Ocean Park Church is in dire need of donations to repair its ceiling after a section recently collapsed, rendering the building unusable pending repair.
Reverend Janet Gollery McKeithen said the building will be closed to the many community groups that use the site until the work is complete and the estimated cost is about $ 100,000. She said the damage was age related and not covered by the church’s insurance policy.
“So at first we thought we were going to just mend this little place that fell, well it was a big place and it was so happy during COVID that it didn’t hit anyone in the head because it was right where it was the people were. ” sit and stuff. So we’ve had to patch a place before and the insurance company, when we thought they’d pay for it, asked for an evaluation so we did a thorough evaluation and it shows three different reasons why the cap can go down in different places and basically the entire ceiling can fall. “
She said the assessment did not point to a specific cause, but rather to a general deterioration in the cap.
“If it was caused by a certain thing, we could have got insurance, but it’s just decay and aging so they don’t cover it.”
The building cannot host any services or programs until repairs have been made.
The church hosts many ward groups for regular meetings or special activities, including Girl Central, Girls who Code, the Committee for Racial Justice, Climate Action Santa Monica, Queer Prom, AA, Grief Counseling, and the Santa Monica Special Needs Parents Network.
Julie Ginsberg, co-founder of the Parents Network, said her organization has benefited greatly from the Church’s generosity.
“Janet was amazing,” she said. “She allowed us to moderate there and we had four dances before Covid started. [The network] everything is run on a voluntary basis, it’s just a group of parents who support and pay for it, and Janet gave us the space for free. “
The Church used the network for regular information sessions for parents who needed support and for special events such as movie nights.
“It was amazing because here is this huge open space where kids are safe and no one cares, there is no judgment, it’s a beautiful community that they allowed us to build and give us a home “, she said.
Ginsberg said her organization met outside during Covid as per health regulations, but the structural damage was a blow to her group as many of the kids loved the events.
“It would be great if we could go to church again, the kids know the room, they know Janet, it’s a safe place where they can be themselves,” she said.
The church is an interfaith community with Muslim, Jewish, Wiccan, Buddhist, Hindu, Christian, and atheist activities. They celebrate a variety of holy days as well as Transgender Remembrance Day, Mental Health Awareness Month, Bodhi Day, and more.
Rabbi Diane Rose, the spiritual director of Cool Shul, said the church was a second home of faith for them.
“I love this fellowship so much and the way we practice Judaism is a very universalistic way that they approach spirituality because the Interface Church is so wonderfully suited to us,” she said.
Rose said the two organizations have held events and worked together in the past.
“I really admire the church and love the work they are doing in the world, and Pastor Janet is such a good force in this city and we need her so badly,” she said.
To donate, visit https://gofund.me/a554333b.