Parish Hall Rental

HALL RENTAL POLICY

St. Mary Antiochian Orthodox Church
905 South Main Street
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18702
Telephone Number 824-5016

1. Statement of Purpose and Policy:
1.1. It is the purpose and policy of St. Mary’s Antiochian Orthodox Church (“The Church”), acting through its elected Council and its designated representatives, to rent the Hall Facilities to interested persons in the community. The Church specifically informs all interested persons that the purpose of any rental, and the use to which the Hall Facility is put, must neither conflict with nor may it contravene the spirit and purpose of St. Mary’s Antiochian Orthodox Church, as defined by Article II of the Constitution of St. Mary’s Antiochian Orthodox Church (as interpreted by the Pastor of the Parish). Further, the purpose of any rental, and the use to which the Hall Facility is put, must comply with the Rules and Regulations for use of the Hall Facility as defined below (and interpreted by the Parish Council and/or Hall Committee and its representative).

2. General Provisions for Use of the Hall Facility:
2.1. It is the intention of The Parish Council to allow interested persons and/or organizations in the community to use the Hall Facility with the condition that the uses not create an undo, unfair and/or inappropriate risk of harm, loss and/or damage to either The Church and/or its Council. In furtherance of the stated intention of The Church and/or its Council, the following general provisions apply to the rental of the Hall Facility under all circumstances under situations:

2.1 (1) The use of the Hall Facility by any user is considered a privilege and not a right as the Hall Facility is a private facility, which is considered to be an integral part of the general premises of The Church and rectory.

2.1 (2) The basic rental space available for lease to any interested party, within the Hall Facility, shall include just the common entranceway, the restrooms; and the hall itself.

2.1 (3) The four (4) classroom areas situated within the Hall Facility shall not, at any time, be subject to rental or lease by any interested party and shall remain locked and unavailable to any person, persons and/or organizations leasing the Hall Facility.

2.1 (4) The Church and/or its elected Council shall not be responsible for any consequential damage caused or occasioned by an inability to give possession of the leased Hall Facility to any renter by reason of any cause beyond control of The Church and/or it’s Council.

2.1 (5) Any renter, whether it be an individual or organization, must agree to be responsible for and to relieve The Church and/or its Council from any and all claims of liability that may result in any injury and/or damage to any person or property on or in the Hall Facility and/or the premises on which it is situated whether belonging to the renter or any person that may be caused by any fire, breakage or leakage and/or from water, rain or snow that may leak into, issue or flow from any part of the premises or of any portion of the building which the demised premise is a part or from any place or quarter whether such breakage, leakage, injury or damage be caused by or result from the negligence of The Church and/or its Council or its duly appointed servants, workmen and/or agents or by any person or persons.

2.1 (6) Any renter of the Hall Facility must also agree to be responsible for and to relieve The Church and/or its Council from all liability that may result in a claim for any injury or damage to any person or thing that may arise from or be due to the use, misuse or abuse of all or any of the Hall Facility or the premises on which it is situated or from any kind of injury which may be caused on the premises or of which the premises is a part whether such damage, injury, use, misuse or abuse is caused by or result from the negligence of The Church and/or its Council or its duly appointed servants or agents or any other person or persons.

2.1 (7) Any interested person or organization that wishes to rent the Hall Facility in its entirety or in any portion must accept the Hall Facility in the condition in which it exists at the moment the rental is approved. Any renter must be given an opportunity to walk through and inspect the Hall Facility for any defects, problems and/or risks of harm that could through reasonable inspection be detected and be responsible for any defects, problems and/or risks of harm that may exist at the time. The Hall Facility is, therefore, rented in an “as is” condition.

2.1 (8) Any interested person or organization wishing to rent the Hall Facility must agree to be responsible for and to relieve The Church and/or its Council for all actions taken by the renter and/or its/their guests during the course of the rental and for all claims, injuries and/or damages that may be occasioned by the acts and/or omissions of The Church and/or its Council, the renter and/or the renter’s guests that may occur during the term of the rental.

3. General Rules for Use of the Hall Facility:
3.1. The Parish Council has established general provisions for the use of the Hall Facility, which are outlined below. It is the intention of The Parish Council to allow interested persons and/or organizations in the community to use the Hall Facility with the condition that the uses not create an undo, unfair and/or inappropriate risk of harm, loss and/or damage to either The Church or the Parish Council. In furtherance of the stated intention of the Parish Council, the following general provisions apply to the rental of the Hall Facility under all circumstances:

3.1 (1) No interested person or organization shall use the Hall Facility for any activity or for any purpose contrary to the doctrines, rules, rituals, canon law, faith, practice, discipline, traditions and/or usages of the Holy Orthodox and Apostolic Church;

3.1 (2) No smoking is permitted in any portion of the Parish Hall Facility, including but not limited to common areas, the kitchen and/or rest rooms. Neither is smoking permitted in the outdoor areas or parking lots of the Parish Hall/Church property.

3.1 (3) Parking for any rental shall be within the designated parking sites at the lower and upper ends of the property. Under no circumstances shall any parking be allowed in the immediate front of The Church, i.e. in front of the Church doors, or in any manner that blocks or impedes use of the entries/exits or on any grass areas and/or in front of any doors of the Hall Facility on either the side or the rear;

3.1 (4) Renter shall not assign the Agreement or enter into any Sublease Agreement without prior written consent of the Parish Council. Any attempted assignment or sublease by the Renter without prior written consent of the Parish Council is null and void and constitutes a breach of the conditions of the Rental Contract;

3.1 (5) Renter shall occupy and use the Hall Facility in conformance with all federal, state and local laws, regulations and ordinances now in force or that may be enacted in the future;

3.1 (6) Renter agrees not to bring onto the premises or into the Hall Facility any firearms, weapons of any type, and/or flammable, hazardous or toxic substances that would, or could, expose Renter, Parish Council or others to risk, injury, loss or damage;

3.1 (7) Renter agrees not to engage in any activity in or about the premises and Hall Facility which activities expose Renter, Parish Council or others to risk, injury, loss or damage;

3.1 (8) Renter agrees that the leased premises shall not be occupied by more than the number of persons identified in the application without prior written consent of the Parish Council;

3.1 (9) The Hall Facility shall not be occupied or used in any other manner or for any other purpose than that identified on the rental application;

3.1 (10) No sign shall be placed or allowed to be placed and stand upon the doorsteps, vestibules or outside walls or pavements of the Hall Facility, or painted, placed, erected and/or caused to be painted, placed and/or erected or projected on any inside part of the premises except for any sign approved by the Parish Council;

3.1 (11) Decorations may not be erected or hung inside the Parish Hall if to do so would/could result in damage to the walls, floors or inside structures of the Parish Hall Facility;

3.1 (12) Nothing shall be cut on either the stainless steel or wooden surfaces in the kitchen area.

3.1 (13) No renter may use or operate any machinery that, in the opinion of the Parish Council, is harmful to the building;

3.1 (14) No renter may place objects of excessive or potentially excessive weight in any portion of the Hall Facility that does or may exceed the carrying capacity of the structural members of the Hall Facility;

3.1 (15) No alcoholic beverages may be sold, provided and/or consumed on or in the Hall Facility unless the renter first provides satisfactory evidence that The Church has been identified and actually qualifies as an insured or additional insured on an appropriate policy of insurance, including liquor liability providing coverage for, and a defense to, any and all injuries, damages, claims, suits or any other actions arising from, or in any manner associated with, the service of the alcoholic beverages, such available policy limits to be no less than and at least One Million Dollars ($1,000,,000.00).

4. Rental Procedures:
4.1. Any interested person or organization wishing to rent the Hall Facility must first complete an application and initial/acknowledge the general terms listed on the Application and the Hall Rental Policy;

4.2. The completed and executed application shall then be submitted to the Designated Representative of the Parish Council who, with the assistance the Pastor, will determine if the purpose for which the rental is sought poses a spiritual conflict. Rentals that pose a spiritual conflict pursuant to Paragraph 3.1(1), above shall be declined;

4.3. If it is determined the purpose for which the rental is sought does not pose a spiritual conflict, the completed and executed application shall be reviewed by the Designated Representative of the Parish Council to confirm there does not exist any scheduling conflicts and that all other relevant information has been supplied;

4.4. Any application for rental of the Hall Facility may, at the discretion of the Designated Representative of the Parish Council, be submitted to the entire Parish Council that may approve or reject the application on a simple majority vote at the meeting at which the application is submitted.

5. Fees for Hall Rental:

5.1. The policy of the Parish Council is to establish and apply a uniform Parish Hall rental fee for all interested persons and organizations with a system of discounts for interested persons and organizations who meet the criteria set forth below.

5.2. Fees For rental of the Hall Facility shall be set and from time-to-time reviewed by the Parish Council.

5.3. Certain groups are exempt from the Parish Hall Rental Fee Schedule. Those groups include:

5.3 (1) The Antiochian Women;
5.3 (2) Teen SOYO;
5.3 (3) Fellowship of St. John the Divine;
5.3 (4) Sunday and Vacation Bible School;
5.3 (5) Choir;
5.3 (6) Acolytes;
5.3 (7) Mercy Meals for Parishioners with approved caterers;
5.3 (8) Father Nahas Senior Citizen Club;
5.3 (9) Scouts;
5.3 (10) Community Activities, i.e. Blood Drives’;
5.3 (11) Other not-for-profit religious and/or charitable groups on a one time basis;
5.3 (12) Any other group approved by the vote of The Church Council.

5.4. The base fee to be charged shall include only the use of the Parish Hall, the common areas and the rest rooms as well as the ovens for heating food and a coffee maker.

5.5. In addition to the base fee set forth above, all Renters (including Parishioners) may be assessed:

5.5 (1) A One Hundred Dollar ($100.00) Security Deposit for each event that will be used to address damages, if any. The Security Deposit will be returned within seven (7) days of the event in part or whole (as dictated by the condition of the Parish Hall at the conclusion of the Rental period); and

5.5 (2) A charge of Twenty Dollars ($20.00) per hour for a church custodian to open and close the Hall Facilities who may remain on the premises through the course of the Rental;

5.6. The base fee for the rental of the Parish Hall Facility is Four Hundred Dollars ($400.00) for each event for non-Parishioners;

5.7. The base fee for the rental of the Parish Hall Facility is Three Hundred Dollars ($300.00) for each event for Parishioners in good standing for a use related to their Family;

5.7 (1) The reduced base fee for the rental of the Parish Hall Facility is intended to afford qualifying Parishioners with a benefit associated with a Family use;

5.7 (2) Parishioners may not rent the Parish Hall at the reduced base rate for, or on behalf of, third parties. This is specifically intended to preclude Parishioners “sponsoring” rentals for third parties not connected with, or appertaining to, a use associated with their Family and/or who/which do not belong to the Church;

5.7 (3) To qualify for the reduced base fee, Parishioners must be in good standing with The Church. For purposes of this Paragraph and an entitlement to a discounted rental, Parishioners will be considered to be “in good standing” only if they have been baptized in the Holy Orthodox Church and accept, profess and practice the Faith and Discipline of the Holy Orthodox Church and subscribe to the temporal maintenance of St. Mary Antiochian Orthodox Church through payment of such dues, pledges, assessments as are prescribed by the Parish Council for the current year in which the rental is sought.

5.8. Payment shall be made in full within seven (7) days of the approval of the Application. Failure to make payment in full as required will result I the forfeiture of the reservation.

End of Document

Quote of the Holy Fathers

A brother went to see Abba Silvanus on the mountain of Sinai. When he saw the brothers working hard he said to the old man, “Do not labor for the food which perishes (John 6:27). Mary has chosen the better part (Luke 10:42).” The old man said to his disciple, “Zacharias, give the brother a book and put him in a cell without anything else.” So when the ninth hour came the visitor watched the door expecting someone would be sent to call him to the meal. When no one called him, he got up, went to find the old man and said to him, “Have the brothers not eaten today?” The old man replied that they had. Then he said, “Why did you not call me?” The old man said to him, “Because you are a spiritual man and do not need that kind of food. We, being carnal, want to eat, and that is why we work. But you have chosen the good portion and read the whole day long and you do not want to eat carnal food.” When he heard these words the brother made a prostration saying, “Forgive me, Abba.” The old man said to him, “Mary needs Martha. It is really thanks to Martha that Mary is praised.”
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It was fitting that she, who had kept her virginity intact in childbirth, should keep her own body free from all corruption even after death. It was fitting that she, who had carried the Creator as a child at her breast, should dwell in the divine tabernacles. It was fitting that the spouse, whom the Father had taken to himself, should live in the divine mansions. It was fitting that she, who had seen her Son upon the cross and who had thereby received into her heart the sword of sorrow which she had escaped when giving birth to him, should look upon him as he sits with the Father. It was fitting that God’s Mother should possess what belongs to her Son, and that she should be honored by every creature as the Mother and as the handmaid of God.
St. John of Damascus (8th century)
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It is necessary to establish a pattern of going to church as often as possible, usually to Matins, Liturgy and Vespers. Have a longing for this, and go there at the first opportunity and if you can, stay without leaving. Our church is heaven on earth. Hasten to church with the faith that it is a place where God dwells, where He Himself promised to quickly hear prayers. Standing in church, be as if you are standing before God in fear and reverence, which you express through patience, prostrations, and attention to the services without wandering thoughts.
Saint Theophan the Recluse (19th century)
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The bread you do not use is the bread of the hungry. The garment hanging in your wardrobe is the garment of the person who is naked. The shoes you do not wear are the shoes of the one who is barefoot. The money you keep locked away is the money of the poor. The acts of charity you do not perform are the injustices you commit.
Saint Basil the Great, Archbishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia (4th century)