Friday, April 06, 2007
Keith Oistad, a member of Joy Lutheran Church in Eagle River, Alaska, uses a shovel to cut through the ice in his church parking lot. Each Spring, as the warmer temperatures come, the back parking lot does not drain correctly and floods the church. Members chip away at the ice, trying to force the water to drain away from the building. The Men of Joy, at work group that meets once a month to do fix it projects around the church plan on digging up around the foundation to see where the water is coming in, and attempt to seal the leak, but currently, the church is very low on funds and is relying on weekly contributions from members just to try to pay the normal operating costs to stay open. Ideally, regrading the parking lot and adding better drainage would be the answer, but besides the leak, parts of the roof need replacing, furnaces need replacing, the building needs new carpet in a majority of the building, and the front parking lot needs to be sealed. But none of this can be completed until many bills are caught up and a reserve fund is built up. The church, a member of the ELCA and the Alaska Synod, is trying to bring in new members every week, but is finding it difficult as many new residents to the Eagle River area are either military and here for a limited time, or buying houses further and further away from Anchorage and Eagle River and going to churches closer to them.