New Creations marks 5th year by building
Contributed by John George
New Creations Church
"Like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built."
With those words from The Gospel of Luke, chapter six, verse 48, New Creation Lutheran Church of Perham broke ground on a permanent place of worship on Easter Sunday, April 4.
"This couldn't have been accomplished in the time it was without the incredible people of this congregation due to the power of the Holy Spirit at work in and through them," said Pastor Paul Anderson. "God has given us incredible strength and resolve to hold together and keep moving forward, all while keeping true to serving others."
The new church will be located at 295 Coney St. on property formerly owned by New Creations member, John Haverland, behind Pamida along Hwy. 10.
"With God's blessing and good weather this summer, we hope to be worshiping in our new building this fall," Anderson said. "Before Christmas at the very latest."
Perham's newest church dates to 2006
Anderson has been the Pastor and spiritual leader of New Creation since it's inception in 2006. After forming in March of that year, members of the new church met at various homes and businesses in Perham for Bible study and fellowship while looking for a regular location. Soon, an agreement was made with the Wasche family that allowed New Creation to hold Sunday services at the Comet Theatre, and rent the building across the street at 146 1st Ave. S. in Perham. The building, which formerly housed the consignment store, Second Hand Rose, soon became known as The Garden, and after some renovations, became the headquarters and gathering place for New Creation events.
"This place (The Garden) has served us wonderfully over the years," Anderson said. "The Wasche family has been very gracious to us as we have grown."
New Creation held their first service as a congregation on Easter Sunday, 2006. Four years later, ground was broken for their future home on Easter Sunday, 2010.
Building planning launched early
Plans for the building began almost from the inception of the church. It was decided early on that a portion of the collections and donations would be set aside for future growth. Inspired by a dedicated and growing membership, Haverland offered to sell a portion of his property for a future church site. That coincided with a sizeable donation from a non-member from Minneapolis, and New Creation was off and running.
"I thought that it would take a minimum of five years to get a building," Anderson said. "And maybe a maximum of 10 years. And here we are in year four. God is amazing. We've been very blessed."
Since they started a building fund in May, 2008, the church has raised nearly $130,000 of the $1 million dollar price tag of their new facility. And they did that while undergoing some hardships that might have been the death knell of most new, upstart churches.
Leader called away for Reserve duty
In September, 2008, the much beloved Pastor Paul was called to duty as a member of the Naval Reserve. Anderson was sent to Iraq to serve 12 months to minister soldiers while attached with a Marine unit.
New Creation not only held together without their spiritual guide, they grew stronger, with their dedicated membership and strong leadership with people serving on various ministries and boards within the church.
"A Pastoral colleague once told me that when you hit the five-year mark, and not many new churches last five years, but when you hit that five-year mark, you really start hitting your stride," Anderson said."
New Creation will hope for future contributions, and the help of a large volunteer labor force to help build their church that will sit about 360 in the main hall, with room for another 200 in the fellowship hall and along with a full kitchen, which is phase one of the project. The new building will also house several classrooms and offices, which is phase two. Phase three, which is not part of the construction project currently underway for fall completion, will include a larger fellowship hall and gathering area.
Church part of new Lutheran organization
New Creation belongs to LCMC, Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ.
Lutheran's trace their lineage back to the 16th Century German reformer, Martin Luther, who called for reform in the Catholic Church.
LCMC grew out of the WordAlone Network, an organization that works for renewal and reform in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The LCMC coalition, which stresses scripture as it's sole authority, was formed in 2001. It served as a new home for a number of congregations that were displeased with the Call to Common Mission, an ecumenical agreement with the Episcopal Church USA. LCMC does ordain women and has open communion.
Founded in 2001, Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ has 400 congregations in the United States with another 100 abroad.
"The new church is in a great location for visibility and for our expansion, both with the building and the land," Anderson said. "People will know where we are, it's walking distance to the middle school and elementary, which may allow us to have after school programs. The possibilities of how it will allow us to serve the Lord and serve our community are endless.