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Committee Members


Pat Bates, David Earley, Kelley Fehn, Eric Hagenow, Brian Heinlein, Kurt Hilbrandt, Bart Hubbell, Karin Keel-Todd, Fred May, Andy Neuenfeldt, Harold Schroeder


Stewardship Life Campaign Update (October 2021)

At a special Voters' meeting on Monday, September 13, our congregation voted to move forward with a Capital Campaign to secure funding donations to implement the Master Plan. We will be working with The Timothy Group to help us in this. As we prepare for this campaign, we are seeking volunteers that would be willing to help over the course of the next several months. The Timothy Group has provided us with detailed volunteer descriptions below. Please prayerfully consider serving on one of these committees. If you have questions or are willing to serve, please contact Eric Hagenow (eric.hagenow@stpeterhemlock.org) or Kurt Hilbrandt (kjhhomemail@gmail.com). 

Volunteer Characteristics: 

  • Each volunteer should be able to work well with people to do an effective job. 

  • Willingness to make a meaningful commitment.


The Ministry Partners Gifts Committee is a key in setting the pace for the campaign. This committee of leaders will direct the presentation of the campaign focus to the current leadership of the church. 

Focus groups will be conducted to respond to questions and encourage a leadership commitment to the ministry expansion. 


  • Will work with the Communications Committee in development of necessary materials.

  • Will conduct focus group discussion with Ministry Partners prospects.

  • Time commitment: 3-5 hours per week in months one and two, plus Steering Committee meetings.


This committee will carry out the publicity for the program. Those involved should have some knowledge of printing, art, copyrighting, etc., and must be able to set and meet deadlines. 


  • Will be the editor of all campaign materials.

  • Will be in charge of development and printing of all campaign publications.

  • Will work with the Spiritual Emphasis Director in compiling and editing testimonies for publication.

  • Some writing ability will be helpful.

  • Will enlist others for posters and displays.

  • Will assist in making video promotional material (optional).

  • Must be able to meet deadlines.

  • Time commitment: Active early in the campaign with significant time involvement of 3-5 hours per week in the first two months. This tapers off to 1-2 hours per week in the last two months, plus Steering Committee meetings. 



This committee will have the uppermost responsibility for the major emphasis, that of prayer. Because of the nature of this work, it is imperative that this person be highly respected by fellow workers. 

  • Must be held in high esteem by the church family.

  • Will enlist people to share their testimonies during the campaign period and for publication in campaign material.

  • Will enlist people for the prayer emphasis.

  • Will coordinate an emphasis on stewardship.

  • Will direct the development of the campaign newsletters.

  • ​Time commitment: 1 hour per week during months one and two; 2-3 hours per week during months three and four, plus Steering Committee meetings. 


The Events Committee will coordinate two gathering events within the campaign. The Events Committee will direct all arrangements for the location, food, and site preparation for the events.


  • Working with the Ministry Partners Gifts Committee, will arrange for the Ministry Partners Dessert(s).

  • Will build and supervise plans to carry out the Congregational Event plans.

  • Will assist in all areas of the campaign building toward the commitment Sunday & celebration.

  • Must be creative and yet sensitive to ministry roles already in place.

  • Time commitment: 2-3 hours per week in the first month and 3-4 hours per week in the last two months, plus Steering Committee meetings.


This Stewardship Life Campaign is the start of an exciting journey of “giving” towards the fulfillment of the commitments that have been made during the campaign time. The Stewardship Fulfillment Committee is the person responsible to follow through with maintaining continued growth in individual journeys of stewardship for the entire commitment time.


  • Must participate in all areas of ministry throughout the campaign time.

  • Must be dependable to follow through without a lot of supervision.

  • Time commitment: Steering Committee meetings and then as needed throughout the 36 months of fulfillment.


Update from Special Voters Meeting (September 13, 2021)

 At a special Voters' meeting on Monday, September 13, our congregation voted to move forward with a Capital Campaign to secure funding donations to implement the Master Plan. We will again hire The Timothy Group to help us in this campaign (they guided us through the pre-campaign study that was completed in June and July). There will be much more information in the coming weeks. Thank you for your prayers as our congregation moves forward with this campaign. We pray that God would continue to guide and bless our efforts as we begin this campaign.

Update (since January 25, 2021)

The Long Term Planning Committee updated the congregation at the Voters’ Meeting on January 25, 2021. Since that time, the Church Council approved the hiring of Three Rivers to create an updated Master Plan for our congregation (the previous Master Plan was from 2015). After multiple designs, discussions, and modifications, a new design has been created. This newest design addresses the current needs of our congregation while also taking into account
future ministry within our church and throughout our community.


How does the Master Plan meet the current and future needs of our congregation?

  • “Meeting the spiritual needs of our members” is a vital part of our congregation. A new room for Bible Class (fellowship hall) would allow for additional space, “round table discussions”, and a welcoming room where more people can gather. Bible Class currently takes place in either the chapel or the sanctuary which is not ideal for Bible Class.

  • In order to make Sunday School more accessible (currently this is held at the school) and be in the same building as the Adult Bible Class, the additional classrooms at the church will allow for Sunday School to be much more convenient for families and a direct connection to worship (before or after Sunday School depending on time).

  • Music is a key component in meeting the spiritual needs of our members and is a necessity in our worship. Having a designated place (music room) for our musicians to practice and warm-up is essential. The location of the music room also allows for easy access to the balcony. The music room, adjacent fellowship hall, additional classroom spaces, and improved church acoustics will allow St. Peter to host visiting choirs, bands, and handbell ensembles from colleges, seminaries, and high schools across the country, allowing us to expand community outreach through various concerts in our church. Also note that with improved organ and church acoustics, our congregation can host organ recitals, hymn festivals, and other sacred concerts featuring a pipe organ.

  • We currently do not have an area at our church to accommodate gatherings. With a new fellowship hall and kitchen, we would be able to host these functions at the church:

    • ​funeral dinners

    • anniversary celebrations

    • receptions

    • baptismal and confirmation receptions

    • family gatherings

    • wedding receptions, showers, etc.

  • ​The Master Plan contains a designated place for families with young children (nursery/cry room) which is next to a family restroom.

  • Our current narthex does not meet our needs for gathering before and after services. With the new gathering space, there is plenty of room before and after services for people to spread out (social distance if another COVID-19 pandemic were to happen), enjoy fellowship, and reduce the congestion of our current smaller narthex.

  • We currently have one meeting area at our church (multi-purpose room). The Master Plan creates several new spaces to hold meetings without interfering with other groups that meet. Groups and organizations who meet regularly are:

    • Public School Confirmation Classes

    • Adult Confirmation Classes

    • Altar Guild

    • Ladies Aid,

    • Mary Martha

    • Men’s Club

    • Trustees

    • Adult Choir

    • Adult Handbells

    • Finance Committee

    • Elders

    • Church Council

    • Endowment Committee

    • Organ Committee

    • Long-Term Planning Committee

    • Sunshine Seniors

  • ​The new office space in the Master Plan is easily accessible, spacious, and takes into consideration privacy for pastoral counseling. We currently only have one office for one pastor and one office for our music director. The Master Plan adds additional office space for our faculty and staff such as pastor, deacon, youth director, DCE, etc.

  • The plan includes a covered entry where people can be safely dropped off or picked up protected from the weather.

  • The plan includes an elevator that will safely move people and instruments up to the balcony.

  • The Master Plan has handicap-accessible family restrooms in different areas (by the classrooms/offices and by the nursery).

  • Storage is a necessity and our current storage in our church is limited. The Master Plan addresses storage concerns and has many areas where storage space is available.

  • The Master Plan includes a space designated for our Jr. and Sr. Youth. Even though we currently do not have a Youth Director, this is a ministry that we anticipate to begin again in the near future.

  • The Master Plan also takes into consideration these projects:

    • ​Organ Project (Organ Committee working on this) which includes acoustical sanctuary modifications, temperature regulation within the sanctuary and balcony, additional balcony space for organ and musicians.

    • Pavilion

    • Lighting enhancement within the sanctuary and balcony

    • Video/Sound booth in the balcony to protect the sound system and the equipment required for Live-Streaming.

    • Maintenance Items: bell tower (repair and/or modification), roof, boiler, church parking lot and storm drains​

Additional Information
St. Peter Lutheran has received a significant matching fund offer to support half of our building and organ projects up to $2.5 million for a $5 million project or greater project.

Next Steps
Our committee recommended hiring a firm to conduct a study to assess if this plan is feasible for our congregation. This study will take several months. The congregation voted on April 26, 2021, to have a feasibility study done.


Timeline from January 2015 - January 2021


  • In January 2015, the Vision Committee presented the Master Plan to the Voters' Assembly.

  • In April 2015, the Voters' Assembly wanted a Feasibility Study to take place.

  • In the spring of 2016, the Feasibility Committee came up with these recommendations:

    • Before starting Phase 1, meet these criteria:

      • Pay off the mortgage.

      • Have all borrowed money paid back and have at least 10% reserve in the general fund (I think that was 10% of the budget).

      • Raise 2/3 of the money before borrowing any money for the project.

  • At the July 2016 Voters’ Assembly, there was concern with moving forward due mostly to financial concerns.

  • Over the last several years, the master plan has been discussed but there hasn’t been much movement.

  • On August 25, 2020, our St. Peter Church Council started the process of investigating what has changed over the last 5-6 years and if we would be in a position to start a new building project.

  • Over the course of several months, the Church Council assembled a Long-Term Planning Committee to provide a plan to the congregation for growth and development.

  • This committee assembled for the first time in October 2020 and began its work.

  • The needs of the congregation were gathered first, and here are some of the suggestions that were brought from congregational members, boards, and committees:

    • organ (including​​ acoustical sanctuary modifications)

    • temperature regulation within the sanctuary and balcony, additional balcony space for organ and musicians

    • elevator to the balcony

    • lighting enhancement within the sanctuary and balcony

    • video/sound booth

    • maintenance of the bell tower

    • roof

    • boiler

    • parking lot and storm drains

    • increased opportunities for worship ministry

    • Christian education with spacious, attractive, comfortable facilities to welcome members and community

    • a place to feel the love, fellowship, and comfort of our Church family including space for before/after service fellowship, church worker welcoming, anniversary celebrations, baptism celebrations and baby showers, funeral dinners, wedding showers and receptions, family gatherings, and multiple meeting facilities for current and new organizations

  • There were ​considerations for the additional space which included the following:

    • great room/fellowship hall

    • cry room/nursing room

    • handicap accessible family restrooms

    • expansion of the narthex

    • meeting and practice facilities for worship musicians with consideration for connecting directly to the balcony

    • quiet, private and comfortable surroundings to meet with Pastor for personal counseling

    • Porte-Cochere (covered structure to protect from weather) to allow for cars to drive under for drop off and pick up during inclement weather and for those needing additional help

    • additional storage

    • pavilion/outdoor park area

    • school athletic fields