My mother was an artist in watercolors and oils and growing up she instilled in me her sense of design and perspective. I was always drawing plans—whether it was for a building, church, school or a skyscraper—and in high school a teacher found me a part time job with an architect. When I was in divinity school, the whole university was open to me, and I occasionally took architecture classes. So to this day, I keep my eye on developments in that field.

The new architect of the capitol, Stephen Ayers, notes that he must testify before Congress to identify priorities that are a mix between the “mundane and the magnificent.” He laments that they have a backlog of more than a million dollars worth of deferred maintenance. He knows that replacing a worn-out air conditioning system isn’t as exciting as restoring the frescoes in the Brumidi Corridors, but without heat or air, the artwork deteriorates. He claims that the infrastructure is always more important because if the building itself isn’t creating conditions for preservation, everything else fails.

That’s where we are today with our HVAC renovation. Our co-chairs spoke powerfully this past Sunday about our need to raise the funding to preserve our landmark building and provide for the hundreds of programs in church community service here week in, week out. I hope that you will be willing to volunteer if called to, and pray about your own gift to the capital campaign.