Holy Trinity Cathedral in Diveevo

"... The true aim of our Christian life consists in the acquisition of the Holy Spirit of God. As for fasts, and vigils, and prayer, and almsgiving, and every good deed done for Christ's sake, they are only means of acquiring the Holy Spirit of God. But mark, my son, only the good deed done for Christ's sake brings us the fruits of the Holy Spirit..."

(from conversation of St. Seraphim with N.A.Motoviliv)




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Contact phone: +1 (517) 351-4391

Postal address:
St Seraphim Russian Orthodox Church,
2627 N. East St,
Lansing, MI   48

E-mail: stseraphim@stseraphimmichigan.org

3rd and 4th YEARs (2012-2013) REPORT
What has been done by the St. Seraphim's Mission during
the 3rd and 4th years after buying the property and the building

After changing the roof in 2012 on the West Addition, the only roof that needed to be repaired was on the South Addition. In April 2013 this work had been done, and after having all roof fixed , we finally could start working on the interior of the building, repairing dry walls and ceilings.


Below you can see a brief report of what had been done during 2012 and 2013.

Year 2012:

1.The roof on the South addition had been changed   -  ~$6,500

2. All needed material, drywalls, OSB, insulation, etc had been bought and brought to the building  - $ 5K  ?

3. All damaged hardwood floor had been finally removed

4. Some OSB installed on the floor at the temples part of the building

5. 2 new windows had been installed

6. Began works on the ceiling panels and insulation installation

7. Removed old wood lumber from the East entrance gallery

8. Continued works for removing all junk from the building and parking lot


 1. New roof on the extensions

a)      Labor   -               $4400

b)      Material-               $3300 (2year financing from Home Depot)

total:             $7700

2. Materials for the interior work:

$3500 ($2100 2 year financing from Home Depot)

3. Insurance   -             $1200 

4. Utility bills  -  ~         $1500

 total expenses:   ~              $13,900   ($5400 - 2 year Home-Depot financing, needs to be paid off in June 2014)

 Year 2013:

  1. The South addition roof had been fixed
  2. Two new windows are installed at the temple (one was broken, another - just replaced)
  3. One window in the West addition (broken on the Great Friday) repaired
  4. Ceiling railings are installed at the temple
  5. Ceiling panels and insulation are installed (in the ~90% of the building)
  6. Drywall is repaired in all rooms
  7. Drywall is muddied where it is needed  (~75%)
  8. The walls are painted in 11 rooms (~50%)
  9. The platform floor for the altar is installed
  10. Ductwork is repaired and insulated everywhere
  11. Most of the needed electrical work is done
  12. The roof top units are repaired, now the building is heated!
  13. The bathroom for the future apartment is mostly done
  14. Some work on the installation of the kitchen cabinets is started
  15. All big stones outside had been taken out and mulch put on the flowerbeds
  16. A new glass block window had been installed on the North wall of the building.
  17. Insurance  - $1,200
  18. Utility        ~ $2,500

 The total expenses: ~$13,700


  1. The first priority new siding on the South (front) side and on the West side of the building

a)      material cost - ~ $6,000

b)     work               ~  $4,000

  1. We need to buy the flooring material and install it. For 5600 sq.ft a minimal cost is around $6,000 just for the material. Hopefully we will be able to install all flooring with the volunteers help and save money on the installation
  2. We need to make a new porch - ~$1,000 only to replace the existing one, but probably will need a bigger one.
  1. Bring and install the iconostasis
  2. Finish all painting and mudding works
  3. Install the rest of the ceiling panels and insulation
  4. Continue landscaping works and repairing the parking lot
  5. Finish the installation of the kitchen cabinets
  6. Continue works in the basement

 With the volunteers help the expenses could be minimized to building materials only. After finishing these works, the building will be ready for the full occupancy (except basement).

2nd YEAR (2011) REPORT
What has been done by the St. Seraphim's Mission during
the 2nd year after buying the property and the building

In the year of 2010 most of the demolition works inside the building were done (total seven 15 yard dumpsters were purchased), and the mold remediation was performed by a subcontractor.  Total direct financial investments were ~$20K with about $4500 from the Dioceses of Chicago and Mid-America (to cover the taxes).  The indirect labor, equipment, and materials investments can be estimated around $30K (based on the additional quotes form the subcontractors with included additional labor), bringing the total estimated investments to ~$50K.


In the year 2011 few very important steps were made:


1. Tax break for the year 2011 was received in March from the City Board of Review and City Assessor's Office (with significant professional help of Nicholas Hantel, diocese's attorney).


2. The process of adjustment of the Zoning for the property (Special Land Use) was started in August, and after 6 stages and 4 months of consideration had been successfully approved by the Special Zoning Committee of the Zoning Board, and by the City Board.


3. Finished the removal of the damaged materials (floors and walls) (1 dumpster).


4. The utilities (electrical and water) and the structural repairs were started:

- the electrical connections are clearly marked on several switch panels

- all entrance doors locks are repaired

- one window is replaced,

- tile floor at the South entrance is installed,

- the restrooms are partially repaired with one fully operational and  other partially operational,

- wall in the restroom is patched,

- the utility sink is installed


5. The adjacent territory is been continually attended for flowerbeds, lawn mowing, as well as cleaning and garbage collection.


6. After consulting with several subcontractors (5 in total) the conclusion was made that the price for the construction of the preferred pitched roof is prohibitively high at the moment and does not give a substantial warranty advantage over the new flat roof (15 years in both cases). Moreover, since we do not have a final architectural plan of the future church, with the cupolas, etc., a big investment in the pitched roof might happened to be in the future as a big waste of money and a restriction for a possibility to make a beautiful design and architectural plan.



So, in November the works of the repair of the roof on the main building had been started. 4(!) full dumpsters were filled taking away all moldy debris of the previous roof layers that had been there wet and moldy for many years, creating a bad moldy smell inside of the building. This demolition work took more time that it had been expected, so when time came to put a new roof, the cold and rainy weather began interrupting the process. So, even though the main work had been done already, we still need to wait until spring to see how the roof will behave after snow thawing. After that, we will be able to start putting new flooring and ceiling in the sanctuary.


The estimation of the expenses for the main roof repair works is as follows:

1. 45 mil TPO membrane and ISO insulation         $9000

2. Metal deck, OSB                                             $1000

3. Building permit                                                  $130

4. Dumpsters (4)                                                   $1300

5. Demolition work                                                $3200

6. Construction work                                              $4000 (after $4000 donation)

7. 15 years warranty from "Mule Hide" (m+l)         $525

8. New aluminium borders                                     $800


       Subtotal Roof expenses (main and additions) ~$20K




Other financial investments to the property during year 2011 up to now:

Insurance                                                              $1275

2010 taxes (covered by the Dioceses)                   $946

Utility bills                                                             $2500

Ceiling tiles                                                           $300

PO Box                                                                $48

Application for SLUP                                           $500

Dumpster (1)                                                        $275


The TOTAL financial investments in the property during year 2011 are $25,800.



For the labor the subcontractor gave us a price break as a donation for $4000 (see p.6).  Also subcontractor repaired the roof that had been badly leaking in the south wing.  This big work he did for the Mission for free!

Dioceses contributed $200 towards current expences, $946 towards the 2010 taxes, and $5000 towards the roof repair project ($2500 as grant and $2500 as a long term loan).


Immediately Needed Next Stage Expences (just crude estimate, may have significant error):


1. Drywalls and wood panels to repair walls           ~$600

2. Hire the subcontractors:

a) to install new windows and dry-walls       ~$500

b) to finish the drywalls                                ~$850

3. Buy and install a new additional duct-work         ~$500

4. OSB for the floor (1/2" - 30 sheets)                   ~$450

5. To buy and install flooring 5600 sq. ft $0.75    ~$4200

6. Insulation for the ceiling                                      ~$1000

(~2400 sq.ft, 31,25sq.ft per piece for $12,50)

7. Ceiling panels and grid                                       ~$850

(~2000 sq.ft, 250 2' x 4' panels per $3.39)

8. New shower for the apartment                           ~$1750

9. Buy one gas furnace, 90kBTU, and install both   ~$5000

10.Repair of the front porch and its roof                 ~$1000

11.New street sign, plus installation                        ~$2500

12.New South porch                                             ~$500

13.Parking repair                                                   ~$300


                                                           Total:         ~$20,000

So, the MINIMAL investment needed for bringing the building up to the functional state is ~$17,8K.


Future Expenses:

1. Pitched roof on the main building                        ~$40K

2. Drums and cupola                                              ~$20K

3. New siding                                                         ~$20K

4. New windows                                                    ~$10K

5. Basement                                                           ~$10K

6. New porch                                                         ~$1K

7. Pitched roof on the wings ($2500+$5900+$3300=)~$11,7K

8. New kitchen                                                       ~$3K

9. To pay off loans w/o interest                               ~$18,8


                                                               Total:       ~$134,5K

So, total needed investment for bringing the building to the perfect shape is ~$134,5K

What has been done by the St. Seraphim's Mission during
the 1st year after buying the property and the building

year ago, on the 16th of December, 2009, St. Seraphim's Russian Orthodox Church Mission on the name of the Diocese of Chicago and Mid-America bought a property for a future church and for the Russian Cultural and Educational Center.  The property's address is 2627 N. East St., Lansing MI 48906.  The building has 5600 sq.ft main floor, and 3500 sq.ft finished basement.  Being for foreclosure, the property was bought for $35K, while in 1998 the building was bought by the Total Health Education organization for $240K.  Because of the roof leaking, a huge damage was done to the building.  The electrical was disconnected, freezing damaged all of the plumbing.  But the worst thing was black mold that appeared in the building and spread tremendously, especially during the last humid summer.

During the passed year the mission's parishioners with a big help of volunteers did a huge amount of work: electrical upstairs and in most places downstairs was restored, the plumbing system had been fixed, a lot of drywalls on the main floor, damaged by the mold, and all plywood walls in the basement, plus some damaged doors, ceiling panels, and floors had been demolished and removed.  Some landscaping works had been done around the property.

The subcontractors were hired to make the most difficult part of work.  They fixed the roof on the main building and on one of its extensions; did a huge work by demolition of the walls, floors, and ceilings damaged by mold, and did the chemical remediation of the whole building.

Now time came for the construction works to be started.  It will be necessary to fix the interior by installing some new windows, drywalls, laminate or vinyl floors, ceiling panels and insulation, and 2 new gas furnaces upstairs, and one or two downstairs.  In the nearest months it also will be necessary to build a new pitch roof on the extensions of the building, and eventually, in a year or so, to build a new pitch roof on the main building.  Besides, depending on the financing, the issue with the siding will need to be addressed either by painting or by installing a new one.

Rough estimate of the first needed expenses for the new pitched roof for extensions, some windows, ceilings, furnaces, floors, etc. is about $20K (more details can be see further).  To build a new pitched roof on the main building is needed about $40K.  To install a new siding about $20K more would be needed still.

Thus, in case of favorable circumstances, the St. Seraphim's mission, just for the amount of $170K ($48K that already have been spent from loans, plus needed $123K more) can have not only a place for worship, an office, and a priests apartment, but also rooms for the Cultural and Educational Russian Center, which can have a Russian Folk Museum Russian Izba, library, place for Russian Language, Hisroty, and Folk Crafts classes, and different kind of activities for kids and adults, like the Russian Yolka, Maslentisa, etc.


1. To make a pitched roof on the building extensions ~$2,5K+$5900K+$3300=~$11,700
2. To buy one gas furnace, 90kBTU                                                 1sp;                ~$2500
3. To buy drywalls and some wood panels to repair walls                                    ~$600
4. To hire the subcontractors:
    ) to install new windows and dry-walls                                                           ~$500
    ) to finish the drywalls                                                                                    ~$850
5. To buy and install a new additional duct-work                                                  ~$500
6. To buy OSB for the floor (1/2" - 30 sheets)                                                     ~$450
7. To buy the insulation for ceiling                                                                        ~$1000
    (~2400 sq.ft, 31,25sq.ft per piece for $12,50)
8. To buy necessary ceiling tiles and frames                                                         ~$850
    (~2000 sq.ft, 250 2' x 4' panels per $3.39)
Total:                                                                                                                ~$19,850

This, the MINIMUM EXPENCES, needed for bringing the building in a livable condition are ~$20K,


1. To buy and install new laminate floors  - 5600 sq. ft $0.75                           ~$4,2
2. Pitch -roof on the main building                                                                      ~$40K
3. New siding                                                                                                    ~$20K
4. New windows                                                                                               ~$5K
5. Basement                                                                                                      ~$10K
6. New porch                                                                                                   ~$500
7. New street sign                                                                                             ~$500
8. New shower for the apartment                                                                      ~$500
9. A new kitchen                                                                                               ~$3000
10. A new boiler for the apartment                                                                     ~$500
11. To pay off loans w/o interest                                                                        ~$18,8
TOTAL, for bringing the building to the perfect shape:                                       ~$103K

Building the Church

On the 16th of December St.Seraphim's Mission finally acquired a property!  On that day, with Vladyka Peter's blessing, the preliminary Escrow Signing by priest Fr. Gregory Joyce and warden subdcn. Dmitry Gorelov took place at Forsberg's Real Estate Company Office.  On Wednesday, December 23rd, we have gotten the papers back signed by the seller.  The property is bought in the name of the Diocese of Chicago and Mid-America. Three-years-long search for the property came to an end!

The property's address is 2627 N.East St., Lansing, MI 48906. The building there is pretty big: ~5600 sq.ft. main floor, plus ~3500 sq.ft. downstairs in the basement, big parking lot, commercial zoning (for offices, not industry).  The seller put the property on the market for 60K. Actually only the land in this area would probably cost about 75K.  We made an offer for 20K, and after some negotiations converged on 35K.  Just because it was the church, the bank, who was selling the property, had agreed.  The Mission had to borrow 10K to be able to pay the Closing.

In 1998 the building was bought for $240K by the Total Health Education company (affiliated with some protestant church).  Apparently they could not keep paying the mortgage, so the bank took the property from them about a year ago.   There was a roof leakage and damage was done to the buildings interior.   The roof was fixed supposedly, but eventually the new roof will be in order.  We have almost 100 pictures of it inside-and-out (see our Photoalbum).

The building has a lot of potential. It can be used not only for the church services, but also for the school, library, different activities.  Of course, a lot of work needs to be done there.  We have consulted with several subcontractors about possible repairs.  They all said that the building seems be "sound" (and some even advised us to go ahead and buy it, if we can).  It seems the main single expense will be for the new roof.  Inside - the floors almost everywhere, and somewhere the ceilings need to be restored/rebuilt.  But if the most of the "dirty" work inside will be done by ourselves, we can save half of the costs (tens of thousands) - for the expense of longer time frame.

We ask all of you for any possible help - by money, building material, your time and labor, and first of all - by your prayers, of course.  There are a lot of possibilities to participate for those who sincerely want to contribute for the Christ's Church and have the abilities to do so.

A bit later all the information about the restoration plans and possibilities for those who are interested in participating in the church reconstruction by donating time, labor, materials, or money will be put on the web.  Also, everybody is welcome to help making those plans and estimations.

Everybody is welcome to help in finalizing the reconstruction plans and estimations.

Here is the first take on the floor plan change as we see it. Different rooms are marked as R#, hallways as H#, walk-in cabinets as C#, bathrooms as B#. Lobbies are marked respectively too. The arrows on the staircases show "up". The dimensions in feet are given only for the supporting walls (we have started from the sketch that city has on the web).  Dashed lines show the waist-high semi-walls in the Lobby2. Roofs and/or decks are also shown by the entrance doors.

The "Sketch Picture" is the way the building is subdivided right now.  The ceiling repair is needed in several places all around the building.  The floors repair is needed mainly in rooms R10 and Main Hall.  Room R10 has the carpet on, and the bump on the floor is under it. Rooms R1-9, C1, H1, R11&12, Kitchen with B3,4&5, and B1&2 with C1 and H2 seem have OK floor, but probably need more inspection (they are all have a carpet covering).

Our proposed remodelling would concern repairing the floors in the Main Hall room, as well as in the R10.  We would need to build a 1-2 steps platform for the Altar Room and Amvon. We also would need to erect a new division between Lobby2 and Altar with the door and stair steps.  The Main Doors be installed between R9 and the temple.  We would have to change the B1&2+C1+H2 for different purpose rather then bathrooms.

Special thanks are to those who participated in the process of acquisition of the real estate, in particular: Fr. Gregory Joyce, subdcn. Dmitry Gorelov, Svetlana Kirillova, realtor Levon Arakelov, Michael and Natalia Cannon, and all who helped Mission through their prayers.

Electronic donation can be done via "Google-Checkout" on our Life of our parish / Commemoration web page and transfer the donation amount directly to our bank account.  You alco can contact us directly by calling, emailing, or sending us mail at the address given on the this page.

Please, join our email list by contacting us at the email given on the this page or by leaving the message with the request in our "Guest Book". The email list will be used to let you know about upcoming events, services, and updates to our web site.

May God bless you for your generosity!