United Methodist Church receives Sacred Sites grants

Posted 8/8/19

The United Methodist Church of Bay Shore was recently awarded over $20,000 to help fund an ongoing restoration effort.

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United Methodist Church receives Sacred Sites grants


BAY SHORE—The United Methodist Church of Bay Shore was recently awarded over $20,000 to help fund an ongoing restoration effort. 

The New York Landmarks Conservancy announced 233 Sacred Sites grants, totaling $256,000, for various historic/religious properties across New York State. Two of the pledges make up the funds for the Bay Shore church, located on E. Main Street. The Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation is responsible for underwriting the grant pledges. 

The Sacred Sites program provides congregations with matching grants for planning and implementing exterior restoration projects, technical assistance and workshops. 

The $21,000 going towards the United Methodist Church of Bay Shore, which included $6,000 in consultant fees, helped fund roof replacement and a conservation assessment to address chipped paint on the sanctuary ceiling.

The Bay Shore church, as it currently stands, was constructed in three phases. 

It began in 1867 as a Gothic revival sanctuary building before being expanded, in 1893, with the construction of a new Romanesque Revival and Queen Anne-style worship building. The original church was moved to the rear to serve as the parish hall. A rectangular brick education wing was added in 1959.  

The church houses multiple community programs, including a weekly soup kitchen, Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, recovery meetings, a thrift shop, weekly Girl Scout troop meetings, and a Head Start preschool. 

These programs combined serve over 2,800 individuals a year, according to the conservancy. 

Peg Breen, president of the New York Landmarks Conservancy, wrote in a statement: “We feel it is very important to help maintain religious structures that provide a sense of history and place to communities. Many also provide social service and cultural programs that benefit people beyond their congregations.” 

The Sacred Sites program has pledged over 1,493 grants, totaling more than $11.1 million, to almost 805 religious institutions throughout the state since 1986.  

This publication previously reported on the restoration efforts in the article “Church looks beyond congregation for help,” published on Feb. 1, 2018. 

Aside from the roof replacement and paint assessment that was conducted, the Bay Shore church has made numerous fixes since the restoration effort began about a year and a half ago. Rev. Wendy Modeste and David Timmoney, president of the church’s board of trustees, gave a rundown earlier this week. 

For starters, new siding has been applied to the exterior of the church. New stained-glass windows are needed in the future, but that will come after the sanctuary ceiling receives a fresh coat of paint, Timmoney explained. 

The area for Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous has been refurbished. “It’s a long process,” Timmoney said, regarding the restoration, adding that the church needs to undergo the various upgrades without disrupting the “vital services” it provides to the community.  

The pastor’s living quarters have also gotten a new roof, siding and windows, along with electrical and plumbing upgrades, but still needs landscaping work and an entry walkway. 

While the bathroom in the Fellowship Hall, which served as the original sanctuary, has become handicap accessible, that particular portion of the church is still under construction, along with the kitchen, which should be getting new cabinets sometime this week. 

Since the restoration effort began, Modeste says the church received a little over $173,000 in community donations, along with another $124,000 from the congregation. “We’re so grateful to the community,” Modeste said, adding that Donna Periconi, president of the Bay Shore Chamber of Commerce, has been “very helpful.” 

In addition to the Sacred Sites funding, the Bay Shore church received a $100,000 grant from the United Methodist City Society. They also received, back in December, the first half of a $100,000 grant from the Park Avenue United Methodist Church. 

The church still needs over $200,000 for future projects.


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