Thanking ~ Growing ~ Serving

 

 

Introduction 

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!  

Russ Schmidt ………………..………… 414-217-1824 (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Mike Plamann ………………………… 414-570-0338 (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Karen Lepak …………………………… 414-281-9462 (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Ericka Tipton …………………………... 414-322-9128 (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Pastor Unnasch ………………………… 414-269-1246 (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)