Construction Bids Are Coming

The For Generations to Come construction bids are due December 15. The architects will review the bids and meet with campaign leaders on Sunday, December 18, 2:00 p.m. to give us their analysis. The congregation has until February 15 to make a contract. We have another round of important decisions to make. We expect the bids to be quite a bit higher than we planned a year or more ago. Plus we have various building options we need to consider (a full basement, for example). Building, sanctuary, finance and fundraising teams will meet to develop a proposal for the Council’s January 17 meeting. Once approved, the Council will host a Capital Campaign Forum on Sunday, January 29. The congregation will be able to approve the proposal at the Annual Meeting, Sunday, February 5.

Creation Care Team Green Tip #9: Plan an ENVIRONMENTAL CHRISTMAS

Suggestions for being an environmental shopper:
 As a consumer gift-buyer, buy fewer and better quality products that will last longer (some may even be repairable).
 Shop at local stores that sell used, recycled, or upcycled products (The Depot, Goodwill, The Getup). There’s an amazing variety in our community.
 Consider giving something you no longer use to someone else who might enjoy it. For example, go through your jewelry and gift some of it to your children or grandchildren for dress-up. Or go through your toolbox and see if you have extras of any tools to give to a woodworker or handyperson. Share a favorite recipe, or a good book you’ve enjoyed.
 Consider giving gifts of homemade food items, such as candy or baked goods, or purchased specialty fresh, canned, or boxed foods.
 When purchasing toys for children, buy toys that will last and are made from natural materials, such as wood, paper, cardboard, or fabric. Consult with parents about their children’s needs before buying gifts.
 Buy devices that use recyclable batteries, and recycle them when they are no longer working.
 Shop local and in person as much as possible. Shipping individual products to individual customers overall costs the environment more than bulk shipments to retail stores. If you are shopping online, try to group shipments to keep shipping to a minimum (Amazon, among other vendors, allows you to do this when you are checking out).

Suggestions for having an environmental holiday:
 Reuse old wrapping paper and ribbons for your next packages.
 Try to minimize tearing of wrapping when opening packages. Save and carefully fold lightly used wrapping paper and ribbons to store for next Christmas.
 Save and carefully fold and store tissue paper which gifts and purchased clothing is sometimes wrapped in. Tissue paper is very re-usable.
 Salvage cardboard backing on toys and other products in order to recycle. If the backing is white on the inside when torn slightly, it’s recycled as paper; if it is brown, it’s recycled as cardboard.
 Recycle old Christmas cards (considered paper for recycling).
 Consider purchasing reusable fabric gift bags to keep with your wrapping supplies and use for family gifts (so you can reuse them).
 Remember our suggestions for conserving food when serving large, celebratory meals (see Nov. 17 Afterword about Thanksgiving).
 Remember that our greatest gifts are friends and family members and our church community! Have a marvelous and holy Christmas.


Our last Green Tip on conserving water talked about WaterSense toilets. This week we focus on WaterSense showerheads and faucets. When you are buying new fixtures, select those that use less water, certified as WaterSense, which means they “meet the EPA’s specifications for water efficiency and performance.” According to the EPA, such products “work as well or better than similar but less efficient products despite being 20% more water efficient.”

According to the EPA, “Showering is one of the leading ways we use water in the home, accounting for nearly 17 percent of residential indoor water use—for the average family, that adds up to nearly 40 gallons per day. That’s nearly 1.2 trillion gallons of water used in the United States annually just for showering, or enough to supply the water needs of New York and New Jersey for a year! By retrofitting your shower with a WaterSense-labeled showerhead, you can save a considerable amount of this water.” Standard showerheads use 2.5 gallons of water per minutes (gpm) while WaterSense-labeled showerheads use no more than 2 gallons but still show “water coverage and spray intensity” that is “equal to or better than” the conventional ones. By using such water-saving showerheads, an average family might save 2,700 gallons of water per year. Note: bathroom and kitchen faucets labeled WaterSense also reduce water flow while maintaining force and efficiency. For more information, go to

Update: Associate Pastor Call Committee

Pastor Steve Brackett, assistant to the bishop, met with the committee on November 15 to prepare them for the interview phase. They expect a first round of interviews to begin in December. This is now the time to nominate clergy and seminarians to the synod office. Here’s how the Call Committee summarized the call in 71 words: 

FLC seeks a creative, compassionate associate pastor to help us share God’s good news within and beyond the congregation. In addition to leading worship with our new senior pastor, the associate pastor will lead our community communication, newcomer invitation, and incorporation ministries and co-lead our congregational care with the visitation minister. FLC is a generous, open-hearted congregation, grateful to serve in the vibrant town of Decorah in the beautiful Driftless Region.

Please share this announcement with your friends and family. Interested candidates must contact Pastor Steve Brackett, NE Iowa Synod, or (319) 352-1414.

Update: For Generations to Come Building Campaign

On November 9, eight Iowa-based contractors were invited to submit bids for the building addition and renovation. The bids are due December 15. Then FLC has 60 days to negotiate and select a contractor. The Council will meet January 17 to make a recommendation for approval at the Annual Meeting on Sunday, February 5. In between the Council meeting and Annual Meeting there will be one in-person forum on Sunday, January 22 or 29, and one Zoom-only forum sometime January 22-31. The architects estimate construction will start in April, that we’ll need to vacate the office and education wing by June 5, and be able to use the sanctuary until Labor Day weekend.