Dear Vail Interfaith Chapel Community,
The year 2020 brought many challenges, the likes of which our community has not seen before. All of us at Vail Religious Foundation have done our best to be nimble and efficient yet caring and compassionate, visionary yet detailed, innovative yet traditional.
A pandemic we’ve not experienced in over 100 years. Political unrest. Economic strife on one side, and a catapulting stock market breaking through unprecedented records on the other side. Racism, crowds, lock-downs, loneliness, solidarity, faith, vigils, protests, fractured relationships, emptiness, adventure, community, opportunity, peace.
Thankfully, the Vail Interfaith Chapel has survived this past year, and we’ve gotten organized on several fronts. While closed for several months, three of our member congregations safely re-opened for worship this past summer with social distancing and cleaning measures in place, including the Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration, Covenant Presbyterian Church, and St. Patrick’s Catholic Church. Alcoholics Anonymous, other anonymous support groups, Alpine Counseling Center – they remained intact in their meeting space and gatherings that were offered both virtually and in-person.
In late 2019, we launched our new website and in early 2020, published our first informational booklet. The Vail Police Department performed a risk assessment on the Chapel building, and with the fires in 2019, several maintenance issues came up for discussion such as replacing our wood shingle roof that had outlived its 20-year life span and was no longer up to Town of Vail Code. For the past seven years, the parking lot underground heat system had failed. These along with several additional items listed below, were now becoming real problems – expensive to fix, beyond repair, worn out, or unfixable.
Working with consultants to help us with attack these problems, now a considerable financial burden and unmanageable, we reviewed all of the construction issues. We obtained preliminary estimates for the work from several general contractors, and decided on Beck Building Company, one of the Vail Valley’s most reputable, professional, and efficient builders. We then talked to various architects and hired Suman Architects to help with drawings, project management, and town processes.
We have been blessed with 12 members of the community to serve on our 50th Anniversary Advisory Committee. We are working hand in hand with the Town of Vail on rethinking outdoor spaces to align with creek restoration, building use efficiencies.
On December 1, the VRF was deeply honored by Town of Vail Proclamation No. 9 in which the Vail Religious Foundation recognized the Vail Interfaith Chapel and Ministry Building as a cultural and historical center within the Town of Vail, and naming December as the town’s “VRF Community Service Month.”
We now look to 2021 to dive full force into fundraising for the 50th Anniversary Capital Campaign. As you know, the Vail Religious Foundation owns, operates and manages the Vail Interfaith Chapel and related Ministry building, along with surrounding grounds and parking lot. We partner with the Town of Vail and FirstBank of Vail to ensure its safety, security, and operational viability.
Our buildings – the faith, spiritual, cultural and historical center of the Town of Vail – historically have never asked for your help except in times of renovation, the last having been 1996-99. Over 20 years, our buildings received the renovations and maintenance they needed to survive.
Now, we ask for your assistance again in ensuring the Vail Interfaith Chapel and Ministry building remain the spiritual, cultural and historical center of our community. Because of lack of funding, many maintenance projects have been deferred, and now, finally, need improvement. Major construction items include, as mentioned the roof, repaving and heating the parking lot, entry and walkways, replacing 22 year old windows, replacing 51 year old electrical and HVAC systems, replacing the broken counters and cabinets, lighting and fixtures in the Sacristy, refinishing all of the Chapel’s interior woodwork and pews, ensuring ADA accessibility to the altar, elevator replacement, relandscaping and restoring the Creekside spaces for improved use, and increasing the buildings’ efficiency and storage space.
As of February 11, 2021, $2.1 million has been raised for the 50th Anniversary Capital Campaign. Our goal in 2021-22 is to raise and additional $7.9 million to benefit these projects and ensure our Endowment provides adequate funding to proactively maintain our property for the next 25 years.
Please take some time to peruse this, our first ever Annual Report, to find information about the upcoming construction projects, the history of the Vail Interfaith Chapel, and learn about its impact on our beloved town and valley. Thank you for your support of the Vail Religious Foundation and the Vail Interfaith Chapel, the Spiritual Heart of Vail.
Pastor Tim Wilbanks
President, Board of Directors
Vail Religious Foundation