Three worship services and lunchtime fellowship continue each Sunday as parishioners strive to make life “as normal as possible” amid cleanup after a June 25 fire that destroyed the sacristy and damaged the sanctuary of St. Gabriel’s Church in Monterey Park.
The Rev. Peter Lo, rector, said that the 9 a.m. Cantonese, 10 a.m. English and 11 a.m. Mandarin-language worship services now are held in the parish hall, followed by a 12:30 p.m. lunch.
The congregation hopes to eventually remodel and rebuild, but “we’re still cleaning up,” Lo said in a June 14 telephone interview.
“It takes a lot to clean up,” he added. “We’ve moved all the pews out to polish them and paint them again. The sanctuary is a mess. But cleanup is a step-by-step process.”
The congregation has been heartened by community support and assistance, including offers of linens and vestments, as well as one woman who donated diamond jewelry valued at about $6,000 to be used to help rebuild.
“We are trying to make everything as normal as possible and to restore everything as much as possible,” Lo said.
“We have to strengthen ourselves with prayer,” he said. “We need a lot of prayer. And we need our inner life to be changed in order to accommodate what will be a new beautiful church.”