Dear First Lutheran family,

Merry Christmas! We hope you enjoyed time with family and friends as we celebrate the birth of our savior.

Sunday, Dec. 30 at 9 a.m. will be our last worship service at Noble Recital Hall in the Jenson-Noble Hall of Music at Luther College.

We are grateful for the generosity of Luther College in providing the Noble Recital Hall for our December worship. Special thanks to Mick Layden, Adrian Walter and Jill Marquardt for their assistance with sound, set-up, decorating and volunteer coordination.

Regular worship and education programming resumes Jan. 5 & 6

First Lutheran will resume our regular worship schedule, beginning Jan. 5 & 6. The worship schedule will be as follows: Saturday worship – 5 p.m.; Sunday worship – 8:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. Sunday morning education programming will resume in January at 9:50 a.m. in the usual locations. Orange and Adult Forum resume January 6. Confirmation resumes January 13.

Worship will be held in the Carriage House directly behind the church

Beginning January 5 & 6, all worship services will be held in the Carriage House, which is located directly behind the First Lutheran’s educational wing. We appreciate the generous offer from Steve and Alice Runde for the use of this space. The Carriage House has recently been renovated into an event space and has capacity for about 180 people. The space is mapped out to accommodate the choir, a children’s area, accessible seating and an area for coffee/fellowship following worship.

Both Sunday worship services will be traditional

Both Sunday worship services will include liturgy and music that are traditional in style. This is for a few reasons – capacity in the Carriage House is about 180 people, which is slightly less than our average worship attendance. We are hoping regular 8:30 worship attendees will consider being flexible and attending worship later in the morning to balance the number of people attending both services. Additionally, due to space issues, the Carriage House is not ideal for New Song-led worship.

We are blessed with many talents within our congregation and we are looking forward to developing worship services that will include different instruments and voices that will continue to bring meaning to worship for everyone.

Gratitude to our church leadership

Our pastors, staff and executive team have worked hard to develop a good solution for worship and education moving forward. Our goal has been to resume our regular programming with as little interruption as possible.

This work is complex – there are many factors to consider, such as accessibility, parking, capacity, moving equipment and resources, cost, sound and many others – and especially that making changes like this requires a willingness to be flexible.

Many options have been thoroughly explored, including looking at many spaces throughout the community and continuing worship at Luther College. We needed a space where worship, education, and fellowship could all thrive, with a minimum amount of set-up, tear-down, and movement of equipment. Many of the options we explored did not afford us education space or storage for our worship and education supplies. Other options would have required us to drastically alter our worship and education schedules.

We have worked to develop the most workable solution for the majority of our programming, and while we have accepted that there is no perfect solution, we are excited about the possibilities available to us in the Carriage House. The beautiful space offers us an intimate opportunity for worship as continue to draw close as a congregation in this next phase of our life together.

Annual Meeting is Sunday, Jan. 27

The Annual Meeting of the Congregation will be Sunday, Jan. 27 between services, beginning at 9:45 a.m., in the Carriage House.

Building update

Installation of the tension cables to help stabilize the walls of the church was completed by the contractor last week (week of Dec. 17). Cameras were also installed to help track some of the structural concerns in the roof.

The building task force has learned that due to the evidence of weight and pressure over time contributing to the instability of the roof and walls First Lutheran’s property and casualty insurance company will cover the cost of the tension cables and installation. The insurance claim will cover nearly all of the approximate $30,000 cost to install the cables.

What you can do

  • We will be moving chairs and other furniture to the Carriage House this week. Please call the church office at 563-382-2638 if you are able to help with this work.
  • Please attend worship. We need to continue to gather as a community of worship, and we miss you when you’re not there.
  • Please remember your regular giving and return your stewardship pledges to the church. Making our budget numbers is essential.
  • Communicate with us. Do you have questions? Concerns? Church leadership aims to engage in thoughtful and deliberate decision-making through this entire building process. We continue to commit to timely and transparent sharing of information.
  • Continue to pray for our congregation and its leaders. We are incredibly grateful for the compassion, support, and hopefulness that you have shown these last weeks.

We feel God’s Spirit moving and working. Together, we continue to trust that holy and beautiful things will continue to come from this unexpected disruption.

Peace to you and yours in this holy season,
Pastor Chad, Pastor Melissa, and the FLC Church Council