For example, he mentioned their construction company who halted work on the day of a funeral at St. Mark out of respect for the grieving family. Likewise, the congregation values the partnership of LCEF, and working with fellow Christians like LCEF Nebraska District Vice President Nate Meier.
A Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) member himself, Meier said, “I really appreciate working with our ministries across the district and with LCEF.”
“In the past, we reviewed other [funding] options but LCEF has always been a better fit for us,” said Mike Munderloh, St. Mark’s treasurer.
A long-standing ministry partnership, the congregation had LCEF loans for a previous addition and a gym over the years. Today, along with the congregation’s capital campaign, an LCEF loan will help fund the sanctuary renovation, a priority in St. Mark’s strategic plan.
During this sanctuary renovation, the gym is utilized as space for worship. St. Mark leadership put thought into helping their members and visitors through the transition. The temporary seating in the gym is set up in a "fan" or horseshoe shape — similar to what they will experience when the new sanctuary is finished.
As construction continues, St. Mark members are seeing firsthand how their LCEF investments work for the church. Investors can see “what those dollars are actually used for — and how those dollars they’re saving — are helping build the Kingdom,” said Harmoney, who also serves as St. Mark’s LCEF advocate.
‘Doing this together’
In the future, the congregation plans to tackle additional phases of the renovation – building a new covered entrance and walkway to the church, sealing off the courtyard and adding gathering space for fellowship and coffee.
Each enhancement is driven by the congregation’s mission to connect people with Jesus.
“We want to be more welcoming, create a warmer and more personal atmosphere where we can meet people face to face and invite them to worship,” said Lentz. “We appreciate that those folks who are helping us out financially are part of the Church.”