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Calvary Lutheran Church
1405 S. Ninth St. -- Grand Forks, ND 58201
Phone (701) 772-4897 ~ Fax (701) 775-6048

August 04, 1997

Rev. David Vidler
Calvary Lutheran Church
11249 S. Spaulding
Chicago, IL. 60655

Dear Rev. Vidler,

  Thank you so much for your support and your encouragement in becoming our partner congregation. The damage the church received and the trauma of the flood were devastating to our church and our members, but we are continuously uplifted and encouraged by the generosity and support of people like you.

  Let me start by updating you on our congregation -- past and present. We had a pre-flood membership of 3000 baptized members. We have not yet been able to assess how many people have not remained in the Grand Forks area since the flood as many are still in limbo with their homes and businesses. We estimate that around 80 families in our congregation had substantial damage (water on the 1st floor or more). And 95% of the congregation suffered some flood damage at their home or business.

  Our church received 8 inches of muddy water on the main floor, including the sanctuary.  Our choir room which was sunken had 2.5 to 3 feet of water in it.  Our basement, which included a youth room and mechanical room, was completely full.

  Engineers have estimated our damage at $250,000 including $40,000 to clean the duct work for our heating and air conditioning systems. We did not have flood insurance, but are in the process of applying for a low-interest loan to pay for the rebuilding. They estimate we have saved the church around $30,000 by using volunteers to do the demolition and cleaning (not part of the total damage estimate).

  In addition, our educational wing MUST be rebuilt and ready by August 25th as an area elementary school will be leasing space from us. Lincoln School sustained over 50% damage in the flood and is located on the wet side of a proposed dike line and subsequently must be relocated. They have negotiated with our church to lease space for 125 kids, Kindergarten through 6th grade, for the 1997-98 school year.

  We sincerely appreciate the support you have given us, whether in prayers, thoughts, donations or volunteers. We are truly blessed to be continually lifted up in God's hands by people like you who have shown your care and concern.

  Please continue to be patient with us in our communications with you. We have many balls in the air at this point and are just trying to keep them all going. If you have already received a letter like this, please forgive me. I'd rather you got two copies than none. Rest assured, we are doing our best to keep you informed. We are putting you on the mailing list for our newsletter, Calvary Calling, so you can begin to look for that in early September.

  I am also enclosing a copy of our Care Notes. This is the news note of our Calvary Cares program which was designed to assist our members and others in greater Grand Forks in their recovery from the flood.

  Again, thank you, and God's blessing to you.

  In God's Grace,

  Sarah Raymond
  Shared Ministry Coordinator