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Leak forces Kiski Township church to cancel services

| Saturday, March 9, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

The New Beginnings United Methodist Church in Kiski Township has canceled church services and events for the next few weeks after a water leak damaged tile and carpet in most of the building.

On March 3, the custodial staff discovered the leak, which had been running since March 1, said co-pastor the Rev. Sara Wrona.

“Clean-up work began immediately, (but) because the leak had been running for at least a day-and-a-half, there was a considerable amount of water,” Wrona said in an email.

It's still unclear what caused the leak and where exactly it started, Wrona said in a phone interview. “We're still in the process of figuring everything out,” she said. “We don't have a basement. The church is all one level; so when the water was there, it just spread.”

The church's insurance carrier evaluated the damage and Wrona hopes restoration work will begin soon.

“All the carpet has to come out and it looks like the tile has to come out, too, because it got so wet it started to lift,” she said.

Meanwhile, the congregation is able to worship at two other United Methodist churches, one about 15 miles away in Saltsburg, Indiana County, and one 7 miles away in Vandergrift, with which New Beginnings shares its pastors.

The three churches make up the “Kiski Charge,” in the Western Pennsylvania Conference of the United Methodist Church.

“We are confident that we can and will still be in ministry to the communities that we serve,” Wrona said.

New Beginnings church leaders hope to have repairs completed in time to hold services on Easter Sunday, March 31.

The church building opened in November 2009 and is about 4 miles east of the congregation's former church, Apollo First United Methodist, on Route 56 outside of Apollo in Kiski Township. The church has a sanctuary with seating for 125, a fellowship hall, kitchen and nursery.

Jodi Weigand is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-226-4702 or jweigand@tribweb.com.

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