Thanking ~ Growing ~ Serving
Saint Lucas is celebrating 150 years of worshiping, growing, connecting, and serving all to God’s glory! The year 2022 marks this wonderful time and is a reason to celebrate. Our God has been so gracious to us and those impacted by the loving Gospel of Jesus. May our expression of thanks continue to grow deeper as we celebrate God’s continuous blessings upon Saint Lucas! As we move forward in ministry, we are presenting an opportunity in celebration of our anniversary milestone. The plan is to establish a thank offering fund for the purpose of investing in building maintenance and improvements. These building maintenance and improvements are not part of the yearly budgeted programs. To better gauge member ideas and opinions of the projects, we will ……
Seek consensus from the Saint Lucas family to better focus on our building maintenance and improvement plans.
It is important for everyone to be included in this process. Our ministry is founded on groups of people, individuals, parents, and children all coming together for a common cause. We are so grateful to have you as part of the Saint Lucas family and thank you for being connected!
Why consider building maintenance and improvement projects?
We certainly wish to give God thanks for the many blessings he has bestowed upon the Saint Lucas ministries during the past 150 years. This is a fitting opportunity for us to consider God’s grace in our lives. Thinking of all the past souls, many whom you knew and are now in heaven, who have been impacted over the years, isn’t it interesting that God has placed you here during this specific year? Stated another way, now is another opportunity to consider God’s grace in your lives.
Most of the listed projects are beyond our normal yearly church or school budget capacity. By implementing a 3-year fund appeal (if approved by the congregation), we can put into place a funding plan to implement the identified projects.
The overall general reasons to consider these projects are:
- Anniversary milestones for ministries are a good time to reflect upon God’s grace and celebrate the many blessings of God.
- Faithful stewardship desires to maintain and improve our tools for ministry at Saint Lucas. An anniversary gift is a way to invest in improvements for future generations.
- Saint Lucas values Christian education and is committed to providing continued excellence with both curriculum and facilities.
Why is the Thanking ~ Growing ~ Serving effort important?
The theme, Thanking ~ Growing ~ Serving, provides a powerful message for the members of Saint Lucas. It is a good reminder of our purpose in living and why all of us have chosen to be connected with this special ministry.
Thanking: When we think of how many souls have been impacted through this ministry over the past 150 years, it truly is mindboggling. One can also reflect upon his or her own personal thankfulness and how God’s Word has given encouragement and hope for living. Isn’t it interesting to reflect upon the fact that God has allowed you to be part of this ministry at this time and place? Yes, now is our opportunity to thank God for his continued grace given to Saint Lucas.
Growing: We often think that ministry growth is associated with adding more bodies to the church. Although we thank the Lord for every soul who joins our Saint Lucas family or who enrolls in our school, this type of growth is not today’s focus. We rejoice that our gracious God allows us to preach and teach God’s Word in so many ways and therefore impacts many hearts. When this Word touches hearts, we grow in our relationship with our Savior. May we rejoice in the precious relationships we have with one another as we partner forward in ministry.
Serving: God has prepared good works for us to perform and this ministry is a recipient of many types of service. There are so many of us who reach out and give time to further this ministry. We are thankful to the Lord for the wide variety of people who utilize their talents and gifts in support of our ministry. God has allowed each of us to engage and invest our personal lives in support of proclaiming Christ. Give God thanks for this willingness and desire to serve!
This is why the Thanking ~ Growing ~ Serving effort is before us as we consider church and school improvements. May our love for Jesus continue to grow along with the appreciation of this special ministry we call Saint Lucas.
What are the projects for consideration?
Following is a summary of projects and estimated costs to maintain and enhance our ministry buildings. These projects have been identified by our leaders and form the basis of our building improvement plan. The estimated costs are based on advice from initial contractor estimates. These estimates can guide our planning with the thinking that competitive bids will be sought once funds have been committed. The list / order of implementation may change as new information occurs and your input is factored in. Our goal is to fund most of the projects during a three-year period. Thoughtfully read the list in order to ask questions and give feedback on the suggested projects.
Church Windows: $240,000
Repair the stained-glass windows by replacing rotted wood, millwork, and glass contacts. Many of the windows are sagging and need strengthening to prevent further damage. The lead in a few places is deteriorating. In 1986 the windows were repaired and some installation was completed
backwards or not done correctly. The plan is to replace the discolored Lexan with plate glass allowing for a more brilliant view of light. An estate gift of $50,000 has already been received for this project.
Playground on West Side of School: $425,000
To create more playspace for our children, the plan would be to demolish the Dover Street house, remove all utilities and bring the grade down to street level. While presently adequate and comfortable to house one of our teachers, needed future replacements (foundation, flooring, many others) would be very expensive on this home.
The school playground space is limited to the point that the street is closed off during recess for kids to play. This situation creates agitation with some neighbors and major inconvenience for school staff. The Montessori school allows us to utilize a portion of their parking lot, but restrictive time limits are imposed each year. All of the above negatively impacts school activities.
The hope is to raise the Dover Street home, bring to grade level, thereby creating play space for school ministry. The varied costs with this project are:
- Installation of a retaining wall on the lot line
- Removal of asbestos by a qualified company
- Removal of all house material along with soil to grade level
- Meeting numerous city ordinances
- Laying of concrete and grass for final grade
Plans also are to develop the small piece of property to the south of the parsonage. This green space will allow additional opportunity for small groups of children. Minimal landscaping along with a security fence around the perimeter can make this a usable play space.
Upgrade Live Streaming Equipment: $9,500
The last months have forced us to initiate a live streaming system for members. This has been a successful approach to share God’s Word and encourage members in their faith. We have also seen how effective this type of media can connect with the community. We wish to further expand this technology by purchasing equipment upgrades and use this effort as an evangelism tool in making better connections.
New Hymnals and Accessories: $8,500
Our Synod has written a new hymnal for congregational use and has many new improvements. Our leaders wish to purchase this worship tool and begin using it. Our current hymnals were produced in the 1990’s.
School Scoreboard: $15,000
The current scoreboard is not reliable with bulbs flashing or blanking out completely. During the course of an event, the board may shut down completely causing challenges and disruptions. A scoreboard is an important part of school events.
Replace Church Roof: $255,000
Although this is not a major priority, it is a project on the horizon. Replace all roofing and flashing on the church proper roof and steeple. The life of a roof is between 25 and 50 years and our roof is 25 years old. A few leaks have occurred and have been addressed. The plan is to generate a roof fund so that when the time comes for replacement in 10-15-25 years, we are positioned to move forward.
Tuck Point Church and Steeple: $75,000
Although a few areas are in immediate need of tuck pointing, the majority of funds for this area will defer to the future. Tuck pointing is integral to maintaining the integrity of the church brick work. Major tuck pointing was last done in 1996.
10% Mission Offering: $50,000
A Saint Lucas tradition is to designate a special mission offering during a major fund appeal. With this custom in mind, our hope is to send funds to our Malawi sister congregation. This is a way to celebrate God’s grace and recognize the many blessings of Saint Lucas Lutheran Church. Our ministry has impacted so many souls over the years with the reassuring and loving message found in God’s Word. May our gracious God continue to bless us and the Saint Lucas ministry!
Estimated cost projections of all projects and mission gift: $1,078,000
How might these projects be funded?
To fund our improvement projects an all-member funding appeal is being considered. Saint Lucas desires not to incur additional long-term debt to implement the projects. Our goal is to utilize a “pay as you go approach” for the building maintenance and improvement program. As funds become available, projects will be implemented. A priority list will be designed for execution. The plan is to ask members to consider a 3-year, 150th anniversary gift during the winter of 2022. Gifts received will be designated for the above projects.
The following preliminary financial plan is open for discussion. Modifications and adjustments certainly will be made as more detailed information becomes available.
Stained glass fund $50,000
School grants and foundation gifts $50-100,000
3-year member fund appeal $600-800,000
Total funds for improvement projects: $700,000 to $950,000
What are the next steps?
The Lord has blessed our work to this point in time. We trust his guidance for the future! We have a good start, but there is still much to be done. The following steps are offered as tentative guides. At every step of the way, the congregation has the option to stop, place on hold, or move forward with each action or proposal. The timeline below is actually a series of events leading up to project completion. The timeline may be modified or adjusted per congregation decision.
Fall 2021: Initial Planning
November 2021: Identify and prioritize maintenance projects, develop a preliminary financial plan, and approve a funding appeal
Winter 2022: Every member funding appeal
Late Spring 2022: Approval of selected projects, financial plans, and bids
Summer 2022: Begin projects based on approved priority list
Questions and Answers
What happens if we exceed the goal of $1,078,000?
If gifts exceed the Thanking ~ Growing ~ Serving goal, those dollars will be directly applied to our church debt. The current debt load of Saint Lucas is about $680,000 and is the result of our new school built in 1999. We currently pay about $45,000 per year on mortgage payments. If desired, any member at any time may gift toward the debt of Saint Lucas.
Can some of the projects utilize member sweat equity?
Once we get approval to implement and carry out a funding appeal, we will be in a better position to ascertain this question. Plans are to give members an opportunity to utilize their gifts and talents to serve in this way. Obviously, there will be parts of projects requiring professionally trained people. By utilizing our members for acts of service and thanksgiving, we will be able to reduce the overall costs of the projects.
How will the priority of the projects be determined?
Our leaders are very much seeking the input of our members. Although cost and timing certainly play into decision making, the desire of God’s people at Saint Lucas is very important. To best ascertain this input, please complete a Response Sheet. The results will be tabulated and shared with the congregation at a future date.
Why don’t we just utilize the yearly budget for these projects?
If this approach were possible, it would be implemented! Simply stated, the gifts and resources shared with the ministry (school and church) on a yearly basis, fund almost all of the operational functions. There simply are very little funds left over from year to year. Our hope and plan is to gather a thank-offering in celebration of our 150th church anniversary.
We Need Your Input!
The decision to further the mission of Saint Lucas through a building maintenance effort is not an easy decision, nor is it a one-time decision. Rather the process involves several smaller decisions along the way. We now need everyone’s input to ensure that we are heading in the right direction. For us to continue forward, it is important for all of us to be involved. In the days and weeks to come, please freely give your thoughts on the best options for Saint Lucas to further the Kingdom. This effort is a responsibility and opportunity for each of us. May God bless our efforts!