“Help it be for good” — Continuing to support ULC.

ULC has now been holding its services at another site since their building was purchased by Doran companies.  The MNS District in convention voted to give ULC $2 million from the sale of the property.  This and the $237,000 raised through the past year’s fundraising gives ULC $2.2 million to start looking at their future site for a sanctuary and center to serve the students of the University of Minnesota with the Word and Sacraments.

Here is the problem:  Doran paid $3.25 million to buy the previous church and is looking to spend another half a million at least in destroying it.  They have paid close to $4 million just for the ground.  That is the market that ULC is in if they want to be close to the campus.

Theologically we understand that God will bring good out of this whole bad situation.  We are reminded of the Joseph account that the brothers meant evil, but God worked good (Gen 50:20).  In that situation God used the wealth of the Egyptians and wise stewardship of Joseph to prosper Jacob and his family (including those brothers who meant him harm).

My plea to the readers of BJS is to continue to help financially support ULC through a variety of means.  That is why I would encourage the slogan “Help it be for good” with the intent that not only ULC’s situation would be bettered, but also that ULC would be able to buy secure ground, property that could not be taken away by any show of right.

Here are some ways to support ULC:

You can still donate online here.

You can mail them a donation at:

University Lutheran Chapel
PO Box 270905
St. Paul MN 55127

If you are member of Thrivent Financial, you can also opt to have your “Thrivent Choice” dollars go to University Lutheran Chapel, Minneapolis.

Perhaps congregations could hold mission festivals this fall to help support ULC and Christ’s mission at the University of Minnesota.

Please feel free to share in the comments other ways in which you can help raise the necessary funds to plant this congregation firmly near the University so that the Mission of God in that place through Word and Sacrament can continue on for good.

Save ULC and “help it be for good”.

About Pastor Joshua Scheer

Pastor Joshua Scheer is the Senior Pastor of Our Savior Lutheran Church in Cheyenne, Wyoming. He is also the Editor-in-chief of Brothers of John the Steadfast. He oversees all of the work done by Steadfast Lutherans. He is a regular host of Concord Matters on KFUO. Pastor Scheer and his lovely wife Holly (who writes and manages the Katie Luther Sisters) have four children and enjoy living in Wyoming.

Comments

“Help it be for good” — Continuing to support ULC. — 24 Comments

  1. I cannot help with suggesting find raising avenues, but I can help with suggesting ways to maybe save funds, or be frugal with what they have. Get the a copy of the old (century old almost) book ‘The Small Church’ by Webber. It details how to build a small church on a dime that is traditional/beautiful in and out as well as how to set it up with the traditional architecture so that you can expand it at a later date. Go buy a house or two by campus, tear em down and go for it. Then at a later date down the road you can also buy another house next door and expand. Also start talking to the RSO ‘Laborers for Christ’, they have all kinds of people to help organize and build churches… Good churches, with less cost than traditional builders.

    Start contacting the various Lutheran Foundations to apply for grants. Siebert Foundation out of Milwaukee, Schwann Foundation, and there are many many smaller Lutheran Foundations. The ULC’s connection with Ft. Wayne may help them to get some info on various other foundations or even calling Synod HQ. Groups like LWML, and the like, do yearly grants or matching grants.

  2. @Ryan #1
    Are you familiar with this area of Minneapolis, the cost of anything here-houses included-and then all the city requirements, codes, zoning? In theory it might be possible, but it certainly won’t be easy…..

  3. From ULC FB page:

    Today the MNS District closed on the sale of our former chapel building to Doran Construction. As a result of the actions of the District Convention ULC has received 2 million dollars from the proceeds. The money was wired to us today and is now in our account.

    Thanks be to God, not only that the money was delivered, but also that this stage of the whole wicked debacle has been brought to a close. By God’s grace we are now made more free to move forward in a positive direction.

    Please continue to pray for our congregation as we look to the future and attempt to raise more funds needed for relocation. Also continue to pray for the repentance and restoration of our District leaders.

  4. Ma’am, I am no fool.

    Suggestions were asked. I am no fundraiser so I suggested what I could in saving money when the ULC would reach the building process. Weber’s book has been used by other recent LCMS congregations building sanctuaries… It gives specific dimensions for worshipful space, especially when little land available or funds are small. Sadly most architects today know nothing about good church building but rather will build you a box or try some sort of theory out of their own making. Mistakes like this in building are costly and rarely changeable.

    If you are not familiar with ‘Laborers for Christ’ please read about them here: http://www.lcef.org/products_services/services/lcms_organizations/laborers_for_christ.cfm

    Finally, while fundraising among supporters of the ULC is good, there are other avenues of fundraising. One of which is foundations. There are several, no dozens, of Lutheran based small and large foundations and it would not be remiss to call the developement department of the seminaries or the LCMS for advice.

    If I was at naivety, it would be in the purchase of two houses. I am only familiar with the UW-Madison and UI – Urbana. Most of the time there is some sort of slum student housing available near campus that may provide land. I concede my ignorance for Minneapolis.

    I was was just trying to help, as we all want to do, give the suggestions I could, perhaps they were too simple, my knowledge and experience too small to help.

  5. From David Kind: “Today the MNS District closed on the sale of our former chapel building to Doran Construction. As a result of the actions of the District Convention ULC has received 2 million dollars from the proceeds. The money was wired to us today and is now in our account.

    Thanks be to God, not only that the money was delivered, but also that this stage of the whole wicked debacle has been brought to a close. By God’s grace we are now made more free to move forward in a positive direction.

    Please continue to pray for our congregation as we look to the future and attempt to raise more funds needed for relocation. Also continue to pray for the repentance and restoration of our District leaders.”

    My Soul Sister, Carol Broome, continues to say what I, in my deepest groanings, cannot: “I am very pleased that this payment has been completed, although I continue to deplore the necessity for it. I have no doubt that the brave, wronged, righteous people of ULC will use these funds to God’s glory.”

  6. @Ryan #4
    Ryan, I wasn’t intending to come across as sarcastic, so please forgive me if I did. Your suggestions are helpful as far as they can applied to the specific situation there in that location. The book is an excellent suggestion. The other things I am aware of.
    Money is the thing chiefly needed. And, please, feel free to call me Noreen.

  7. My wife and I think that a 12 month calendar would be a great way to support ULC. Perhaps there is someone out there that could put together a calendar with beautiful Christian art. There are some lovely woodcuts that could be used. It could have quotes from Lutheran theologians and hymns too. Such a calendar that had church year information would be valuable for all of the members of my church. It is hard to find calendars without creepy unholy “holidays”. How nice it would be to have a calendar that would instead celebrate our rich heritage as Lutherans. Many people could give this gift to their friends and family. Congregations could have a sign up sheet each year to purchase these. We would buy one each year. We would also love to buy cds of the ULC choir.

    Most of all, we need to encourage congregations to do direct support. Direct measured giving will give ULC the financial stability for buying property or renting of space. I will be encouraging my congregation to use their mission dollars to directly support the work of ULC and other worthy Lutheran missions.

  8. Just an observation.

    ULC appears to be aligned with that group of our brothers and sisters who have given the ELCA much grief over the past few years. I find it instructive that it is an ELCA seminary which has opened its doors and hearts to the folks of ULC.

  9. @David Hartung #8
    I assume all LCMS members have some substantive disagreements with the ELCA, else they would (should) change to that fellowship. The ULC congregation has profitably studied some of the writings of Gerhard Forde, lately a professor at that same ELCA seminary. Even “that group” can celebrate the truth wherever it may be found while rejecting heterodoxy when it rears its ugly head.

  10. Elements of the leadership of the MNS District have attempted to undo the life and mission of ULC for at the last 25 years. I deeply regret that they succeeded in selling the prime property for campus ministry on University Ave. However, I’m grateful that the plan to extinguish ULC failed as the district in convention had the Christian compassion and sense of justice to provide ULC with 2 million dollars to relocate. But ULC will need much more funding to secure a suitable location within reach of the U of M. I would urge those who are really concerned about the future of a faithful campus congregation in the Twin Cities to translate that concern into financial support. I would especially urge congregations in Minnesota to include ULC in their mission budget. They are worthy of generous support and they need our help.

  11. @John T. Pless #11

    I am a near-total outsider to all of this, and trust me, I don’t expect a friendly response on this site, but not unlike how there was very little notice here and no rejoicing when Issues Etc. went back on KFUO, I’m not sure that the cosmic irony of ULC receiving two million dollars – and the district NOT keeping the two million – is fully appreciated and celebrated here.

    And again as an outsider, and I think I mean this helpfully, I don’t think now is a good time to say much about needing a lot more money. If I may suggest in putative humility: make a good faith effort to find something for the two million. Or at least something that will work with a two million down payment. But make it real and concrete and show something (a lot) for the two million, before expecting new money to be donated.

  12. @mbw #13
    “I don’t expect a friendly response on this site”

    Whatever do you mean? 🙂

    I hope this response is friendly enough for you: It sounds like you are telling ULC (and Issues, Etc.) to stop whining so much about the evil done against them and to rejoice more about the good that God caused to come from that evil. (Am I understanding you correctly?) It also sounds like you are telling people not to send money to ULC, to let ULC settle for a facility not nearly as nice as what was stolen from them. (Am I mistaken?) It also sounds like you are telling the wrong party to make a good faith effort. Did you “in putative humility” lob any such “helpful” advice in the direction of the evil men who evicted ULC from their church home?

    (I hope that was at least a little friendlier than your cruel remarks.)

  13. mbw :
    @John T. Pless #11
    I am a near-total outsider to all of this, and trust me, I don’t expect a friendly response on this site, but not unlike how there was very little notice here and no rejoicing when Issues Etc. went back on KFUO, I’m not sure that the cosmic irony of ULC receiving two million dollars – and the district NOT keeping the two million – is fully appreciated and celebrated here.
    And again as an outsider, and I think I mean this helpfully, I don’t think now is a good time to say much about needing a lot more money. If I may suggest in putative humility: make a good faith effort to find something for the two million. Or at least something that will work with a two million down payment. But make it real and concrete and show something (a lot) for the two million, before expecting new money to be donated.

    It’s not ULC coming here and asking for money. It is ULC supporters, like me and others, who are pointing out that as wonderful and vindicating as the $2M is, it is simply not a realistic figure for what is needed to buy property close enough to campus to provide the kind of continuity that we, as a Synod, should hope for for our many students who end up attending the University of Minnesota.

    Consider this. The developer paid 3.25M for the property. This was after and in addition to paying for zoning applications, appeals, public hearings, etc. as well as soil tests and so on. Now they will have to carefully remove the existing structures, a large additional expense. Only then will they be able to build, a significant cost in and of itself.

    ULC is likely to need to go through something similar. $2M is great but quite insufficient.

    Again, too, this is a campus ministry–the phrase ‘starving students’ comes to mind–that serves students from all over the Synod, not just from the MNS district. It behooves us to provide broad ongoing support in recognition of this, in addition to contributing to their purchase and building of a new church. Despite the $2M, there is a pretty dire capital need here, and I applaud BJS for bringing that to our attention.

  14. “With all due respect and high regard for those who would say otherwise, this was not a win-win scenario. The Congregation is without a place on campus, the District did not gain its projected return and its plan for campus ministry sent back to committee, the Synod has lost an irreplaceable treasure, countless Christians have been hurt and scandalized. Your tears are not out of place here.”

    – Pr Thomas Aadland

    mbw, Because of the brevity and impersonal nature of forum comments, they often seem unfriendly to me also. I think it just mostly comes with the territory. We need more beer summits around here.

  15. @mbw #13
    As for the IE and KFUO stuff:
    https://steadfastlutherans.org/?p=17513

    I would challenge you to find something within walking distance to the University of Minnesota that would house a chapel for under $2 million (that would include the land, and building costs/renovation costs). The simple logistics is that $2 million is only half of what was spent to just buy and prepare the dirt that the new condo complex will be on (formerly ULC). That’s the market around the U of MN, the market which ULC must compete with in order to serve students of that University.

    Friendly or not – it doesn’t make any sense to say that they can do something similar for half (or less) the cost of what they had.

    I understand the desire for concrete examples of what ULC would like to have, and those will come, but in the meantime, just by looking at the market and what they had (which met their needs), we can say they will need more funding.

    I have written in support of and followed the ULC situation for some time now, and I will continue to offer the support I can, because I believe that in the end, that is the way in which this whole situation will work out to “be for good” for ULC. I think the Church (big C, perhaps big S for Synod) owes it to ULC to get them back into a brick and mortar campus ministry as soon as it can.

  16. @mbw #13
    …not unlike how there was very little notice here and no rejoicing when Issues Etc. went back on KFUO, I’m not sure that the cosmic irony of ULC receiving two million dollars – and the district NOT keeping the two million – is fully appreciated and celebrated here.

    mbw:
    Most of BJS listens to Issues Etc through their computers. I think there was some comment when it went back on KFUO, as a matter of fact, but the synod is bigger than St Louis.

    As far as “celebrating” the events of the MN So convention, we would have celebrated if ULC had been allowed to remain in place. Given the events that transpired, anything that looked like “celebrating” here would just add to the [uncalled for] grudge that MN So district has had against its primary confessional Lutheran church.
    We’ve got too much real sorrow to waste time on “Schadenfreude”!

    Like CNH district wasted millions of mission dollars in a failed attempt to rob a small congregation of its church, MN So has wasted a multimillion dollar site and millions more will be needed to replace it. When will the districts stop this destructive madness!?

  17. @Pastor Ted Crandall #14
    @Carol Broome #15
    @John Rixe #16
    @Pastor Joshua Scheer #17
    @helen #19

    I could be wrong. A lot of pastors and congregations have been persecuted and received nothing visible for their troubles.

    What I am talking about is my view of the politics or PR of the situation.

    If an influx of donations is triggered by knowledge of how insufficient the two million will be, I am proven wrong.

    But yes I guess I am recommending gratitude to the convention, all things considered.

  18. @helen #19

    > “Schadenfreude”

    I guess it’s possible that rejoicing at the Lord taking more than half of their thirty pieces, so far, is schadenfreude. But I see this and I praise God. And I wonder if He will let them keep even a penny. We will see.

  19. David Hartung :
    Just an observation.
    ULC appears to be aligned with that group of our brothers and sisters who have given the ELCA much grief over the past few years. I find it instructive that it is an ELCA seminary which has opened its doors and hearts to the folks of ULC.

    If the Lord somehow motivated that ELCA congregation or chapel to lend space to ULC, no doubt the faithful witness given by faithful MO people including ULC over the years against ELCA’s errors played a part in so motivating them. His name be praised.

  20. @Pastor Ted Crandall #14

    > It also sounds like you are telling the wrong party to make a good faith effort. Did you “in putative humility” lob any such “helpful” advice in the direction of the evil men who evicted ULC from their church home?

    No. I did not have any helpful advice for the board that sold ULC. What I had for them was condemnation.

    Your remarks were not friendly at all, but I did not expect nor wish them to be!

  21. @mbw #20
    But yes I guess I am recommending gratitude to the convention, all things considered.

    Oh, yes, the convention deserves $2 mil worth of gratitude, for not turning ULC out with nothing, as the BOD meant to do!

    It’s sad that the convention didn’t reject the whole miserable deal, but it’s time to go on from here. Sufficient time (and bandwidth) has been wasted calling on the unrepentent to repent. Let the dust of the demolished church building speak against the BOD and DP Emeritus!

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