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Dear Church Family,

     May 10, 2002, is a memorable day for Michelle and me. This was our first trip to Columbus, Indiana. A couple weeks earlier, at the Call Service at the Fort Wayne Seminary, we had learned that St. Paul would be our new church home.

May 10, 2002, was the beginning of you extending Christ’s love to our family. That evening Bruce and Natalie Pollert opened up their home not only for us to stay but also for a congregational meet and greet where more than 100 people showed up to welcome us to our new church family. The next day, Tim Arnholt had fifteen houses ready for us to tour so that we would have a place to land when we moved the following month, the home that we still live in to this day.

     Your extending of Christ’s love to us has continued for more than 22 years! Many made the trip to Fort Wayne to help us load the moving truck that June and even more were waiting here in Columbus to help us unload. You’ve prayed for us when our family has been in need, supported and encouraged us in ways too many to number or even remember.

Through the mission and ministry of this congregation, our family has been on the receiving end of Christ’s love. Nathaniel and Simeon were given a solid faith foundation through fifteen years of Christian education, beginning with our early childhood ministry and continuing through high school. Like so many others, Nathaniel was blessed through the faithful teaching and care of Mrs. Kruger. Simeon was a student in our first kindergarten class taught by Mrs. Behmlander, an expansion of our early childhood ministry that was made possible when the church was dedicated in 2009. Both Nathaniel and Simeon grew spiritually through Sunday School, confirmation instruction, and our youth ministry as they were blessed to participate in servant events, gatherings, and conferences that strengthened their faith and built friendships. Nathaniel continues to be on the receiving end of this congregation’s love and generosity as he attends the seminary, preparing to extend Christ’s love as a pastor in our Lord’s Church.

     When we embarked on Growing with Christ’s Love to complete Phase One of the Thirty-Year Master Plan in 2006, the construction of our present church, Don and Lucy Nolting were campaign co- chairs. During that time, I remember Don often sharing with fellow church members that Lucy and he were “paying it forward” through their support of Growing with Christ’s Love. Their five children had received a Lutheran day school education through our congregation’s support and their grandchildren attended our preschool. Don and Lucy felt their support of Growing with Christ’s Love was their opportunity to pay it forward, to give more families and children the opportunity to receive what they and their family had received—the unconditional love and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ!

     As we prepare for the final phase of our Thirty-Year Master Plan, the construction of the Christian Education Center, Michelle and I feel the same way. By our support of this endeavor, we are paying it forward for present and future generations to know and receive the love of Christ. It’s clear that the space is needed—our Sunday School is growing, the enrollment in our early childhood ministry this fall will be the highest ever in our school’s history, and this past school year more than 175 children and youth were served through our three youth groups. For decades to come, even after we are with the Lord in glory, we know that there will be a space and place for old and young to hear, learn, and receive the love of Christ!

     In the coming weeks, I pray that you will prayerfully consider how you can support Extending Christ’s Love. Consider the countless blessings that, in love, our Lord has generously bestowed upon you.  As you are able, please offer a pledge to support this endeavor. Consider also how you may be able to offer your time and talent for this campaign. Like the construction of the church, this project is ambitious. Empowered by the Spirit, together we can make the Christian Education Center a reality so that Christ’s Love may be extended through our congregation for years to come!

In Christ’s Love to Extend Christ’s Love,                       

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The Need for the Christian Education Center

God has blessed our congregation and early childhood ministry with growth. Together, through our sacrificial giving, we can create the needed space and place for mission and ministry to grow and expand!

Extending Christ's Love Timeline

Now- August 17

Pray and Prepare

  • Pray for our church as we seek to Extend Christ’s Love.

  • Learn about the project and ask questions.

  • Prayerfully consider how you can generously support Extending Christ’s Love.

  • Write down your prayer requests and others that need your prayers on the enclosed prayer cards and return them to church before the Prayer Vigil on August 3rd . Additional prayer cards are available in the gathering space or by contacting the church office.

Sundays, July 14-September 1

Extending Christ’s Love Sermon Series

A theme in Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is Christ’s Love. Through this sermon series, we will explore and rejoice in the love of Christ and how the Spirit empowers us to extend the love of Christ in our speaking and serving at home, church, and in all our callings.

Sundays, July 21-August 11:

Extending Christ’s Love Bible Study

We must surround this entire process with the Word of God and prayer. Please plan to attend a four-week Bible study led by Pastors Patterson and Bauman on how God uses you to extend Christ’s love.

Saturday, August 3

Prayer Vigil

Set aside thirty minutes on this Saturday to pray for church family, submitted prayer requests, and for Extending Christ’s Love. There are eight times available for prayer: 8 AM, 8:30 AM, 9 AM, 9:30 AM, 5 PM, 5:30 PM, 6 PM, and 6:30 PM. Each thirty-minute section will begin with a brief prayer liturgy. Participants will then take a number of prayer request cards and offer prayers for those listed on the cards. The prayer time will conclude with a closing prayer, Lord’s Prayer, and blessing.

Saturday-Sunday, August 17-18

Commitment Weekend

Saturday, August 17 at 5 PM: Come celebrate with your church family! We want everyone to rejoice in God’s great faithfulness. We will gather at 5 PM for a service in the sanctuary where pledges will be offered and dedicated to the Lord. This will be followed by a congregational meal at 5:30 PM. At the conclusion of the meal, the total amount pledged to that point will be announced. RSVP: Please sign-up by Sunday, August 11th to attend the congregational meal.


Sunday, August 18: Our celebration of Christ’s Love will continue with special services and an

extended fellowship hour.


Project Approved

All pledge cards should be returned by Sunday, August 25th . The Finance Committee will finalize the project budget based on pledges and other funding sources. The Building Committee will begin meeting with Architect Kevin Stuckwisch to design the Christian Education Center based on the project budget.

This is the Fulfillment Period for all pledges. As we generously support the project, work will continue on the design of the Christian Education Center. Once approved by the congregation, construction will begin with completion as early as the beginning of the 2027-2028 school year.

September 2024- December 2029 

Extending Christ’s Love

The Christian Education Center

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