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Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF) is a unique ministry-through-investment organization that offers Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod members the opportunity to invest their money, earn interest, and help build LCMS churches and schools at the same time.

LCEF - Central Region serves Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod organizations and members in Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Learn more about LCEF at lcef.org.

 

Lutheran Education Growing in Uruguay

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This past July, Lutheran Church Extension Fund President and CEO, Rev. Bart Day was in Montevideo, Uruguay, securing a loan with the Concordia Education Foundation and the Lutheran Church of Uruguay.

This partnership will see the expansion of a high school program and the launch of a Lutheran university. We pray the Lord will richly bless this project for decades to come as Lutheran education continues to grow and expand.

Pictured (from left to right): Nicolas Castellano, Attorney; Juan María Airoldi Algorta, Notary Public; Bart Day, President and CEO, LCEF; Mauro Roll, FEC (Concordia Education Foundation); Edgardo Mastrantono, President San Pablo Lutheran Church of Uruguay.

Jensen 2019 LCEF District Scholarship Recipient in Iowa West

Congratulations to the 2019 LCEF Iowa District West scholarship recipient, Connor Jensen. A member of Immanuel Lutheran Church, Spirit Lake, Iowa, Jensen will graduate from Spirit Lake High School this spring and plans to attend Iowa State University, Ames, this fall.

Congratulations to the 2019 LCEF Iowa District West scholarship recipient, Connor Jensen. A member of Immanuel Lutheran Church, Spirit Lake, Iowa, Jensen will graduate from Spirit Lake High School this spring and plans to attend Iowa State University, Ames, this fall.

“Connor has been a strong leader and successful young man throughout high school.” – Rev. David Simonson, Immanuel Lutheran Church, Spirit Lake, Iowa.

Connor Jensen is the recipient of the 2019 $1,000 Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF) Iowa District West scholarship. A member of Immanuel Lutheran Church, Spirit Lake, Iowa, Jensen will graduate from Spirit Lake High School this spring. He is the son of Jed and Amy Jensen and plans to attend Iowa State University in Ames this fall.

Active in academics and athletics, Connor has also been a leader in various groups including the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) and the Spirit Lake High School Key Club.

In his letter of recommendation, Roland Schmidt, Spirit Lake High School Government Teacher, coach and FCA advisor, wrote the following:

[Connor] is an excellent student and an individual with a strong character. Connor’s academic strengths, personal character and motivation make him ideally equipped for the college experience.

… Connor performs at the mastery level and consistently demonstrates a strong desire to learn. … I had the opportunity to serve as Connor’s travel basketball and football coach from 5th to 8th grade. I watched him grow up learning the value of competition, working with teammates, and playing with integrity. I enjoyed watching him lead our varsity football team as the quarterback and linebacker. Fiercely competitive, a team leader, Connor is a role model for sportsmanship.

Connor has shown to be an effective leader…. He is well respected by his peers and teachers. He makes positive choices and is a role model for all students at Spirit Lake High School. …He is a gifted student, athlete and leader; a genuine person, truly living what he believes.

Annual LCEF District Scholarships

LCEF is blessed to provide annual district scholarships to active, faith-filled Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod students. Those interested in the 2020 LCEF district scholarships can learn more at lcefcentral.org. Applications will be available online beginning in September 2019.

Learn how you can help support ministries through your LCEF investments at lcef.org.

Mullen Received LCEF Iowa District West 2018 Scholarship

LCEF Iowa District West $1,000 Scholarship Recipient Abigail Mullen (pictured center) with her family and Carole White, LCEF District Vice President - Iowa East and West (far right.) White presented Mullen’s scholarship at her home congregation, Faith Lutheran Church, Adel, Iowa, on Sunday, December 30, 2018.

LCEF Iowa District West $1,000 Scholarship Recipient Abigail Mullen (pictured center) with her family and Carole White, LCEF District Vice President - Iowa East and West (far right.) White presented Mullen’s scholarship at her home congregation, Faith Lutheran Church, Adel, Iowa, on Sunday, December 30, 2018.

“God has blessed Abigail with intelligence and gifts of service as well as a strong faith,” said Carole White, Lutheran Church Extension Fund District Vice President – Iowa East and West.

Abigail Mullen received her $1,000 LCEF Iowa District West scholarship at her home congregation Faith Lutheran Church, Adel, Iowa, on Sunday, December 30, 2018.

Mullen graduated from Adel Desoto Minburn (ADM) High School last spring. The daughter of Gary and Laurie Mullen, Abigail is attending Concordia University Nebraska, Seward.

“While she is a multi-talented student, it is her humility and character that make Abby such a likeable person.” – ADM H.S. Language Arts Teacher Jacqueline Seidl

In his letter of recommendation, Rev. John Burger wrote, “…[Abigail] is a vital member of Faith Lutheran Church…. she is truly a leader among her peers.” Burger explained how Abigail was not only faithful in worship attendance but also displayed a servant’s heart by running the church audio/visual equipment, helping with their Wednesday evening family education programming for children and more. 

In her scholarship essay, Mullen wrote, “What I like about LCEF’s mission is that it is Christ centered.  We live in a very “me” centered world, so it is such a blessing to have an organization that provides funds and services with Jesus in mind.  The churches and schools that benefit financially from LCEF have the opportunity to further the Kingdom of God through the people they touch.  It is fulfilling the Great Commission as Jesus commanded.”

Watch for 2019 LCEF Scholarships!

LCEF is blessed to provide annual district scholarships for active, faith-filled Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod students. The deadline to apply for the 2019 LCEF Iowa District West scholarship was January 31, 2018. Follow the lcefcentral.org newsfeed for updated announcements.

Learn how you can become a partner in ministry via LCEF investments, loans and ministry support at lcef.org

Preventing Ice Dams and Icicles

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Problem

Ice dams are ridges of ice and icicles caused by melt water from further up the roof re-freezing lower on the roof. The “dam” created by the ridge of ice along the eaves can trap further melt water and result in significant leakage under and through the roofing, the roof structure, or the ceiling and walls below. Large icicles along the eaves can become a danger to people below if they fall.

Cause

The fundamental cause of ice dams is a result of part of the roof becomes warm enough to melt snow that is lying on the roof, the snow will melt and water will run down a sloped roof. If the water encounters a cold surface, the water turns to ice. Ice dams result from a difference in temperature on the roof surface where the upper part of the roof is warmer than the lower.

Common Causes

• Warm air entering space below roof membrane, causing warming and melting of snow. Air leakage through ceiling plane increases the temperature of an attic space or the underside of the roof membrane.

• Poor or insufficient insulation.

• Heat sources in attic.

• Poor ventilation.

Solutions

Air leakage—attic hatch, space conditioning ducts, plumbing stacks and penetrations, chimneys, electrical penetrations, light fixtures, recessed lights and perimeter walls are potential leak sources.

▪ Sealant/caulking can be used to fill small openings and gaps.

▪ Expanding polyurethane or acrylic foam should be used around openings no more than one inch in size.

▪ For large openings, drywall with taped joints should be used.

Insulation—the more insulation provided on the interior, the more unlikely enough snow will collect to cause melting. Depth of insulation depends on the climate, however it is recommended a minimum or R30 be provided below ventilated attic roof membranes, R35 below ventilated cathedral ceilings, and R40 below unventilated cathedral ceilings. These recommendations should be increased for very cold climates. (DOE Zone 6 or higher).

Heat sources in attic—air leakage from ducts placed in the attic can also act as a significant heat and moisture source, and cause both condensation and snow melting. If sources are already there, adding a significant amount of insulation and an airtight blanket around them will reduce the source of heat being introduced into the attic.

Ventilation—keeping the underside of the roof sheathing close to the exterior temperature is the best solution. This is achieved with good ventilation and good insulation acting together.

Waterproofing membrane—a self-sealing waterproofing membrane should be installed on the roof high enough to resist six to eight inches of water above the edge of the wall insulation.

LCEF’s Architectural Advisory Committee provides site and facility analyses and can assist with energy efficient projects. Visit lcef.org or contact your local LCEF district vice president.

LCEF District Grant Helps Students Experience ‘Camp Creation’

One of 110 campers at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church ‘Camp Creation II’ held in June 2018 at Iowa School for the Deaf. The camp was funded in part by an LCEF Iowa District West grant.

One of 110 campers at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church ‘Camp Creation II’ held in June 2018 at Iowa School for the Deaf. The camp was funded in part by an LCEF Iowa District West grant.

LCEF District Grant Helps Students Experience ‘Camp Creation’

“It was an honor to receive a $1,000 grant from Lutheran Church Extension Fund Iowa District West to support the Gospel outreach in Council Bluffs through our annual community-based ‘Camp Creation,’” said Rev. Nathan Sherrill, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Council Bluffs, Iowa.

A Christian Worldview

Camp Creation II is a 3rd-8th grade summer camp hosted by St. Paul's Lutheran Church in cooperation with Iowa School for the Deaf and several other local and regional partners. CC II seeks to offer a thorough STEM educational experience conducted from a Christian worldview. Unique in this community, Camp Creation itself has been held for 10 years and continues to grow. This year, more than 110 campers took advantage of this summer series held over the course of two weeks (CC I and CC II) in June 2018.

According to Sherrill, a goal of Camp Creation is to show students and their families that science and Christianity go together. This can be contrary to the present opinion of our secular culture. Camp began with devotions and reflections on God’s Word which propelled students into active investigation and study of God’s created order and world. The church collaborated with two local science teachers and a math teacher from the public school. These teachers, who are passionate about their vocations and their faith, brought a professionalism to the task of discovery that students picked up on.

Students learn through science.

Students learn through science.

Discovery Through Science

Areas of emphasis this year included physical science, life science and math related to the sciences discussed. Students made roller coasters, studied a crime scene, tested materials, with microscopes, designed building structures inside and out and played games that mimicked the activities of nocturnal animals. Each day had a challenge event that students participated in together that in some way applied their classroom learning.

In all, Camp Creation is about Jesus and His creation of the world and universe and His redemption of us through the cross. Studying what God has made, allows us to know more about Him, His mind and His heart for sinners. “A great compliment to Camp Creation, all the 7th graders attending this year said they wanted to return as 8th graders,” said Sherrill. “While it is not in the end about what is fun, it is important to offer the children education and the environment that applies to them and that they feel comfortable in.”

Camp attendance continues to grow each year.

Camp attendance continues to grow each year.

2019 LCEF Grant Application Deadline

The Lutheran Church Extension Fund is a nonprofit ministry of the Church; therefore, fiscal year end operating results are put right back into mission and ministry.

The application deadline for 2019 LCEF district outreach grants is January 31, 2019; learn more and apply at lcefcentral.org/grants. 2019 LCEF district grant recipients will be announced in the newsfeed at lcefcentral.org.

LCEF is blessed by strong investors and faithful borrowers. Become a partner in ministry, learn more at lcef.org.

Can People Find My Church?

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What kind of an image does your church facility present to the community? The visual presence can impact how the church is viewed by the community. Is it clean and tidy, or do the grounds and buildings look tired?

Well-maintained grounds and buildings can be an invitation and clue to the quality of the experience inside. Here are some ideas that you may consider to raise awareness of your church.

Lighting

Light the important features of your facility. The front façade, steeple or ground sign when lit and attached to a timer are effective tools to draw attention to your facilities.

Landscaping

Beyond the obvious trimmed landscape, consider a colorful flower garden around your yard sign or sidewalk edging. Identify an ideal spot for color and empower a “green-thumbed” member of the congregation to work wonders with a minimum of investment. In general, well-chosen plant materials continue to be the most cost effective way to enhance your facilities.

An example of a feather-shaped sign.

An example of a feather-shaped sign.

Signs, Banners, Flags

Signs are often under-scaled. If you can’t read the sign when passing in a car at 30 mph, your sign is too small to be effective.

Some of the best signs have a component of movement. Consider an American flagpole or feather-shaped advertising sign to draw attention to your facilities.

Take a long look at your facilities and see if some of these ideas have merit.

Visit lcef.org or call 800-843-5233 to find an Architectural Advisory Committee member near you or contact your local district vice president.

“By Grace . . . Access for All!”

Zion Lutheran Church, Atlantic, Iowa conducted a successful capital campaign last year and is adding on to improve accessibility.

Zion Lutheran Church, Atlantic, Iowa conducted a successful capital campaign last year and is adding on to improve accessibility.

For more than 140 years, Zion Lutheran Church, Atlantic, Iowa, has been blessed to be God’s instrument. The congregation helped bring access to the Gospel for generations and was instrumental in several church plants. However, the ministry was not without its challenges over the years. Zion lacked accessibility; the church needed an elevator and an updated restroom on the sanctuary level.

Increasingly over the years, attendees found the multi-level (think ‘many steps’) facility was not easily accessible for many elderly and people with physical impairments. Pastor Ken Davidson and congregational leaders decided it was time to respond to the challenge.

Zion’s Journey

In 2012, Zion contacted the Lutheran Church Extension Fund Architectural Advisory Committee to explore options to enhance access. LCEF’s AAC consists of professional Lutheran architects and liturgical artists who advise on architectural design, planning, construction and preservation of facilities.

Architectural assistance provided a plan for an ADA compliant entry to the church and fellowship areas as well as a lift to enable all members and guests to enjoy all levels of the facility.  One of the challenges initially was finding out how to finance the improvements. It was projected to cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. In order to learn more about the feasibility of a capital campaign, the congregation reached out to Carole White, LCEF District Vice President – Iowa East and West, and Rev. Bob Riggert, LCEF Immeasurably More Campaign Consultant.

By the fall of 2016, the congregation voted to enter a partnership with LCEF to develop a campaign based on Gospel-powered, Biblically-based stewardship principles. The capital campaign would also be reflective of Zion’s history and culture, unique to their needs and provide significant gifts toward the project.

Consultant Riggert and a team of dedicated Zion volunteers immediately went to work to plan a campaign for early 2017. The team chose the campaign theme— “By Grace . . . Access for All!” —with Romans 5:2 as the Biblical base.

A Generous Response

After a Lenten season of prayer and Bible study, including communicating the need and opportunity to fellow Zion members, the congregation gathered for a Commitment Celebration on April 2, 2017.  Congregation volunteers made a special effort to invite those who would be blessed by the improved accessibility to attend, thus, there were numerous wheel chairs and walkers in the sanctuary.

The response of Zion members was generous, over three years, more than $250,000 was committed toward the facility improvements. A celebration banquet at the local high school was a congregation highlight.

“Working with Bob was great,” said Pastor Davidson. “It helped as we continued to move forward and unify around the goal of providing Access for All in our church building so that the Gospel could be better shared.”

Digging Began!

Zion’s construction of the improvements began this summer. “God-willing there will be access for all—members and community—to the means of grace shared in and through Zion Lutheran Church,” said Riggert. 

Based on Ephesians 3:20-21, “Immeasurably More,” is a process for trained LCMS consultants to walk alongside congregations as they grow as stewards and respond to opportunities including updating facilities, helping to grow ministry, reducing debt and other endeavors requiring capital funding.

To learn more, Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod congregations in the Iowa East and West Districts should contact Carole White for more information at Carole.White@lcef.org or 515-240-2229.

Supporting the Mission at Iowa District West Convention

Iowa District West staff at the 2018 Iowa District West Convention at Camp Okoboji in June, 2018.

Iowa District West staff at the 2018 Iowa District West Convention at Camp Okoboji in June, 2018.

LCEF is your Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod partner providing loans, investments and ministry support. "I consider it a joy to meet with committees and congregations interested in furthering the Lord’s work in their communities," said Carole White, Lutheran Church Extension Fund District Vice President - Iowa East and West. 

"In Iowa District West for the last triennium, LCEF has provided 17 new loans totaling over $5,088,000 thanks to faithful investors and borrowers partnering together to make a difference in things eternal. 

LCEF District Vice President - Iowa East and West Carole White presented her report at convention.

LCEF District Vice President - Iowa East and West Carole White presented her report at convention.

Over the last 3 years, Iowa District West received $135,343 in operating results from Lutheran Church Extension Fund. This earnings distribution is made available to districts and the Synod each year that LCEF is profitable.  The amount given back to each district is based upon a 5-way average consisting of the following components: loans to congregations compared to total congregations, operating income, income producing assets, investors as a % of confirmed members and capital-to-asset ratio. 

LCEF was blessed to provide Iowa District West with these extra funds for new mission starts, supporting congregations and church workers, missionaries in our district, and many other outreach initiatives."

How about those creative coloring cards?!

The print file for these creative coloring cards featuring the convention theme are available. Contact  Carole.White@lcef.org .

The print file for these creative coloring cards featuring the convention theme are available. Contact Carole.White@lcef.org.

In support of the 2018 Iowa District West Convention theme—Bound Together in Christ’s Love—based upon Colossians 3:12-17, LCEF provided creative, coloring cards for attendees during the convention. 

The coloring card file is available for your continued use throughout the year; please contact Carole White if you would like to use it.

LCEF is a nonprofit religious organization; therefore, LCEF investments are not FDIC-insured bank deposit accounts. This is not an offer to sell investments, nor a solicitation to buy. LCEF will offer and sell its securities only in states where authorized.  The offer is made solely by LCEF’s Offering Circular. Investors should carefully read the Offering Circular, which more fully describes associated risks. StewardAccount access features are offered through UMB Bank n.a. StewardAccount products are not available to investors in South Carolina. The Family Emergency StewardAccount is known as the Family StewardAccount in the state of Ohio.