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


Preventing Ice Dams and Icicles



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.


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.


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 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 2019 LCEF district grant recipients will be announced in the newsfeed at

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

Can People Find My Church?


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.


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.


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