The more things change, the more they stay the same. Heating is not an option in Minnesota.
In August at a special congregational meeting the Council was authorized to enter into a contract for installation of a new boiler system. The work has begun. The first step was asbestos removal, it has been completed. Removal of both old boilers (one that has not worked in years) is scheduled to begin in the week ahead, allowing for the installation of the new boiler to begin next week.
If you have not read The Fields Were Ripe, A History of St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, I would encourage you to do so; it is available in our church library. “The Blankety-Blank Furnace” on pages 35-36 shares stories of heating St. Luke’s buildings through the years. The conversations that are recorded are similar to the ones that were had recently. The congregation stepped out in faith to purchase the Torrid Zone furnace for $375. In January 20, 1930 the council agreed to try raising some money to pay off the debt. At the end of 1932 the Luther League assumed responsibility for the balance due. It was paid off in January 1933. The purchase of heating systems is just the beginning of the story, it continues with the cost of fuel being a constant worry.
What warms my heart in reading the stories, is all the people who stepped forward through the years – sharing their time, talent, and treasure so that heat was maintained. The same is true today. There were a lot of people instrumental in maintaining the boiler that is being replaced, but most recently it was Mark Hagelin. Mark is the Council Property Representative who announced at the last meeting that he is enjoying his Senior Year. He will have completed his four plus years on Council this January and only due to constitutional rule is he stepping down. During these past four years he not only spent a couple hours a month at the Council Meeting, but another 20-25 hours a month tending our 54 year old furnace. It was a good furnace with the heat exchange still viable, however the other parts that made it work were breaking down and replacements were hard to find; parts that Mark often took time to search for and he would replace.
Mark said we should all be excited about the new furnace. Not only will it free up his time, it will benefit our congregation and the environment. Mark would check the weather and then drive to church to manually adjust the furnace to keep the temperature comfortable; the new furnace has automated controls. He also pointed out that our cost for fuel will decrease moving from a 60% efficiency boiler to 95%, saving money and reducing our carbon footprint. Last, but not least, the old furnace did not have a backup. If it had went out, Mark had contingency plans for temporary heat, but it would have been costly, and the decision of when to replace it would be made for us. The new heating system has the backup built in.
When asked what he will do with this new found time on his hands no longer babysitting the old boiler or attending Council Meetings, he replied, “Now I’ll have time to do other needed work around the church. I have to leave the Council, but I look forward to continue serving on the Property Team.”
Thank you Mark and all who share their time, talent, and treasure continuing the mission of St. Luke’s.
St. Luke's Council