Rise O, Church Update

At the May 10 online congregational meeting it was reported that the Rise, O Church campaign has been paused until sometime this fall when we will reassess whether it is prudent to start up again. The congregation was assured that it remains an active, ongoing project with much activity and planning taking place while we continue to operate under Governor Walz’ COVID-19 Guidelines. Some highlights follow.

Rise, O Church Campaign—On March 17, the Congregational Council voted to pause the campaign until fall. At the time of the Council’s decision, we were well into the pledge drive and were quite pleased with the level of pledges that had been made. All the funds contributed to date are secure and continue to be earmarked for the new organ and sanctuary renewal.

New Organ—The contract with Orgues LeTourneau has been renegotiated. They will “hold” our organ at least until the fall and look forward to continued work with us on our music ministry.

Sanctuary Design—HGA (architect) has completed the design development phase and will finalize details with us when we are ready to restart.

Cost Estimates—Langer Construction is doing cost estimating based on architectural drawings developed by HGA during the design phase. It was decided to proceed with estimating while the information was still top of mind for Langer estimators and their subcontractors.

New Learnings—The pastoral and music staff members have had to dramatically alter our worship experience during our shelter-in-place time. The unanticipated advantage of the online services is that it has reminded us of the passion we hold for our music ministry and reinforced the need to consider new technologies like streaming in making any updates to the Sanctuary.

As Pastor Bradley has said, “Rise, O Church is more than just buying a new organ or doing some remodeling. It’s about our dedication to be a growing, vibrant congregation ready to meet the needs of future generations and our neighboring community.” The COVID-19 virus has undoubtedly changed our timeline and our short-term priorities; however, the vision of Rise, O Church will continue because it captures our spirit as a welcoming family in faith dedicated to compassionate service.

Submitted by Mike Kruger, Sanctuary Renewal Task Force Chair