Our new pipe organ made it's first sound today from the console. It was a beautiful low sound from some of the first pipes crews are putting in the back. Most of the lower case woodwork is up and it perfectly matches the dark stain on the new choir risers. The crew continues to make good progress and will have the sanctuary pews cleared out for our first in person worshipers this Saturday to get a sneak peek what it looks like live and in person.
Where do you put nearly 3,000 organ pipes? Answer: EVERYWHERE! The pipe truck arrived today and the crew spent the whole morning unloading. It’s quite a site. Yesterday the crew began building the first level of the metal support structure that will hold our organ. NOTE: The blue on the organ pipes is a protective covering. They are actually silver in color. ALSO NOTE: the workers are unmasked because they are living in a “bubble” here at church and the hotel and are not interacting with the public.
The organ trucks have arrived! Parsons Pipe Organ Builders workers departed at 3:30 a.m. yesterday and arrived in Cedar Rapids 6:30 p.m. last night. Today they began unloading the console and support materials. Most of the pipes are coming on a second truck Thursday. Check back here for regular updates.
Check out our Organ!
First Lutheran member Dave LaRonde recently went to visit family in upstate New York and stopped by the Parsons Pipe Organ Builders to get a behind-the-scenes peak at the production process! Click the picture to check out this excellent video he produced all about our next organ.
We continue making progress on the renovations in our Nave. Pastor Craig recently went in and took these photos to share with you! Click through the pictures with the arrows in the upper right-hand corner, or hit the play button in the upper-left to make them cycle automatically.
Getting in and out of First Lutheran
Even though there is fencing and construction equipment in the parking lot, we will be able to access the drive-through area as a drop-off location only and parking will remain limited. We ask that First Lutheran’s parking area be reserved for visitors and people with limited mobility, and ask other people to use the PCI and DaVita Dialysis lots.
All entrances including the elevator will be available. Note the “Accessible Entry” illustrated in yellow from the parking lots will have asphalt ramps to get from the lot to the elevator entrance.
As we get acquainted with this process, we would like to have a few extra greeters/ assistants who might be willing to help people find their way; especially those with limited mobility.
Getting into Worship
Worship will be held in the lower-level Luther Fellowship Center (LFC) until the end of our Nave renovations. When you come into worship, you will need to pick up a bulletin and a hymnal from the back of the room. The Children’s Activity bags will also be located there.
Between the 8 & 9 a.m. worship, we will have a tight turn-around. We will ask those who are able to exit the 8 a.m. service using the south stairwell that leads up to the coffee area. That way people can start filtering into 9 a.m. worship from the hallway entrance to the LFC.
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.