Raise the Roof

Raise the Roof

Over recent months Building Restoration Corporation (BRC) in Minneapolis has completed a major brick and exterior repair of our beautiful church. BRC specializes in the work of preserving historic buildings, with many comments about how good the exterior of the building looks today. While BRC was on site with their lifts, however, they shared with me their concern about the church roof and its deteriorating condition that they were able to view firsthand.

Initially it was my hope that this deteriorating condition, and need for its replacement, might have been caused at least in part by storm or hail damage, and be covered by insurance. Our insurance carrier was contacted, they inspected the roof, and the outcome was that the deteriorating condition is not because of either storm or hail, but simply that the roof is quickly approaching the end of its useful life. As a result, insurance will not pay any portion of the roof replacement. As best as what I have been able to determine, after the church was built in 1913, the original cedar roof was replaced with the current asbestos tile roof that has served for approximately 80 years.

While work has been done in the summer months to temporarily repair the roof, work needs to be done soon to completely replace the roof and preserve the integrity of our beautiful church, before further deterioration potentially resulting in serious damage of the interior of the building. The pictures show the current condition of the roof and highlight the work needing to be done the spring and summer of 2023 as crews and materials are available.

Raise the Roof is an appeal beyond the regular Sunday collection that is needed to pay annual operating expenses. I apologize for needing to make another special financial appeal for the church roof replacement, especially after last year’s major campaign, but the pictures of the roof highlight the urgency of completing this project as soon as possible. At this time, the estimated cost to do the roof replacement which includes asbestos removal and abatement of the current roof tiles is $400,000.

People were extremely generous in our “Brick by Brick” campaign, with many making gifts and raising $362,712 and I am grateful beyond words for your generosity. In this effort at a church replacement, if you made a gift in the “Brick by Brick” campaign, could you make a similar gift? If you did not make a gift to “Brick by Brick,” are you in a position to make a gift at this time?


As a parish, we currently have 245 registered households. If every household could make a$1,700 gift, then we would reach and surpass our goal. I realize that for some this dollar figure will be a stretch, but others can do this and more. The key is everyone’s participation at a level of their own personal generosity.

I also hope that for some the timing of this appeal may be advantageous as it coincides with year-end giving for tax purposes. In the event we do not reach our goal, or costs exceed funds raised, then we will need to explore the possibility of a loan. I encourage you to do what you can as an act of thanksgiving for the many blessings you have received from God to now help preserve our church building for generations to come.

Donations to this special appeal can be made by placing a plain envelope in the Sunday collection or by mailing it to the parish office. All checks should be payable to “St. John’s.” Any and all gifts to this special appeal are much appreciated, and I hope that you can help to invite others with family ties to St. John’s who may have moved away to learn more about the church roof replacement and consider supporting it.

Just like the founding families who have gone before us and built what we enjoy today, I believe that together we can do this! If you have any questions or concerns, know that you are always welcome to contact me.

Sincerely in Christ,

Fr. Mike Tix

St John the Baptist - Vermillion 362X91