Each person is a unique creation of God and, through grace, is a child of God. The people of First Lutheran Church welcome all because God welcomes all, without regard for race or culture, sexual orientation, gender identity or relationship status, physical or mental challenges, imprisonment, addictions, socio-economic circumstances, or anything else that too often divides us. First Lutheran Church is a spiritual community that celebrates the gifts of God that can empower us to engage in the struggles of life, to care for each other, and to serve Christ where we work and live. Our unity is in Christ.
In early 2017, a Building Committee was commissioned by the Congregational Church Council to examine recommendations given by the Visioning Team for Accessibility & Worship. The committee concluded that our current facility is preventing us from fulfilling our mission of being a fully welcoming congregation due to numerous shortcomings with regard to accessibility.
Accessibility needs were identified with our worship space, restrooms, kitchen, nursery and Sunday School area, as well as compliance, safety and accessibility issues in other miscellaneous areas. (Read more about our specific needs in these areas.)
The Building Committee worked for over a year with architectural firm, RDG, to develop a preliminary building plan that would address the welcoming, accessibility and safety issues of our current facility. (Read more about the proposed plan.) The preliminary plan was drafted and presented to the congregation in November 2017. At a congregational meeting on January 28, 2018, a motion was approved to develop formal building documents in association with RDG and would cover renovations in the areas of need. In April of 2018, the Congregational Council approved a contract with Hampton Enterprises to be the General Contractor for the building project. Hampton evaluated the design proposal and provided a cost analysis of the project by area.
Meanwhile, in early 2018, our “Called to Welcome” capital campaign, coordinated by Walsh Fundraising, raised $2,727,726 in pledges from the congregation for the building project.
On July 7, 2018, at a joint Building Committee/Congregational Council retreat, it was decided to recommend to the congregation that First Lutheran proceed with all areas of the building project at an approximate cost of $3.998 million.
A vote by the congregation on July 29, 2018, took place on two motions made by the Congregational Council. One motion was for approval of the building project and the other motion was to approve financing of the project. Both motions were unanimously approved by the congregation. Thus, the Welcoming and Accessibility Building Project is moving forward!
Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than we can ask or imagine, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and every. Amen. ~ Ephesians 3:20-21
WHAT'S CURRENTLY HAPPENING WITH THE PROJECT?
by Brian Niebuhr, Building Project Committee
Thanks to everyone who participated in the building project review at the beginning of July. We got a lot of good feedback. I know I would rather be worshiping in the Sanctuary, but my family and I have all found things we like about worshiping in the Activity Center that have made it an overall positive experience.
So far, I’ve heard positive comments about the new kitchen and it’s already getting a lot of use. The education wing and downstairs restrooms are completed other than some missing doors which may have been installed by the time you read this. The entry, Sanctuary, nursery, and restrooms have been undergoing a lot of changes in the last few weeks. The steel structure for the new entry is in place and my understanding is that the entry should be enclosed soon. The Sanctuary addition is framed and enclosed and it feels like it will really enhance our worship space. The nursery and restrooms are even further along with the interior walls framed and the plumbing rough-in complete. We expect that the finish work in that area will begin soon.