SAVE THE DATE for Our Silver Anniversary!


Friends of Sacred Structures will observe 25 years of service to the greater Kansas City community with a dinner at Second Presbyterian Church, 55th & Oak, on Tuesday, September 12. Featured speaker will be Bill Tammeus, well known journalist and author, while the Rev. Eric Williams, pastor of Calvary Temple Baptist Church and noted singer-songwriter, will serve as Master of Ceremonies. A catered dinner in Westminster Hall will follow a 5:30 hospitality hour on the patio.

Highlighting its many years of volunteer architects, engineers and other members offering a variety of skills, FOSS has assisted more than 150 churches with advice for keeping their buildings up to code, thereby allowing them to serve as community centers. In addition to on-site visits by Technical Services Team members, seminars have been held to offer advice to church members for fundraising and for choosing dependable, reasonable companies to complete needed repairs and improvements.

An added option for outreach is the recent establishment of the Elmer Denis Memorial Fund that allows FOSS to offer financial assistance to congregations currently involved in upgrading their facilities. Preserving existing structures is a priority, and FOSS formed many years ago as an outgrowth of Historic Kansas City Foundation when a group of concerned members joined to save White Oak Chapel in the northland, the first African-American church built on land donated by former slave owners.

A 501(c)(3) organization, FOSS continues its efforts to focus on established, existing churches that offer a multitude of programs such as food kitchens, daycare and mentoring. The FOSS Mission Statement, “Friends of Sacred Structures is dedicated to the preservation and renovation of religious structures, especially those that support vital neighborhood needs,” reflects these goals. Our longevity is a testament to our continuing commitment to responding to requests for assistance free of charge.

FOSS invites you to help preserve the beauty and history of Kansas City by assisting congregations with limited funds continue to be present as safe and attractive local resources. To register, please call 913-831-4752 x 121.

Individual tickets: $50
Tables of 8: $350
Sponsors: $500

We hope to see you there!

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New Grant Fund Benefits KC Churches

When Friends of Sacred structures, an outgrowth of Historic Kansas City Foundation, became an independent entity by incorporating in 1992, Elmer Denis was among the first to become involved in its formative years. His vision, enthusiasm and energy inspired many to serve and impressed those who benefited.

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With his engineering background, Elmer took the reins of the Tech Services Team, providing evaluations and assistance to churches, mostly in the urban core, whose aging structures were limiting their ability to remain neighborhood centers, both for worship and many vital social service programs. For over twenty years, Elmer was the most visible representative of FOSS, visiting sites and keeping voluminous records regarding needs and recommendations for their facilities. Composed of volunteer architects and engineers, Tech Services has offered information and guidance not otherwise available to hundreds of religious communities with financial needs.

Elmer’s passing in late 2014 inspired a former board member to provide seed money for a memorial fund in Elmer’s name, with the funds designated to assist congregations working to address maintenance and repairs necessary to keep their buildings up to code. The first grant was made in December 2015 to Grace United Community Ministries, and the second grant was made in early 2016 to Stranger’s Rest Baptist Church. Grace United is using their funding to help cover the costs of some needed sanctuary repairs, stained glass window covers, and electrical system upgrades as detailed below.  Stranger’s Rest Baptist Church will use their grant award to help pay for the replacement heater and A/C unit they needed for their church buildings. FOSS is currently seeking contributions for this fund so the organization can continue to offer monetary assistance to qualifying projects.  Grant applications are also available here.

Donors wishing to help continue the mission may click the Donate Now button to give online, or email or call to make a donation today to help churches directly in Elmer’s honor, fosskc@supportkc.org or 913-831-4752 ext 102. As a 501 (c)(3) organization, FOSS will provide a tax receipt, and accounting of dispensation of funds will be made available to all donors.

 

Buy this beautiful book, and support FOSS!

A huge thanks to Bruce Mathews for generously donating a portion of the proceeds from his gorgeous new book to support FOSS!

WINDOWS OF KANSAS CITY - COVER 8-25-14

Windows of Kansas City: As Art, History and Inspiration showcases unique and masterful works of art. The art is stained glass windows found in churches, schools, hospitals, restaurants, and homes in Kansas City and communities within an hour’s drive.  While the book features stunning photographs of the windows, it goes beyond to consider the stories behind them – who created them, to whom they were dedicated and the history of the buildings in which they are located.

Windows of Kansas City explores the qualities unattainable in any other medium. “The interplay of sunlight and glass magically changes with each cloud and ray of light. Depending upon the time of day, art glass windows reflect an enchanting variety of colors that enhance any building’s interior.” – Shirley Bush Helzberg

Words & Photos by Bruce Mathews – Foreword by Shirley Bush Helzberg

Hard Cover – Color – 11” x 9” – 224 pages – $27.95

A portion of the proceeds benefits FOSS – Friends of Sacred Structures

Kansas City Star Books   –   To buy your copy or for more information:  Bmathews2@kc.rr.com