrivent Action Grant.

Our work on the first day focused on repairing the most significant safety issue at the site. Years of deferred maintenance on the building had created hazardous conditions with pungent mold and mildew that could be smelt throughout building that houses the main sanctuary, offices and children's classrooms. The Synod Council has approved up to $170,000 in repairs to help fix the roof, remediate the mold and repair the wall damage in the children's classrooms and main sanctuary. Major clean up was needed before professional work can begin.


Removing items damaged by mold and mildew

After years of water damage from a roof leak, the many items stored in this children's classroom were ruined by mold and mildew.
Years of water damage from a roof leak, ruined the many items stored in this children's classroom.
The same children's classroom after a day of clean up.
The same children's classroom after a day of clean up.
Volunteers filled two 40 yard dumpsters with trash.
Volunteers filled two 40 yard dumpsters with trash.

For the safety of individuals using the space in the future, carpet was also removed from the areas surrounding the mold and mildew.

Volunteers removed carpet from the narthex area outside the children's classrooms.
Carpet was removed from the narthex, just outside the children's classrooms.
Carpet was removed from the AV room.
Carpet was removed from the AV room.

Due to the large number of volunteers who joined us, on the second day, we were able to accomplish more tasks than expected.

Catherine (the Synod's Communications and Connections Coordinator) and her father Tom removed carpet from the offices and applied the first coat of paint they will need. Members of Inglesia Christiana provided significant help in the building and plan to complete the painting and floor replacement in the weeks ahead.

A small office was painted.
A larger office got a first coat of paint.
A larger office got a first coat of paint.

Preparing a Parsonage for BIPOC Leaders

We also began working to paint, update the flooring and complete the minor repairs needed to create a parsonage for BIPOC leaders serving and learning in Oakland. We intend to use the parsonage to support individuals who would otherwise be unable to attend seminary and/or receive equitable wages.




The family of Synod staff lend a hand.

Bishop Megan's wife Laurel and children helped with painting and gardening.
Bishop Megan's wife Laurel and children helped with painting and gardening.
Diana Barrios cooks lunch with her daughter.
Diana Barrios cooks lunch with her daughter.
Diana's father and husband helped with yardwork.
Diana's father and husband helped with yardwork.

Special thanks to the friends and family of Synod staff members who joined us at the service work days. Many left with sore muscles and happy hearts.




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