Making our church property energy-efficient, safe, and attractive is no small undertaking. Insulating, painting, constructing, and renovating are often complex and labor-intensive projects. Luckily, we have Judy Dunnan to lead the way. I’ve had the opportunity to learn more about Judy as a leader in our church. One day I walked into Fellowship Hall and found her building a contraption that has become central to our safety during the pandemic. She explains:

Photo by Jason Crane
Judy Dunnan assembling one of the air filtration units

“In July 2021 the church reopened for in-person services, with windows open, masking and distancing. As Fall and Winter approached, we realized that leaving windows open would no longer be possible. Our solution was to create air filtration units that would filter the air when people were present. These inexpensive do-it-yourself units were easy to construct with a 20 inch box fan, 20 in. x 20 in. x 2 in. pleated furnace filters, cardboard and duct tape.  If you are interested in creating your own air filtration box, the “This Old House” folks provide a good demonstration at

Mike Coffey, chair of the Trustees committee, sent me all the information and I followed the instructions.  The only piece that was my idea was the white duct tape. The system can also be controlled remotely using an app, so no need to be in the sanctuary to turn the fans off or on!”

Judy, how did you learn about building and related property things?

“I grew up with a grandfather who built houses for a living.  He had a woodpile, old nails, and miscellaneous items in his garage workshop and would give us hammers and tell us to ‘build something’ when we were children. From then on, I have had an interest in how things work and how they are built.  My husband Dana and I also took two building courses with plans to build our own home. We helped two friends build their homes before we took on the project of building our house at Coles Pond, in 1987.”

What do you like most about the work?

I enjoy working with the other properties committee members, Mike Coffey, Ken Johnston, and Andy Dales.  Sharing my skills and knowledge about construction, heating, and electrical to support the church is a good fit for me. Being able to help improve the energy efficiency of the church and parsonage has been very rewarding. However, my favorite project was organizing the fence building project at the parsonage. This was followed by Patti’s transformation of the yard into a beautiful and peaceful flower garden. It warmed my heart to see Huck enjoy the space. Now Oakley Rose can enjoy it too!”

Given our goal to reduce the church’s carbon footprint in support of climate justice, we are grateful for Judy and her many talents.