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Faith Lutheran breaking ground on new location

From left to right, Pastors Judy Holmen, Peter Schmidt and Rich Kramer of Faith Lutheran Church.

Faith Lutheran Church, located on Second Avenue, is hosting a groundbreaking ceremony for its new location, Journey in Faith, on 40th Ave., during its "Rally Day" celebration on Sunday morning.

The event will begin with a worship service at the Sheyenne 9th Grade Center at 10 a.m. There will be only one service that day, as opposed to the usual three services.

Following the service, the congregation will walk to their nearby 10-acre plot just west of the center for the groundbreaking before heading back for a meal.

Rally Day is Faith Lutheran's event celebrating their fall programs, where members of the congregation "rally" together again after doing other things over the summer.

The theme of the event is "God's Team." Churchgoers are encouraged to wear t-shirts or jerseys of their favorite teams and, weather permitting, the meal will be in the style of a tailgating party.

The new location, set for an August 2013 completion date, will serve primarily as a recreational building for the community. It will have a multi-purpose gymnasium from which services will be held every Sunday. It will work cohesively with the current Faith Lutheran Church.

"We're expecting this building to be used a lot, much like (Faith Lutheran Church) is," Schmidt said. "Sometimes it's hard to even schedule a meeting because every room is filled, and we like it that way."

The original plan was to simply expand Faith Lutheran Church to have a gym instead of building on a completely new area. However, space was an issue, and the decision was made that a new building would be more practical.

Services, headed by Pastor Judy Holmen, have been held in Scheels Arena for over two years to accommodate West Fargo residents south of I-94.

"We chuckle and tell people that we worship in the bar," Pastor Peter Schmidt said jokingly.

Journey in Faith would allow them to stop having services at the arena and grants them their own space that is better suited for their needs.

The Pastors initially planned on using this new location for activities and community programs, but thought that services should be held there as well.

"If a building is going up anywhere and there's a cross on it, people are going to say 'that's a church,'" Schmidt said. "This site will not only provide more space for the existing ministry, but also provide for a new worshipping community."

The pastors see Rally Day as the ideal opportunity to promote Journey in Faith to the community.

"It's a time to energize folks around this new ministry that's happening with Journey in Faith," Pastor Rich Kramer said, "as well as to reconnect with people."

Other Rally Day events include a Cookie and Bar Bake-off and family games on Sunday as well as a potluck supper and evening prayer service at Faith Lutheran Church on Saturday night.