Watch the meeting or read the summary below:


To our First Lutheran Family,

Thanks to all of you who attended our congregational meeting. We are inspired by your support and your commitment to building a collective vision of our ministry at First Lutheran.

Following is a recap of our discussion and vote:

Building Update:

  • After the initial news of the instability of our church roof structure on December 4, we took the advice of our contractor/project manager and consulting engineering firm to install tension cables across the sanctuary. This work was completed the week of Dec. 17 for the purpose of stabilizing the walls of the sanctuary, which had been adversely affected by the weight of the roof.
  • At that time, measuring devices were installed to monitor movement in the walls and roof. It was mentioned at that time, that we might need to install additional vertical stabilization. Measurements taken the week of March 14 indicated that the roof structure continues to decline. Vertical stabilization is necessary to preserve the building for future work, and to ensure everyone’s safety. This additional stabilization needed  to be done as quickly as possible.
  • On March 15, 2019, the Church Council unanimously approved the installation of six vertical stabilization pillars in the sanctuary. This work was completed the week of March 19,  and all of the load of the roof is currently on the new six columns. Cost for this work was about $25,000, which was drawn from the undesignated Memorial Funds and the Strategic Reserve Funds.
  • Our goals throughout this process have been safety and transparently communicating the situation with the building. A third goal is to get back into the main building space so we can plan for a long-term solution.
  • We are proposing the next phases:
    • Phase 1:
      • Add six columns in the fellowship hall that line up with the sanctuary columns. The existing columns in the fellowship hall do not. This will involve tearing up the floor and putting footings directly under the columns.
      • Add additional steel reinforcements to certain areas in the rafters.
      • Potentially add six new cables/rods in the sanctuary where the ceiling meets the sidewalls, replacing the twelve horizontal cable ties already there.  
      • The costs of this additional work are estimated at $30-35,000, bringing us to under $100,000 spent and we’re back in business using those spaces again.
      • We are confident this temporary solution is safe based on assurances from our contractor and engineer. We will continue to monitor any movement and will act immediately if safety circumstances change.
    • This solution is temporary. Repairing the existing roof is not a possibility, according to our consultants. Jacking up the roof and pulling the side walls back to plum are no longer being considered viable options. Replacement of the roof would be tricky, but still an option. It would allow us to maintain the footprint and look of the existing structure.  It would also require us to bring the space up to code as much as possible ie electrical, ramps for egress/ingress maybe bathrooms.
    • Our engineer and contractor feel Phase 1 will buy us some additional years, but we don’t know how many. This is why we feel it’s important to spend the next 18 months discerning as a congregation a longer-term vision for our ministry and building.

Funding Request

  • A claim to our insurance company, Church Mutual, has been filed. We anticipate hearing from them within the next few weeks.
  • At the congregational meeting on Sunday, March 31, Troy Whitehill moved for the approval of establishing a line of credit up to $150,000 to complete Phase 1 and compensate the Runde’s for use of the Carriage House. Myrv Christopherson seconded this motion. Discussion occurred, and the motion was carried.
  • We also asked the congregation to commit to raising the money to pay off any and all expenses incurred in Phase 1 before we start Phase 2.  

Phase 2: Creating a Vision for our Ministry    CLICK HERE to go to the 2019/2020 Action Plan

  • For the past 18 months, the Church Council has been working on a vision for our ministry. This visioning has been rooted in our church mission to be a welcoming community of worship, witness, spiritual growth and ecumenical service to God and God’s people.
  • Our overall theme has been exploring ways we can widen our welcome and deepen our relationships. Our membership is growing, but our engagement is declining. We feel called to do more. Our vision for our ministry is summarized as follows:
    • We will seek ways to live our value of being welcoming by addressing barriers to welcome, both physical and spiritual.
    • We will provide fertile ground to cultivate and develop deeper relationships in our faith community so individuals feel more connected with God, their faith, and each other.
    • We will seek ways to actively share our faith in Jesus Christ at home, in the congregation and in our community.
    • We will communicate a vision that will inspire and motivate the congregation to action.
  • The visioning was paused because of the roof situation, but, long before the roof was an issue, we discussed the need to address physical barriers that limit our ability to be welcoming – things like our bathrooms, our building’s accessibility, and our lack of a common welcoming space.
  • The roof situation adds complexity to this discussion, but it is also an opportunity to assess what our ministry looks like so we can develop a long-term building plan that serves as a tool to achieve our ministry goals.
  • We are in the process of developing eight new Task Forces to plan and advance our call.
    • These are not committees. They are action-oriented, short-term groups that are designed to gain broader input from our congregation so we can successfully develop a plan and a vision that reflects how the Holy Spirit is working within our church family.
    • There are Task Forces under each of our mission pillars, “Worship, Witness, Grow and Serve.” One of the Task Forces will be charged with helping develop a long-term vision for the building and a related budget.
  • We are attaching broader information about the Task Forces. We hope you will consider these opportunities and prayerfully consider three things:
    • How God is calling you to use your gifts and talents with one of these groups.
    • How you can contribute financially to supporting the temporary repairs we need to make, and in the future, the long-term plan for our building.
    • How you envision a ministry at First Lutheran that is truly welcoming and rich in relationships and engagement.


Pastor Chad, Pastor Melissa and the Church Council


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