Dear First Lutheran Family,
Over the last months, we have been monitoring cracks in our sanctuary walls and balcony, and recently consulted with a structural engineer from the IIW firm in Dubuque to determine whether the cracks are cosmetic or structural in nature.
Their report revealed the possibility of some significant structural concerns in the oldest parts of our building. For our safety, they recommend we refrain from using either the sanctuary or the fellowship hall until further determination can be made about repairs. This will also affect adjacent areas, such as sidewalks and parking, although we do not yet know to what extent.
In the short term:
- The First Lutheran Church sanctuary and fellowship hall are closed until further notice. All events that utilize those spaces will be rescheduled or relocated. The church office, staff offices, education wing, and fireside room will remain open, and ministries such as the Free Clinic and Food Pantry are expected to continue uninterrupted.
- Our immediate concerns are safety and planning for the month of December. We are working to secure an alternate location for Sunday worship services during this month, as well as Christmas services.
- We will have an informational meeting for members of our congregation on Wednesday, Dec. 5 at 6 p.m. in the Fireside Room to provide updates and answer questions as we are able.
- Sunday morning education (youth and adult) is canceled for the duration of December.
- Saturday evening worship is canceled for the duration of December.
- All Wednesday evening Advent services are canceled.
Church leadership is working to form an action team to address building concerns as quickly as possible.
Visit this page for up-to-minute updates of our activities in response to this situation. Information will also be posted in the church office. We commit to sharing information with you in an ongoing and timely manner throughout the next steps in this process.
There are many unknowns looking ahead. We thank you in advance for your flexibility, your assistance, and your loving support. Please continue to hold our congregation, council, and staff in your prayers.
Peace to you in this Advent season of watching and waiting.
Pastor Chad, Pastor Melissa, and the FLC Church Council