This week the construction crews are spraying in insulation, which limits access for update pictures, but we've put together this gallery to highlight the progress already made. Click the arrows on the right or left edges of the picture to see more.
Removing the wall for the balcony expansion which shows the Third Ave. side windows.
While work is being conducted on the ceiling, the entire worship space below is a maze of scaffold holding up a temporary second story floor.
With the 1950's era lowered ceiling removed, the next obstacle was to remove ventilation and an upper catwalk from between the rafters.
Two safety-harnessed workers in the rafters working to remove the catwalk and ventilation.
Back to the original rafters and open ceiling height for the first time in over 50 years! Currently, insulation is being added into the rafters before a ceiling is added at the original height.
Work is also starting to fix water damage to what was the Adult Library space. This is being funded by a property insurance claim, not by the Renewing God's House funds.
This is the weekend we start to hold our worship services in space provided by Westminster Presbyterian at 1285 3rd Ave SE. To be good guests, we want to be sure to leave enough space in their parking lots for their own members who will still be holding their own separate worship services in the same building. If you are physically able to walk a bit, please use the lots marked in blue on this map:
Parking at First Lutheran
Our church is still open for all activities and groups other than worship! However, when you come here, know that the north side of our building is fenced off for construction equipment staging. You can no longer drive through the underpass, but an accessible entrance has been set up to get to both the "office doors" as well as the handicap accessible door & elevator. Please refer to the map below:
When coming to First Lutheran, park in the blue area, or outlying lots and enter through the covered walkway indicated by yellow on the map and pictured here. This is needed because they will be doing work on the roof on the east end of our building to install the new ventilation system for the nave and to replace the shingles. The covered walkway is out of an abundance of caution in case of falling debris.
We will begin worshiping at Westminster Presbyterian Church at 1285 3rd Ave SE the week after Easter beginning with the 5 p.m. Saturday, April 27 service and 9 and 11:15 a.m. Sunday, April 28 services and continue until July 28, 2019.
Those with mobility needs may park in Westminster's lot. We encourage all able-bodied people to park in the nearby dental lot, free health clinic, or our normal parking place at PCI and walk the two blocks. It's summer and the weather should be decent.
Our 5 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. Sunday traditional services will meet in the sanctuary. Go in the main door facing First Lutheran and go up a half flight of stairs (or use the elevator). Our 11:15 a.m. contemporary service will meet in the Family Life Center. Go in the main door facing First Lutheran and go down a half flight of stairs (or use the elevator).
We will continue our weekly tradition of offering coffee, juice, and donut holes after the 9 and 11:15 a.m. Sunday services. The 9 a.m. worshipers will enjoy hospitality in the large parlor adjacent to the sanctuary. The 11:15 a.m. worshipers will enjoy hospitality in the kitchen connected to the Family Life Center.
We will have four Get Together Stay Together small groups meeting in different classrooms. For those locations consult Office Manager Tammy Horak, who will be stationed just in the lobby of the front door facing First Lutheran.
Once the congregation approves the contracts, contracts will be signed and the contractors and subs will get ready to begin construction the day after Easter. The week after Easter will be busy as the pews are removed, the organ dismantled, and furnishings and items are removed from the sanctuary and adjacent rooms. Asbestos removal will begin on Friday after Easter and should be done by early June. The roof will be replaced during the summer and construction will begin in the sanctuary. We anticipate the sanctuary will be completed for worship by March 1, 2020.
Where will we Worship?
Worship will continue throughout construction.
Where will SEMP serve? And what will function as the Fellowship Hall?
SEMP (Saturday Evening Meal’s Program) will continue. We will move the SEMP meals into the narthex/welcome
area, which becomes our fellowship hall during construction. The transition will take place the week after Easter. We will use the narthex/welcome area as the fellowship hall until construction is done in February 2020.
The Narthex/Welcome area will be set up with tables and chairs to serve SEMP and to function as a fellowship hall during construction. The couches and chairs will be stored to make room. We will use the Adult Library as a storage room for tables and chairs during construction. Events that normally occur in the fellowship hall downstairs will take place in this temporary fellowship gathering area on the main level.
Will we have access to the rest of the building during construction?
We will have access to all rooms of the building except the sanctuary and adjoining storage rooms during construction. We will continue regular ministry programs in the building. We are open for ministry! A direct access from the parking areas to the Administrative entrance and to the sliding door by the elevator will be maintained at all times. The building will be accessible to all throughout construction.
Just one note: the FLC, large kitchen, and adjoining rooms on lower level will be closed during asbestos removal in May and early June. Once asbestos removal is done, the fellowship hall and kitchen will be available for use. The staff has worked out a plan for storing items that have to be moved.
Will Ministries and Opportunities Continue During Construction?
Ministry continues throughout construction. Each ministry area has developed specific plans during construction, especially as we enter the summer months. Some ministries, like Renovaré Groups and High School Ministry will meet in May. Sunday Morning Learning will take a break until the fall. Check out The Light, ask a staff person, or individual communications from your particular area of interest.
How Can I Help? Pizza and PewBooks — April 21.
Join us for Pizza and PewBooks on Easter afternoon, 5-7 p.m., April 21. We will gather to take out hymnals, Bibles, and other remaining items, in order to get the sanctuary ready for construction. We will include a brief service of decommissioning with prayers for safety and blessing for the workers who will be coming.
Plans are well on the way to smooth the transitions during construction. Here are some general plans that affect the whole congregation. Each ministry team will develop plans for their areas of concern.
We move to Westminster Presbyterian Church for worship on April 27-28. We will worship at Westminster through July. Traditional worship will use their sanctuary and Contemporary worship will utilize their fellowship hall. Details on parking and donut holes to follow.
We return to First Lutheran Church for worship on August 1st. We will gather for worship in the Fellowship Hall on
the lower level. We will worship in the Fellowship Hall until construction is done next February.
Westminster has offered to provide space for funerals May through July. When we return, funeral services will be held in the Fellowship Hall until we return to the sanctuary.
Narthex Becomes the Fellowship Hall
We will move the couches and chairs out of the Narthex/Welcome Area and set up tables and chairs. Activities that typically took place in the fellowship hall will be moved up to this area. We will use the Adult Library Room as storage space for tables and chairs. We will be able to use this narthex area April 27.
Saturday Evening Meals
SEMP will use the converted Narthex/ Welcome area for meals. Vicki Hughes is already on board and making plans. Details on SEMP serving will be made available in the coming weeks.
Vacation Bible School
Our children and family ministries are busy planning an exciting-as-always week of fun for kids on June 17-20. Our VBS program will be hosted in Westminster Presbyterian’s building.
Other Areas Remain Open
All other areas of the church, offices, classrooms, and rehearsal spaces will continue to be open for use. The only rooms to be closed will be rooms 304 and 305. The Fellowship Hall and Kitchen will be closed through mid-June for asbestos abatement, and then will be opened for use. A couple of rooms will also be designated temporary storage sites for areas impacted by construction.
Why Are we Renovating?
The sanctuary design process now picks up speed. The goal is to have construction drawings out for bid by mid-October. LOCUS Architects and the Building Committee are moving toward specific options for the Sanctuary and they seek the congregation’s input and response.
Three important events are being scheduled for this summer:
Two meetings of the architect and the congregation are proposed so that the congregation can provide initial feedback and then follow-up comment before final construction drawings are prepared.
Additional meetings will be scheduled in the fall for the congregation to review construction design documents. Once bids are received, the congregation will vote to accept a bid and to proceed with construction.
Last Sunday we had a very encouraging Congregational Meeting during which we were given the update by Anne Jahnke, Building Committee Co-chair. She has made the following recording to summarize for anyone who couldn't be in attendance.
Moving Forward with Thanks
We have received to-date 3 year commitments and gifts of $3.45 million. These commitments make it possible to move forward to accomplish the primary goals of maintenance, sanctuary and organ. Thank you to all who have made a commitment!
Taking Next Steps
What happens next? The building committee and organ committee will develop specific plans and designs that work with the dollars committed. They will prioritize projects, develop more specific design drawings and cost estimates. This work will begin in August and take up the fall. This time of prioritization and design will provide needed information so that the congregation can take specific actions for the organ and the building at the appropriate time.
Late fall of 2017, there will be an information meeting with the congregation about priorities and progress. This will prepare the congregation to take action at the annual meeting in February 2018 on an organ and embracing a more specific set of goals for the building.
Keeping the Course
The council and leadership teams continue to affirm a set of core principles for decision making and action, which have been shared with the congregation throughout the process.
What is Renewing God’s House?
Renewing God’s House is a three year capital campaign to support the renewal of the sanctuary and building to serve God’s Mission in the heart of the city. Check out the video link and the brochure link below to find out more about this exciting venture.
Making a Commitments
New commitments and gifts for Renewing God’s House will be received throughout the 3 year campaign. You can use the online form or pick up a commitment form from the office or welcome desk. Thanks for Renewing God’s House. We believe now is a great time to say: We are First Lutheran!