President’s Perspectives

It’s been decades in the making  but it’s finally here.  Tapestry and the seller have signed a purchase agreement for the Lake Forest property we have been working toward for these many months.  Tapestry’s space needs are complicated, the seller’s needs are complicated—it’s a perfect match.  There are too many details to mention to sort out along the way, but we’ve started the very long journey toward a permanent home of our own that will serve our liberal spiritual community in South Orange County for decades to come.  Because our current lease at Madero goes through December and because of provisions for the tenant in the building we are purchasing, we will not be moving until at least the start of 2018.  That gives us ample time to work through our many design decisions and raise additional funds to make the building a welcoming new home for all.

Our agreement states that we are purchasing the property as-is.  In the first 45 days, we’ll be evaluating exactly what that means.  We have a task force who will be representing key areas regarding space  religious education, worship, Ways and Means events, and administration so we can make the many decisions that lie ahead.   While your financial generosity has exceeded anyone’s expectations, the reality is that we are likely only to have the funds to make the building comply with current building code and for our occupancy permit.  So it will be like any starter home—functional, but probably not ready for a magazine spread.

One of the conditions of the purchase agreement is that we cannot publish the address until the sale closes since the tenant won’t be told until then.  We will have access to the building in the evening and on weekends if scheduled 48 hours in advance, and are planning to set dates so you can tour it to see for yourself.  Be aware that the space is very “built out” meaning there are lots of individual offices that will need to be removed to allow for our sanctuary, social hall, and kitchen.  But the essentials are good—lots of parking, a quiet location, promising green space outside in a quiet corner of the complex.  We’ll have about 70% more space than we do now.

If you’ve made or been thinking about making a financial pledge toward the down payment or fix up costs and have been waiting for the building to be real, now it is.  We’ll be applying for grants to leverage those dollars even further.  And we are now financing the entire mortgage with investments from Tapestry members and friends.  If you are in a position to help make this dream come true, contact Lynn Cowan or Julia Rampone. 

The rough timeline is as follows, specific dates TBD:

  • 45 days for inspections and financing
  • 135 days for approval from the city
  • Closing date
  • Lead time for tenant to find a new place to lease
  • Construction starts ideally October 1
  • Tapestry moves between Christmas and New Year’s
  • January 7 – first service in new building


We have contingency plans in case things take longer than expected.  We’ll be Raising the Roof for a Home for All, and that’s something we can all look forward to.

With faith and optimism,

Lynn Cowan