It is right to give praise and thanksgiving to God for all of our blessings in life. Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF) investors are indeed a blessing; your investments helped fund a new sanctuary for fellow brothers and sisters in Christ at Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church in Waterloo, Iowa. This congregation began in 1981 and had been using a multipurpose area all these years for worship … and everything else. Members set up and tore down tables and chairs for Lenten suppers, weddings, funerals, pot lucks, etc. for more than 30 years. Originally, the congregation hoped to build a sanctuary in its first five years but it wasn’t until Oct. 19, 2014 that Faith was able to celebrate the dedication of their new sanctuary.
It was 2009 when the congregation first started working on conceptual drawings and seriously thinking about adding a sanctuary. Voters dedicated funds to see what was possible. A member, who was also an architect, worked on it. “Then in 2010 we set up a building committee, and by July 2013 we voted to proceed with the building plans, finance with LCEF and have Laborers For Christ (LFC) put up the sanctuary with a seating capacity of 220,” said Kenny Maas, Head Trustee at Faith and Building Committee Chair.
“First, check into LCEF and LFC and see what they have to offer,” said Maas. “You won’t regret it. I couldn’t have asked for better people to work with. Beginning with Cindy Revelle [LCEF loan specialist], and later with Carol Falkner [LCEF assistant loan specialist], everyone has been really great. In fact, it was our LFC Project Manager Dan Werner’s first LFC experience and we were so happy with him. All of our contractors were very pleased to work with Werner too.”
Laborers and Evangelism
“I had experience with Laborers when I was a member of an Illinois congregation back in the ‘80s so I was happy when the congregation decided to go this route,” said Maas. “Working with LFC has been really great. The Laborers were wonderful to work with and our other contractors really bought into the concept. Our congregation members were able to work alongside the Laborers. There’s always the cost-savings when you choose LFC. However one great benefit to bringing in Laborers is their interaction with the congregation members and non-members in the community. Laborers enjoy visiting with people and they’re so visual; it’s a great evangelism tool. People would come up to us and ask, ‘Why are all these RVs parked here?’” Being so highly visual encourages conversation.
Laborers stay on the construction site in RVs throughout a project. At Faith, the first Laborer showed up just before the first of May, and they were all packed up and rolling out by the last day of September. “Weather-wise, we had one decent day right after our May construction meeting to get things rolling but then it started raining, and it rained for two weeks straight,” said Maas. “We had a very wet spring but in the end it worked out. We were able to get our occupancy permit only one week after our original building scheduled date. And that slight delay was due to getting an inspector on site, the construction was completed on time.” At the time this article was written, Faith was receiving the last of the contractors’ billing and it appeared to be under the proposed budget. And the congregation is thrilled to have a beautiful sanctuary in which to worship and give thanks to our Lord and Savior!
If your congregation is exploring building or remodeling, please contact your district LCEF vice president to learn how we may support your LCMS ministry in various ways.