Polish the Jewel
 
   We were gifted by Millie Parker Smith Eastman with an Aeolian-Skinner pipe organ in the estoration/redecoration project of the church in 1949-1951. She gave the pipe organ to the congregation as a gift, under the stipulation that the congregation acquire the very best instrument possible. The instrument was installed in 1952. G. Donald Harrison, the president of the company and the finest tonal finisher in the world at the time, came to Burlington and personally oversaw the tonal finishing of the instrument. We are very blessed to have such a fine historic instrument here for our worship.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Polish the Jewel Campaign
 
 What is the campaign?  
 
   The instrument is six decades old, and it had begun to show the need for some major restoration work before my arrival at First Presbyterian Church six years ago. We began a campaign called “Polish the Jewel” to releather the chests in the four organs, and to refurbish the console. To date we have finished the releathering of the Great and Pedal Organs and funded a complete restoration of the console. But we still have two big projects to complete, the releathering of both the Choir and Swell organs. We know, from the estimates, that the funds cannot come solely from the offerings at Second Sunday luncheons, or from only the members of the congregation, and that our efforts have to be “more aggressive.” The cost is large, but a piece of the needed funds has already been raised. Where will the rest of the funds come from? From a “constellation of stars” which might include:
· Continued Second Sunday luncheon donations;
· Individual gifts, both from within the congregation and from the community;
· From larger community fundraisers; and
· From other events aimed at raising needed funds.
 
   If you would like to donate to this campaign you can either click here for online giving or mail a check to the church. Please make the checkout to First Presbyterian Church and in the memo write Polish the Jewel.
 Update (July 07, 2020):
   We have heard from Rod Levsen, president of the Levsen Organ Company and the man who has taken care of our instrument through much of my memory. We are on their schedule for the renovation of the Harp/Celeste stop, which most likely will occur next summer. They have several big projects that they are working on now, one of which is a large renovation of the pipe organ at Zion United Church of Christ, almost across the street from us!
 

   We are now working on the next phase of our restoration project, which is the Choir Organ. Once monies are raised for that project, we will begin on the final piece, which is the renovation of the Swell Organ. Here’s where we are on the first project:

   The Choir Organ has 694 pouches to be endowed at $60 each.
  
   We have $5,048.99 left in the Polish the Jewel Fund that we had raised for the renovation of the Harp/Celeste stop which will endow 84 pouches. In addition, we have received generous and gracious gifts of $3,640.72, which will endow an additional 60 pouches. In total we have endowed about 16% of the total.
 
   To all of those people who have already gifted the campaign, I personally thank you on behalf of the congregation.  If you haven’t already done so, I would encourage you to make a gift in whatever size fits you. We are happy to take regular small gifts, if you can. For example, I have to decided to gift the fund with the monies I would’ve spent on our Second Sunday lunches until we can have them again; perhaps that kind of gift would also work for you. Next month I’ll let you know where we are in the project.
 
   Because many of us get and process our information in different ways, I want to thank Ed Whitmore for producing a Rose Window chart for each of the two remaining projects. They will be colored in as we receive financial gifts and offerings, and when the Rose Window is completely colored, we will be able to have the Choir Organ restored and move on to the last stage. The chart will be in the church soon. Thank you, Ed! Blessings to each of you as we try to be good stewards of the gifts that we have been given.
 
+The Rev. Randy Webster