Dawn M. Hand, Executive Pastor/Chief of Staff of Foundry United Methodist Church announced the church will celebrate the completion of their new reception and fellowship space when it is consecrated on September 18th. This is just one year and five days after Foundry closed out the celebration of their 200th Anniversary with a church service attended by Hillary, Bill and Chelsea Clinton at which Hillary and Chelsea spoke from the pulpit. Now the church, one of Washington’s most historic, is moving into their third century with a major renovation.
This project cost $6 million and was begun in 2013 as part of a long-term plan to renovate and restore major systems in the 112-year-old building at 16th and P Streets in the nation’s capital.
Senior Pastor Ginger Gaines-Cirelli said “This work represents the confidence that our congregation has in our community and in our downtown location. We will use our church not only for worship but for many outreach and fellowship activities that will engage an even broader constituency in coming years.”
Along with consecrating this new space which is adjacent to the church sanctuary Foundry also will inaugurate a new Sunday worship schedule on September 18, when the first service will begin at 9 a.m. and the second service will begin at 11:15 a.m.
The new space will allow Foundry members and visitors more immediate access to participation in church ministry and mission activities. It is important to note that this new space is the first major renovation at Foundry in half a century. It represents the first phase of a multi-part renovation of the building guided by a comprehensive plan developed originally by Pastor Dean Snyder and lay leaders over the last several years. Foundry’s current Pastor has had her input into the long range plan as well. The idea as conceived was the church will have completely upgraded classrooms and office space, restrooms, choir practice areas, and major mechanical systems, such as air conditioning and heating.
Interestingly as with many renovation projects in old buildings, during the construction builders uncovered a number of historic artifacts, including original custom tile flooring in the narthex and a number of stained glass windows that had been obscured by previous renovations. All were restored to original condition.
The renovation was funded with $3 million in congregational contributions and a $3-million loan from Washington First Bank. Foundry is a community church and the community is invited to use the new space as they have always been invited to use space at Foundry. Fundraising for the next phase of the work begins in 2017 and of course Foundry is always looking for those generous members of the community who would like to show their appreciation for all Foundry has done over the years. If you know of an individual or a foundation who would like to make a donation you can contact Paul Hazen, Chair of the Church’s Mission Possible Committee at email@example.com.
Many of us live very stable lives in upscale communities and we often forget with-in our own communities there are people who don’t have all the same gifts we take for granted. For some children the beginning of school doesn’t mean a trip with mom or dad, or with mom or dad’s credit card, to purchase all the needed supplies to start the year off right.
To help even the playing field for some of those students the United Way of the National Capital Area (United Way NCA), has launched a back-to-school collection drive for area students as part of a program called "Stuff the Bus". The program brings together area residents to help assemble backpacks full of school supplies, non-perishable food products and personal care items for area students.
United Way NCA staff and volunteers will be on hand Thursday, September 1st to kick off two weeks of collection drives from 2:00 – 4:00 pm outside of the entrance to the Lord & Taylor, Tysons Corner Center, 7950 Tysons Corner Center, McLean, VA 22102. On September 1st volunteers will be assembling “Stuff the Bus” backpacks and will also be accepting donations from area residents. Folks can continue dropping off donations in the children's department of the Lord & Taylor store in Tysons Corner through September 17th.
Each of the “Stuff the Bus” backpacks contain school supplies such as gift cards to Target, Wegmans and Walmart, as well as pens, pencils, scissors, erasers and other needed supplies to help middle school students succeed. The backpacks will also contain personal care items such as toothpaste, toothbrushes and food.
To date United Way NCA's Stuff the Bus program has brought together more than 180 volunteers to assemble more than 1,600 backpacks which have already been distributed by United Way NCA and member nonprofits in Washington, D.C., Northern Virginia, and Maryland. For example, 100 backpacks have already been delivered to Langston Hughes Middle School in Reston, Virginia.
If folks in the District of Columbia can’t make it to Tysons they can get involved they will have until June 2017 in the year long effort, to find places to drop off donations, make donations online by going to UWNCA, or host a collection drive. They can drop off a donation in person at the UWNCA Offices between 9:00 am - 5:00 pm (Monday through Friday): or mail it to United Way of the National Capital Area (UWNCA) Attention: Torrance Huck, 1101 15th Street NW, Suite 1000, Washington, DC 20005.
Some of the D.C. schools having already received backpacks include the Charles Hart Middle School (located in SE DC), Stuart Hobson Middle School and Johnson Middle School. Among others scheduled to receive them are Kelly Miller Middle School (located in NE DC), John Hayden Johnson Middle School (located in SE DC) and Cardozo Education Campus (located in Columbia Heights).
The program is just one part of United Way NCA’s five-year, $12.3 million Community Commitment targeting 12,000 at-risk middle school students in the National Capital Area to help them perform at grade level and putting them on the right track to succeed in school and life.
Last Thursday night was a memorable one for old codgers like me. It was a chance to see La Streisand and confirm for oneself she is still as great as she always was. The voice may be a little huskier than it was when I first heard her in I Can Get it For You Wholesale in 1962 and then Funny Girl, but it was just as tantalizing.
Her ‘Memories’ brought back so many for the older crowd at the Verizon Center. Now the crowd was definitely different from other concerts such as Lady Gaga and Beyoncé. But it was only for Streisand I stayed to the bitter end not wanting to leave before the crowds and wanting to hear every last note.
Now I wasn’t among the elite who went backstage as participants in the fundraiser associated with the concert for a charity close to Streisand’s heart Women’s Heart Alliance. That group included Madeleine Albright, Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) and Chris Matthews. What I do have in common with them is age. We all remember Barbra from those early Broadway shows and her TV specials which all earned Emmys. Better than hanging with them was the fun of watching and listening to Barbra with MPD Chief Cathy Lanier, who brought her mom and her boyfriend, and former first mom Jan Fenty.
As Barbra began to sing my thoughts went back to a fantastic evening in June of 1967 when I sat with good friends on the great lawn in New York’s Central Park, alongside another 135,000 people, to hear Barbra in an amazing concert. It was the first of the huge concerts to be held there. In September 1981 500,000 came out to hear a short-lived reunion of Simon and Garfunkel. But it’s Barbra who is still going strong after all these years.
There was not a lot of new music but we did get a preview of a duet with Anthony Newley from her new album “Encore: Movie Partners Sing Broadway”. But then new music is not what we came to hear. We came to hear vintage Streisand and enjoy the songs we all know so well. ‘Evergreen’, ‘Memories’, ‘Don’t rain on My Parade’. Her 70s pop hits as she called them remembering when ‘she was trying to be hip’ including ‘Woman in Love’, ‘Stoney End’ and ‘No More Tears’ (more well known as Enough is Enough).
Then the beautiful hymn from ‘Yentl’ Papa Can You Hear Me. Yentl was the film only truly loved by Streisand devotees like me. Through-out the evening Streisand continued to chat about politics and her favorite candidate Hillary Clinton casually mentioning as she was driven to the venue on Pennsylvania Avenue she passed Hillary’s next home.
She talked about climate change and remembering the strive in the 70s singing Carole King’s “Being at War With Each Other,” backed by a video of stills picturing civic strife from then to now including images from the Pulse Nightclub massacre in Orlando.
She came out for four encores singing songs including ‘People” and “Happy Days Are Here Again”. That she sang as she always does to inspire the audience and reminded us she sang it for JFK, Lyndon Johnson, and Bill Clinton and soon hopes she will be singing it for Hillary Clinton when she is President.
It was truly a night to remember.