It was back in December 2018 when it was determined the sanctuary roof of First Lutheran Church was unstable. Christmas services that year were held at Luther College. Worship was held in the Carriage House behind First Lutheran until spring of 2019, when reinforcement cables were installed to make it safe to be in the sanctuary and fellowship hall again.
But as far back as 2017, the First Lutheran Church Council had been talking about space needs. The need for a permanent fix to the roof shortened the timeline of these discussions, and over the past two years, the congregation has been talking about many facets of the building: accessibility, providing space for growth, room to launch social ministry projects like the Food Pantry and Free Clinic, conveying a ministry that is welcoming to all, and presenting options that consider First Lutheran's rich heritage and history while leveraging the building footprint as a tool for the congregation's ministry.
First Lutheran Church council president Karen Trewin says, "We're motivated by the excitement that many of our congregation members have expressed, and we look forward to continued discussion. Envisioning a ministry for generations to come is a huge undertaking, and it's a conversation that involves all of us – something that is very difficult during a pandemic. If 2020 has revealed anything, it is that the work we do in service to God has never been more important. This next year will hold many opportunities to allow the Holy Spirit to help us understand what it means to be an active, welcoming and relevant ministry to all."
Plans for a possible addition to First Lutheran on the west side of the sanctuary building have been shared with the congregation. Next steps are to vote to approve moving forward with a Capital Campaign to raise funds to determine a final budget for the project. A congregational meeting to vote on a capital campaign is planned for Sunday, March 14th.
For more information visit https://www.firstlutherandecorah.org/witness/buildingupdates/